It feels like it has been forever since I wrote a blog, but it isn't that I've been lazy, I promise. It's just that me and my little laptop have been apart (sniff) but we are now reunited!
I was working in London on Thursday, which was good. I was in meetings ALL day, which was less good because it was tiring but I can't really complain as the meetings were all interesting and helped me to get a handle on my new job. I made my way over to Trafalgar Square when I was finished and met Nic, who had been second-hand-book and comic shopping on the Charing Cross Road, and we caught the train down to Kent. Nic's parents live in a little village outside Folkestone and I took a long weekend so we could go and spend some time with them, as Nic's dad has been ill recently. It was very good to see them both, and to see that Nic's dad was doing better than we had hoped. We didn't do much, just had a good time hanging out with Nic's mum and dad. We watched a few excellent films, Frenchman's Creek, Brighton Rock and The Stranger, none of which I had seen before. Apart from The Third Man and Citizen Kane, both of which I watched at university, I hadn't seen any Orson Welles films and I thought he was brilliant in The Stranger. Also, although his character was totally evil, his moustache made him very foxy! I enjoyed watching these films with Nic's parents, because it's nice to spend time with them but also because we were able to talk about them and discuss them in interesting ways. Nic's dad made the point that the films had something in common, which was that all of them featured a woman who made an unsuitable marriage. This comparison could best be drawn between The Stranger and Brighton Rock because in both of those films the women delude themselves completely about the men they have married. In Brighton Rock, Rose knows that Pinkie is a gangster and that he is involved in some way with the death of Fred Hale, but the film ends with her protestations that Pinkie loved her and that he was a good man. The audience knows differently, as they know that Pinkie recorded his voice saying that he hates her and that she's a slut. Loretta Young's character in The Stranger finally does come to the realisation that Orson Welles' character is evil and that he has tried to kill her, but even when she knows he has committed murder she is willing to stand by him because she has convinced herself that he loves her and needs her. The human capacity for self-delusion is something that fascinates me, and I have been inspired by watching those films to apply myself more rigorously to my creative writing project this year.
I didn't manage to find a Hornsea teapot in Hythe, but I did have a profitable weekend otherwise. I found a cute little Hornsea egg cup for 50p in a junk shop - I couldn't get it to photograph very well, I'm afraid. It isn't the Heirloom pattern, I think it is from later but it has a very distinctive shape. I also bought a beautiful pale pink Beswick bowl from Old English Pine in Sandgate, which I will photograph at a later date. It's perfect for keeping my rings in on my bedside table. I also finally bought some bamboo knitting needles, something I have been meaning to do for ages now. I came home fairly laden down, because Nic's grandpa gave me a book about Richard III and Nic's mum very kindly gave me a vintage Liberty scarf from her collection:
It is so beautiful - it is pure wool and it is so soft. Nic's mum has a beautiful collection, most of which she has picked up in charity shops over the years and they are housed in the most amazing Liberty bag. It's a frame bag, made out of peacock-feather print material, and she bought it in a charity shop in Canterbury for about £4! I will be scouring eBay for something similar!
The weather was gorgeous for much of the weekend and Nic and I were able to walk on the seafront a few times. On Sunday we went into Folkestone and had afternoon tea in the Grand Hotel on the Leas Cliff. It was wonderful, as we were able to take our tea while looking out to sea. We walked right along to the end of the Leas and then down the hill to Sandgate, following the beach up as far as where Nic's parents live. I love living in Leamington but would love one day to be able to live by the sea. I know it is a cliche but there is something about the sound and smell of the sea that makes my cares seem miles away.
We travelled back up to the midlands yesterday, stopping off in London on the way. We had some amazing noodles with tofu and shiitake mushrooms in Soho, and Nic bought some comics. I skipped across Oxford street to the Fever shop because my January paycheque was burning a hole in my pocket, but I was quite restrained. I bought a dress and a coat, both from the sample rack and both very good bargains. I am especially pleased with the dress because it is so unusual and it is one that I think didn't get mass produced, although it was in the Ruby Belle catalogue.
(that isn't a great photo, artificial light has given me funny eyes!)
I've also included a close up of the fabric (but rotate it, the geisha aren't sideways!) because it is so special. The dress was only £20 so I'm extremely pleased with my find, and it was the only one in the shop! I'm going to go back in a few weeks as I hope by then they will have some more of their Spring/Summer stock in store so I can start planning my next purchases!
I had a good work day today, in the Coventry office. I got a very special message in the morning, telling me that my dear friend Mrs Z had her baby early this morning! She had a little girl, and by all accounts both are well. In the afternoon I did a few errands in Leamington and met up with Sugar Plum and M for a drink in the White Horse, and right now Nic is finishing making dinner. I like February very well so far - I hope it continues in this vein!
I'll finish off with a couple more photos I took this weekend
Nic on the beach at Sandgate - doesn't he look handsome?!
Advertising FAIL in Folkestone Asda. I added the text with my phone because I am COOL
I found this post-it note stuck to the door of The Works in Folkestone. It says You are grat at danson