Monday, 27 April 2015


 Quick blog entry. Above is a cottage garden gate on our way to Aldham Church. The garden, and area is full of primroses which will, in a week be past their best - so took a snap when I saw them.


The next three snaps show changes we have recently made to our front hall. Late last year we decided to give up our piano which took up most of the spare space in the hall.  Neither of us had played the piano in months, so hearing that a nephew (who is an organist in his pare time) was in need of a usable piano, we gave him it, and are told that they are very happy together. That brings us to the point of this entry which is - what to do with the spare space in the front hall.  We bought upstairs,  from my cellar,  this small dresser. It had belonged to Great Gran, and I'd been using it to display early metal ware . It now has some pewter bits and the remains of a Minton tea service (of  'Lady Amerst pattern'- I think I've got that right).  Given that it stands where an Edwardian upright piano stood, it's amazing how much bigger the swap has made the hall look.

The lady who has been framed above, is a Victorian 'pedlar doll'. We bought her when the children were small. They all loved her, and all joined in making small pieces of stock for her tray. She retained her tray, which in turn displays her 'Pedlar's Licence', still adhering to the backboard of the tray. I finally got round to making  - and installing her into- her frame. The frame is made to unhook, at the side when necessary, for Ann to tidy, or rearrange, the doll's stock. I aught to have opened the case  to take the photo -there'd have been less problem with reflections.

The last photo shows a small oak chest which, crowded our bedroom until recently. The chest is English, and dates from the late 1500s, or early 1600s.  It now stands in the hall, furthest away from the front door, and under the stairs.  These small alterations have made the hall look much more spacious and less crowded  than previously. It's much too easy to allow a room to become overcrowded. Think we've got it about right again now.


Crowbard said...

A very impressive rearrangement Mike, I hope Ann didn't shift the piano unaided and I hope you weren't lugging the other end.
Is that Minton 'Amherst' pattern anything to do with the oriental pheasant named for the eponymous Lady? I don't see any avians of the Chrysolophus amherstiae of the order Galliformes and the family Phasianidae upon the china. Perhaps the Amherst family were the original patrons of Mintons for this design?

paul cully said...

"Chrysolophus amherstiae of the order Galliformes and the family Phasianidae" ???? See that's just showing off if you ask me. I'd of just said " I didn't see any birdies" and left it at that.

Mike and Ann said...

Gentlemen. Please remember we are in the presence of a lady :- the late Sarah, Countess of Amherst, wife of William Pitt Amherst, late Governor General of Bengal, who sent the first specimen of this bird (Lady Amherst's pheasant) to London in 1828. She is remembered for a good many things, but the two most frequently encountered are the above mentioned bird, and for the regency pattern of porcelain/ironware, which doesn't have birds on it, but is usually underglaze marked as 'Amherst Japan' (Charels Meigh and Son), or as Minton's Amherst Japan, which usually dates from circa 1825, onwards.
I've come across several specimen of the bird during my lifetime, usually in municipal park collections, or occasionally stuffed. The last time I did this was in company with my youngest grandson, Guy. It was, due to thoroughly bad taxidermy, and being a rather moth eaten, and cockeyed old bird in the first place , a thoroughly disreputable specimen. Guy's immediate question was "Is it real?" and I could quite see his point. Apart from the previously mentioned physical disabilities, I think perhaps a Victorian taxidermist had taken liberties with its tail which was about seven foot long anyway. Don't know why people collect such things, or what the late Sarah, Countess of Amherst would have made of it. Guy's next question was "You're not going to buy it, are you, Pa?" Well, there was a nice easy answer to that question-"Not while I've got me health and strength, m'boy" which enabled us to move on to more cheerful things.

2is it real

Mike and Ann said...

P.s. Not ironware, but ironstone china ware.

Crowbard said...

Ah Paul,
you have me bang to rights Guv, and the very reason I didn't ask you was because your opinion is exceedingly accurate.
Now you've revealed my shameful secret I shall have to retire into obscurity. Thank goodness I'm not a gentleman or I would have to shoot myself.
Although the erroneous application of 'of' in place of 'have' is now quite commonplace it is irritatingly ungrammatical.
"I'd of just said...", indeed!
The abbreviation "I'd 've" is OK verbally although it is uncommon to write it so except in reported speech.


Kindly blessings,

paul cully said...

Forgive me, but I had a few scoops of mead while composing that screed and only realised the next morning how offensive to the ears of the man on the Clapham Omnibus, the excruciating "I'd of " would sound. I don't as a rule write like an oik so forgive this one lapse and continue to pull me up on any future butcherings of the language.

paul cully said...

Be jabers, I wrote a pithy reply to your brother this morning and nowhere do I see it !! That "prove you're not a robot" confabulation ( look it up ) has all my best stuff being consigned to some dark corner of the universe.

Mike and Ann said...

Dear Paul. Taradiddle!!!!!!
Here it is - before my very eyes.
P.s. I nearly forgot :- BeDad!!! and BeGorrah!!

P.s. 'Twas an evening in NOvember,
as I very well remember.
I was walking down the street in drunken pride.
When me knees felt all aflutter;
So I lay down in the gutter,
and a pig it came and lay down at me side.
So I lay there in that gutter,
thinking thoughts I dare not utter,
till a lady passing by was heard to say :-
"Yes can tell a man what boozes by the company he chooses!"
And at that the pig got up and walked away.

Crowbard said...

Arrah Paul me Cully (extinct abbreviation of colleague) how shall I forgive you for what was hardly an offence at all ~ you already have my kindly blessings and a hangover; are they not troublesome enough? As for the male omnibus passenger in shirt-sleeves let him be offended if he will, 'tis more likely he employs fouler abuses of the language ~ and probably in a whining Cockney accent to boot.

Pat said...

The changes look charming. What a good move.

Mike and Ann said...

Thank you Pat. That's reassuring.