I have got a magazine fetish. If there was a twelve step programme for magazine addiction I would be on it (Hello, my name is Alison and I am addicted to magazines…), but there isn’t so I am constantly looking for new ways to satisfy my addiction. It is very sad. I will read anything, but I am a sucker for Vogue, Homes and Gardens and a whole host of yummy, gorgeous American, house magazines. In fact give me Country Living and a bar of Green and Blacks and you’ve got yourself one very happy woman indeed. Who needs men! This month I have discovered VinMag a website dedicated to the sale of a wide range of vintage magazines from the 50’s and 60’s. Until now I have only bought vintage magazines at car boots (usually a bit battered), and they are fabulous sources of ideas and the occasional giggle. Its amazing to see just how much things have changed and how many aspects of our day to day lives are exactly the same.
It was Finley’s ‘Baby Blessing’ at the weekend. I’d vowed not to leave it so long that he was capable of walking down the aisle and blessing himself, but here we are fifteen months later, and Finley not only walked up to the font, he also shouted "Hiya!" to half the congregation, and tugged at the poor Vicars beard as he blessed him. It was lovely and hilarious and oh so completely Finley, and I thought I was going to burst with pride for my little boy. He looked absolutely gorgeous in pale blue trousers, the sweetest pale blue leather little boots and a Victorian style double breasted wool coat. While I had wanted him to wear something a little more traditional, he is such a proper little boy that the lovely vintage gown I had saved for his special day made him look like an overgrown baby in a girls dress. It breaks my heart to think that he’s not a baby anymore, but I guess he will always be my little babba, and when the party was over and he collapsed on my knee covered in chocolate cake, he looked as precious and as little as ever…
If you are looking for a Vintage Christening Gown (worth it for both the quality of workmanship and fabric), then both CradleLace and Christening Outfits are worth a look. Just remember to thoroughly check both size and condition.
Housework never ends…..
Sadly, I am the kind of women who prides herself on her housekeeping skills. Inspired by Martha Stewart, I am an angel with a feather duster and a goddess in a floral pinny. I am, I confess, the kind of woman who enjoys getting down on her knees and scrubbing the kitchen floor.
But today I am demented with washing. Demented. Finley is running around with a black bra on his head and I’ve just nearly killed myself on a puddle of water, because to my horror, the washing machine is leaking.
Now I am a woman with a system. A housework system that has transformed my ludicrously chaotic life. I am like your Grandmother (only younger and hipper!). I like my rituals. They give my day, my week, my month, order, where quite frankly there is only chaos. I make ugly things like ironing, lovely with delicious scented ironing water, and wash my underwear in the most divine laundry fragrance from The Good Home Company.
When my towels are neatly stacked in my linen closet, I light my candles and collapse on the sofa with a celebratory cup of tea. I like my rituals. I usually adore doing the laundry.
But today all hell has broke loose. There is washing everywhere. Any other day I’d cry. Or load the baby into his car seat and hunt out the nearest launderette (do they still exist?) , but today the rain is bucketing down, the house is strangely cosy and to Finley’s joy, I am about to sit down for cuddle with my babba and watch Willie Wonka for the millionth time.
Alison May is my name and I feel its about time I introduced myself. I am the 32 year old owner of a scrumptious baby boy named Finley, and a teeny tiny business designed to make every woman feel as blessed as I do.
Finley is fourteen months old and the cutest thing you have ever seen. While I spent the first year of his life in a blissful haze (without a single sleepless night!), thanks to a lovely combination of Gina Ford’s Contented Baby book and a calm, comfortable house, he has in the past couple of weeks developed a penchant for throwing the most hilarious temper tantrums. What are you supposed to do when your one year old child won’t give up possession of your mobile phone? I am trying the “pretend it’s not happening” technique at the moment and hoping he gives up the hissy fit as a lost cause, very, very soon. Any advice?
A fish tank built into a divine French Armoire.
A vintage solution to an ugly problem.
To kick off the Brocante Book club, I want to start with a book I have given to every woman I love. Somebody once told me that we are destined to read certain books and when I first discovered Simple Abundance a few years ago, I knew that Sarah Ban Breathnach’s eloquent meditation on living more authentically, had the power to change my life.
With an entry for every day of the year, Sarah touches upon every aspect of our lives in gentle essays that encourage us to recognise all that is good in our lives, to nurture the art of gratitude and to learn to live with all those things we cannot change.
There are passages in this lovely book that made me laugh and many more that brought sudden tears of recognition in the face of the tiny resentments and general discontent we are all so prone to.
Five years later, the pages are my copy of Simple Abundance are worn and I truly believe that I am better person for it.
A vintage life
Black coffee and bitter chocolate. Junk shops and home-made gingerbread. Vintage cashmere, worn out denim and pale pink peony. Lace, crochet and milk-glass. Letters tied up with ribbon, memories, diamanté and a pot of tea. Babies, mummies and housework. Photos, scrapbooks and cosy blankets. Blowzy dahlias, forget-me-nots, vanilla and cups with spotty saucers. Dreams, ritual and celebration…
But I have so much more than this to share with you. If you have a spare minute or two for relaxation and a cuppa, and maybe a digestive or two, have a look at some Good Reads of mine…….