Monday, 29 February 2016

See? Horses! (and Unicorns)

Yet again I find myself sheepishly opening the door on my blog and sneaking in, hoping no-one has seen me!    

Apologies for the long gaps between blogging, I am very busy with a house renovation whilst we still try to finish the cottage.  I have tenants who are eager to move in, and we have boxes of stuff stored there, as well as needing to completely redecorate.  All the upstairs windows have had to be replaced, and last week the surveyor came to measure up and replace the 30 year old wooden single glazed bay window. 

Anyway, back to trips out and lovely purchases, if you follow my facebook page you would have seen my best charity shop purchase ever (IMHO of course!), a pair of gorgeous cottage three seater sofas by specialist cottage furniture company, J C and M P Smith of High Wycombe. I believe they are from the Aspen range.

Both sofas were ours for £45 each.  If Smiths prices are anything like the very similar Ercol, we might have over £4k worth of sofa for our money!

Here's a close up of the wooden sides

As an aside, whilst searching for info on the company, I discovered they are now in
liquidation.  Such a shame as the sofas are really well made and very comfortable. 

Our lovely new 80% wool carpet was supplied and fitted for just £200, that includes underlay and gripper, from a local Birmingham firm, JJ's Flooring Supplies of Stirchley. They travelled out to us for just an extra £10 to cover the petrol. I have had many carpets from them over the years.

Other purchases these past few weeks have been:

Gorgeous Per Una cardi, looks new and I paid £1.99.  Wore it last week to the local pub quiz and it was just right for warmth!

Next shirt, not my kind of thing but thought I'd try something out of my comfort zone for 50p!

 Lots of attention to detail with it too, spot the velvet hem to stop it riding out of trousers?

Love my woolies, and treated myself to this Savida jumper with pearlised finish for £2.99.  I understand that the brand is Dunnes

Treated myself to these cute seahorse earrings, just 49p, along with a boxed Mary Kay eyeshadow in bronze for 20p.  I have a bit of a thing for seahorses, it might be something to do with my love of astronomy and seeing photos of the horsehead nebula at an early age. 

I thought they would go really well with a bracelet I bought a while back, by Souleido, which I think was 50p

My last bargain was most unexpected.  I popped in to the local Cancer Research shop, which is not cheap, only to find they had a pound and £2 rail!!  I began rummaging through several rails of coats, jackets and suits by Windsmoor, Jigsaw, M&S Autograph and other high end brands (pretty sure I saw Aquascutum too).  Found this gorgeous Laura Ashley grey needlecord jacket with pretty cotton lining, in my size and just a pound!  

I took OH to the very same shop when he was looking for a winter jacket.  He tried on a really nice James Pringle bomber style jacket then looked at the price (note to readers: I do it the other way round, look at price first!) the jacket was second hand and had signs of wear, it was £20.  We walked along the high street to the Edinburgh Woolen Mill shop, where the jacket was originally from, and they had a sale on.  A similar Winter jacket in OH's size was reduced from £55 to £16.99, he bought it!

We've had a few nice day trips in the past few weeks, and despite being incredibly busy we always keep Fridays for going out.

A few weeks back we visited Hanbury Hall and church (the church doubles as the church in the Archers).

There are some unexpected finds at Hanbury, the money tree for instance

I love the fruit and veg stall in the kitchen garden

Very fancy lead drainpipes

Lovely food in the cafe

The church has the most amazing views

when the weather is good!

Beautiful door


Bertie boots from ebay, Laura Ashley cardi, bought new in sale many years ago, Principles skirt, charity shopped years ago.

Onwards a week and our next visit on a frosty morning was Baddesley Clinton and Packwood, again

We always enjoy feeding the ducks at Baddesley, they are very friendly, or is that greedy!

 Baddesley is undergoing intensive restoration and upgrading of electrics etc. over the next two Winters, so a lot of the house is closed off.  However, it was still a good tour, and we spent time finding new things, like the Unicorn horn in the corner of this room

What?  A Unicorn horn?  Yep, the King of France himself said it was, and if the King of France tells you he's giving you a Unicorn horn, you'd better believe it!

Love the leaded windows, all different shades of clear!

Old graffiti

Revisiting a spooky gravestone!

I just get the feeling she is watching.

Breathe in the fresh air and the views

Onwards to Charlecote Park, where a young Bill Shakespeare was caught poaching.

I love this bowl, the carving is amazing

Stunning plaster ceilings

The odd Royal portrait

Double selfie

Harp and ornately carved kissing chair

Wonderfully preserved kitchen

Massive taps in the brewhouse

Beautiful buildings

Well, I'm not sure when my next post will be, or my next bargain, so I will not promise anything but will at least try to post before the end of March!

We'll see


  1. Caught you creeping in, aha!!!!
    Those sofas are an unbelievable bargain! I would have bought them in a heartbeat! Wowsers!!!!!
    Love the jacket you got too!x

  2. Some lovely photos, and some great bargains, love the sofas and a great price for the carpet too x

  3. Lovely photos! I love details like that drainpipe and the 18th century graffiti and how cute are those ducks?
    You did do well with the sofas, thanks goodness for people who change their decor and get bored with everything so quickly! x

  4. Hope your renovations are progressing well, such a great buy with those sofas. Enjoyed the photos of your days out and about and the wonderful buildings .

  5. Fab days out, I love seeing your photos. And some great bargains, especially those lovely sofas!
    Don't fret about irregular blogging - I'm in the same boat, I totally get it! xxx

  6. We did Hanbury and Baddesley Clinton on the same day in the summer, liking the sea horse earrings :-)

  7. We did Hanbury and Baddesley Clinton on the same day in the summer, liking the sea horse earrings :-)


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