Is Gardening a Good Hobby for Secret Shopaholics?

Controversial question, I know. Most of my gardening friends are seemingly gentle souls and claim to be quite at odds with the whole consumerist/treadmill thing: avoiding fashion shops at all costs; expensive holidays? “No thanks I would rather garden” they say. Find them at the front of the queue at any local jumble sale. ‘The humble gardener’ we all think, but get to know them a bit better and lordy lord, start gardening yourself even and you soon realise that actually gardening is one of the best ways to pour money away, whilst seeming incredibly thrifty and hard working.

Looking after our gardens has become a popular pastime in the UK and it is estimated that over the course of a gardener’s lifetime, they’ll spend £30,000 on tending to their garden. A staggering amount by anyone’s standards, but just how does the amount break down?
Read more…

The Magic of Scaramanga

I just cannot get enough of this Fife based, vintage and interiors salvage company Scaramanga. They import beautifully distressed antiques, mainly from India. I was fascinated to hear that they have been the go-to supplier for props buyers around the world for ten years now and was delighted to hear of their latest starring role in the film Victoria and Abdul.

They provided 15 pieces to the film set: trunks and boxes, tins, bowls and leather journals.
Read more…

Going back to my roots

A little bit about me – I was born into quite straitened circumstances: my parents were a middle class, educated couple, who, somewhere along the line, had taken a vow of poverty: they met at a communist party meeting in Hampstead – cute I know. This weekend was a nostalgia trip for me because I went on an Abigail Ahern masterclass, in Islington, where I lived for the first three years of my life, in a prefab estate on Brecknock Road.

I stayed in a smart hotel in Bayswater, The Shaftesbury, where my parents later lived, in a beautiful council flat, until they very sadly died when I was 21. After a long train journey, listening to a guy behind me talking Hungarian for the last half of the journey (my Dad was Hungarian) I was predictable a heap by the time I arrived, I phoned my cousin, who has heroically carried on the London baton for us and with whom I normally stay, and who completely understood – thank you Gaby, you are so kind, and I calmed down!

Abigail’s workshop was nothing short of amazing, you are greeted by this beautiful overgrown fig tree in the front garden (yes, she plays with scale a lot.)

The small group walked round enraptured, as we were treated to a house tour.
Read more…