Devizes, off the Beaten Track

Devizes, a place where you wouldn’t be surprised to see white horses prancing on the rooftops

Devizes for the weekend, a chance to catch my breath and soak up the atmosphere. The date was in the diary for months having booked tickets for a talk on Eric Ravilious by James Russell at The Wiltshire Heritage Museum. Long ago I loved his water colours, often of the Downs, there was very little information then, all I managed to find were his wood engravings. It was great to find out more with a very interesting talk. If you want to find out more there’s another talk called Ravilious and Friends in the Age of Lithography by James Russell coming up soon in London.

The Wiltshire Heritage Museum in Devizes

The museum is worth an explore as well, but I’ll tell you about that another time.

A town with juxtapositions of style

I love Devizes a once wealthy town where different styles of architecture jostle with each other.

Devizes a town with important buildings like The Corn Exchange

And beautiful buildings

There’s a great little covered market.

Devizes covered market

Church like interior of Devizes covered market

With the its’ church like airy interior, and collonade of cast iron pillars when I’m in the covered market I like to think Edward Bawden might have enjoyed the space as well.

Wonderful buildings in Devizes

With a wealth of detail everywhere you look.

Delicate fanlight

Detail on Lansdowne Buildings

Angel with weeping willow style wings on the church St John the Baptist

St John The Baptist Church Devizes

Lots to discover in Devizes, off the beaten track it’s worth a visit.


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Put it down to the fiery autumn leaves

Currently I have a full on tartrazine crush on orange, it could be the way it takes charge and sings out above the surrounding colours, a burst of fizzing energy.

Makes these cartons look beautifully festive

Use as a background to other colours so they can sing

Background in orange like a canvas

Brave full on blooms

Great with neutrals

Quite jolts you awake

Loving it with monochrome

Best of all with some monochrome like this


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Verner Panton Light

Out of the corner of my eye I saw this Verner Panton light

I was busily minding my own business in an very unironic Indian restaurant complete with wildly patterned carpet when I spotted this light out of the corner of my eye.

Had to pinch myself that this light was in such an unlikely place

I was so excited to see what I was pretty sure was my favourite Verner Panton light. With the deeply coffered ceiling and acres of varnished wood I felt that having a Verner Panton light was not a big design mistake, more a surviving detail from the original design concept.

Good shape, but doesn’t include the chain detail we have now

A cascade of shell disks


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Where Did You Go on Holiday?

Flat Iron Building?

Where did you go on holiday, oooh is that the Flat Iron Building, did you go to New York?

Well no actually, I went to


Margate on a day trip to visit the Turner Contemporary Gallery.

Turner Contemporary Margate

It’s an impressive space, huge picture window views out to sea. The exhibition reacquainted me with the Rodin drawings I first saw as a teenager in Paris.

Georgian terraces

The town has Georgian terraces scattered with gingerbread houses.

Ancient half timbered

Ancient half timbered houses juxtaposed with comtemporaray.

Margate town square

A town of faded glory which has not been sanitised to the core by the developers.

Thanet Times

There’s still space for the creatives, unique and eccentric.

The Mad Hatter

Certainly unscrubbed enough to have a Primark on the sea front.

Grotto Hill

I could tell you about the grotto alluded to on this street sign by a crocheted wall, but that can wait for another day.

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The Royal Kitchens at Kew

The parterre at The Georgian Kitchen, Kew, very atmospheric at dusk

Wasn’t I lucky to win the golden ticket to go along with a friend to see The Royal Kitchens at Kew. Was great to get an idea of all the culinary and preserving tasks that went on in this building, giving a glimpse of how labour intensive preparing food was when everything was prepared from scratch. We were also shown around Kew Palace, quite modest, considering it was a palace for George III. Of course the room that pressed my buttons was the room of five senses, apparently a common theme in the eighteenth century, something I am now on a mission to find out more about.

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We’re All Going On a Summer Holiday

Ready and waiting to sweep you off on an amazing holiday

Last bank holiday camping in the tent the weather was wet and vicious. Spotting a camper van I couldn’t help my thoughts being tinged by disloyalty, it could only be a more comfortable option than a tent. A cosy nest to retreat to at the end of a long day on the beach surfing, waking in the morning, from a cosy cocoon of duvet sleepily peaking out through the door pulled ajar. The match box compactness of the kitchen, stirring steaming spiced porridge, cooking to the distant rhythms of a waking world. I’d pack home made soups, cakes and all the ingredients for a warming one pot Thai green curry. And I’d leave space in the cupboard for some chocolate and a bottle of one of our favourite night time tipples to share with friends under the stars.

Try Buttercup Bus or Camper Vanatics. Enjoy the bank holiday!

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A flamenco ruffle of petals

Sitting at the kitchen table over cup of tea my friend suddenly explodes saying, ‘I hate carnations, the one sitting in that old pot is beautiful, you’ve made me fall in love with them.’

A pompom of layered petals

And yes she’s right, though fashions come and go they are still beautiful. Step into a museum and there you’ll see their influence in designs on rugs, ceramics and fabrics. With their ruffle of petals in beautiful stripes and spicey rich perfume, they seduce, they are one of the special things I look forward to every summer.

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Plantation Shutters

Complete privacy

There’s a big want for plantation shutters here in Kingston. It’s a popular densely packed residential area. High on the wish list for lots of people is to have the privacy to chill out in their front room without the threat of passers by idly looking in. Plantation shutters fit the bill everytime as they are both practical and effective. The cost is about the same as having curtains made including tracks and hanging and in the long term they increase the value of your house. I’ve put together a gallery of Victorian villas with shutters. Now it should be cue music, but there isn’t any so play gallery music from Vision On in your head.

Square bay

Angled bay

Square bay wider vanes

Plantation shutters with smaller panels


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South Kensingston Station

Lots of pillars at South Ken Station

South Kensington Station, somewhere I often pass through, it always gives me enormous pleasure. I don’t think it’s purely the anticipation of going to the museums on an outing. It’s the detail that gets me. The imposing pillars, that make it seem like place where important business goes on. The glass vaulted arcade that links two streets together.

Glass vaulted arcade of shops

The wrought iron  grills telling us where we are.

More detail in the wrought iron

The back’s just as beautiful

The graceful  swan neck lights though utility the sweep of the arm is so graceful. I even like the dense bulls blood red of the architectural tiles that enrust part of the exterior. As you hurry through the station stop a while to take in the detail.

Bulls blood tiles

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Basket Rehab

Rescued basket

I rescued this basket from a skip, I always find it hard to resist digging in skips, hoping there may be something to rescue. With rehab in mind for this basket I’ve been meaning to put a lining in forever, a while a go I  found the perfect string for repair where the layers had separated. Finally after tripping over the string on every journey up and down the stairs string and basket were united when I stitched it up. And there in the cupboard in my fabric stash I discovered just the fabric I had been looking for. I love the bright kitsch colours, the clumsy design has completely charmed me.

The layers have come apart and need repairing with a few stiches

String and a large needle for repairing

I cant give precise directions for lining the basket as it is unsymetrical as well as saggy. A job easily done, only taking patient jiffling and coaxing of fabric to make it work. The stiching is not beautiful, the satisfaction is seeing the job done. Now I’m ready to load it up for a picnic, hurry up sun.

Job done, ready for a picnic


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