I had a lovely afternoon.

My dear friend Jane drove from Portsmouth to Southampton just to see me for a coffee, despite being unsure whether she knew the way driving without accompaniment, and without a reliable satnav. We enjoyed a lovely hour in charity shops, laughing at how easily pleased we are with a bargain.

Between us we managed to buy about 50 old Christmas decorations for £10 from Naomi House that we found after piecing through a somewhat decripit toy crib filled with baubles. I found some beautiful plates in the British Heart Foundation, and Jane managed (with minimal wheedling) to get a belated Wedding present out of me – some old cut glass cruets in their original box. I also picked up a hideous yet beautiful donkey teapot, and equally hideous but equally beautiful ceramic fruit bowl complete with pear, apple, banana, and mysteriously, daisy.

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I love anything that is quirky, colourful, gaudy, or old, and even occasionally, classic and stylish. I see beauty in the strangest things.

Jane and I went for coffee and a bite to eat.  I particularly enjoyed the napkin in the coffee shop:

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We returned to my parents’ where we admired my mother’s enormous bric-a-brac collection. I do her a disservice calling it bric-a-brac as she has some beautiful prints, pottery, glassware, and sculptures, but there’s a lot of very silly items as well.

Jane and I established there was no hope I’d ever live in a modern minimalist home, and just as well too.

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