Monday 22 October 2012

Artful simplicity

After the alarums and excursions of the last few weeks
it is a relief to rest my gaze in some peaceful places.

Kettle's Yard, Cambridge,
where you are invited to sit on the chairs 
and read the books on the shelves.
Artful simplicity. Admission free.

Alastair Hendy's Home Store, Hastings
where you are invited to covet discreetly price-tagged
utilitarian homewares
laid out in carefully created room settings

and rather to our surprise,
to eat in the kitchen, if you happen on the place
on a Saturday or Sunday lunchtime.

So we did, and I had an excellent crab bisque,
served up in a little saucepan.

Nostalgia and simplicity.
The watchwords for advertisers in a recession.
I'm as susceptible as the next person,

but I did baulk at the wobbly Victorian wooden loo seat.

And please, never bring back Izal toilet paper.


  1. Oh dear , I'd forgotten that awful loo paper , and having one's bum nipped by a cracked wooden seat .
    The rest looks heavenly . Haven't been to Kettle's yard for years and must rectify this soon . Though the soup draws me in the opposite direction ...

  2. Kettle's Yard has long been on my Bucket List, but is a very long way away. Also, there is a chance I could just lie down there and refuse to move!

    1. They really like to see people sitting down! I don't think you're allowed to lie on Jim Ede's bed though.

  3. Izal what was the point of it? You have taken me back to horrible cold outdoor school toilets, spiders and awful wooden seats. Nostalgia is great but I agree modern amenities rule.

    1. It actually had a shiny side! We used it for tracing paper. I liked the smell of creosote in the outside toilets but not the spiders or the gaps tops and bottom which let the light in but also the cold wind.

  4. Oh yes, Izal... and Bronco.... young people today wouldn't believe us if we told them!

  5. Beautiful shots of beautiful places. What am I seeing in photo 13? Just wondered how you got that magnified shot.............

    1. That was a large glass lens suspended in the window.

  6. Delightful glass objects and a serene ambience, how lovely.

  7. OK - my favourite photos are the 2nd, 8th and 13th but I am open to persuasion.

    I fear that I might not have offered my congratulations to Son the Second due to intervention of external agencies. I see exciting times ahead!

  8. I am wondering why it is that I never visited Kettles Yard during my Cambridge visits. Thank you so much for the serenity of these photographs.

    When I do finally enter those rooms myself, I will definitely sit down and contemplate my surroundings (hoping that not too many other folks are chatting away nearby.)

    Your last photo is so funny...a terrific accent that might not have been beautiful, but might have been useful.


  9. I look at those artful arrangements and think - oh dear, need to move them before Grandson ruins them...

    I remember Izal. Totally non-absorbent.

  10. Love all the photos you had posted in here. I love your kitchen design and the lightings in there! :)

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  11. Isn't Kettle's yard absolutely wonderful? Especially the guide who has at least 20 years on me and is as sprightly as a lamb. I always come home inspired to make my home more beautiful.

    You can take the bus from the end of the street to Cambridge...I feel an outing coming on.