One of the strangest customs I have learned from my partner is that of always changing something when a room is decorated.
No, not the colour, but the layout of the furniture or the situation for hanging pictures.
It sounds to me like an old wives’ tale, but he carefully makes sure that at least one thing goes back in a different situation.
Pictures are often an easy way to sort that.
Here, after redecorating our dining room (ie washing down the mould and painting the walls white), are our pictures in there.
A motley mix.
A sepia photo of Bridlington Harbour. Brid is a spa town in the East Riding of Yorkshire and popular holiday resort.
I spent my long summer holidays there as a child so it was a special place for me. I knew the town better than the ones where I lived and went to school. I was, totally illegally I guess, allowed to wander around the place on my own and would meet my parents later at the bookshop – hopefully to get a new Enid Blyton mystery book which I would then read over lunch at Wilson’s Cafe.
Wilson’s was one of those olde fashionede resstaurants rather than a cafe. You would queue up by a thick heavy red rope to wait for a table in the enormous dining room complete with huge chandeliers, and waitresses in black and white uniforms, including a frilly apron and matching silly hat. I loved their steak and kidney pie.
I loved the harbour at Brid. It was fed by a stream called the Gypsey Race which you could find if you poked around the back streets. My dad – his father and grandfather moved to Brid – used to tell me that if the Gypsey Race ran dry there would be problems. Fairly obvious in retrospect, but I always used to look for the stream and hoped water would be flowing. In my childish mind, I used to think ‘problems’ equalled another war, because my parents often talked about The War. (WW2).
The sepia tones of this photo remind me of Frank Sutcliffe, who took many photos of Whitby. At university I had Sutcliffe prints on my walls. No idea what happened to them.
Here are Luk, Fuk, and Sau. They are Chinese gods who represent happiness, wealth and longevity.
Some years ago, we had a French Mauritian neighbour and she had a Chinese student lodging with her. One day he was going out on her bike, so Partner shot out to offer his helmet to him. When he returned from the city, he presented Luk, Fuk and Sau as a thank you to Partner for looking after his health and well-being. We’ve taken great care of them in our houses and they always go up in our dining room to bring us good feng shui.
This is an extremely nice raptor. The good thing about Spanish newspapers and magazines is that they give decent freebies which is where this came from. I think it is some sort of eagle and it probably says it on the bottom so I will look it up next time. I must have had the frame kicking around so I just slotted the print in there as I thought it matched the colours nicely.
I love this Toucan. Along with the sepia photo of Brid, it was one of the treasures that lurked in my parents’ dining room sideboard that I discovered in there as a kid. I have no idea where either came from or why they lurked in a cupboard rather than put on the wall. I suppose my parents weren’t really into prints/paintings/whatever.
This one was folded in half for many, many, years – but why not put him on the wall? So, at some point, as with the Brid pic, I acquired him and framed him. Not the best of frames to be honest. It’s one of those Ikea plain glass jobs, but I like the black background. If the glass ever smashes, then I’ll get it reframed, otherwise it can stay as it is in the dining room aviary.
And finally in the dining room, here is Partner with his Land Rover mate, posing next to our Land Rover Santana. His mate had been working in Antarctica, and flying back to the UK via Madrid, dropped by Málaga to see us for a few days. We don’t like many people but it was wonderful to see him. He’ll always be welcome at our home/s.
The frame is vastly over the top but it was an ethical one I bought back in the UK from a local Out of this World store.
And for those of you who haven’t seen the kitchen piccies, an original signed watercolour by Walter Horsnell RA, bought by my parents on their honeymoon in Knaresborough, Yorkshire (because back in the 50s people didn’t do exotic honeymoons) and some copper prints from Brazil, given to us by my godmother/older cousin who lived there for many years. Yes, I know you can’t see the copper engravings in detail but I’m giving an idea rather than detail. It’s good enough.
To finish off the art theme, we ie he hung our Hockney print this weekend in Gibflat and I received some wonderful prints in the post today so will be spending more money at the picture framer up the street and our Gibflat will look a little less stark.