Sale!!! (and some lovely junk)

I headed off to my favourite junk market bright and early this morn on the look out for bits and bobs for the new house. A bit early, considering we won't move in for another four months, but it's not often I have the freedom to go so i thought I'd pop along.

It was a beautiful morning and not a sign of St Jude to be seen, all the leaves were still on the trees and Surrey seemed to be largely un touched. The only prob was that all the European traders hadn't made it over because of ferry cancelations so there wasn't the usual lovely Belgium and French gubbins, ah well, there were less punters there too so that made up for it.

As you can see it's an eclectic array of junk really. Lot's of tat mixed with some industrial loveliness and the odd antique gem. I managed to pick up a couple of oil paintings which will bring some gravity to the new pad and lovely marble topped Italian bistro table - all for under £100. Not bad for a mornings work pleasure.

I am also having a  small sale to clear the way for a few new pieces. First up is this little pink, communist chair. A 1940's East german original, it is very well made and extremely comfy. It has been upholstered in Designers Guild embroidered floral linen (click on link to see more info on this fabric) on the reverse. There is a lovely pink felt wool on the front. Was £200 now £170.

Also on sale is this 1950's club chair, again upholstered in Designers Guild linen weave on the front in oatmeal and a gorgeous celadon and oatmeal linen on the reverse and sides. The chair is exceptionally well made with hand sprung seat and lovely wooden legs. Was £425 now £390.

And last but not least, this little 1960's G Plan stool. Upholstered again in a Designers Guild retro pink flecky fabric with black felt buttons. In pristine condition, was £125, now £90.

Let me know if you're interested in any of the above by getting in touch with me, Mary, at hickeyanddobson@gmail.com or 07771988961.

PS if any of you were affected by St Jude, then hopefully operation clean up is well underway and you are all safe and well.


Brixton Cool

I entered the world in a corridor of St Georges Hospital, Tooting; the new maternity wing wasn't finished on time so they had rows of poor women giving birth in the corridors - great start  huh! Anyway, my point being that my formative years were all spent south of the river and so now being back in with my parents, memories of my youth are flooding back! Mum and Dad still live in the same house that I grew up in and Nick and I are sleeping in my teenage bedroom! Weird to come back as a pregnant woman with her husband and have the same routine as I did when I was sixteen. I'm even going to join the swimming club at my old school, that really will be a blast from the past.

When I finished university I moved back south and bought my first flat in Brixton in 2004 when I was in my mid twenties and teaching in a school on Brixton Hill. The government gave me a whole heap of dosh to help me buy somewhere under the banner "key worker scheme". This was before teaching became a popular career choice and they were desperate to get people teaching in inner city schools, you even got paid to do your PGCE! It was also when Brixton was really cheap and I managed to pick up a lovely little two bed flat just up the hill in a Victorian terrace for what now seems like a pittance. Me and my buddies had a ball living it up in Brixton; lots of late nights out in Brixton's various darkened dives and  lots of hung over breakfasts at Negril cafe just over the road from my flat. Good times. 

So going back now (which I did for lunch today) is a wistful experience.  I sold up in 2010, just when Brixton was on the cusp of a sea change. I wasn't teaching anymore and was commuting to Notting Hill for work everyday, my best friend, who I shared the flat with, was moving out to get married and I fancied a change.. so north London beckoned. Don't get me wrong, Kensal Rise is lovely.. and cool ... and stylish ... and pretty smart these days BUT it's no Brixton. 

My friends who still live there assure me that there are still prostitutes frequenting their front gardens on a regular basis, that the sirens have not become any less annoying or continuous, that the streets are still littered with chicken bones everywhere you go; but still, Brixton has a vibe all of it's own and the supposed yuppification of it seems, to my eyes, only to have sanitised bits which desperately in need of sanitising and brought opportunity to a pretty deprived area.

We ate our lunch in one of the squillions of delicious looking eateries in Brixton market, ahem, village! The market is really the biggest transformation of the area. Previously I had only been down there circa 2005 to get some unusual part of my ear pierced and to frequent the ever popular Franco Manca. I then went when Time Out reported on some excellent (and cheap) pop up restaurants, but this was about three or four years ago and I remember it was a freezing winter's evening and although the food was good, there wasn't much of a buzz. Of course, I had read all the exciting news about Brixton Market and what a transformation had taken place, so I wasn't unprepared. But WOW, it is foodie heaven and now it is so buzzy we could barely get a seat anywhere. A victim of it's own success, my friend (and long time Brixton resident) wryly said.

It seemed to me, throughout my two hour wander and scoff, that most changes seemed for the better. It also seemed to retain a lot of it's old character and was totally recognisable as the Brixton I used to know, just with better public spaces and a fab foodie market. Take a different turn and you could definitely still buy an array of polyester underwear, fresh fish and stuff for your home you'll never really need (think novelty door mats and dressing gowns with Tupac's head on the back)

What it does have now is a lovely flower shop, food from all over the world, live music in the evenings and brilliant little independent nick nack shops. I didn't see an upholstery/vintage furniture retailer which got me thinking! 

Anyhow, the result of all this cultural improvement is that I can no longer afford to buy in Brixton; so Harlesden here we come! I don't want to beat up on my new home town, and I am very excited about owning a house and doing it up together, and of course having our baby there and making a little family home. But Harlesden is not Brixton, it's not even Brixton ten years ago! Yes it has the slightly dubious down at heal charm which Brixton still does used to have but it is missing the groovy factor which Brixton oozes and always will do. 

-The End-


New addition

I don't feel like I've done very many interesting things recently and haven't had much inspiring stuff to blog about. Not only have we sold our flat and moved back in with my Mum and Dad (a temporary arrangement I can assure you), I'm also very excited to say that I am pregnant, with a little baby expected at the end of April :) We're both so excited and now I'm finally starting to feel less sick and a little bit less like I want to curl up under every table/desk/bench I can find and go to sleep, I might actually start doing some blog-worthy stuff again. 

The first scan is the most incredible thing. We could see the baby crossing and un-crossing it's legs, waving it's hands and wriggling around, it looks so sweet already. I'm taking part in some research at the hospital as well so I get to have four extra scans, yey, I could stare at it all day.

Communist chair with arms: Upholstered in celadon velvet and natural weave £280

Other than the all exciting baby news, I have also got a new chair finished. I've had this chair for months and was trying to work out what fabric would look good on it. It's such an amazing shape that I wanted to do it justice. So here you are; a communist chair with floating arms, a one off as far as I'm aware!

Other than that, all there is left for me to say is bye bye Kensal Rise. We have so many happy memories of our little flat and we're going to miss our garden big time (and the amazing views and privacy - amazing in London), but with a bubba on the way it's time to move on. Plus, we really want a house, so hello Harlesden. A slightly less des-res location and to say it needs a lot of work is an understatement, but still, I can't wait for the project, even if I'm waddling round the size of a hippo as I do the DIY. I think I might expand the blog and document some of the (hopefully) dramatic changes that will take place in our new house. Anyway, that's all to come, we haven't even exchanged yet so fingers and toes crossed that all goes without a hitch and meanwhile I will enjoy being looked after by my Ma and Pa.

Have a good week everyone xx


New gear

There's a reason I've been pretty quiet recently and that reason is moving house! Packing up your worldly belongings and storing them away in boxes is one of my least favourite jobs. We're not moving into our new place for at least three months so we are having to decide what we are going to need over the winter and what goes into storage, harder than it sounds. Anyway the one benefit is that the flat is now empty so taking pictures doesn't mean hulking furniture around anymore (although the photos aren't so good because I'm still without my SLR and lookinfg at them the floor is FILTHY). Anyways, here goes!

1940's dark oak rocking chair in Designers Guild dusky blue linen: £510

1940's cocktail chair in Designers Guild linen with dark wood legs: £390

1950's Danish lounge chair in Designers Guild 100% cotton velvet in dark grey with a teak frame: £499

Please do get in touch if you have any questions or would like to come for  a sit down.