Tag Archives: Walcot Street Bath

Rocking Dog’s Dusty Secret!

Land Of Dust & Glory!, Rocking Dog

Land Of Dust & Glory!

The set of old postal shelves by the front door at the kennel are Rocking Dog’s dusty secret! This display unit is often just too difficult to contemplate when I occasionally flit around with the duster. It is the depository for everything small and vaguely attractive.

I bought the shelves on a visit to Walcot Street, Bath about 25 years ago. I purchased this piece together with an old pine cello case. No, I don’t play the cello or indeed any instrument whatsoever. They were cheap. The postal rack has probably come from a factory or office and is pretty rough and ready, but I do sort of love it.

The contents are a mixture of kitsch, throw away, macabre, twee and sentimental. I love my dad Doug’s little metal scoop which he’d made at Kelso High School about 75 years ago. How lovely that his mum carefully kept it, and then that it survived one of my Mum’s decluttering binges!

Another of my dad’s treasures is the little dice throwing cup made of painted wood and aspires to being Chinese. Meanwhile my mum is represented by a little coil pot that she possibly made at teaching college. I feel the silver monogram napkin rings also symbolise my mum. We used napkins regularly, they were bound with old bone napkin rings with appropriate monograms. Very Hyacinth!

I really don’t know how the plaster dentistry casts have survived a cull. They represent years of orthodental treatment for one of the brood, and various dentistry for Andyman. Incidentally I met him as a result of dental work- he’d broken his jaw which was uncomfortably wired. I was a nurse on the surgical ward and well … the rest is history!

Lots of little dogs hide in one of the cubby holes, a mad mix of flock, of lead, china, plastic and wood. Anything vaguely Fox Terrier ticks all the boxes for me!

Some of the dusty treasures have been bought back from our travels. There’s a bisque bride and groom which would have graced a French Wedding Cake in the 1930’s perhaps. I bought the handsome marital pair in the beautiful coastal town of Honfleur. Then there’s the sweet little old black rag doll. I love her beautifully hand stitched clothes and painted toothy grin. I bought her in Seattle when we did a holiday house exchange. She came with the wooden watermelon wedge but I don’t know if they have always been paired.

The 1930’s napkin creatures are made from bakelite and bought from a jumble sale. I haven’t used them for neatly rolled napkins… but maybe one day!

There are Venetian glass sweets, pots and vases, brightly coloured lemon squeezers, miniature bottles, packets and tins. There’s a boot hook, paperweight, farm animals, Russian sequinned bauble and a whole host of dusty flotsam & jetsam!

Kids feel free to brush it all into a bin bag when i’m dead and buried…don’t feel burdened by the nonsense of all my clutter!

Puppy Love, Rocking Dog

Puppy Love

Napkin Creatures, Rocking Dog

Napkin Creatures

Dad's Metalwork, Rocking Dog

Dad’s Metalwork

Plaster Casts, Rocking Dog

Plaster Casts

Roll The Dice!, Rocking Dog

Roll The Dice!

3 Brown Bottles, Rocking Dog

3 Brown Bottles

Silver Monogram, Rocking Dog

Silver Monogram

French Bisque, Rocking Dog

French Bisque

Wooden Watermelon, Rocking Dog

Wooden Watermelon

Iconic Packaging, Rocking Dog

Iconic Packaging

Oh! The Clutter, Rocking Dog

Oh! The Clutter

....And There's More, Rocking Dog

….And There’s More

Escaping To Bath…..Bliss!

Bath Reflections, Rocking Dog

Bath Reflections

It was a day of escaping to Bath yesterday. I was keen to visit The Victoria Art Gallery to see “A Room of Their Own- Lost Bloomsbury Interiors 1914-30”

The exhibition recreates as far as possible several lost interior schemes by Roger Fry, Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant. It reunites objects and paintings from both public and private collections, items which haven’t been seen together for fifty years.

I have loved all things Bloomsbury for three decades. It started in earnest when Laura Ashley launched their Bloomsbury collection of fabrics etc.. in 1987. The company had acquired the rights to a rare selection of Charleston House patterns. Grapes and Queen Mary are designs which stand out for me. In 2013 a range of the fabrics/wallpapers were relaunched in celebration of Laura Ashley’s 60th year. Since 1987 none of the houses we have lived in have been without Bloomsbury fabric somewhere in the mix.

In time I went to see Charleston, near Lewes and it is truly lovely. It is a real home with every surface painted and embellished by one or other of the inhabitants, or indeed guests just passing through.

The garden is equally beautiful and a book has just been published to celebrate its creative country charm.

The exhibition in Bath was bijoux but lovely. It has made me want to get my paintbrush out, and to pull out a stash of unused 1987 fabric. Watch this space! In a new house we once lived in, my brother in law kindly recreated the hermaphrodites which grace the studio at Charleston onto a bare wall. I’d love him to do a repeat performance!

After culture, I had a little bit of a mooch. I loved the reflections of the Georgian and not so Georgian buildings in the windows of Anthropologie. I stopped at The Whole Bagel for a.. bagel! Delicious, I couldn’t help but choose the filling I always select, Pear, brie, walnut and Parma ham.

I wandered down Walcot Street and it was alarming to witness the amount of empty shops. Rates are notoriously high in Bath. I bought ink and nib supplies at Meticulous Ink, such a lovely shop. Further on I headed to Owl in the Ivy, with its beautiful collection of old items to buy. However my heart was taken with the owners’ gorgeous Wire Haired Dachschund. Puppies are planned….,tempting, but I don’t think Real Live Rocking Dog would like a new puppy on his territory, he’s getting much too old and grumpy!

A reviving Americano and piece of Tunisian orange cake was enjoyed at an outside table at The Fine Cheese Company. It was great to watch the world go by, and to glance along to a building I love. The Corn Market building is so tall and narrow, it reaches to the sky with its elongated persona. However, that is not the whole story it extends behind a long, long way.

I loved taking time out in Bath, it was wonderful to get an aesthetic “fix”. I feel very inspired, but think the guilt of a mountainous ironing pile will make me abandon plans for Bloomsbury style painting for at least a little while.

Have a lovely weekend how ever you intend spending it. Love Rocking Dog x

Reaching To The Sky, Rocking Dog

Reaching To The Sky

Patriotic Door, Rocking Dog

Patriotic Door

How Much Is That Doggy?, Rocking Dog

How Much Is That Doggy?

Scrummy Bagel, Rocking Dog

Scrummy Bagel

Whole Bagel, Rocking Dog

Whole Bagel

Meticulous Ink Supplies, Rocking Dog

Meticulous Ink Supplies

Coffee & Cake, Rocking Dog

Coffee & Cake

Bloomsbury Style, Rocking Dog

Bloomsbury Style

Bloomsbury Grapes, Rocking Dog

Bloomsbury Grapes

Buying Supplies In Beautiful Bath

Rocking Dog Loves A Bit Of Gingham!,Rocking Dog

Rocking Dog Loves A Bit Of Gingham!

Blogging has taken rather a back seat this week. Sorry, still not feeling 100% . Yesterday it was time to venture into Bath to buy supplies. With envelopes to address for The Boy’s fast approaching wedding I needed new nibs. Meticulous Ink on Walcot Street was where I was heading, but naturally there was plenty to distract me before I reached this truly gorgeous printing emporium! I found the sweetest of craft supply shops at the back of Bartlett Street Antiques Centre. Juniper and Blue may be bijoux, but it carries a wonderful selection of carefully selected ribbons, beads, wool, papers etc.. With my love of gingham I could not resist a Noolibird gingham stamp. Toast and Blue on Bartlett Street followed, for wedding outfit inspiration. I am not a matching dress and bolero sort of gal, and thus far have bought curtain fabric to make a 50’s style duster coat. I better get Beloved Bernina rattling away because time is, well…..rattling away!

Eventually I found myself on the road to Meticulous Ink. I love Walcot Street and beyond, there are so many quirky independent shops and interesting buildings. My walk took me past The Fine Cheese Company, and I steered myself swiftly past. How I love their cafe, and in particular their cheese platters! This lovely street boasts Scandi’ interior shops, one or two good charity shops, Farrow & Ball, suppliers of sisal, wool and wood flooring, a weaver, a wedding dress maker (say no more!!) cafe’s and vintage furniture shops. I loved nipping into The Fig Store. It sells rustic vintage furniture together with eclectic homeware. It was SO calming, the majority of the stock being in various hues and textures of grey, soft whites and linen. I loved the old hoes which had been up-cycled as stair rails. When warmer temperatures arrive there is a delightful gravelled and manicured garden for customers to peruse. Lovely, yes really lovely.

Nibs bought, I was treated to a little masterclass with Athena and Charlie to try an troubleshoot my capital D’s.

Further along the street (by now we are onto Cleveland Terrace) I ventured into Owl in The Ivy. Another gorgeous shop, again very calming but darker and somehow more sinister (in a lovely way!) than The Fig Store. Vintage furniture, hessian printed coffee sacks, succulents, twine, all beautifully staged, made for a joyous browsing moment. Emma hosts supper clubs and workshops in this evocative space. Details of events will be up and coming from her soon. Her blog photography is truly beautiful and she is going to be running a workshop on how to produce good photo’s for blogs etc… I would love to learn more, but there maybe one slight problem. I need to get myself a smart phone and stop being a Diplodocus! Yes, a very inspiring end to the trawl along one of my favourite Bath streets.

Back in town a final purchase was made in Anthropologie. I bought lovely purple agate handles in their sale section. For a few months there have just been ugly holes in the newly painted dressing table whilst I have tried to find the perfect pulls! More worrying is the fact that we are without a wall light on the stairs, again I am holding out for the perfect illumination, and not one with a terrifying price tag.

Bedtime reading was free – a copy of Crumbs (lovely South West food related magazine) and Vow (beautifully produced wedding magazine) together with the latest Farrow & Ball colour chart. Now let me see, chalky whites, greys and linen. Happy Days!

Wishing everyone a lovely weekend and I hope that you can find inspiration, ambience and a sense of calm in the greyness that is February.

Love Rocking Dog X

Meticulous Nibs, Rocking Dog

Meticulous Nibs

Oh, So Tempting!, Rocking Dog

Oh, So Tempting!

Calm Quirky Home, Rocking Dog

Calm Quirky Home

Fabulous Fig, Rocking Dog

Fabulous Fig

Fig Store Order, Rocking Dog

Fig Store Order

Bedtime Reading, Rocking Dog

Bedtime Reading