Sunday, 12 August 2012
A whole lotta linen
Saturday night found us at a 50th birthday party in a beautifully grown up, sophisticated and clutter-free home in a very pretty village. Right, I told myself, as we drove home, that's it. I will not buy any more bits and bobs, endless tablecloths, bits of lace, linen, old books or generally useless articles with which to add to the mayhem in our house. I will not go to the car boot sale in the morning, even if it is extremely sunny. I will stay at home, save my money for things like new taps and tree surgery, and I will impose order on our very un-grown up house.
Well, that resolution lasted until I woke up at 6.30am to see the sunshine golden behind the curtains. That boot sale was just calling out to me. So, off I went, early-ish for once, with my empty basket and a few pounds in the purse.
And what did I buy? Yes, that's right: endless tablecloths, bits of lace, old linen and old books. But who could resist a little stash of white linen, straight from an old trunk, the delicate old tissue paper still between the folds. Much of it was marked, or rather fragile, but at 50p and £1, it was too gorgeous to leave. This is just a small selection of my haul:
As it was such a lovely day, I decided to tackle the washing of it straight away. My favourite item, a huckaback linen towel, was very marked with orangey stains. A soak in Napisan, my usual method of cleaning linens, didn't touch it. So, I decided to try boiling it, something my Grandma always seemed to be doing with her 'whites'. I put it in a large pan with water and a dash of bicarb of soda and some fresh lemon juice and gave it 20 minutes on the hob.
What a difference. It is currently blowing gently on the line, looking whiter than white.
I have to admit, apart from the linen, Lady Luck wasn't really smiling on me today at the boot sale and there were no spectacular finds (unlike one buyer I spotted who was carrying the most beautiful old painted horse on wheels). But I came home with a large bolt of old floral fabric, and some nice old annuals. And I do rather like this old ledger, unused.
Who knows what on earth I will do with it, apart from admire the typography. Oh dear. That sensible, minimalist house is looking like it is never going to happen....