Postcards From Beach Cottage Treasure Hunting
Tue 8th, Feb, 2011
(vintage white/purple ribbon)
G’day. How are you lovelies?
Well we have cooled down here in Sydney and so I no longer have to speak to you only in lists.
So, in the midst of that heat last week, while buying balloons, I found myself inexplicably drawn to some vintage treasure hunting.
(warning: this is a BC ramble)
Ask me why I felt the need, I do not know…after spending, as you know, a whole lot of my time lately de-crappifying this place and making over the study (pics coming very soon, just awaiting one thing before I show you) I feel there was room for a few new vintagey things…I mean sometimes a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do right?
I think, along with the thrill of the vintage chase, it is the ritualistic element of it all with almost a therapy side thrown in at the same time, that I like
(old sea-green linen with hand lace)
…and of course you don’t need me to inform you of the existence or joys of regular retail therapy…but this is different to shopping regular retail…for me shopping…at malls….for school shoes, or sports equipment or paint or groceries, or these days even clothes, well that ain’t therapy baby, but with treasure hunting, oh the unadulterated joy of finding a vintage thing cannot even be compared…
…you see firstly the whole thing won’t be replicated…the chance that you walked into that shop, at that time, the chance that someone else donated it, the chance that you spied it first and the chance that no-one else snatched it up in glee before you.
…all of that is what makes it special…
I must tell you though, I that haven’t always been one who peruses the ailses of thrift stores, fills my basket with lovely battered old things, takes them home and hides them, and then a year later donates them back again…all in the name of mental health…no…until about ten years ago there was probably more chance of finding me climbing into the back seat of a rocket, destination the moon, than in a thrift store. I would like to tell you here and fill your head with romantic notions of my childhood spent skipping along through the stalls of some deeply trendy middle-class London market, my mother trading in antiques, but sadly that couldn’t be further from the truth.
No, this vintage hunting affair began, as more and more I felt disillusioned with commercialization, with my friends and I all having the same things, and the same old same old, churned out by the dozens in the shops and the same old same old stores, no matter what high street or mall I was on. And so I started hunting around for old stuff, for stuff with a life…I wanted battered and lived-in and faded…I needed to find me some old-fashioned charm.
(thick old linen tea towels)
And quickly I became addicted in this looking for all things old.
It was my little secret…I told no-one of my devious plundering around in charity shops looking for old linen, squatting on the floor going through piles of vintage china, or my visits to boot sales hunting for nostalgia.
I brought it home, stacked it up, stashed it away and when no-one was looking, stole back and stroked it.
Back in those days the BC Crew were very little and so my underground vintage treasure hunting missions were normally quick snatches of time when I was alone or relegated to how long I could get away with a toddler strapped in a buggy with an apple and how long I could make a packet of chocolate buttons last…yep I admit it, I fed my children chocolate to feed my habit..
In those early treasure hunting days, living back in old Blighty I had so much to discover at my fingertips and I saw old working towns, shabby around the edges because of the new-fangled out-of-town ‘retail and leisure destinations’ in a new light.
These old places around Kent were absolutely spilling with history and had, along with wonderful old buildings, a river or two and a plethora of old pubs, a glut of vintage shops….a delight for a new vintage treasure hunter.
And so began my adventures…and I moved from the world of highly-sanitized shopping in perfectly styled environments to the discovery of a world with dusty shelves, strange arrangements, stacks of treasures and more, wonderful unique things…
(love! vintage steam pudding basin)
And the characters I came across only fueled my newly found hobby…never will you find more interesting life than while on these hunts for vintage things…crazy old ladies, ladies in wigs, made up ladies from the olden days, ladies in gay hats, perfumed ladies, ladies with stories, ladies who write ‘retro’, guys who are grumpy, guys who stink, guys with an eye, guys who whistle, guys who stomp.
(huge old canning jar)
I noticed too how in these places there was no rushing, no up-tight shoulders and rising stress levels, but rather a slow ambling…full-on therapy ambling…the picking up and putting down of unusual things, the slow moving between the aisles, the browsing and the cursory examining…
And now, a million miles from those shabby old market towns, I found myself down here, in the heat…
ambling…and loving it even more, but now, mostly, alone and without the need for chocolate buttons and no longer doing it in secret though for sure still stashing and stroking.
Adios my friends
I will see you soon
Hope you liked my finds, and there’s more…many more ;-)…boy did I get a haul but not enough time to show them to you all right now but I’ll just say…divine old beaten up wooden box, lovely old towel rail..and some super old vintage milkshake containers…