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Saturday, 2 February 2019

Frosty Walks, Shop Closures, and Congratulations Catherine Rowe.

It's been a while since I've blogged.

We've been busy.

In November we won a local award.
Arun Business Partnership Award
Best Small Business up to 5 employees.

Not bad for people that are hidden away from the main street.

If I look surprised ......I really was.

Since then we've working on bamboo and chests of drawers.
But also been getting out and about for new stock.

First I'll be typically English and discuss the weather.

It's cold, yes.
But we've had it easy in
 comparison to many parts of the UK.

Elsa and I walk every day.
This is one of my favourites.

You don't get to see too many people.
Some days, no one.

 I count myself as a reasonably sociable person.
I like meeting people and chatting.

But sometimes, it really is wonderful to get away from everything, isn't it?

You can do this walk from Arundel, but we drive to Warningcamp then across to Burpham.

 The castle is always somewhere in the background.

We get to see the most dramatic skies.

not that Elsa takes much notice of that.

Just glorious.

Sets me up for the day.

The plants and fences all had icicles on them. It was so beautiful.

We are so very lucky to live in beautiful Arundel.

While I was at Burpham I noticed they have the date for their summer fete.
It's a wonderful afternoon out.
I usually walk across the fields.

In my excitement, I load up with bargain plants,
 books and second-hand hand clothes,
forgetting I have to walk 5 km back.

The Showroom

Here's a  look inside the warehouse/showroom at the moment.

Those lights are just fabulous. 1960's from the Rolls Royce Factory.

these are vintage enamel buckets that we paint and decorate

We've just had a delivery of 19th-century French chairs.
Occasionally we get them upholstered, but often we sell them as is.
Let the customer choose their own fabric.

this poor French chair looks like it's been through it!
Lovely shape though and sturdy.

Heres a sample of what we do and an idea of pricing.

If you're trade, just email us and we will give you the trade price.

and if you're tidying up a la Marie Kondo

These are really a stylish way to store.

They are 1940's French tambours or filing cabinets.
Doors that slide up and down.
Shelves that are moveable.
So you can store jumpers/shoes/ papers.

My hairdressers in Arundel bought one to store all their products.

I should follow my own advice and clear my own house.

Shops Closing

I found this so sad.
The largest department store in Chichester closing down.

Been there since 1941.......

Everywhere was deserted......
 just one or two rooms where the remaining bargains were all put together

sign of the times.

Some of our favourite Arundel places have also recently closed.

We are all really sad to see them go.
 a lovely restaurant in Tarrant Street
The Bay Tree

and the fabulous
Sparks Yard

on a happier note,

HUGE congratulations to Catherine Rowe
 who worked at Sparks but who is also a designer.

She produces the most beautiful work and now not surprisingly

won the Liberty Open Call
 for a new iconic Liberty fabric design in 2018.

 The winning design will be launched in-store May 2019.

Well done Catherine what fabulous news.

Have a great weekend

Friday, 7 December 2018


Good morning from Arundel Eccentrics

Bit of a change from light-hearted chit-chat this morning.

We've heard a lot about mental illness over the past week on British TV.

With Christmas coming up, the time when loved ones get together,
 I thought I would repost this blog posting from earlier in the year.

I went to visit someone close to me yesterday.

The path of her life
 changed forever
 at 22 years old.

She was one week away from completing her nurse training.

A beautiful, vivacious, funny, gregarious young
 woman who dressed stylishly
 and always wore at least a dab of makeup.
Dated footballers.
 Went clubbing.
 Had a circle of friends who adored her.

In short, led a normal life.

But...she felt something wasn't right.
 Didn't know what it was. 

Went into doctors surgeries and
A and E departments begging for help.

 Was found in the middle of Brighton
 wearing pyjamas on a bitter winters day.

Then she stole something from a large department store.
 The police officer who arrested her recognised the cry for help.

 The young constable had been called
 to the cliffs of Beachy Head the day before.
 A Sussex beauty spot renowned for suicides.

"I wasn't going to let that happen on my watch again," she said.

After weeks of psychiatric appointments came the diagnosis.


Her widowed mother tried to keep her at home but
 it was just too much for the old lady to cope with.

The voices dictated her daughter's every move.

They told her to walk into the sea in Brighton and just keep walking.
How she didn't drown we just don't know
It happened twice.

Her mother knew she couldn't keep her safe.

Then came a succession of psychiatric wards.
And the people you met therein.

She became involved with an alcoholic schizophrenic.

Luckily she had her wits about her the day
 he tried to coerce her into going with him.

To rob the local Building Society.
Holding them up with a cricket bat.

He wound up at Her Majestys Pleasure on the Isle of Wight.
The one good thing to come out of the day.

Chunks of family history were erased
 from her brain after ECT treatment.

Some of the treatment enforced.
She was considered too ill to make the decision herself.

Family events were lost too as people became
 unsure of how she would be at weddings, parties, funerals, dinners.

Nervous their event would be spoiled they stopped asking her.

Visitors slowly stopped coming.
Her mother passed away.

Thirty years on, her face has aged well beyond its 55 years.
 Home, a hostel, for the past 22.

Visitors are rare.
People are nervous about psychiatric illness.

Sometimes I go and am turned away from her bedroom door.
 Her pale face contorted in mental anguish. 
The voicing driving her under the duvet for days on end. 

She doesn't leave the safety of her room and the staff knock
 at meal and drug rounds, but she stays hidden, living on hoarded tins of food.

Yesterday, was a better day than most
 and we went out for coffee.

I took her gifts of toiletries that a friend
 who works for a high-end company gets cheaper.

 Bath gels and creams that she glanced at
 and said her voices wouldn't let her have.

They seem to prefer her to go to Wilkinsons, the cheap shop on the corner.

For the first time in years, we were able to discuss her illness.

" How would life have been without it?"

She thought for a moment. 

" I think I would have had a job and a car. 
A flat or house and a boyfriend or husband.
 Maybe children. I wanted children. 
Friends to go out with."

She was quiet for a moment and sighed,
" It changed my whole life."

Instead, she lives in a hostel with staff who clearly
care, but who go home every night. 

Her family the other residents
 who also are in their own private world.

The only high spots are the cigarettes
 she constantly smokes and the
 scratch cards she's become addicted to.

I told her she needs to get them both under control.

"What else have I got?" She said.

And I thought, but didn't say,
" Yes, you're right. F all."

She has few visitors.

Maybe one every few months. 

That seems to be the way with mental illness.
No flowers or cards or visits.

After 30 years of it....people just forget.

On the way home I
pulled in and cried.

And gave thanks for my
 life with all its ups and downs.

And it's normality.

Wednesday, 5 December 2018

Upcycling, Arundel and Other Stuff.

As much as possible we like to keep antique
 and vintage pieces as near original as we can.

Sometimes though..... get my point

So..... then we like to give things a helping hand.

We paint and decorate with decoupage, using 19th-century images.

Here's what we did with those vintage enamel buckets and tubs.

sometimes we gild and then decoupage

we start with this

and wind up with this

lots of work yes...but satisfying

and sometimes I get help.....

and sometimes I don't.

We do the same work on bamboo

and chests of drawers

that start out like this

and end up like this

they've also been on the 4th floor of Liberty London

and in magazines

So we are pretty chuffed.

oh by the way

I went to
Arun Business of the Year Awards.

Best small business of 1-5 employees

exciting hey?

Arundel Stuff

Arundel is the most beautiful town on the south coast of England.

We are lucky enough to live and work there.

 Every morning Elsa and I do a different walk...

sometimes along the riverbank....

by the way

this is Elsa

just over a year old...nearly lost a grass seed that went into her leg and migrated to her spine

She couldn't walk at one point.
Or feed herself.
Or even lift her head.
Just the slightest flick of the tail.

Look at her now.

Here's her story

sometimes in the hills...

or Arundel park

If you've never been to Arundel it's well worth a visit.

This weekend we have Arundel By Candlelight.

Here's all the details.

We will be open.
Pop round to the warehouses
behind Arundel Co-op and say hello.

Heres our FB page

and all our latest English and French antiques can be found on The Hoarde

Have a great day