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Friday, 4 July 2014

July 4th Greetings, The Birthday Boy and Adoption, Beautiful Arundel and Dance the Night Away

Good Morning
Arundel Eccentrics Antiques

Wishing a great July 4th to all our US readers.

Happy Birthday Jay

Today is my son's birthday.
He now lives in California. 
What a great day to have a birthday.
Happy Birthday to Jay.

It will be an even more special birthday this year.
The first as a father.

I never know what to get my lovely son for his birthday.
He's a menswear designer and a good one.
So what can you buy someone who is very specific about clothes.
He has a sneakers collection to die for.
It's probably into the hundreds. LOL

When I adopted my lovely boy, all those years ago,
I drove to Ashford in Kent to 
collect the little scrap of a four year old.

Stopping off for a cup of tea
 and a freshen up on the way,
I found myself in Tenterden.

There in the window of a shop
 I spotted the most wonderful
Goose Lamp.

So the lamp and my new son came home together.
For many years it was his night light. 
We both adored it.

Eventually, when we moved it got broken in transit.
"Oh Ma throw it away"
I couldn't.
It meant so much.
I spent hours sticking it all together.
It didn't exactly look like a work of art when I'd finished,
 but it stood up by itself, at least. LOL
It kept the goose going for a bit longer.
Eventually, it was knocked over and beyond repair.
" Ma....NOW chuck it out."

Funny how everything changes when you have a child isn't it?
A few months back he asked if I knew where he could get 
one for his new baby's room.

The joy of the internet.
They stopped making them years ago,
but the company still have a few of the goose figures
 and make them as and when needed.

The company are in the US.
 I'm sincerely hoping it 
will have arrived by today.

Here's our story.....................

I always wanted children and in the 
traditional sense it was a baby.
Over the years my ex husband and I 
went through all the normal stuff to achieve that, 
but it just never happened.

We decided we would look at adoption as an option 
and went to an adoption society in London,
for an information evening.

The social worker told the small group, 
about3 case histories 
and Jay's was one of them.

By absolute chance...or maybe not...after the talk, 
when everyone was chatting and drinking coffee, 
we were looking at Jay's photo 
and I made a comment such as
" Oh look how beautiful he is"....

The social worker just happened to be behind us.
" Would you like to find out more about that little boy?"

The rest, as they say is history.

The social worker assigned to our case hadn't 
met Jay herself at that point, 
and on her return from seeing him for the first time, 

stopped at a phone box...
yes.. we did use them, then,
to excitedly inform me
"You are perfect for each other, 
your temperaments match each other completely."

Something this day I don't know what it was,
whereby, although we had met Jay a few times 
he had never been to the house and 

I felt they were trying to move 
him from his foster placement quickly, 
for some reason known only to them 
and on one of my visits the social worker
asked if I would take Jay home
the next time I came to see him. 

This was only a few days later.

I drove over in my yellow 2cv, 
which was to later become such a huge part of our lives,
out and about all over the place.
I bought this lamp when I stopped off on the way to bring Jay home all those years ago..It became his night light.
In later years it sat in our window in our house in  Tarrant Street and when it was on friends knew we were around and meant they could drop by for a glass of wine!

 When I arrived he had pulled all his pictures off the wall 
and was packed and ready.
Taking my hand he said
" Come on Mum, lets go."

He was 4 years old at the time.

It all happened it a whirl and when 
I arrived home I was almost in shock.
This little girl adored Jay.
She was  also adopted and lived near us and our families became firm friends.
Her parents put us on to the adoption society we met Jay through.

Micky Mouse was the one item Jay still had from his birth mother.
He still has it, to this day, and Micky now resides in California

I was working at a play school at the time and thought I would be brilliant.
But brilliant doesn't happen overnight and  I am now a firm believer 
that post natal depression isn't entirely a physical thing.

Also, you expect, I expected,  to feel a huge surge of love immediately.
It doesn't always just happen, like a bolt from the blue.
It grows and like all relationships, you get out what you put in.

Suddenly, here I was with a little person 24 hours a day.
It was quite a shock to the system.
I was emotional all the time, 
feeling I wasn't making a good enough job of things.

I didn't really know what he ate, his likes and dislikes.

I struggled to feed him...I had never really cooked convenience food,
was deeply entrenched in cooking whole foods  
and found that he was used to stuff coming out of tins and boxes.

I remember in desperation asking him
" Well, what DO you like?"
and in a quiet little voice he replied,
" I like cheesecake"

Thanks be , I thought and proceeded to make the whole thing, as usual, from scratch.

Jay didn't like it and barely touched it.

" I thought you said you liked cheescake?"

" Yes, but out of a packet!"

We got through those early hurdles and somewhere along the line,  
actually very soon after,
I realised I loved this little boy, 
more than I had loved anyone in my life.

And that's the point I wanted to make....I never in a million years thought you could have such strength of feeling for a child that you had not produced yourself.
Prior to that, I had spent years weeping and wailing and feeling such intense jealousy
for all my friends who seemed to be having babies with ease.

Jay and I went from strength to strength.
Our relationship so strong that when he was at college 
he came home one day and proclaimed,

"My mates at college are so jealous of our relationship."

"Why Jay?"

" Because it's so strong and they don't have that with their own mothers."

" How do they know?"

" Ma, they just see us together."

Over the years, I have been so proud of  Jay's achievements.

From an early age he took a huge interest in clothes,

loved his skateboard, loved to travel.

After working for a menswear fashion degree,

at the local Northbrook College,and graduating with flying colours,

( incidentally, the first college in Europe to offer this degree)

 he just went from strength to strength.

Determined to end up in NYC..against all odds he got there.
Not the first time, when he borrowed money to get out there for interviews.

On his return, he said they felt he was good,

but needed more experience.
"So Jay, what are you going to do next?"

" Get more experience , of course"

and he did...through sheer hard work, gritty determination,
and talent, he went to NYC via Ecko Unltd.
He not only gained experience there, 
he gained himself the gorgeous Krista,his wife .
Look at him now, a successful menswear designer in California.

When he first went there he was designing for

...a skateboard company..funny hey?

After all the years he hurtled round on his own board.
Jay and Krista after he proposed to her in Arundel
birth brothers re-united

the first time they had all got together

Nass and I miss him terribly.

Oh! I forgot to tell you, I gained even more out of this than a wonderful child.

When by ex husband and I divorced about 20 years ago,
I became entrenched in the school PTA to keep me busy.

We organised a massive Summer Ball and hence I 
was spending more and more time at Jay's school.

So, my bonus was.....

going out with the gorgeous PE teacher 

who I subsequently married and who became
a loving stepfather adoring Jay as much as I do.

and Adoption Day?
Its the day you go to court to make it all official.

Jay wrote a note to the judge to sway the man to let him stay with us.
I still have that note and to this day and it still makes me cry.

Adoption Day 
has been celebrated every year since.
As important to us, as a birthday

If you are considering adoption..really, really, go and find out about it.
Be patient, its a lot of interviews and social workers poking into all areas of your life.
But...a million times over..its worth it

gorgeous boy.. now a gorgeous young man


Happy Birthday

to our wonderful son

The big wedding in Virginia.

Jay designed his wedding suit...every attention to detail was looked at...even the cuff links were vintage UK sixpences

Here's the link to the video.

you WILL need a box of Kleenex

Ha Ha

A day in the life.

The short walk to my "office."

Well, the studio.

How wonderful to be able to wander down the garden to the studio by the riverbank.

This was a typical day.

I worked down the studio,
or under the shade of the apple tree
 until late in the evening.

Painting and decorating furniture with decoupage.
We had some good orders from three of our
US trade customers and were working to a deadline.

When the shippers collect everything has to be ready.

Nass was working at a Petworth Antique shop, moving everything around for them and re-displaying.

When he came home it was a glorious summers evening.

He came in carrying supermarket bags.

" Lets make Pimms."

We sat in the garden and the
 neighbours from both sides joined us.

As it grew colder we lit the chiminea.

Someone disappeared into their
 house and returned with huge chunks
 of  bread and French cheese.

What a wonderful impromptu evening.
It was midnight by the time any of us moved inside.

Yes, it really is a fabulous place.

Here's a glimpse into our beautiful town...

Its lovely just working in Arundel.
For many years while we built up the business
 I also worked full time nights in Crawley.

At a residential home for
"adolescents with challenging behaviour."
Wow it was wild and sometimes extremely scary.
Lovely to be just working on my furniture.
No verbal abuse there.... Ha ha

We recently found this bamboo table.
Its amazing.
Haven't seen one like this before.

English 19th century...its just such a beautiful shape.

Here's a few of the other things I work on.
All antique or vintage.

one of our pieces in Liberty London

and one of our bamboo tables in House and Garden Magazine

We decorated this one specifically for the magazine.
It went to Australia with a trade customer.
He said he sold it on the first day.

Dance The Night Away

The fundraiser we are organising.

My lovely Nass has MS.
Instead of allowing it get him down he
 likes to get involved in one thing or another.

Occasionally it’s a bit of nonsense
 and that is surely why we all love him so much.

But most of the time it’s for others.

 Firstly, three years ago after just being diagnosed
 he ran the Brighton Marathon
 for The Chestnut Tree Children’s Hospice and
 last year cycled 56 miles London to Brighton
 for The Brain Tumour Charity and The Chestnut Tree.

He had never ridden a bike.
Bought one about two weeks before
 and did just two or three, 5 mile efforts,
 wobbling a tad as he went. 
I was away the week before the big ride,
taking my ipad with me. 
I had emails saying things like,

“We know Nass is taking his training very
 seriously as he left the pub before it got dark last night.”
Yep, that’s the Nass we know and love.

Well, he did it. Although at one stage an 
ambulance was called as he got spasm in his legs.
The medic treated him and suggested he went home.
 Nass signed a disclaimer and suggested the medic went home.
 He got back on his bike and cycled to Brighton. 
I cried when he came through the finishing line.
This year he’s decided to take it a wee bit
 easier and he has organised a fund raising evening.

It’s for
The Brain Tumour Charity
The Chestnut Tree Children’s Hospice
And for a new wheelchair for an Arundel friend
 with MS who is totally wheelchair bound.

Tickets are £15 and you an buy them online at our website
or at our warehouse on any Fri Sat Sun 10-4

Have a wonderful day