Thursday, 30 April 2009

Maybe a visit to Totnes Castle?

Above .... the This'n'Thatmobile parked by 'our' Norman castle. There's worse car parking in this world! On a clear evening, the skyline is just amazing with the castle silhouetted against the stars ... that's a future challenge for my new camera!

The castle grounds.

... and lots of wild garlic! I wonder if the Normans had wild garlic?

Perhaps Bank Holiday gardening or a trip to the beach?

For Friday :)

Yes, a bit more nostalgia. My favourite sort of illustration.

Wednesday, 29 April 2009

A spring day at Dartington Hall

The day started with a routine trip to the dentist in Ashburton. However, our next priority was to find somewhere for Mr. Fixit to train his new knee to 'do steps' (we live in a bungalow).
So, where else was there to go but to the grounds of Dartington Hall?
....Followed of course by coffee at The White Hart.

These photgraphs provide you with a bit of a treasure hunt ... explore the grounds to discover these engravings and sculptures ... and much more:)


Below - Jacob's Pillow by Peter Randall-Page

Dartington Hall continued

Such an attractive mix of well manicured garden and wild areas. Wonderful colours even though it wasn't a 'blue sky' sort of day. Now is definitely the time to go .... up the steps, beyond the swans and into the place where the wild flowers grow .... orchids, primroses, celandines, wild garlic, daisies, bird's eye, and much, much more.......

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Voluptuous ladies too ... in red or blue!

All shapes and sizes at This'n'That!!

The girls are back in town!!

Have just bought a new camera (all the better to blog with) and couldn't resist trying it out with this lovely vintage Midwinter "Cannes" plate and some of my bathing ladies. They are new and will be available for a while and there are also voluptuous ladies, photo soon! :)

Monday, 27 April 2009

Enid Blyton even has my favourite shape of vintage caravan!

I couldn't resist this picture. In my dreams I'd love This'n'That to have its own caravan to take to vintage fairs. Maybe ..... you never know:)

Sunday, 26 April 2009

"Gosh! How exciting! Lashings of Enid Blyton!"

Over a number of years I have collected, and sold in This'n'That, the Enid Blyton Nature Plates. There are sixty in the set and were followed by two books for teachers. One contained sixty nature lessons and the other contained sixty stories.
There were also a set of thirty 'Nature Readers' each featuring two stories from the set of pictures. They were originally published in 1945 and 1946.
Now, oh bliss, oh joy!! I have twenty- nine of the thirty readers.
no doubt they will end up in the shop once I have gone through the denial phase of thinking that I can continue to squeeze more 'stuff' into our over-filled home.

I have also found a quantity of "Enid Blyton's Magazine" from the 1950's. They were published fortnightly and contained serialised stories, letters, competitions etc.

Friday, 24 April 2009

Kaleidoscopic Cat!

Thought you might like to meet Leo's sister Leya.
She's a liitle darling. They were close as kittens and we couldn't bear to split them up but now they go their separate ways most of the time!

This picture was done with the Kaleidoscope Creator programme.
The title will link you to it.

Sunday, 19 April 2009

1950's school geography "Looking at Britain"

I just can't resist old school text books! They are such an amazing source of social history and such nostalgic fun! (Not much 'Health & Safety' going on in this pic. from a 1950's geography book.)
It has the original price list and cost 6s .. 3d so a class set would have been a big purchase. As a pupil in the 50's/60's and subsequently as a teacher I experienced so many of these schemes.
I didn't keep one book for old times' sake but delight in finding them for the shop, especially if I can find an old desk to display them on.

Sunday Trove! or "Paul's First Outing with his new knee!!"

Sunday dawned as a lovely sunny day so off we set at 6.15am to Matford near Exeter.

This was Paul's big day out having been under house arrest since his new knee op. Not sure how interesting it was for him to wait in the car whilst I went off looking for trove but it was that or 'cabin fever'!

Thought I'd share some of the book purchases .......

I'm afraid that the choices are very self indulgent ... pure nostalgia!!

Eventually they all find their way to the shop but I read or at least browse through them first.

Occasionally I go into denial for a few weeks but in the end they are 're-homed' in the shop since our home is too small for the hoarding which comes to me quite instinctively!

Couldn't resist adding a couple of pictures of Leo. He has to check all new stock and also loves lying with paws swinging either side of chair arms, bench seats and even the ironing board ... just like the lions he's seen on TV lying along tree branches. (Yes, he watches TV!)

Thursday, 16 April 2009


In my annual search for a chocolate free option for Easter I discovered 'Egglings'. They are ceramic eggs with a built in 'fault' so that you can tap and take off the top. Then, with compost and seeds provided you can grow thyme, basil or wild strawberry seedlings, placing it in the little terracotta saucer provided. It's all in a very natty little box .... I'm a sucker for well designed boxes!

At the moment I am selling the last few for £5 each.

Remember when?

The latest news is that I'm still busy looking after my Mr Fixit's new knee and have had little time for blogging .

Not as busy as I would be though if I hadn't hidden the little bell which my brother and sister-in-law kindly posted to him!!

However, thanks to my good friend Lidi (some of you will have met her when she helps in the shop) and her wonderful 'all singing, all dancing' camera, I have shots which she has taken to share with you.

Now, here's a way to date some of you ... who remembers drinking brandy and Babycham?
The Babycham glasses are from the 1950's if the fawn is white, 1960's if it is golden yellow and 1970's if a lemon yellow. The bottles of Babycham on display are from 2009 (Morrison's)!

Sunday, 12 April 2009

Happy Easter

Thought that I'd celebrate Easter and our lovely crop of daisies at the same time! Paul's new knee is now a week old but it will be weeks before he is up to lawn mowing and so .... lovely daisies!

Hopefully next week I will get a bit more time to develop the blog. First on the list of things to do is a collection of photos of the shop. It's crammed full of goodies (Paul's last bid to stock it up before his long break). If you want a preview look out on Salssnippets blog where it will be featured quite soon. (Thanks Sal for your continued encouragement XX)

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Continuing the cat theme!

I thought that you might like to see one of my favourite gifts from 2008. As I recall, my two cats gave it to me as a birthday present, though I guess that they sent Paul to do the shopping!

I am a Leo and so it was particularly apt. I don't see a lion when I look into the mirror but I do try to find someone a bit slimmer in there sometimes!!

Introducing Leo, in charge of stock control

Introducing my 'best boy' Leo! He is a four year old ragdoll cat with a lively inquiring mind. He prides himself on keeping every bit of fur and whisker neatly in place and has been known to spend an entire night washing after one of his, thankfully infrequent, trips to the farm next door!! He also takes great pride in inspecting every item which passes through our home on its way to the shop.

Here you see him checking out a Lloyd Loom chair and a leather vanity case, both probably from the 1930's/40's. The spotty bag is filled with smaller goodies including CarltonWare, a vintage cake stand and lots of children's books and maps. All are now in the shop .. except for Leo who is a kept boy and has no ambition to work. He is a keen ornithologist and collects small rodents.

I did a bit of 'homework' on the history of Lloyd Loom furniture ...
The creator of the Lloyd Loom furniture was the American Marshall Burns Lloyd and in 1907 he invented a special loom, partly reinforced with steel wire, which could form a woven fabric by weaving twisted ‘Kraft’ paper. This was the invention of Lloyd Loom, which revolutionised a huge area of the furniture industry.

The new loom woven fabric is much more time efficient; a Lloyd Loom Chair can be produced much faster than it would producing a rattan or synthetic wicker version. The product was therefore much more desirable for the manufacturer, as it was time efficient as well as being much more durable.

The history of Lloyd Loom then changes to Britain, when in 1922 W. Lusty bought the manufacturing rights and began a factory in the East End of London. As Lloyd Loom furniture became increasingly popular, the company W. Lusty & Sons Ltd was nurtured. Lloyd Loom furniture could be seen in affluent locations everywhere, from the Royal Boxes at Wimbledon (even to this day) and Twickenham to the British Army and RAF worldwide.

In 1940 the Luftwaffe, aiming for nearby East India Docks, destroyed the Lusty firm but then, in later years the furniture process was re-established.

I often get pieces for sale with the original date stamp and the 'Lusty' label intact. You might have to look hard to find it in the window since I tend to cover the chairs etc. with cushions and blankets which are being sold.

Now that Mr Fixit (husband Paul) is home from hospital with his new knee, I hope that I will soon have time to show you lots of pics of the shop.

Thursday, 2 April 2009

Giveaway cards from the shop

The forces sweethearts are on the current card, the seaside donkey is a past favourite and will be back this year and the beach hut one is a sneak preview of things to come!!

Wednesday, 1 April 2009

Life is never simple!!

Just as I start to get the hang of blogging and imagine myself whiling away quiet evenings at the computer ..... we receive news that Mr. Fixit (my right hand man at the shop) is off to get a bionic knee on Friday!

He joined a four month waiting list just under a week ago and ... bingo!!

How fortunate that his train driver day was last weekend ... don't think that the zimmer frame would meet the health & safety requirements of even an old fashioned railway.

So .. for a few days I won't be posting much on This'n'That's blog but please don't think that I have given up.

Meanwhile I hope that you enjoy the image which I've just posted. It is from the cover of an old (I guess 1940's /50's Sunday School Union story book.
Instead of advertising the shop, I use modified old images (like this one) on postcards which I give away to customers. They change every few weeks and to my surprise there are some keen collectors so sometimes I have to re-issue one which was in short supply so that it can be collected.
Maybe I should make the set like those '96 piece encyclopaedia' which newsagents sell with a free binder once you have the lot!!

Must share some of my old school books with you soon. (All collected after I retired from teaching ... happy times re-visited I guess).