The Kitchen Window.

Posted on 10/12/2017 By

The Kitchen Window.

But first. Here is our Christmas card for 2017. Bobby was going digital, but realised he liked the tradition of sending cards. There are so many ways now of personalising cards that you don’t have to buy the packs of really boring cards. The charities are complaining that they are missing out. But we hear that only a small proportion goes their way anyway. And there is the question of misrepresentation as a result. Whatever – here’s the electronic version of Mindfully Bertie. If you don’t get one through the post, let us know.

The Kitchen Window: Merry Christmas - with love from Bertie.

Merry Christmas – with love from Bertie.

Diddley loved The Kitchen Window. Within Laurel Cottage, the kitchen was her domain. Bobby had given her a kitchen she was proud of. Until she found out from the fitter that the sales person’s gruff voice and hairy legs was indeed that of a tranny. Ha ha ha. Bobby knew his place, and didn’t overstay his welcome, which made things a little difficult at first when it became his domain.

She loved the view from the window of Redlands. The hills to the west that glowed golden in the autumn or indeed red on early morning sunrises. The view enhanced by their shared love of garden birds. The expectant wait for the first Siskin in January. Before that, the relatively recent change from peanuts to sunflower hearts as the chosen delicacy of the birds themselves. The amazing explosion of goldfinches that now dominate at this time of year until the Siskins arrive. She was keen on the old bird table as well, but last spring a precocious rat paid regular visits. Even trying to outstare Bobby through the window. So this winter we have an experimental feeding station, where most of the debris is caught in the dustbin lid. No rats or squirrels… so far. For this story a picture of one of our more exotic daily visitors is attached. A great spotted woodpecker. Sometimes with its mate.

The Kitchen Window: Look - Bobby even did the washing and drying up! Hahaha.

Look – Bobby even did the washing and drying up! Hahaha.

The Kitchen Window: The view of the Bird Table and Feeders.

The view of the Bird Table and Feeders.

The Kitchen Window: Redlands.

Redlands.

The Kitchen Window: Great spotted woodpecker and a tough little blue tit.

Great spotted woodpecker and a tough little blue tit.

Coming inside its fair to say that Bobby’s interest in the bric a brac windowsill extended only to putting them back in the right place after cleaning the windows. In deciding to write this story he washed all the washable pieces and put them back. Much as he had done two years ago and inadvertently discovered one had magical properties that had never been revealed before. Magical to some but not to a twelve year old schoolboy of Bobby’s generation. Some of the others were more interesting than he had realised. So we now move onto:

Bric-a-brac Windowsill.

Number 1

The Kitchen Window: The Bottle.

The Bottle.

The Kitchen Window: 500ml on the base. Children’s school milk maybe?

500ml on the base. Children’s school milk maybe?

Number 2

the Kitchen Window: Thimble - Weston-Super-Mare.

Thimble – Weston-Super-Mare.

The Kitchen Window: Thimbles - Rabbit.

Thimbles – Rabbit.

Number 3

The Kitchen Window: Just a little vase, or something more special? Who knows. Looks old.

Just a little vase, or something more special? Who knows. Looks old.

Number 4

The Kitchen Window: Paintbrushes for the grandchildren. In an old laxative pot? Really, Bobby! Hahaha.

Paintbrushes for the grandchildren. In an old laxative pot? Really, Bobby! Hahaha.

Number 5

The Kitchen Window: A vintage ink pot?

A vintage ink pot?

Number 6

The Kitchen Window: Any ideas?

Any ideas?

The Kitchen Window: Niblett & Co.

Niblett & Co.

The Kitchen Window: Stroud & Cheltenham.

Stroud & Cheltenham.

The Kitchen Window: Niblett & Co Aerated Water Manufacturers.

Niblett & Co Aerated Water Manufacturers.

Now we are talking. Something with traceable history. A pop bottle from those days when firms supplied their drinks in their own glass bottles. This one Nibletts from Stroud and Cheltenham. The Cotswolds, where Diddley came from. A firm that subsequently moved to Swindon.

The premises in this Swindon screen print is dated 1890, after the firm had moved there. Which makes this bottle older than that.

Number 7

The Kitchen Window: Corn Dollies.

Corn Dollies.

What memories these corn dollies bring back. Bought as part of a Christmas set in Bratislava’s Christmas market in 2005. The Little Adventure Club, through which Bobby and Diddley, working together at the Highways Agency, went on many exciting small holidays. The club still exists, as do many of the original members. Including Kat, from Slovakia, who encouraged us to visit her homeland. Times change, but we hope there will be more adventures in the future. Bratislava is only 30 miles from Vienna. Yet at one time a world apart from Vienna in the west to Communist Eastern Europe. Naturally we went there too for one of their many Christmas markets.

The Kitchen Window: Bratislava Christmas Market. Diddley with crutch.

Bratislava Christmas Market. Diddley with crutch.

The Kitchen Window: Snowing at Christmas in Bratislava.

Snowing at Christmas in Bratislava.

The Kitchen Window: Bratislava Christmas Market.

Bratislava Christmas Market.

The Kitchen Window: Vienna Rathaus Christmas Market.

Vienna Rathaus Christmas Market.

The Kitchen Window: Vienna Rathaus (Town Hall) Christmas Market.

Vienna Rathaus (Town Hall) Christmas Market.

The Kitchen Window: Bratislava. French stag party with Diddley.

Bratislava. French stag party with Diddley.

Number 8

A time for magic at the kitchen window. Or simply physics. Class 2X, Sutton County Grammar School. Refraction of light. 1955.

The Kitchen Window: Little angel would have kept her secret for ever had she remained facing forwards.

Little angel would have kept her secret for ever had she remained facing forwards.

The Kitchen Window: But back to front that little angel becomes a prism. Whether by design or otherwise. So that little piece of bric-a-brac is a very handy tool to teach young children about the properties of light and the spectrum.

But back to front that little angel becomes a prism. Whether by design or otherwise. So that little piece of bric-a-brac is a very handy tool to teach young children about the properties of light and the spectrum.

The Kitchen Window: You can just see the prism to the right of the tap.

You can just see the prism to the right of the tap.

The Kitchen Window: The rainbow on the cupboard.

The rainbow on the cupboard.

The Kitchen Window: I am going into a deeeeep sleeeep...

I am going into a deeeeep sleeeep…

The Kitchen Window: Bobby - You've spilt some of the sun on the floor!

Bobby – You’ve spilt some of the sun on the floor!

The Kitchen Window: The most famous prism of all.

The most famous prism of all.

So there you have it. A handful of bric-a-brac that turns out to have a story with memories, history, education and the beauty of the natural world.

PS

Just last Friday, Bobby was in one of his favourite London haunts. The café of the London Transport Museum in Covent Garden. An hour to relax before meeting his friend Anne at St Martin’s in the Fields. A choice between a plastic seat or his preferred iconic London Transport moquette. So familiar to bus passengers. The only moquette was next to a young lady intently writing in her notebook. A lady from an exotic foreign land – or just New Malden. Catching her attention, he nodded towards the seat. She smiled and nodded back.

A cup of tea and a cake. Despite the Christmas hubbub of a very popular shop and venue, it was so relaxing. Mindfully almost and he nodded off. Waking with a start he realised an hour had gone by. The young lady, seemingly oblivious, was still writing. And then he noticed her camera and was “compelled”… to ask her. (Now now!). About her camera. She asked if she could take his picture. “Ooo yes. Can I take yours”?

Han A Lee from South Korea. Loves travelling on her own and writing. She prefers her trusty Nikon film camera. She now has a Mindfully Bertie business card and promises to read this blog to see herself associated with an English teddy bear called Bertie.

The Kitchen Window: Han A Lee from South Korea. Sitting on London Transport moquette.

Han A Lee from South Korea. Sitting on London Transport moquette.

The Kitchen Window: Han A Lee's 1980s Nikon FE2 film camera.

Han A Lee’s 1980s Nikon FE2 film camera.

Lighting a Candle to Diddley.

The Kitchen Window: Tea Candle for Diddly.

Tea Candle for Diddly.

She loved candles. Loved lighting them in churches. Always bought tea lights on those terrifying trips to Ikea. And had lots of candle holders. Including this simple little one on the kitchen window sill.

——————

Kitchen WindowPS    


  1. Bernard says:

    Amazing what a small collection of just windowsill bric a brac can produce and make an interesting read.

  2. Chris Norman says:

    We have some Niblett bottles & stone jars but have never thought to look into the history. Thanks for that. Love the picture of the prism’s light.

  3. […] ”That’s it. Nor do I. I am a ‘Bear Without a Name’ (see The Kitchen Window) or Identity. Nobody cares. Bobby bought me the same year he bought you from the same teddy shop. […]

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