Saturday, November 16, 2019

Random Harvest

It has been a while since my last little post which was not a mini post in the way I wished to do so regularly. Real life got in the way with my intended move to a new house but this is now no longer on the books. I had packed a LOT of boxes, emptied cupboards and even bought some needed stuff for the new house including an enormous sofa! I met the owners of the new house and we went through the work they intended to do on the house and it will be wonderful when finished but it will mean that all the charm I found in it's original condition will be lost to modernity. Now some people are happy living in hotel type accomodation but I'm a bohemian messy person who needs to live in a house where I can put my own stamp. I am not sad, it wasn't meant to be and I don't think back but forwards in life. This coincided with the need to do what we all need to do as we get old and do tests and more tests and for this I went to Paris and made a short holiday of it. My mum is also being an old lady which I find strange as for me she was always sprite and young and full of energy. RL!

The house is such a huge mess with boxes half packed all over and piles of stuff to be gone through so mini work is off the books for the moment. 

I thought that I would fill the gap with some images from RL. 

On Sunday before all my tests I went to two flea markets to pass the time with no intention as usual to buy anything especially in the present context of semi moving! 

I came across this little marble statue of Saint Cecilia. For those who do not know of her she was a 3rd century Roman noblewoman who had vowed her virginity to god from a very young age. She was married by force to a man who would later become in turn Saint Valerian but at the time was a pagan. He agreed to respect her womanhood if she showed him the angel she spoke off to which she agreed on the condition of his baptism. On his return from baptism he found her speaking with the angel. She then had her brother in law Tiburtius baptised and he also saw the angel. After both these men were martyred she gave all her wordly possesions away to the poor which enraged Almachius who order her to be burnt. As the flames had no effect on her he ordered her to be beheaded after which she was buried near Rome. In the 9th century when her tomb was opened it was found that her body was still intact, un corrupted by death so she was made a saint. 
Saint Cecilia is the patron Saint of music and musiciens.

I paid 10 euros for this little treasure and added her to the three others I have found over the years.

Some little treasures in my bedroom. The porcelain 'Fennec' to the left was my first conscious antique purchase found in a sale room when I was 8 years old and cost me my pocket money. It has miraculously survived all these years of moving and losing stuff. 
I recently realised that a very valuable painting along with two others was stolen from my storage place. I also lost the silver tea set from my mother and six rows of pearls given to me as a 40th birthday gift from my best friend along with many other things, Rather upsetting.

I found this little sea scape for 10 euros, it looks better without it's frame.

I bought this repro 'painting' of this little boy for 5 euros and the gorgeous ( in my opinion ) riverscape I found in a local Junk shop for 10 euros because the frame had come apart! It is a very good painting although unsigned.

This golden lady is by a Belgian artist called Georges Van der Straeten who was born in 1856 in Gent. She is said to be 'La Goulue' who was a dancer at the Moulin Rouge and was a friend of Toulouse Lautrec. I paid the huge amount of 75 euros for her more than 25 years ago and she has followed me since.

Georges Van der Straeten in his atelier. 

This sad but lovely little mask is a death mask taken from a drowned girl found in the Seine River in Paris. She was probably a suicide victim in the 19th century  at a time when young girls were slaves to propriety. I pais 5 euros for her in the rain.

Some of my Delft tiles from the 18th century, now too expensive to add to.

My first attempt at oil painting, a copy of a work by Landseer next to an 18th century punch bowl and two terra cotta Art Nouveau busts. The taller one sat in the corner of a friends garage until I took pity on her and took her home ! 

A drawing found in a Junk shop waiting patiently to be framed.

This is one of a pair of photos taken by Karl Lagerfeld. This was before he became a photographer, when he was still trying things out. They date from 1992 and Karl dedicated them to me at the time.

On my way home from the flea market I saw a pile of household things on the sidewalk and on inspection found these two signed lithographs of old Paris in nice oak frames. I coudn't resist saving them from the rain. 

I found this little boy in a dark corner of the market, he lit up the day ! He is plaster and is the same one as painted by Paul Cézanne in some of his still lives. I paid 10 euros for him, cheap but heavy! The little naive sea port oil painting is very old and rather lovely. It was 20 euros, quite a lot for that corner of the market but I wasn't going to argue when I liked it so much. The little hand made rug was also 10 euros as was the middle oil painting found locally. 

When in Paris I had some surgery done on my jaw and after 20 and more injections was feeling really good when I came across a large bag of gorgeous Canson paper, about 100 sheets of mixed colours including some card, very useful ! On opening the bag when I got home I found this oil painting at the bottom ! It had split in two but is easy to fix.
When the injections wore off I admit to feeling slightly less 'good' !! 

I am not a big fan of Art Nouveau in general, having just shown you several Art Nouveau pieces in my home ! I came across this wonderful building walking through an area of Paris I usually avoid. It has to be seen to be fully appreciated, the detail is amazing. It is a listed building totally covered in ceramic.

One of the quietest and prettiest garden squares in Paris is the Palais Royal gardens. It is in the center and dogs are allowed inside which for Paris is unusual. 

It is being restored and the work is amazing. 

These panels of wire  'fencing' are in front of the Paris school of Haute Joaillerie, a lovely original idea.

Amazingly this used to be the main Post Office in Paris, rue du Louvre not far from the museum of the same name. It was built in 1888 and has recently been the subect of a huge restoration, meaning they stripped out all the innards and built something new inside. I shudder to imagine all the details that have been lost!

I love this little passage called Vero Dadot. It is near the Palais Royal and is not really well known. It was built in 1826 by two 'charcutiers' !! Galleries like this were very popular as places to go that were sheltered and probably somewhere you could accidentally 'bump' into members of the opposite sex!

The little courtyard below in in rue de Seine and always intrigued me as very romantique. One day many years ago a man saw me looking in and invited me to visit the apartment on the first floor so up I went. I cannot convey the amount of museum quality antiques and furnishings that were there. The apartment had huge ceilings and an 'enfilade' of endless rooms all full of Louis this and that mixed with gigantic ceramic vases and coats of Japanese Armour. Damask curtains draped on the floor held back by huge silk tastles and the floors were all Versailles parquet. I had never and has never since seen anything like it. The place was also full of dust as the man told me that the owners never used it! 

Well my dear followers I do apologise for the lack of mini things to show you but I hope that I have perhaps taught you something of Paris today. I have by no means given up on Ramsay House and will endeavour to get things sorted out and back to priorities soon.
I have decided to stay in my present house until life settles down a bit, meaning mum is better and winter is over as I feel it will be severe this year. I have just put all my geraniums under cover in the summer house for winter and bought in more bird food than human food ! 

Have a nice day wherever you are. Hugs xoxoxo 


  1. Todo está bien,no era el momento de mudarse de casa,aunque lamento el desorden de cajas que ha supuesto.
    Tienes verdaderos tesoros en casa y muy bellos!
    París siempre es preciosa,da igual la época del año o el rincón que elijamos,gracias por las fotos!

    1. Hola, sí, desde que decidí no moverme, me he vuelto perezoso y simplemente me siento y leo frente al fuego con los perros. Aprecio más París ya que no vivo en vivo allí, pero una breve visita es suficiente ya que hay demasiada gente. Me encantaría visitar Barcelona y Madrid algún día, especialmente para ver el Museo del Prado. Besos xxx

  2. Your posts never disappoint, and what a great title, too! Too bad that the move is off for now, but I admire your ability to just “roll with it”. And you turned a day of medical appointments into a treasure hunt. From the comforts of my couch it looks like you lead a very interesting life.

    1. HIris , thank you, yes I love that movie ! Haven't watched it in a while along with Mrs Miniver, love them both. I do love the 'hunt' for things but as time goes on the things have to be smaller and mean more. I do have a tendency to 'save' things from the rain in flea markets or things that are broken and can be fixed. Sellers in the flea market I usually go to have even given me a lot of things over the years, things broken that they would throw away. On my recent visit I found the edge of an old sheet jsut sitting there ! It was over a foot wide and was trimmed with embroidery and hand made lace! gorgeous. I Don't 'need' it but couldn't just leave it could I ?? huggsss

  3. I agree with every word of Iris' comment, Stephanie; only to add that I hope you mend as quickly and painlessly as possible! ❤️

    1. Miss E my dear, yes I am on the mend but as lazy as can be. My main activity seems to be feeding the birds these days. I jsutify it by saying that sometimes its good to be innactive but that won't hold water for long ! Sitting by the fire with a good book and a dog on each side of me is as good as my life gets for now. NOT moving has rather taken the Wind out of my sails but I will adapt. I am supposed to be finishing my book as people are waiting for it to take off but even that has taken a back burner. I am sure that spring will be joyeuse but lets not forget jsut how lovely a good winter can be, snow and ice and roasting fires and candles and a tree at xmas. I might be spending xmas in my own house this year and going to see mum early january. Mum has stopped celebrating xmas since my brother passed but I do love the fuss and the lights and the seasonal bling. Have a lovely day Miss E ,, huggss xx

  4. ... and what a bounty-full harvest it was! All your treasures are just delightful - poor Saint Cecilia, what a story, what a life (and death). There is something so incredibly special about meandering around old cities, thank you for letting us 'tag along' and be part of your day.
    Hugs, Anna

    1. Hello Anna, yes it's fun now but when I lived and worked in Paris I had no time to go to markets and wander around, now I live in the country so I hardly get into the city anymore so when I do it's fun. huggss

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  6. Dear Mrs M.

    I thought I had already commented on this post but apparently I am mistaken. Sorry for my late reply.

    Sadly real life has the way of getting in the way from time to time. I hope you have a speedy recovery or have yet recovered already.

    What a shame that the house plans fell through. But reading what the owners intended for the house I fully understand your decision.

    When you are up and about again... Perhaps you could send me some pictures of your Delft tiles per e-mail? I have a little plan with them. :-)

    Monsieur H.

    1. Dear Mr H , thank you, yes I was better now not so much I seem to spend so much of my life now dealing with this stuff, never imagined my retirement like this but still looking for the good moments. I have gone back to sewing as I needed new clothes and having visited a few stores in Paris found the clotehs to be, how can I say this without being bitchy ,, well lacking in quality and originality. I have a huge stock of fabrics from Hermes Lanvin Vuitton Celine and recently in storage I found a good sewing machine, an old green enamel german one bought years ago on eBay. I will clean up the tiles and take good clear photos of the tiles and send them to you. I was making up a small box for you that I came across when clearing sewing space, I aplogise for that delay. Contact soon and hugs meanwhile xx

  7. Good morning Mrs. M.! Wow, you have gathered so much beautiful and interesting treasures in your house, thank you for sharing these pictures with us. Seeing these pictures it's a feast for the eyes early this morning.
    I've read the latest blog post of Huibrecht, so I've now found out which is your blog. I've now subscribed here as a follower, but (as always) I don't see my name in your followers list. I think this is because since years I 've problems with Blogger regarding following blogs. But I've added your blog to my readers list, so who knows... ;)!
    Have a lovely day.
    Kind regards, Ilona