Tales from the Sea Garden

Tales from The Sea Garden

Email me: theseagarden@btinternet.com

Wednesday 28 October 2015

October Update

Just a little update of how the shop's looking at the moment....
Knitted scarves by Alison Dupernex,

 linen toiletry bags with original screen printed designs by Helen Round,

little driftwood boats with vintage fabric sails made by Ruth Browning,

Ruth also makes these delightful driftwood gulls....(so cute)

Wendy's handmade baby shoes...

 and her gorgeous bonnets, all lined with Liberty cotton. Patsy's little notebooks have Liberty covers too...

New into the shop today are these Dorset Posy Brooches by Lizzie Moore, which I have mounted onto  images of a 1950's Vogue coat pattern...

Some of my cards sit alongside a collection of original dress patterns by Simplicity, Butterick and Maudela amongst others (such stylish illustrations!), and below them Patsy's fun bunting all  made from original fashion magazines and patterns from the 50's...

 Dare I say it but a few Christmas things have found their way into the shop this week, as it's half-term and a lot of visitors down here at the moment will not visit again before the big day.

Ooohh I love old baby shoes!

Hope you've enjoyed the little tour 

Sunday 18 October 2015


Hydrangeas grow so well in Cornwall, you find them in gardens everywhere. At this time of year they are beginning to curl and brown, but the colour also intensifies into deep turquoise, cerise and sky blue.

 In an attempt to preserve the colours I am glueing the petals under a layer of tissue paper,

and then cutting out heart shapes to stitch onto cards.

It's nice to be making again, now the busy season is over.

Wednesday 14 October 2015

Autumn Bliss

Ah such balmy October weather! I have enjoyed two lovely days out with friends this week. I love it when it is warm and sunny at this time of year because
1. I have the time to enjoy it and
2. there are not hordes of tourists everywhere! (am I allowed to say that?) 

On Monday we went to Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens near Penzance; only we didn't have time to see the gardens themselves, only the cafe and the plant nursery next door, which had a nice selection of succulents, palms and cacti.
Out of the wind it was so hot I was just sitting in a short sleeved top! 

Each outside table at the cafe had a little wooden trough with succulents growing in it. My vanilla bread and butter pudding was divine. It is such a treat when you live alone to eat out. All the food was presented on these wooden platters; at other cafes recently I've noticed the absence of conventional plates. Food comes served on wood or a slate; I've even had a pudding in a kilner jar!

Today, after a delightful morning strolling around the antique shops of Lostwithiel, we headed on to The Duchy of Cornwall Nursery where there is another lovely cafe! (Food is one of my greatest pleasures.)

Again it was warm enough to sit outdoors....

Pan-seared scallops with pea and pancetta risotto - delicious!

After all that we needed a walk, so just a short drive away we parked at Respryn bridge and walked along the River Fowey through the woods and up to Lanhydrock House. All was quiet as it was past opening time at this lovely National Trust property. Even the gatehouse is splendid...

The gardens were in quiet repose in the fading evening light.

One last look back up the carriage drive before heading back to the van and home......

Autumn Bliss!

Friday 9 October 2015

Sarah's Key

I have just finished watching an engrossing film called 'Sarah's Key'. This novel by Tatiana de Rosnay is based on real events which took place during the Second World War in Occupied Paris, France.
On the 16th and 17th of July 1942, a total of 13,152 Jews were forcibly rounded up by the French police (under the orders of the French authorities in collaboration with the German occupiers) and taken to a stadium formerly used for bicycle racing (The Velodrome d'Hiver). Here the Jews were held for up to a week in appalling conditions with virtually no food, water or sanitation before being transported to transit camps and eventually Auschwitz. 75% of those removed from their homes were women and children. Because the film explores an aspect of the Occupation that I had hitherto been unaware, that the French themselves had collaborated in the deportation of the Paris Jews, I started to research online about the 'Vel d'Hiv' story. To my astonishment I discovered that I had once lived in the very neighbourhood of where the stadium had stood.

The map above shows the former location of the Velodrome d'Hiver. As you can see it was very close to the Eiffel Tower and in the very heart of the city, on the corner of Boulevard de Grenelle and Rue Nelaton. During my second year as a student at Winchester School of Art we were encouraged to take work placements, and as I was the only student who could speak French I spent 3 wonderful months working in a design atelier in Paris. Through some friend of a friend of my mother I ended up sharing an apartment with a French woman, a young primary school teacher. Her 3rd floor flat stood on the Quai de Grenelle, overlooking the River Seine. I used to walk along Rue Nelaton on my way to the supermarket and the launderette. A fire destroyed part of the stadium in 1959 and it was subsequently pulled down.

This 'Monument to the Victims of the Deportation to the Velodrome d'Hiver' stands on the Quai de Grenelle, right opposite the apartment block where I lived in the summer of 1993. Although the flat I shared faced to the back, I walked in and out of the lobby on the Quai de Grenelle several times every day, so I asked myself why I had not noticed it. But although it was commissioned in February 1993 by the then French President Francois Mitterand, it was not erected until 1994. 

The memorial was designed by Walter Spitzer, himself a Jewish survivor of the Holocaust.
Underneath it reads:

The French Republic in homage to victims of racist and antisemitic persecutions and of crimes against humanity committed under the authority of the so-called 'Government of the State of France' 1940-1944
Never let us forget

When J and I stayed in Paris a few years ago we rented a tiny apartment in Le Marais. Back in the 1940's Le Marais was the poor  immigrant Jewish quarter of the city, not the fashionable up-market district of today. Due to a mix-up over street names we originally tried to enter our apartment through a door on which I noticed a plaque had been placed adjacent, stating that behind this door lay the secret headquarters of The French Resistance during World War 2. Just around the corner from our flat were several kosher shops. Had our flat once been home to a Jewish family rounded up on that terrible day back in 1942, and who never returned?