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Luck On My Side


Luck was on my side!  We drove to the charity shop (sorry, Rowcroft Hospice Boutique) this  morning and in front of me on a stand was The Vase!  The one that I wanted but missed because I was far too busy taking photos last weekend (me and my camera!)   And it matches exactly my original vase that was a present to my mother in the 1960s, and so now I have a pair.

However, I was incorrect: these are not Fulham Pottery vases, but Dartmouth Pottery vases, although they are very similar to those created at the Fulham Pottery.  I love them, they are sculptural, and look beautiful empty, as above, or filled with flowers.  My vase today was £8, and I’m absolutely delighted with it.   My original one has a slight chip on the reverse side of the base, but it’s so small it doesn’t matter to me.  I’m just delighted to have a pair of these lovely, elegant vases.

I also off-loaded another year’s supply of some of my lovely style magazines. It really hurts me to part with them, but I’ve run out of magazine-space, and so I’ve let some of them go. Someone will give them a good home, I’m sure.

I simply had to mention my good fortune first, but on the way to Torquay I took a couple of photos as we approached the sea front. Not my best efforts, but I was in the passenger seat while husband was driving and I didn’t want to get a lot of traffic on the photograph, so snapped as soon as the way was reasonably clear, even if that meant a lamp post or a rubbish bin being photographed!

The road wends its way right around the sea front and it’s lovely to be able to take in this view if I’m not driving, and on such a fine morning, too.

I took just a couple of photos of the charity shop this morning … I loved this pale turquoise coffee set (on the left) and I think had husband not been there to steady my hand on my wallet this, too, might’ve found it’s way home with me …

And I also love that green glass dish on the right, what a fabulous colour and how beautifully this charity shop arranges the goods. I can’t wait to see how they decorate for St Valentine’s Day.

And the window has a lot of lime green in it at the moment, perhaps to reflect the arrival (well, almost) of spring.

Next to the charity shop is a VSPA Retreat (www.vsparetreat.co.uk) and I went in to pick up a leaflet. The young woman on the desk was most helpful and very pleasant, and she explained to me that they often have ‘offers’ and so I said I’d look through the various treatments (manicures, pedicures, facials, massages, etc) and then decide what I’d like to try out.  I’ve never indulged in this kind of thing before – yes, I’ve had manicures, but more than 25 years ago, but not facials or massages or pedicures.  Anyway, something to consider.

From there we went to Waitrose, our go-to supermarket.  Not a huge amount of items on today’s list, but often the bill doesn’t reflect the volume, or the amount of items, does it? Especially when light bulbs are on the list – just one of those was almost £8.  How have light bulbs, which used to be so inexpensive, become almost a luxury item?

I also found the magazine I wanted the other day, and of course, a bar of chocolate couldn’t help falling into the trolley (and no, I didn’t choose the chocolate to match the magazine’s cover, ha ha! Again, pink a popular colour right now,  but this is a bright, shocking pink compared with the subtle pastel shades on the cover of the March issue of Homes & Antiques.)

And the new Waitrose magazine and Weekend paper were available (free to My Waitrose card holders) …

So lots of lovely reading this weekend.  Speaking of which, I’m thoroughly enjoying …

This is the story of David’s search  for and purchase of his Paris apartment. I’ve only read the first 100 pages but, my goodness, I thought buying and selling property was difficult enough here … Nonetheless, I’m enjoying hearing about the trials and tribulations that David suffered in his attempt to become a property-owning chef/cook-book-writer in Paris.

I hope you all have a lovely weekend.

Until next time.


About Margaret Powling

Margaret Powling
Margaret’s main interests are her husband and family, her friends, her home, her garden, writing, literature, architecture, décor, social history, photography, historic houses and gardens, and towns, villages and the countryside. She writes about the things she enjoys: flowers, scent, fine soap, monthly style magazines, and other such small indulgences, such as afternoon tea or simply enjoying her summerhouse with a book. She invites you to enjoy this virtual visit to South Devon, England.

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  1. Oh you lucky duck!
    I love Dartmouth pottery vases, I’m not a born flower arranger, I just sort of plonk them in and wiggle them a bit! However, if I have a Dartmouth vase with the wires intact, even I can make an arrangement look more than half decent!
    We’re in the north west, so it’s very much a rarity to see any Dartmouth pottery here, I’ve seen a few gurgling fish, which I detest, but……..
    I’m very, very envious of your lovely vase collection, I have a lot of Waterford crystal vases, and a collection of very decorative celery jars which are great for flowers, but the stems somehow always look a mess, I prefer pottery, it hides a multitude of sins!

    • Margaret Powling

      There are no wires in this vase, Colette, but I couldn’t believe my luck when it was still there from last Saturday, almost a week later, as this is a very busy shop.
      I was brought up in the north west (a village on the outskirts of Rochdale) but moved to Devon with my parents when I was a child. I don’t like the Dartmouth Pottery gurgle jugs, either! Oh, celery vases are lovely. Sadly, I ‘let one go’ as they say, when I was parting with a lot of my late mother’s things, but it was impossible to keep everything. I don’t mind glass for flowers but as you say the stems can sometimes look a mess. Always remove all leaves that are below the water-line, that’s one way of keeping the water cleaner and the stems looking too untidy. But flowers plonked in a vase or jug can often look just as nice as something ‘arranged’ … go on plonking!

  2. Eloise. (thisissixty.blog)

    I also enjoy the Waitrose free magazines but as we don’t have a Waitrose nearby, I don’t get them all that often. M&S is a good alternative though it offers less variety. However, we received news on Wednesday that our local M&S is one of the ones due to close. This means that there will be nowhere (other than Farmfoods which does not meet my requirements) in town to buy food. This is no great problem for me but it will be a real blow to some. How nice that your new purchase makes a pair of vases.

    • Margaret Powling

      Oh, that’s awful, an M&S due to close. No, Farmfoods doesn’t meet our requirements.
      Yes, luck was truly on my side today, the vase waiting for me in the charity shop! I was, and am, delighted.

  3. Oh happy day! And now to find that you have a pair. Seems it was meant to be.

  4. You have a good eye for crockery and such Margaret. Glad that it was still there!!

    • Margaret Powling

      Yes, Ratanmurti, I was truly delighted, I grabbed it before someone else did. I almost ran into the shop! I could imagine this being a scene from a comedy film: woman seeks vase, waits all week, visits said shop, runs in and falls over, sending display – and the vase – crashing to the ground! Fortunately I didn’t trip and the vase was there. I was delighted!

  5. So glad you got the vase. I was on pins and needles! Do you know how many times I have done this too??? I actually got in my car and drove back to a shop, 3 hours away with nothing on my mind but a fiery passion for the Varga Crystal candlesticks I had just seen earlier and didn’t buy! I didn’t have a moment’s peace until they were on my dining room table!

    PS: one has a small chip (don’t know how I did that) but I just love them!

    • Margaret Powling

      My goodness, a three our drive to get something that you should’ve got in the first place, that’s dedication for you! I don’t know Varga Crystal candlesticks, I must Google those! A tiny chip won’t matter at all if you love them!

  6. So glad the vase was still there! Have so enjoyed your posts about your daily “escapades”. The magazines you buy always look interesting, and I do love the pale pink on the cover of the one you shared yesterday. I like pink and taupe together, although I don’t own a thing in that combination. Happy weekend!

    • Margaret Powling

      Thank you so much, Bess, for saying how you enjoy my daily “escapades” … I suppose that’s what they are even though we don’t seem to venture far these days. But it has been winter and the weather, if not deep snow, has been cold and wet and windy. Yes, I like pink and taupe, too, and like you, I don’t own anything in that combination.

  7. simpleliving31.blogspot.co.uk

    Re the vase, it was obviously meant to be, enjoy, and the chocolate.

  8. It’s so funny that we were all cheering for you to get that vase ! I think the floor in that shop is also lovely. Parquetry isn’t so common in Australia- I have no idea why as we certainly had plenty of wood for floorboards so why not parquetry. Wooden floors are very much in style again after being out of fashion in the 1970s and 80s when carpet was the done thing. The photos of your drive look beautiful. The sky looks so clear. I love walking when the air is crisp and the wind is in your face. It feels like the fresh air is recharging me.

    • Margaret Powling

      Yes, I thought it was funny – but also very touching – that all the readers who leave comments were rooting for me, that the vase would be still in the shop! Perhaps all this helped, who knows? But it was there and I bought it! Yes, the shop floor is lovely, perhaps laid many decades previously when the building had a totally different use. Yes, wooden floors are popular here but we like carpet as it’s warmer and quieter. Yes, we like the drive from our house to the charity shop and then on to the supermarket, as it goes through such pretty parts of our Borough, and the sky was really bright blue yesterday, and the sea.

  9. The vase was obviously meant to be yours then Margaret and become part of a pair (my overactive imagination now has the vase gently sliding behind other pieces of pottery to hid from another potential purchaser!)
    Our default supermarket is also our local Waitrose, occasionally we drive over to Ely to visit the Sainsbury’s there but as I like to shop from a list it’s easier when you know the layout of the shop. Must admit I often forget to pick up the magazine as my beloved like to use the Quickshop scanner and they don’t have the mags on the self service tills.

    • Margaret Powling

      We’ve never used the Quickshop scanner, Elaine, although they do have it in our branch of Waitrose, we prefer the checkout as we feel we’d just make a mess of the Quickshop and it would be very Slowshop! It was funny that the vase was still there as it was in a very prominent position, on a stand at eye level right in front of the door! How someone hadn’t bagged it amazed me. But I’m delighted I now have it.

  10. Your route to Torquay is my route to work except I don’t go through Wellswood – I fork off up Sheddon Hill I adore my route around the coast. I was in your charity shop on Thursday and saw the vase. As we don’t have the hand held scanners at Waitrose Torquay but use the mobile app you are right not to use it. It’s very slow. Perhaps I may see you one day!!

    • Margaret Powling

      We tend to go through Wellswood, Fiona, as it’s a pretty area and we generally have something to take to the charity shop. I’d not thought of branching up Sheddon Hill, that would be a shorter route to Waitrose, of course it would, silly us! We sometimes go over the ring road, via Shiphay, Old Woods Hill, down onto the Teignmouth Road and then up Blacks Hill and to Plainmoor and Waitrose that way. But whichever way we go, we always enjoy a visit to Waitrose – indeed, when it had it’s birthday (of the opening of the store) a couple of years ago, I was the recipient of a bag of goodies, which was lovely. That is amazing, that you saw ‘my’ vase on Thursday in the charity shop. Well, it’s in our home now and I love it. Yes, the route around our coast is lovely, isn’t it? We are so fortunate to live in such a beautiful area of England.

  11. Congrats on finding your vase and how amazing that it matches exactly! Such a lucky find. I wish there were similar charity shops where I live. Last year I was visiting my sister-in-law in Florida and there was a huge charity shop with the most amazing section for dishes/glassware. Of course, I came home with my bag packed with new treasures. Thank you again for another book review. A couple of years ago, my family almost purchased a home in France. We had sent in the down payment and were getting ready to send the closing funds when our realtor did a final inspection of the property. It had dry rot and she fell through the floor! Luckily, our money was returned to us albeit a couple of thousand but it was a learning experience. A year later, we actually went to the village and saw the area where the home was located. The buying process was very long and drawn out and this was a cash sale. Totally the opposite from here in the US. Enjoy your weekend and your lovely new magazine and yummy chocolate! Pat

    • Margaret Powling

      Yes, Pat, I was indeed lucky to find the vase still there and, as you will perhaps see from one comment by Fiona, she actually went in the shop the previous day and saw the vase still there! Pairs of items are always nice to have, candlesticks, vases, cushions … we humans we like symmetry and I can envisage these on the mantelpiece, especially at Christmas, filled with greenery and red or pink flowers.
      My goodness, that was a lucky escape from buying a property in France that wasn’t really up to scratch. A pity you had to lose even a couple of thousand dollars (or Euros) – it was a steep learning curve, as they say.

  12. I was hoping that the vase would still be there for you Margaret, I am so pleased that it was.
    The pair are delightful, classic beauty, I am sure that they will bring you much pleasure.
    I must say that your charity shops are of the highest order. Beautifully displayed and such quality, thank you for taking the photos, I so enjoy a window on England from my little corner of Texas.
    Pam in Texas.x

    • Margaret Powling

      Yes, the vase is lovely, Pam, I’m over the moon as they say! I’ve been planning on changing the line up on the mantelpiece, I’ve even been searching for a pair of white porcelain candlesticks with painted flowers on them, but I can’t find them anywhere. They are in the house so mush be somewhere! I thought with the white vases they would be lovely for a summer look eventually.
      Not all our charity shops are as good as this one, but it’s in a very ‘good’ area of our town, so it receives rather nice things from the kind people who donate goods. I’m so glad you enjoy this little window on England, nothing like the guide books … what guide books would show charity shops, I wonder? But these are the stuff of which life (as well as dreams) are made.

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