Monday 18 April 2011

Magpie Monday - I've been told!

We have finally put our house on the market.

This meant two solid days of tidying, clearing, cleaning, de-cluttering, tip-runs and jamming things in cupboards.

That inevitable conversation happened.  To be fair, he puts up with a lot and I'm surprised it didn't come sooner.  I shall re-create it here for you:

What I heard: "Wah, wah, wah, wah, wah, wah, wah, wah, wah, wah, wah, wah, wah..."

What he probably said: "The house is finally looking like a normal home. Can we please try not to let it get to Steptoe's yard again.  Please don't buy any more stuff".

How I interpreted it: Don't buy anything that requires a taxi to get it home.  Only buy things that you can sneak in the house without him noticing.  As a rule of thumb, try to only purchase things that will fit in  (cavernous) handbag.

So, I have been trying very hard.  I've had a measly week.  All I've bought is one thing. If you don't count the bag full of books I bought Ruby.  But they're educational right?  Surely he doesn't mean for our daughter's development to suffer?

One of the biggest upheavals I've had to endure to get this house on the market, is agreeing to his persistent mutterings that we should switch our living rooms around.  We used to have our sitting room in the back and dining room at the front.  I was very happy with this arrangement thank you very much.  It meant nobody could see me if they came a-calling.  If I chose not to answer the door, then I could get away with it.  If I chose to remain in my pyjamas until lunchtime then nobody was any the wiser.

However, according to the other half - who I suspect thinks of himself as some kind of Phil Spencer - the rooms are much better suited the other way round.

My conditions for this life-changing upheaval?  That he get my beloved dinner service down from the loft, buy me a display cabinet, and I get to finally admire my Meakin tureens.

Meakin Stag Design

So far he's found one box.  There is another up there somewhere in the black-hole that is our attic.  I have a whole tea service too - cups, saucers, plates, milk jug, sugar bowl...

The entire service was bought as a job-lot at our local auction years ago.  It's been languishing in newspaper in the attic ever since.  I'm so excited to finally have it in it's rightful place.

Meakin Stag Design Tureen

Sadly, a couple of pieces didn't make it.  I've been on the lookout for bits to add to it for years.  The occasional saucer comes up on eBay, but nothing worth writing home about.  Besides, I hate buying china on eBay.  The postage and packing costs are always massive and there's no guarantee it will arrive in one piece - Royal Mail doesn't insure china.

Last week I put a plea out on Twitter, that if anyone ever spots any Meakin Stag on their travels to please buy it for me, and I will reimburse costs and postage.  This seemed the only way.  I have NEVER seen any for sale in a charity shop.

That is until two days ago.  How bizarre to send that tweet out, and then to spot this:

Meakin Stag Design Bowl

It has a couple of chips, but they don't show in the cabinet.  A large serving bowl, and a piece I don't have.  I was rapturous at finding it for £3.99.  Even better - it fit in my handbag so I didn't break the rules! If anyone does ever spot this design called Stag by Alfred Meakin, please please tweet me, or if I'm not around and you can afford it, please buy it for me.  I'll love you forever and send you cash money to cover the costs.  Plus, you'd be buying it so he can't moan at that, right??!

So my little magpies.  What have you been up to?  Please grab the badge and link-up.  I may as well get delight from your lovely purchases and live my life vicariously through your 2nd-hand joys.

Me and My Shadow
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  1. I know how difficult it is to 'not buy anything' but you simply HAD to buy that plate, lovely items that are set off perfectly by the unit. I hope you move pronto or it's going to be a long summer without magpie finds! x

  2. Ohh I've never seen that design before, but I love it, will keep a look out, promise.

  3. Oh that is just beautiful! I got one measly book this week!

  4. I think you and I must have been seperated at birth ! (or no probably more likely that you are my long lost daughter) ! Reading your post I could have written it myself. Except we no longer have an attic for me to hide my lovelies away in ! Love the Meakin and will certainly keep my eye out for you. I found some Meakin this week too, but its not so pretty as yours. xx

  5. Only two days to tidy and clean you home? Tell your husband he can rest assured that many ladies *coughs* (moi?) would need a year to sort their house out!

  6. I know exactly what you mean, Lizzie, about clutter taking over your house - my excuse is that the majority of what I buy is to sell on, but that almost makes it even worse as I don't have a place to keep it, it just sits around looking messy for weeks/months on end! Although my reselling is paying for us to have a week's all inclusive holiday in Tenerife next week, so the husband doesn't complain TOO much!! x

  7. Those are beautiful, wow, they definitely should be prominently displayed!

  8. lol - sounds like my hubby who is trying to curb my purchases - no chance! Scarlett x

  9. Am in Wales and off out, but will check back in later if I can with everyone!

  10. This made me laugh. Oh the creative communication in coupledom is amazing. Was told years ago Meakin would soar in value so am always tempted to buy but never really do. Good to see dinner services displayed but when I did that on my dresser thing, the door slammed and a pepper pot broke! There was I thinking I could have a non-child oriented home now they are 5 plus but no, too much to ask. If I see any, you can rest assured I will buy and tell my Him Indoors "it's OK cos it's not for me!" Will link up later as bit of a measly week for me too.

  11. That is a great design - I'll be on the lookout!

  12. love the meakin will keep an eye out for you but rarely owt decent in our charity shops lol
    Ive not been bargain hunting this week so wont be able to join in unless i count my pot of chives from waitrose reduced to 10p the other day ;0 lol
    Actually might take a trip today and see what i can find for next monday :)

  13. Well good luck with the new rules, remember it's probably only a guideline really LOL

  14. Love the dinner service. My husband has been telling me off for cluttering our home too. I like the idea of buying nothing larger than will fit in a handbag though!

  15. I like that you've got your china on display out of the bargain though! :-)

    Jem xXx

  16. I love it; "like a normal house"! That sounds just like Mr Bunny here who has threatened to wear an airwardens tin hat if I buy anything else from the 40's :)
    Oh gosh so hard! It will be s"&*s law that you will now spot the most amazing finds ughh. Am not sure I could manage it..
    How very grown up, a china cabinet with matching china :) I will absolutely keep my eyes peeled for you in future. xx

  17. What a coincidence that you found that bowl - see, fate WANTS you to have it out on display!

  18. I have to agree with LuceWoman above. All but one of my friends would need at LEAST a year to tidy up, and a whole crew of strong people who can take (follow) directions. Now that you have a place to show off your treasure the universe is opening up and making a few more pieces available. It does not qualify as bringing more home, you are COMPLETING a set. That is exempt.
    If the house sells quickly do you have another place to go?

  19. Am taking heart that 2 days is not long to tidy a house :0)

    We have not found anywhere yet to buy, so part of me wants to sell quickly because this level of tidiness is not good for me nerves, but the other part doesn't want to see us in a caravan :-0

    Thanks for all your comments. Thanks also for agreeing to look out for Stag for me. I have my own army of stag stalkers now!! x

  20. I love the Meakin crockery it looks great on display. Good luck with your packing/decluttering, I find it really cathartic once I have done it!

  21. Have managed to sneak in a last minute post ..... dragged my cousin to the hospice shop as we just "happened" to drive past on our way out today hehe

  22. love your finds :)

    have only just posted my finds hope I'm not too late.

  23. What a gorgeous design! I love it - and am tempted to say "No! I shall never tell if I find any" but of course I will ;-) Good luck with the move,and with 'not buying stuff'

  24. What a beautiful dinner set. I'm not surprised you want to look at them every day.

  25. hiya, Do any of your pieces have Stag on the back stamp? there is a much more common pattern known as stag, this is much rarer (great find) i think it's called Gazelle? I'm writing a book on Alfred Meakin at the moment. x

  26. hiya, Do any of your pieces have Stag on the back stamp? there is a much more common pattern known as stag, this is much rarer (great find) i think it's called Gazelle? I'm writing a book on Alfred Meakin at the moment. x