Housekeeper's Carousel

By Alison July 29, 2010 18 Comments 6 Min Read
All images credited on my Pinboard.

And it’s back! Rolling into Summer Town in all it’s scrumptiously cheerful glory. Yes indeed Housekeepers, it’s Carousel time and Darlings this time it’s loaded with quite the cheeriest of inspiration…
Ready to go for a spin? Me too!
*Ok, first up a few notices: I have a new comments system that I am hoping is alleviating a lot of the problems I know many of you were experiencing with the last system. The one I have chosen is very basic, no fancy bells and whistles this time, but it does include support for Gravatars (so I can see your pretty faces!) and better than that it also supports Commentluv so everytime you leave a comment here at Brocante, it will automatically include a link to your latest blog post so we can send you a little link love. Neat, mais oui? While I’m hardly expecting an avalanche of comments in the midst of the Summer vacation I would love to know whether those of you who have been struggling recently will find the new system a little easier and leave a little hello in my vintage housewife sprinkled comment box…
Secondly, I wanted to point you in the direction of the BrocanteHome toolbar because it really does provide the prettiest, most convenient access not only to all thats happening on Brocante, but also to Twitter, Facebook, Amazon, Ebay and your email programme, right there in your browser. Try it: it takes seconds to install and speeds up your online life in thoroughly delicious BrocanteHome style…
And lastly my Darlings, for those of you not signed up to the Brocante Newsletter, you can see the latest edition of the Vintage Housekeepers Bulletin right here…
* Right onwards and upwards for a good old-fashioned dose of World War Two Girl Power! This absolutely fabulous video comes courtesy of the CBBC programme for kids Horrible Histories, which takes moments from history, gives them a modern (and often rather gory!) spin and in the process makes the dullest of history both accessible and fun. It really is utterly wonderful, hilariously funny and produced with real polish and attention to detail.
And it’s here on Brocante today because I can’t stop singing “Original Girl Power” and of course I’m rather taken with the wrap-around aprons and turbans….

*  Next up: The Georgette Heyer event at Austenprose– a month long celebration of romantic novelist Heyer’s work just in time for her birthday on August 16th. My acquaintance with Georgette Heyer has so far been both brief and casual (but without a doubt, amusing) so I’m hoping popping over to Austenprose during August will leave me thoroughly inspired to add a few more of her titles to my collection.
* And oh my this! Important Artifacts From A Relationship describes the breakdown of a relationship in an astonishingly unique way, examining in turn the objects that chart the course of a love affair..
In Leanne Shapton’s marvelously inventive and invented auction catalog, the 325 lots up for auction are what remain from the relationship between Lenore Doolan and Harold Morris (who aren’t real people, but might as well be). Through photographs of the couple’s personal effects—the usual auction items (jewelry, fine art, and rare furniture) and the seemingly worthless (pajamas, Post-it notes, worn paperbacks)—the story of a failed love affair vividly (and cleverly) emerges. From first meeting to final separation, the progress and rituals of intimacy are revealed through the couple’s accumulated relics and memorabilia. And a love story, in all its tenderness and struggle, emerges from the evidence that has been left behind, laid out for us to appraise and appreciate.”
Now does that sound wonderful or DOES THAT SOUND WONDERFUL?
* Eating Earl Grey Biscuits from Marks and Spencers (hunt them out or bake them:delish!), coveting a KINDLE (especially now Amazon are practically GIVING them away!), watching Paris Je t’aime and wondering why the city left me cold
* Worrying about this from Andrew Dworkin. Worrying it is true. Worrying that raising my own little monkey isn’t as fulfilling as he implies it should be. Wondering why it should be so. Finding in the very sentences I have just typed the ambivalence he refers to and dreading the day this all embracing love turns into bitterness… It won’t. It won’t. It won’t.
For a mother the project of raising a boy is the most fulfilling project she can hope for. She can watch him, as a child, play the games she was not allowed to play; she can invest in him her ideas, aspirations, ambitions, and values- or whatever she has left of them; she can watch her son, who came from her flesh and whose life was sustained by her work and devotion, embody her in the world. So while the project of raising a boy is fraught with ambivalence and leads inevitably to bitterness, it is the only project that allows a woman to be—to be through her son, to live through her son.”

* Spending far too much time rooting around the Lakeland  Catalogue and thinking of cluttering up my recently de-cluttered kitchen cupboards with these two gadgets of puttery loveliness: the Zoku and the Cupcake Maker, because my oven is hopeless and I want to produce little works of art that don’t look like they are made of loofah. It isn’t much to ask now is it??

* And finally though the relentless rain is making me heart sore (and my babba restless), I can’t help feeling that there is something to be said for six weeks at home. Six weeks unpunctuated by hectic mornings and holidays spent in places that make one long for home. Perhaps then Elizabeth Bishop was right: maybe it is merely a lack of imagination that has us seeking respite from who we are…
“Is it lack of imagination that makes us come
to imagined places, not just stay at home?
Or could Pascal have been not entirely right
about just sitting quietly in one’s room?
Continent, city, country, society:
the choice is never wide and never free.
And here, or there … No. Should we have stayed at home,
wherever that may be?”
Have a lovely week Housekeepers….


  1. Gill says:

    I loved Georgette Heyer as a teen and will enjoy revisiting them. She has such feisty heroines. I have been trying to collect a full set bit by bit, on and off, ever since. They are hard to find now, except online of course. Gill.

    1. brocantehome says:

      Oh yes, you can always rely on the web to turn up even the most obscure of books now can't you? I must be Abebooks best customer!x

  2. Daja says:

    I adore being a mother of sons. I have four, ages 8, 6, 4, and 3. They are my delight! I anticipate it only getting better! It will not lead to bitterness. They are my little He-men and they already take good care of their mommy. 🙂
    (The website I listed is a post about Things Little Boys Do. Captures a little of why I so much love being the mother of sons!)

    1. brocantehome says:

      "They are my little He-men", I love that Daja, you have such a lovely turn of phrase… will have a look at the webpage you sent as soon as my own little he-man is in bed!

  3. Peggy says:

    love the new look and toolbar! I say go for the cupcake maker. It looks awesome

    1. brocantehome says:

      I know… but I'm worried it will just gather dust…

  4. lazy h says:

    I don't have a son, but seriously – that Andrew Dworkin comment looked like utter crap. This is the twenty-first century, not the nineteenth, and women can find their own way in the world without having to live through their sons. Investing her ideas &c. or whatever she has left of them! Huff! Please tell me he wasn't being serious.
    But Georgette Heyer is a weakness of mine, I'm sure you'd enjoy her, Alison. She wrote rather entertaining detective novels too…
    Have a nice weekend!

    1. brocantehome says:

      OhI know… but you know when you happen across something and even though you KNOW it's nonsense it stilltugs on a little something inside you? That's how it felt…
      Will seek out a Georgette Heyer Detective novel. Any particular favourite?

      1. lazy h says:

        I understand!
        Hmm, favourites. There are so many to choose from and (dare I say it?) I get a bit muddled between some of them… I am particularly fond of Sylvester, The Talisman Ring and The Masqueraders. Also These Old Shades, but I hesitate to recommend that as it really is rather dodgy (relationship between teenager and duke pushing 50, whips, cross-dressing, etc. etc.). Now I want to go and read some of them again…

        1. lazy h says:

          Oops, now I see you wrote detective novels. Why Shoot A Butler? and maybe Detection Unlimited… I hope you enjoy whatever you choose!

  5. I have three boys (two are grown) along with two daughters and I have to say I have not felt one ounce of bitterness. Ambivalence maybe on occasion, but that just comes with raising children.

  6. Tracelaine says:

    I am so glad you have a new way for commenting. I was really missing out on what all you gals were saying because it would always tell me that it was loading to slowly then refuse to show any comments. So, Alison, this is the first time I have been able to leave a comment letting you know – I REALY love your new BrocanteHome *home. It looks very clean and professional while seeming personal at the same time. Everything you do is tinged with charm, and you have been a huge inspiration to me while I drum up a blog for myself.

    1. brocantehome says:

      Oh Sweetie, I am so glad to have you back: so many familiar voices went missing in the interim, but as always it onwards and upwards and I am settling in so nicely here, so hopefully all my lost souls will drift back soon.
      Hope you are well honey pie!x

  7. Your blog is beautiful!
    I have to disagree with Pascal. I think the problem with my generation (under 30) is that we have learned to stay too much in our rooms.
    Happy new month!

    1. brocantehome says:

      I know what you mean Efi, staying in has definitely become the new going out and I do think we suffer socially for it… but oh how I love home… P.S: loving your blog!x

  8. Jen says:

    Oh you beat me to it! I got my Lakeland catalogue and fell in love with the cupcake machine too – I was going to blog about it 😉 Thank you for the girlpower video, I loved it!!

    1. brocantehome says:

      Oh so did I: I'm still humming it now. And as for the cupcake machine my warped brain is making it the target prize of my effort to lose a stone before September. There is something wrong with me isn't there??

  9. Jenny says:

    I keep meaning to write and tell you how wonderful your site is and how much I'm enjoying Treasure or Toss and how much I needed the last message we got on it! So tempted as I am to look up the Lakeland catalog I'm not going to until I've finished with my tossing! Thank you!!

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