Every time I walk the dog, I have ideas for this blog. I think of the interesting stuff I could tell you: stories about how we started our business, the weird and wonderful things we’ve found out about Ned’s family in the process, how our kids are doing at school (maybe not – that would be short & possibly very dull for anyone apart from me), the difficulty in finding anything new to feed people for breakfast…as you can see, the ideas come thick and fast. As you are already suspecting, the ideas are gone by the time I kick of my wellies, towel dry the dog and sit hopefully in front of a blank Word document.
Today, however, I am determined to retain my ideas, and get something down on paper. The thought process goes something like this…
It’s another horribly mizzly day, made so much worse by the memory of the lovely 30 degree heat we were enjoying last week. The warm summer days started for the Brownings (that’s us) with the whole weekend on the beach, including many picnics & swimming in the sea. Without a wetsuit. Lovely, I thought, here we go Summer, bring it on! Or not, as the case is a mere week later.
Walking the dog this morning was a soggy, grey affair, but I did find myself taking a huge amount of pleasure in my surroundings. We’re extremely lucky to have an office in the grounds of Forde Abbey, which is the most beautiful house & gardens on the Somerset / Dorset border. I got my walk in early this morning before the gardens opened to the public and played my usual game of ‘I live here’. That one never lasts long as I clearly don’t live here, nor ever will, so I amused myself by taking photos of dog’n’gardens, given how lovely they look. The pics are a bit like a dog version of ‘Where’s Wally’ now I look at them.
At the time, however, I felt a little like I was channelling my good friend, Amy, who is a horticulturalist and takes lots of plant pics every time we dog walk together. She also runs a blog for visitors to the Jurassic Coast which is well written, witty and intelligent. Clearly channelling her on all levels today!!
This put me in mind of other local business friends we are lucky enough to know. In fact, our new jewellery collection has sprung out of one such friendship. A conversation about how I’d love to expand our website with some jewellery, and what if I designed some pieces that our jewellery friends could make for us…and, voila, wild ideas have now been turned into shiny, sparkly, reality. Our first collection is necessarily small (mainly to see if you all like it!) but we are really delighted with it.
It features the Rachel Collection, inspired by the wonderful novel, My Cousin Rachel, which was recently made into a film with Rachel Weisz and Sam Claflin. Ned tootled off to the premier a couple of weeks ago and had a lovely time, while I held the fort here and tried to be pleased for him. I don’t know why I feel hard done by, there was no fizz’n’canapes but he did get in free & see famous people from a distance. There is that.
We also have the Sylvia Collection named for a woman who I find utterly fascinating, Sylvia Llewelyn Davies. She was George du Maurier’s daughter, so Daphne du Maurier’s aunt. Long story short: she and Arthur Llewelyn Davies had five boys. She met author, John Barrie at a dinner party and they and her boys became very close, especially after Arthur’s death. The five boys inspired the lost boys in Barrie’s most famous work, Peter Pan. You can find it all on Wikipedia but it’s a bit dry. The film ‘Finding Neverland’ starring Kate Winslet as Sylvia is a far more entertaining way to go about it, but make sure you have a box of Kleenexes finest to hand!
The final collection, the Celeste Collection, unusually for us, wasn’t named before design. It’s a lovely mix of metals and stones and looks quite celestial. Also our Daisy daughter’s best friend is a gorgeous girl called Celeste, so it was decided.
It’s all on our website now so have a look if you like and all feedback will be greatly appreciated! We are doing the newsletters and the requisite song & dance number tomorrow, so this is like a quick heads up if you want to get in first.
Alternatively, I can post more soggy dog pictures so you can play along with ‘Where’s Wally / Mr Chip’. Do let me know!