|Littlecote Woods, Berkshire|
I love the light in England this time of year. As foilage brightens the days begin and end in a twilight world. It is my favourite hour of the day. The light plays tricks with you, casting an ethereal glow over the landscapes. It makes everything seem as if it is in the distance, just out of reach. I feel very lucky to be surrounded by so much magic. Sometimes it is like living in an illuminated manuscript.
Windows of old cottages, manor houses and religious buildings have always enchanted me. New glass has nothing in common with glass that has aged. It has a special muted quality, a soft focus.
|Windows from The Bell, Ramsbury and Littlecote House|
I have an inquisitive mind (curiosity killed the cat!) and cannot resist looking in as I walk past a window where the curtains are not drawn. Often the owners provide little vignettes to snare our interest. Looking at windows from the outside gives a glimpse into the life of those who lived or are living in a house.
|The delightful 'frog' window in Hungerford, Berkshire, and antique china illuminated by lamp light in Aldbourne, Wiltshire|
|Windows in Chilton Foliat, Berkshire|
Looking at the world outside through an old glass window frames the world in a different way than when seen from the ground.
|Looking out at the beautiful views from Littlecote House|
Not everything in life that we desire costs a lot of money. This Mintons tea cup is one of our favourite items, collected from a charity shop in Hungerford for truly next to nothing. It was created sometime in the years between 1873 and 1912 which makes it over 100 years old and possibly 140. It wears it's age well despite a crack which has been crudely glued by a previous owner anxious to save the cup. But not for use, simply because it is so very very beautiful.
No tea pours through it these days, but the light still does. The china is so fine that it is translucent. The hand painted decoration is exquisite.
When I look at it I am grateful to Mintons for creating it, to whoever it was who did not throw it away when it was broken and to that person who still loved it enough to hope that by giving it to charity it would find a new owner to cherish it. And we do.
|Exquisite fine china Mintons tea cup, broken but it's beauty undimmed|