|From NeverNeverland on tumblr|
"You know that place between sleep and awake, the place where you can still remember dreaming? That’s where I’ll always love you. That’s where I’ll be waiting."
J.M. Barrie - Peter Pan
J.M. Barrie - Peter Pan
I know how she feels! Midsummer always makes me languid and dreamy. This time last year I was obsessed with Mermaids and now I feel like Wendy waiting for Peter to appear and whisk me off to Neverland.
|A favourite Peter Pan illustration by Flora White|
When I was a child the very English tales of Peter Pan, Alice and Winnie the Pooh fascinated me and planted the first seeds of my love affair with England. I never grew tired of them and as a teenager I read the biographies of their authors and remained determined to one day visit the places where they had lived and which had inspired them to write the stories. Despite liking the idea of being a pirate I possess a hopeless sense of navigation and upon my first visit to Kensington Gardens I spent a considerable time searching for Peter Pan. The bronze is perfectly located in a site chosen by author J.M Barrie about half way along the west bank of the Long Water. The statue is by Sir George Frampton, R.A., P.R.B.S. (1860-1928). It has a special atmosphere about it and thousands of people, young and old make the pilgrimage to see it. Looking at it made me feel a loss for my own childhood, even though at the time I was a mere girl of twenty-something.
So many children's stories are bittersweet rather than sweet, if you learn to read between the lines. And perhaps, often, we do not fully comprehend this bittersweetness until we are grown up. Peter Pan, the boy who would not grow up is a sad tale and yet ..... a part of him lives in all of us who treasure childhood and enchantment and do not want it to end nor do we want to face the inevitability of our own mortality.
|painting by Margaret W. Tarrant (1888—1959).|
I'd not forgotten Peter, no, never, but I had neglected him over winter when I tend to think of darker things, of Grimlings and beasts in the wild woods.
On a recent trip to Scotland a friend took us to a magical gift and tea shop in Kirkcaldy, called appropriately The Merchant's Garden as it is located in The Merchants House, on the sea. Being near a wild sea reminded me of how much I had loved The Tempest and the illustration of Miranda by Waterhouse who painted versions of Miranda at the start and the end of his career. The sea has played a running part in my life too. I had a cat named Miranda and a parrot named Prospero, sadly both long gone now.
|Miranda from The Tempest so divinely captured in oil in 1916|
by John William Waterhouse
The shop keeper had two old carved wooden galleons as decoration and I fell in love with them. Alas, they were her treasured keepsakes and not for sale.
|You can see one of their old galleons on the shelf with gift items.|
It was an inspiring place you can feel the age of the building, the romance of the sea and the ochre colour sings. On the upper floors when they restored the building they found an ancient wall painting of a galleon which has inspired them in their decorations.
They have a facebook page: Merchant's Garden at The Merchants House
As summer finally arrived my dreams turned back to the sea and all things watery and I started thinking of galleons and pirates.
|by James Coleman|
One of my history teachers was descended from Sir Francis Drake and the way in which he taught seafaring history kept my interest in pirates and galleons alive. It has not waned through all of these years and is one of the reasons I had first wanted to live in Devon. I miss the sea and am always drawn to water.
Having just attended Royal Ascot the subject of hats has been much on my mind as well. I've never been a great beauty and do not like to stand out in a crowd but I must admit this galleon hat was very tempting! It is magnificent.
It is the creation of artist Amanda Scrivener of ProfMaelstromme on Etsy. Have a look at her designs and find out more about her on her blog at Professor Maelstromme:
|From: ProfMaelstromme on Etsy|
When you collect things or get an idea for a design theme I often find that items which fit are attracted to you, or vice versa.
|Treasures of the sea|
My treasures of late include this wooden pirates chest from a charity shop, (the jewels did not come with it!) a small oil painting of a sailing ship from ebay and strings of shells from the 'Shore' section of online store Re. I have many gathered shells which I could have strung myself but this arrangement is so well done, and so reasonable that I bought two. The site is well worth a wander, they have wondrous things!
|Seashell strings from : Re|
I have saved the best for last. I found my galleon! It's a little broken and faded, but then it is very old. You can just see the lions on the masts, and all of the flags which fly depicting royal arms. It may be a model of a real ship or just a fantasy. The seller did not know, I will need to do some research.
|My very own Galleon!|