Little tree with B & W monogram


Little tree with B & W monogram (hand embroidered by Mary Addison)

There’s nothing like a dose of flu at the backend of winter to lay you low for longer than you’d like. Lying in bed makes for such empty days, even though you’re pretty much unconscious as to the passage of real time. Big decisions concern things like when and whether  to roll over on to your other side, how to restore just a little softness to the pillow beneath and how many syllable a reply to give to some kind soul who pops their head round the door with a bright and considerate question.

B & W monogram (hand embroidered by Mary Addison)

All this at the same time as having two sets of guests, one directly after the other! To be fair, both sets were most welcome and had booked in their visits months before. The first pair, my husband’s son and daughter-in-law, just got on with exploring Cheltenham and came back with news of as yet undiscovered(by us) second hand book shops and places to have delicious bits to eat. Our second guests had come from Los Angeles, diverting to Cheltenham en route to Sicily where they were to be leading an academic tour. I was up and about for our second couple and we all pounded the pavements together, visiting the The Wilson, Holst’s Birthplace, the newly discovered bookshop and – retracing of our steps –  the Ivy in the Montpellier Rotunda for lunch  (including a glass or two of champagne which helped to put a bit of a spring in my step).

Emery and Cie’s fabric panel with tree design

In many ways with the races on, Cheltenham was not quite itself. Pubs, bars and cafés were overflowing with people dressed as I’ve never seen them before. Checked jackets and checked suits, complete with waistcoats were the norm – all rather Somerville and Ross’s Irish RM, though thankfully without the bowler hats. (Oh I did enjoy the TV adaptations in the mid 1980s with Peter Bowles as the English Resident Magistrate – the RM of the title – and Bryan Murray as Flurry Knox, his Irish nemesis.) My husband’s first Gold  Cup experience was back in the seventies when the peace in his museum office above Clarence Street was suddenly interrupted by the noise of what could only have been animals herded to market. But no, Mass at the Catholic church having finished, the herd was human and a morning with things eternal was about to be replaced by the worship of Mammon at the racetrack. Not so sure how many attend Mass nowadays

C.F.A.Voysey’s design for the cover of The Studio Magazine, 1893

This little monogram I made for our American guests’ daughter and new husband. Little trees are good motifs with associations of growth, branching and flourishing – you need only look at the delightful Art and Crafts examples which accompany this blog. I am also very taken with Emery and Cie’s little tree design for a diaphanous curtain. A Belgian company, Emery and Cie produce big bold wallpapers, fabrics tiles and ironwork in glorious colours in historically literate designs with a modern twist.

As I look back over these pictures, I’m now wondering whether to make my tree trunk a bit longer …

William Morris and Co. Kelmscott Tree Fabric.

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  1. Posted March 20, 2018 at 10:47 pm | Permalink

    I think your tree trunk has a nice compact, young-growth sort of feel to it!

    • Mary Addison
      Posted March 21, 2018 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

      Thank you Rachel. I’m still thinking about it.

  2. Anne Hill
    Posted March 22, 2018 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

    I agree with Rachel – a perfect young tree for a young marriage. I have been catching up on your blog and, dear me, you have sent me off on so many stimulating directions, so much fascinating information.

    Hope you have completely recovered

    • Mary Addison
      Posted March 23, 2018 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

      Nice to hear from you again, Anne and thank you for seeing the merits in a young tree – well, more of a shrub, I suppose.
      Glad you still find the blog interesting and it’s kind of you to take time to say so.

  3. Amara Bray
    Posted April 13, 2018 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

    I love the little tree. Especially in the classic white on white. Although I love color, the white on white always charms me.

    • Mary Addison
      Posted April 13, 2018 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

      I think there’s room in life for both the elegance of white on white and lashings of colour. I know I need to switch between the two.

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