Despite the boxes of treasure piled high at Umsinga I’m mostly in a collecting frame of mind. I love to nose about the charity shops, auctions, shops and fairs here in West Wales.
The need to furnish a large house means I’m hunter and gathering most days. Well, more hunting than gathering. So many furnishing items are only ‘just-so’. I bought a desk last week, not the best but with a nice leather top it’ll satisfy until something better comes along.
I’m reminded too that after the gentle softening up of England in Particular and after I’d my greedy hands on Peter Ashley’s Unmitigated England I was Googling and eBaying feverishly looking for that ‘just-so’ print.
Peter Ashley is particularly good on the look of mid and early 20th century England (and I suppose Britain). His blog took me to some wonderful web sites. This being my favourite. I have a wishlist if anyone would like to buy me an early Christmas present.
We have net curtains in our new front room; pretty, traditional and the only furnishing in the room. Until now any who passed by could admire our minimalist taste and elan. From today we have established a kind of privacy that we can enjoy in a soft veiled light.
And today an unexpected and early autumn fog shrouded the Sunday-quiet street. Those busying themselves with their Sunday duties (the Ursuline Sisters our near neighbours) or their daily duties (the dog walkers in Victoria Gardens) became more shades than shapes.
And I guess that is how we will seem to the curious now, as they catch the twitch of the freshly hung nets.
I’m not sure why it should be so but since discovering Umsinga I have grown in my curiosity about the house.
In North Road now, it was once Gordon Terrace and may have become Umsinga in the 1920′s. The kind and thorough archivist (Gwyneth Roberts) at Ceredigion County Archives has unearthed rates books from the last century helping us sketch a picture of Sea Captains owning and renting many of the properties overlooking Victoria Gardens.
And today at Robert Pugh’s Antique Fair at Carmarthen Showground I found a postcard of the Gardens dated 1908 a smudgy figure seated by the bandstand and through the trees the gable and the bay windows of our home.
£5 for the few seconds, one hundred years ago, that photograher J. Clougher of Cardigan (or his son) opened and closed the shutter.