Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Stripes: how many are too many?

My inner coastal Quaker finds stripes irresistible, so when Scottish Husband asks what I'd like for my birthday I overcome my initial response that I am in a decluttering zone and suggest a striped bedspread. Realising that he will probably not find one in the Harley Davidson store, the only shop he frequents, I attempt to find a specific URL.  Not easily done.

Europe used to contain one ticking quilt, but it is out of stock.

[Nordic House, out of stock]


The rest of the ticking, as you will see if you study a global heat-map of ticking, has migrated from France to North America.  These, for instance:



[Dash and Albert and Brahms Mount]

Due to dollars and customs duties and the cheerfulness barrier, trade with North America is impossible. Do you know where in Europe I can find a simple cotton bedspread or throw or quilt, striped?

Pretty Far West has been rather possession-focussed lately, a natural reaction to losing my fortune in an ill-fated investment in Bitcoins. Be assured that I am also a deeply cultural woman, who passes by the Opera House on the way to the little shop that sells the right sort of shoes. I was seated beside Salman Rushdie at a dinnerparty once, am a member of the parish bookclub despite never attending its meetings, and a former boyfriend of mine owns one of Britain's finest collections of eighteenth century art.

My cultural credentials pall beside those of Frances, who frequented the same New York launderette as a Bezos brother, but I struggle on.  Do let me know where your chamber orchestra will be playing next.

41 comments:

  1. I have been struggling to think of birthday gift ideas for my husband (who only frequents the Triumph store) to give me as I already own a fine collection of striped bed linen from Toast. Bought I hasten to add in a rare and fleeting moment of wealth.

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    1. I have some lovely Toast striped bed linen too, Sue, and I take your point: where does one go from there?

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  2. I'm sorry that I can't help with the search for stripes, though with shoe-stores I could, dozens, and if you ask I could show you the way to the Opera. Though if you want me to come with you...
    "Is there anybody at home?' you might call out. "No!" said a voice; and then added, "You needn't shout so loud, I heard you quite well the first time." "Bother!", you might say, "Isn't there anybody here at all?" "Nobody".

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    1. You know how it is in the Forest, Britta. One can't have anybody coming into one's house.

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    2. Especially if one wants to keep one's honey and has no need to dry one's (striped!!!) tea towels on the feet of a fat bear that clogs the entrance door to one's rabbit hole for weeks.

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  3. Generally speaking I am not a big fan of stripes, but I do love ticking stripes--they strike a primal chord with me. Something to do with my Great Aunt Edith, I think.

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    1. We here in Europe are all in favour of your Great Aunt Edith, Jen. A continent applauds her.

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  4. I have striped Toast bed linen too Mise …… looks like the world and his wife has it so, I'm not sure if I want it now !!!!
    …. and, I think with this post you have gone one intelligent step too far and you finally lost me near the end …. and so did Britta !!!!!!! XXXX

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    1. My Toast is the reddish-pink stripe, Jacqueline. You have the grey, no?

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    2. Now how on earth did you know that Mise ? !!!!!!!!! haha. XXXX

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    3. Mise, you hadn't lost me - I do love texts that have to be taken with at least one pinch of salt (though my effort in this division, very well received in Germany, seems to draw blanks of astonishment in especially American faces - see my last post, sob, sob, and my elaborated answer to Susan Scheidt)
      Above I wanted to say - by a learned quote from Poo-bear - what to me is a contradiction in terms - that you have go to the opera (to which you prefer not to go, if I got it right) all on your own, without me - I pretend (in a child-like way) that I haven't heard your call, as opera isn't my thing either, Mise.

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    4. Oh Britta ….. I meant that I lost YOU !!!!! ……. I think I'd had too much of the hard stuff !!!!! XXXX

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  5. I'm sorry, I think you must go to America. I understand almost everyone else is this week. You are scarily cultured, I am seriously considering whether I am classy enough to visit you here any more. Opera, literature and Salmon Rushdie. All I have is a childhood attendance at Brigadoon. CJ xx

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    1. My cultural credentials are by association only, CJ; I never touch the stuff myself, not even an enviable childhood attendance at Brigadoon.

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  6. Hello Mise
    My suggestion might be to start a quilting bee at Pretty Far West and tick away at creating your striped quilt. This could well be a flourishing business and the bitter pill of Bitcoins would float away like cotton batting.
    Your past life is certainly intersting.
    Helen xx

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    1. If I were a truly committed blogger, Helen, I would do that. Now is the time to step up to the mark. But the mark seems so far away.

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  7. Ian Mankin is your man. http://www.ianmankin.co.uk/fabrics-9-c.asp

    I can sew a mean straight seam and would gladly offer my stitching skillz in return for the huge service you do for blogging. P.S I played silly games at a dinner party once with Kazuo Ishiguro.

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    1. I actually own a piece of Ian Mankin fabric, visionary Lucille, having fallen for the stripes. There is no chance I will ever make anything with it. I do hope you won against Kazuo Ishiguro, but not crushingly.

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    2. We had to do a party piece. I believe I sang 'Just a Song at Twilight'. My mother taught me this when I was a child, for just such an occasion.

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  8. I find horizontal ones so unflattering, that I never seek them out.

    Bitcoins - never a more inaccurate description than when they first came out - 'Nerd's Gold'. I hope you didn't lose your striped shirt.

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    1. Not wholly, Tom, and the upside of it all was the increased prestige at the post office due to receiving legal correspondence in Japanese.

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  9. I believe our local emporium of EVERYTHING I HAVE EVER WANTED stocks some. I can't find a picture of ticking bedspreads on their website (Malabar Trading - hope that html link works) but you could phone and ask what they have in stock.

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    1. What a good idea to turn towards India, Flora. There's some fine stuff on that website, good hefty cotton. It may be my salvation.

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  10. I have a striped duvet cover you could borrow if you get stuck.

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    1. Thank you for your very practical suggestion, dear Elaine.

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  11. Mise, I happen to sell Dash and Albert and Pine Cone Hill. If I order it to my Florida address shipping is very cheap. I could then ship it to you to the UK. It would have to be when I am in Florida of course but if you are able to wait a little bit I could do it next time I am here. Plus....I can pass on my "special" pricing to you. Let me know if you see anything you like and I can let you know the price.

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    1. Thank you, Chania! I'll email you now.

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  12. Good luck with your stripey quest! Many stones must be overturned while seeking the perfect bedspread.

    And if you happen to come to my side of the ocean, you can hear my orchestra next month.

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    1. An mbeidh sibh ar YouTube mura n-éireoidh liom dul ann? Ní hé nach ndéanfaidh mé iarracht,

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    2. Níl a fhios agam más féidir liom é a chur ar YouTube. Is féidir liom a iarraidh. (Cuir logh mo gramadach. Tá mé ag múineadh féin go fóill.)

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  13. Mise, how coincindental that I have also been searching for a new bedspread. For a while, now. I can be very patient about these sorts of quests, maybe adhering to that notion of the journey is more important than the destination?

    Ticking sounds quite good. Do you ever look at the posts of Elizabethbaer.com? She deals in vintage fabrics and ticking is often featured. (Of course as my own now vintage bedspread is a bit worse for wear, I'm not too sure if I would want to invest in any other vintage textiles.)

    A slight correction to the Bezos brother tale. Our encounters were in the basement laundry room of the apartment building where I still live. Mr Bezos has moved on.

    May I tell you that the blogging community has been greatly enhanced by your return to the fold.

    xo

    p.s. On the culture front, painting my watercolor Christmas tea cup cards is now occupying lots of my waking hours. I have yet to do any MAC lipstick research.

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    1. I do hope you will allow us a glimpse of the finished cards, Frances. The thought of them calms me as I prepare to enter my official Christmas Panicking Period.

      Good luck with your parallel quest for a bedspread, and thank you for setting me straight on the laundry room facts; it reminds me of Julian Barnes' thoughts (in Letters from London) of the phenomenal abilities of the New York Times fact-checkers.

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  14. Perhaps if I rub shoulders with you, Mise, some of that deeply cultural culture might rub off on me? I'm thinking a tea table somewhere near Bono on Tuesday next might enhance my flagging reputation. Can you fix it?

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    1. I believe Bono fell off a bicycle and is out of action for some months. Unfortunately. But then again, he would surely have failed to measure up to George Herbert.

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  15. I am tragically lacking in cultural credentials, it's donkey's years since I walked past an opera house. You are so lucky to have met the talented boy band singer Salman Rushdie. Oh, wait, is he a football player?

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    1. Your daredevil helicoptering makes up for that, and Irish opera houses are certainly very inconveniently placed for walking past. If only they could be on the second floor of the Avoca shops.

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  16. I had to relinquish all aspirations to a cultural existence upon hitting the shores of Devon. Apart from food. We eat well. Which is why, like Tom, I shall forever more have to avoid horizontal stripes.

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    1. I shall make sure I have a period of abstinence before I visit you, Jessica, to prepare for all the fine food.

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  17. no such things as too many stripes. I wish you luck in your quest. (Selvedge used to sell gorgeous stripes blanket... prices not for the faint hearted...)

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    1. Selvedge is new to me, Monica, and, My God, you have to admire their prices. What clearly spirited people they are.

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  18. Alas as the closest I have ever got to culture was not speaking to Jonathan Miller at a book signing I feel unqualified to comment on stripes. Plus I read the above as intercostal Quaker and that rather distracted me from all things stripey.

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You're looking particularly well.

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