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have a heart: sampler

February 3, 2010


My talented friend Jenni made this needlepoint sampler heart for me, for my birthday last year. There is nothing more touching than a hand-made present. It hangs off the handle of my clothes cupboard, near a bookcase containing some of my favourite old books gathered together from around the castle. I particularly love these two for their beautiful bindings and illustrations. The late 19th and early 20th centuries were, for me, a golden age of bookbinding, with lavish care being taken even on children’s books. We are lucky to have a handful of books from this period, which seem from inscriptions to have been bought new by my husband’s great-grandmother, for her four children. I’ll share some more of them with you another day!

On the windowsill beside the bookcase, I keep the same great-grandmother’s old opera glasses for watching wildlife out of the window. They are not very effective, but they’re better than the naked eye and, of course, they are a rather lovely object in their own right.

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