I'm very pleased with my new house, and with the things I'm acquiring for it. It's somewhat bigger than the old one, so there have had to be a number of new things to fill it. Some of them, however, aren't strictly necessary, just rather nice.
Among this category we have a marble bust which now graces the staircase hall. When the sun is out in the afternoon, it shines very pleasingly through the thin folds of her hood.
Then there's this delightful chair which I discovered at an antique shop near Hampton Court. I've never seen anything like it, and while it was somewhat more expensive than one might ideally prefer, the chance to have a black Victorian Gothic chair in my house, complete with spikes and pinnacles, was too good to pass up.
But the triumph of the whole exercise came when I was looking for a cake stand. Afternoon tea is a fine institution which needs reviving and support, and a cake stand is simply essential if this is to occur. I visited one antique shop with this in mind and found a tree-tier Edwardian cake stand for about £40. OK, I thought. Then I found another for about £30. Then, hiding away in an obscure room near the room of the rambling emporium, for a mere £16, was this.
I had no thought that such a thing might exist. I assume the bargain price was because whoever did the pricing assumed nobody would be mad enough to want to buy a black ebonised cake stand.