"So very newly married," an aged parent used to say, with not a little touch of scorn in her tone, when looking at one wall of a room painted in a contrasting colour to the others. Over time we have adopted the phrase as our own, meanwhile taking great care to avoid this, and hopefully other, decorating downfalls.
As the years have passed, so we have extended the scope of the 'newly married' phrase beyond wall finishes, applying it with equal measure to matching curtains and cushions, colour co-ordinated bed linen, bathroom 'sets', which may well include loathsome lavatory seat covers, and almost anything from Marks and Spencer, Laura Ashley and the British Home Stores. We are not without opinion!!
|the dining room showing chairs in variety, a collection of glasses and an assortment of china|
Now in our 33rd Wedding Anniversary year, it would require some stretch of the imagination, if not to say entry into the realms of science fiction, to describe ourselves as 'newly married'. And yet, lurking in the deep recesses of the sideboard cupboards, are to be found our fully matching, flamboyantly floral, many pieced 'Floradora' dinner and tea services which might, we are alarmed to think, suggest otherwise.
|the table set for a recent dinner party with 'Floradora' in evidence, but mixed if not matched|
'Floradora' with its red and blue flowers, swags of foliage and gilded, scalloped edges has served us well over the years but change is in the air. It is for Herend, the porcelain of Hungary since 1828, that we are now, to borrow a Betjeman term, enthusing and mix, not match, is very much the order of the day. A start has been made with soup and dinner plates, appropriate enough, we feel, as soup is a delicious stalwart of most Hungarian lunches and dinners. Tiny, stylised deep pink flowers are the sole decoration on the otherwise plain white china with a delicate, basket-weave rim.
|a glimpse of one of our Herend purchases - a 1920s soup plate with delicate flower pattern|
Dating from the 1920s and purchased from our favourite Budapest antique shop they, like us, or so we trust, wear their age well. We think fondly of the dining tables which they will have graced with their simple elegance over the decades.
And so future dinner parties will take on a new look. More Darby and Joan than newly married, perhaps?