Thursday, 10 March 2011

I Can't, I Have to go Buy a Tea Set!

So let's face it, I like to nest. Maybe it's all of the nest-building the magpies next door are doing (well, if you count that it's a tree next to the house). Maybe it's the fact that I've moved around a lot and don't have just one home. All I know is that I've always enjoyed decorating. At one point I even considered studying design. When I was little I wanted a pink bedroom with a mosquito net over the bed (my dad eventually re-did my room in a gorgeous cranberry colour complete with mosquito net). Later when I lived with my mom, I wanted a blue room (which ended up looking slightly more lilac). In between there where two white bedrooms and then I went to college. My first dorm room had blue walls (and an unfortunate roommate), the second lacked a roommate but was an awful pale green with red carpet. My pink duvet really added to that! My room here in Scotland is purple and beige, not by choice (renting), but I like it more than white walls. I also can't really complain because I love the crown molding, the walk-in closet, and the fact that the flat is a wonderful 80 square meters (861.11 sq. ft.) that I only have to share with one other person!
I always tell myself that I'll be able to decorate and buy furniture later. The only problem is that Glasgow is great for free/cheap vintage furniture and amazing bric-a-brac. Half the furniture in my new room was free or a really good deal. There's the Bonde IKEA sideboard that had been put out with the rubbish. It had one slightly wonky leg and only missing a shelf (retails for just over 150 GBP normally, or $240). Let's not forget the 50's dressing table my friend Bärchen found on his way home (also with the rubbish). He couldn't carry it so he took the drawers and went back for it. When he moved, he decided he didn't want it anymore, so he gave it to me. All I paid for was the taxi ride home with it. My bedside table is also a 50's piece and cost me 3 GBP ($4.81). The boy and I love to go to the different charity shops on Dumbarton Road and look at all the furniture. We're not living together just yet but we enjoy poking around and finding both beautiful and hideous things.
Since furniture is normally a bit more pricey (and harder to move around with), I've taken to cheekily buying smaller home goods. It started with a vintage tablecloth, and then a silver and glass serving tray, and includes my most recent purchase...the tea set. You see, before I moved to the UK I never really drank tea. Once I got here, I wondered why people never asked what kind of tea you wanted when you said yes to a cuppa (I learned the hard way). And then I became a convert. I still prefer herbal teas (preferably vanilla ones) but now, though I shudder to say it, I do occasionally crave what everyone has convinced me to call "real tea." It was only a matter of time before the urge for a bone china tea set kicked in. I've been fighting the urge to buy a tea set for about a year now. I've managed to avoid it because the sets I've seen have been incomplete, hideous, overpriced, or all of the above.
Three weeks ago it all changed. I was walking to University when a charity shop window caught my eye. There it was, a 21 piece tea set for 45 GBP ( $72.27). It seemed reasonable for a non-student, but as pretty as it was I couldn't bring myself to spend that much on what seemed like slightly frivolous purpose. Two weeks later it was still in the window and I still wanted it. I walked by every day longing to purchase it.
Last Tuesday, I walked by and it was reduced to 35 GBP ($56.21). I went to university, but all I could think about during my Nietzche class was the tea set. Towards the end of the class I realised that I had to have it. I had an hour in between classes. Despite invitations to lunch, I dashed away with a plaintive "I have to go buy my tea set!" And then I got there and realised that instead of being pink, that it was white. Or was it? After what seemed like an eternity, I remembered what the boy advised. He had pointed out that it was likely to break at some point, or at the very least, could be sold at a later date. I giddily handed over my cash, and skipped (well, as much as one can with a tea set in a plastic bag) out of the shop. I felt no regrets. Later, I googled it and it turns out it's worth a whole lot more than I paid. Sometimes a single cup and saucer goes for $40.00 on e-bay (and those are the plain ones) I'm pretty sure it was the highlight of my week (and that was before I found out how much it was worth).
I think sometimes you have to do these things. For some women it's clothes and shoes. For others it's home goods and furniture. At the very least, I can have a decent cuppa now (and ponder finding the perfect cake stand)!

Cake Plate

For the Sugar and Milk

Tea Cup and Vintage Table Cloth

Silver and Glass Serving Tray

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Obsessed. I always look at tea sets as well, which makes even less sense for a Texas girl. But I can never commit. And it sucks for me that I love buying home items, clothes, shoes, beauty products,office supplies. Anything, really. I just dislike spending the money. What's a girl to do? ;)

I think I have a bit of tea set envy.