Tuesday, 28 January 2014

An international cottage

I am acutely aware that my last blog post bears the heading Merry Christmas and that season now lies way behind us.   But I can't tell you how tricky it is for me to blog about Small Worlds when I am so far away.

I have always known that my life in England is very different from the one I live in the Czech Republic and nothing underlines that more than sitting down and trying to recreate what has happened over there when I am here.   But I cannot leave a Merry Christmas post up until Easter, which is when I shall be heading back to Bavorov, so I shall do my best to overcome the difficulties....

I have been trawling my photo collection to see what I could write about, in absentia so to speak, and have found more detailed photos of the inside of the thatched cottage, which has turned into a truly international house.

Followers of this blog may remember the intrepid team from Holland, Irmel and Bep, who tackled the thatching on this typically English cottage way back in May last year, whilst I cleaned and tidied up the plasterwork on the rest of the house and Butterfly fashioned a new chimney out of polystyrene.   I did show some fairly unclear photos of the interior in that post but I thought you might like to see inside in a bit more detail.

As I said, an international house, and also one of rather mixed scale.   Upstairs, which is far less interesting than the ground floor, lives a family of giant dolls, I think German, together with a rather large suite of furniture, probably from Moravia, though I have no recollection of where or when I acquired it. 

 I took the photos with the roof in place which makes it quite difficult to get a decent angle on the room, so apologies for that....

The man of the house has clearly decided to opt out of all activity, taking his ease on the solitary (single) bed.  

Though I'm pleased to say there is a cot for the baby, who is well-swaddled in good old-fashioned style.   I rather think she may be a changeling, being not German, but Czech....

Mother, in the meantime, is left staring plaintively out of the window, whilst the pot burns uncared for on the massive iron (yes really) stove....

Meanwhile downstairs is a whole different story.   One could even talk about over-crowding perhaps.   The house is inhabited by no fewer than 15 dolls made of corn husks. (I must be careful not to call them "corn dollies" which are something quite different as you can see on this link).   And there is not a bed in sight.   

There is probably no need for one however since nearly all the dolls are very busily occupied indeed.   

Spinning, supping,

sweeping, child-minding,

more sweeping,

           and some cradle rocking.

Both fireplaces are actually ashtrays and the refectory table was made almost forty years ago from the base of a date box.   Scattered around the place are several of the metal pencil sharpeners we've met before in an early post  

And I couldn't resist using this very pretty thimble as an ornament, even if it is the wrong way up for a vase.

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy, as the old English proverb has it, so I'm pleased to see some of the children are also having some fun. 

Though given where this little boy is headed, I hope he doesn't fancy himself as Jack the Giantkiller!

Just after I opened this house up for the general public to see inside, one of the local visitors came back in the afternoon, bearing another cornhusk doll - I've just spied her sitting in front of the fireplace in the room on the right. 

That's one of the delights of Small Worlds - people are very generous when they spot that they have something at home that could fit into the museum.   One day I shall give all these things, for which I am very grateful, a blog post of their very own.

Thank you for joining me for this first post of 2014.   There has been some feverish purchasing of houses on UK Ebay in the past few weeks so watch this space for news shortly of where some of my money has been going.   I hope to see you again soon; it's good to be back.


  1. Always one of my favourite houses... the smell of this one can transport me straight back four decades!

  2. So good to see a post from you and it is all so beautiful as always. Such a lot of wonders just in this one cottage--it must take weeks to see the whole of your collection properly.

    Thank you for sharing the wonders though I am sorry I can't smell it as well.

    Happy 2014 where ever you may travel.

    Love Chrissie x

  3. Posting this on behalf of Andrea who is having blogger problems:

    (Blogger has just eaten my comment. Grrrr. Here goes again...)

    Oh what a treat for a cold rainy grey morning! I LOVE this house - it positively bristles with stories...

    Is the Upstairs baby a princess? The teetering pile of bedding hints at a tiny pea nestling underneath. And I hope The Social don't come round, as Baby would roll straight on the floor in a matter of seconds.

    I confess to being alarmed by Giant Mother. She does not look the type to be satisfied by domesticity for long. Is that Father, prostrate behind her? In his pants? She could do so much better for herself. And where IS Baby? Has Mother left her at the shops?

    I am uneasily intrigued by the Upstairs/Downstairs segregation. Are the corn-husk people Staff? I hope they are getting a living wage. Or are they squatters, unnoticed by the indolent Upstairs-dwellers? Or revolutionaries, patiently awaiting the demise of the overbred toffs above their heads (literally and metaphorically)? Do U/D have shared (or indeed any) Facilities?

    I much rather be Downstairs than Up - it looks great fun and such a lot to do!

    I am much cheered by this interlude - many thanks

    Andrea x

    1. Aha I fear you missed the baby - she is under (how do we know she's a she?) the pile of bedding, not on top. She has a very strange, halo-like blue wrapping around her head and you can just see her straw-coloured hair emerging from it...

      Yes, I agree about Giant Mother - I nearly mentioned hippies in connection with her. I hope it's Father, we want no immorality in a museum frequented by small children.

      Oh no, I have never seen them as servants. I believe they live separately (other than the odd small boy whose curiosity gets the better of him). Facilities are, as befits a cottage of this age, outside in the backyard of course.

      I've just realised post would benefit from a whole downstairs view so I will hasten to add one. Sadly there is (as yet) no backyard.....

  4. I think Dianne meant to post the following here, not on Merry Christmas, so I have taken the liberty of moving for her as best I can! Her comments are always a delight :-):

    Hello Miss Cestina, your post are worth the wait, and this is my favorite house and I've been waiting to see the inside.. The giants live upstairs, well no wonder they have some may sweepers, with those giants stopping around up stairs shesh, and I guess men are the same in any race, the baby cot is so lovely and a changling, always wanted to see one of those. and pots burning on the stove, " oh my "..love the furniture in the Corn husk tribe, it's brilliant stuff, it looks like a fun, busy house, hope that little boy is careful.. How special people drop thinks off that's fabulous.. Well Miss Cestina, it's been a wonderful visit grrrreat stories and I had a good snoop around my favorite house, thanks for letting us in your wonderful world it's just magical.. Have a wonderful time in this new year and good luck with your treasure hunt.. ((( BIG HUGS )))...

  5. Ah - thanks for clarification. I now see said baby and have amended my report to The Social to "imminent danger of smothering".

    How do the giants access the outside Facilities? Breeches buoy from the window? Delicacy prevents me from making more suggestions.

    A x

  6. That house is incredible! I love that old fashioned look.
    You have an amazing life going back and forth between countries. I know you enjoy it immensely.

  7. I love the house with these miniature furniture and little accessories! It looks so beautiful :)
    Pozdrawiam! :)