This is by no means everything - I have just discovered that because of the trouble I have been having with my camera half of the photos I took seem to have vanished completely, including the very pretty blue and white china given by Nicky, for which much thanks.
I am very grateful to those friends who make sure that the stream of tiny items does not dry up!
My first task on returning is always to put in a new window display. Usually I am back here in late spring by which it is high time to remove the Christmas displays. This year Butterfly and I came over just before Easter for three weeks and so it was an Easter window that had to come out - rather later than I had planned since my scheduled departure on 3rd June was delayed for two weeks following an accident to my new car. No one hurt I am glad to say.
Certainly high time for Easter to disappear though. I cast my mind around to see what I could get in quickly. I had planned on a railway focus but that still required quite a lot of preparation. So what else could I do?
For many years now I have been collecting items made by the American company, Raine Willitts, starting with their Take a Seat Collection after I found a lot of the chairs being sold off in the UK's excellent The Works shops, a much favoured haunt for me when I am there. Readers of this blog, and visitors to Small Worlds, can find many of the chairs scattered around the houses. People very often ask about them and are surprised to find they are made of resin; the detail is extraordinary. They are very slightly under-sized for twelfth scale but they still seem to look good in many settings.
I then found their Just the Right Shoe range which is sheer delight for anyone who loves buying and wearing amazing shoes. I detest both activities so its charm is slightly lost on me. One day these too will appear in Small Worlds - after all Bavorov used to be known as the Town of Cobblers, so what could be more fitting? But that display too requires more work.
So I was left with fashion. There have already been two examples of a Raine's fashion collection featured in the front windows of Gosthwaites Department Store
but now it was time to open up all those other boxes that I have been stockpiling for a number of years. It was just like Christmas - but I won't make you sit through a video of the opening of them, which The Guardian tells me is now a fashionable thing to film. I am bewildered by this!
But here are the full boxes at least - the top one contained many carefully bubblewrapped figures - it was so beautifully wrapped by the ebay seller that I did not even look at them when they arrived.
......and a very ancient Petite Princess room which as you can see I last used for a display during Queen Elizabeth's Silver Jubilee Celebrations in 1977...
The dolls house collectors among you will remember Petite Princess and similar furniture called Samantha Ann, and Amanda Ann. I have always disliked it intensely, but I do own some of it nevertheless. I was convinced that there had been two of the roomboxes, one not yet touched and eventually searching did reveal that I was right.
So here they all are ready to go into the window (which as you already know does not allow me to take good photos once things are in it).
As you can see, the beach scene (which has actually been greatly enlarged since this blogpost) has once again been robbed to provide a setting.
After due consultation with my local primary school teacher friend, one item of underwear did not make the cut into the window display - but you are allowed to see it here in all its glory....
Our first attempt at putting it in the window had to be aborted - we had the big stuff in the middle and the underwear and bathing suits flanking it on the edges. It looked ridiculous like that so out it all came and we much preferred our second attempt which you can just about see....
And now for a little porcine bonus. As followers of our blogs will know, when she was here at Easter, Butterfly produced some brilliant characters to people the pub in Shakespeare's Stratford. This has however meant that the tavern is now under new management and has even had to change its name. It is no longer "At the Sign of the Lion", it is now rightly called "The Boar's Head Tavern" as featured in Shakespeare's Henry IV Parts One and Two.
Mistress Quickly stands proudly in the doorway of her newly named tavern and the series of photos below tells its own tale.....
Take one pig....
Remove its head
Consider using a piece of one's own history to mount head on
Decide against it - if Butterfly wants to vintage the shield in due course, she may.....
Take a different route but spend hours trying to make the blessed boar not tip forward onto his nose when swinging from the beam
Take another different route
And to end on a French note, just as we started at the top of the post,
PS The Boar has had his tusks for a while, as promised in the comments below, but I forgot to add the photo!
I hope you have enjoyed reading the most recent adventures in Small Worlds - it is my refuge from the great, big, scary world outside - thank you for being with me and I invite you to join me there again soon.