Monday, 11 October 2021

Sunday

Was a special day for us as we had arranged to meet one of our lovely granddaughters for lunch in Cheltenham, having not seen her for a year. She was attending various events at the Cheltenham Literature Festival currently taking place for the first time in two years. It was such a beautiful day that we decided to catch the bus, especially realising that parking could be difficult with so many visitors attending the festival. Buses are few and far between on a Sunday but the timetable revealled a couple that would suit us.

Whilst waiting for the bus I took a few images of our surroudings. 


Having not lived here for all of my life, I never cease to be delighted by the lovely architecture and stonework that can be found all around this area.


The bus arrived exactly on time - it was empty apart from two other people, and within half and hour we had arrived and met our granddaughter. We enjoyed a lovely lunch, and spent a very happy time together catching up with each others news, before she then headed off to her next festival venue. 

The bus stop in Cheltenham is situated outside the retailer "Anthropologie" so we popped in to see there latest acquisitions. Something that immediately caught my eye was their new range of pottery. 

The pottery had a familiarity to it so I called my husband over to see if he too recognised it, which he did.


This tale now takes us off along a completely different road - so let's head off to Bulgaria. It is a country that we visited many, many, years ago at a time when it was still firmly behind the iron curtain. Very similar pottery to that in Anthropologie was used in their restaurants and it is where I fell in love the design. But could you buy it? Yes, but with great difficulty. It was only available in the Communist co-operatives which seldom if ever opened, and if they did, the workers appeared reluctant to remove the pots from their window display or pretended to misunderstand what you were asking. In the end I did finally suceed and returned home with just one small piece as a souvenir.

A small wine/water goblet

Apparently pottery is one of the oldest crafts in Bulgaria and its very distinctive hand painted designs are based on their Thracia and Slavic traditions. 

How do I know this? well! when I looked at the bottom of the pottery in Anthropologie it said made in Bulgaria and on returning back home I found the rest of the information on their website. The designs today, however, are far more sophisticated than my simple little pot.

Should you wish to learn about a rather odd encounter that we experienced in Bulgaria all of those years ago you can read about it here:-          

34 comments:

  1. Dearest Rosemary,
    Glad you managed to take the bus for this very special meeting with your granddaughter!
    Lovely architecture and solid shrubs captured, while waiting on said bus...
    Your Bulgarian pottery is quite a coincidence and you got a good memory.
    That family photo always gave me the impression, you were Slavic too; not at all British looking.
    Hugs,
    Mariette

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Mariette - I was very surprised to see the pottery with its particularly distinctive design. I don't think that I have ever seen anything labelled made in Bulgaria here before. They are obviously now much more enterprising and commerical than they were during the Communist era. At that time they couldn't be bothered whether they sold you anything or not.

      Delete
  2. Lovely photos. So pleased you had a good bus trip to meet your grand daughter.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is quite nice to take a bus ride now and again, especially upstairs, which gives you lovely views over all of the different gardens as you pass by.

      Delete
  3. How nice that you got to spend some quality time with your granddaughter! Cool info about Bulgarian pottery too, thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  4. The feathering method starts by applying bands of contrasting slip onto damp clay. After the bands widen and are near each other, a soft and flexible pointed tool like a feather is drawn through the slip to produce the sort of gorgeous pattern you have shown above.

    Go granddaughter :) Go retailer Anthropologie"= :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I do remember learning to do something very similar on paper when I was at school which we then made into pretty laterns to hang around the classroom.

      Delete
  5. How interesting about the pottery, I am going to Bulgaria for a short holiday next Spring, perhaps I will see some. Glad you had time with your granddaughter in such a pretty setting.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It appears to be a well known destination today. At the time that we went nobody knew or had heard anything about Bulgaria - it felt like quite an adventure especially for our young sons.

      Delete
  6. I do like the pattern. Interesting story from your link. Thank you Rosemary. He wasn't going to let you get away and that is a good family photo one I've seen on your blog sometime ago at the bottom of your page when commenting.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, you are right Margaret. When Blogger did one of its many changes it suddenly vanished from the bottom of the blog.

      Delete
  7. So you live in Painswick! A lovely place. I am currently working for the head buyer for Anthropologie. He probably selected those ceramics.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't actually live there Tom, but I do reside on the very top of the highest hill in the area with wonderful views of all five valleys.

      Delete
  8. Hello Rosemary, What beautiful and comfortable old stone buildings you are lucky to live among. England sure does love its topiaries/trimmed bushes, sometimes to the point of peculiarity (at least for an outsider). I am glad to see the interesting wares made in Bulgaria. That is an historic technique; you sometimes see it on classical antiquities.
    --Jim

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Jim - all of the topiary seen on this particular set of photos is because they are all in the same churchyard across the road from where we were. The churchyard is particularly well known for its 100 Yew Trees which have just been clipped. All of the trimmings have now gone off to be processed into a constituent which is then used as part of a treatment for cancer.
      I have seen a similar technique used on an ancient Egyptian glass fish vessel dated from circa 14th century BC which is in The British Museum.

      Delete
    2. Hi again, I know that magnificent New Kingdom fish bottle! The British Museum sent it to Cleveland for a special Egyptian exhibition, and later I saw it in London (together with too many treasures to count) when I visited the museum.
      --Jim

      Delete
  9. You live in a beautiful corner of the world, Rosemary, one I have visited and under whose spell I fell. A bus trip to see your granddaughter sounds wonderful and you obviously had a fine outing. Now I'm off to read your link to an odd encounter in Bulgaria!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sometimes an unexpected trip in beautiful weather can be all it takes to have a really enjoyable day out.

      Delete
  10. Dear Rosemary,
    Reading your fishing story I decided that your Man was going to trade the fishing rod for his camel.
    We had a similar experience shopping in Bulgaria during the iron curtain times. On our way home from Turkey we had to lay over in Sophia. We stopped in one of the Government shops and purchased a beautiful lead crystal bowl. We had to prove that we were foreigners because citizens of Bulgaria were not allowed to shop in the store.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There were so many goods that the locals could not buy with their currency. Mostly they were keen for us to give them our hard currency in exchange for their - I believe it was called a Lev. If they had hard currency then they could go to shops and buy things that were not generally available to them.
      I bet that you still enjoy your beautiful crystal bowl along with the memories.

      Delete
  11. Lovely pieces of pottery. I have seen a video (somewhere) of the decorative technique used for the plate's glazing. It's amazing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is interesting Barbara - I must have a look on Youtube and see if I can find anything.

      Delete
  12. So happy you were able to catch up with granddaughter - the lovely soprano by chance?
    Beautiful place with those so well cared for trees - must be a beautiful church.
    I must check new wares in my Anthro store - it's just a few minutes from here!
    Loved the fishing story - and that has always been a favorite photo of you all from back in the day - didn't recall it was taken in Bulgaria!
    We miss you and J and hope to see you again one of these days.
    Meanwhile, please keep sharing the beauty of the Cotswolds and places you visit around the UK - I'm so homesick!
    Mary x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Our soprano granddaughter stayed with us just before we went away to North Yorkshire along with her boyfriend whom we had not met before. On Sunday we met our first born granddaughter who went to Oxford University to study archaeology. We love the way that our grandchildren have all chosen completely different careers from one another.

      Delete
  13. How lovely to have lunch and a visit with your granddaughter. A very special Sunday! Is the photo of the church and yews taken in Painswick, at St. Mary's, by any chance? It looks very familiar to what we saw there.
    The Bulgarian pottery is very pretty, and how interesting that the storekeepers didn't want to sell you a piece so long ago. Ownership does drive industry!
    Now I'm off to visit your earlier post about your visit.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, you are absolutely spot on Lorrie.
      I was very attracted to the design of the pottery when I first saw it so very many years ago. Presumably there was nothing in it for the shop workers whether any of the products were sold or not. Those selling products from their market stalls were far more eager to make a sale, but sadly they had no pottery.

      Delete
  14. Oh, Rosemary, if only the view from my bus stop was so magical! I'm hoping, but not expecting, a little vintage bus pulled in to your stop to whisk you away :)

    What a lovely outing, all round, with a trip down memory lane thrown in! Bulgaria was probably the last place you thought you'd be reminded of when you set out. It's interesting that the sombre and stereotypical ideas we had about places like Communist-era Bulgaria don't prepare us for the surprise that they had such vibrant and uplifting crockery in their restaurants.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We had such a lovely day Pip which we had no idea we would be doing a few days previously until our granddaughter messaged us.
      A vintage bus would have topped it off, but no, sadly it was nothing special.

      Delete
  15. Lovely pottery and a nice story. You look very pensive in that photo when everyone else is smiling. That plate design, made by scoring through the paint?, looks similar to a few of the Mandelbrot set patterns or even certain kaleidoscope patterns which use mathematics/technology to get there but similar examples of that kind of repetition are found everywhere in nature which is why I'm fascinated by looking at tiny things closely while I still have good eyesight to see how intricate they are, even down to insects and flowers so small they are almost invisible yet they are still incredibly complex in design. Your goblet pattern resembles a fly wing I spotted recently 20 of which could fit on a pinkie nail. A cursory glace would just see tiny white flies buzzing round my mini glasshouse until I thought of zooming in for a close up look. Stunned I was.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The designs on the pottery are very eye catching. I imagine that it is a technique that once learnt is easy to apply. It is surprising that you don't see it used by our potters here or anywhere else for that matter.
      Macro photos often take you by surprise when they reveal all of the tiny details that are hidden to the naked eye.

      Delete
  16. You live in a very beautiful part of the country. It's a pity that so few people use the bus these days when we are all supposed to be using our cars less. We've almost lost our bus service in this village, though we are lucky to still be served by a good train service. The pottery is beautiful. I once bought some lovely wine glasses for my mother which were made in communist Czechoslovakia, unfortunately they are no longer available so I've inherited a nice set of five wine glasses.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We are going to use the bus much more frequently and not the car. Unfortunately our local bus which used to wind its way up to our hilltop is no longer so we still have to use the car to take us down into the valley to catch a bus.
      Czechoslovakian glass is very attractive and early pieces are often brought in to The Antique Roadshow.

      Delete

❖PLEASE NOTE❖ Comments made by those who hide their identity will be deleted

“You can't stay in your corner of the forest waiting for others to come to you - you have to go to them sometimes”
― A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh