It was a happy day yesterday. At approximately 2pm, the postman rang my doorbell and delivered my Ancient Industries order.
I've been wanting to order some items from this website for the longest time but forced myself to wait until my samplers were all completed so I could reward myself with a little something.
Ancient Industries is run by blogger/artist extraordinaire Megan Wilson, who has painstakingly culled together a collection of household goods from the British Isles, Europe and America that meet her strict standards of classic form and function. (I've posted about Megan before. If you need a refresher, click HERE.)
I tore open the beautifully wrapped packages with such fervor that I nearly forgot to take a photograph of them for posterity. Fortunately, when my hands closed in on the last box, I remembered. Darling, isn't it?
Inside, treasures awaited. Well, if you consider a bottle brush from Germany or a linen towel made from a grainsack to be treasures, which I certainly do. I haven't been so excited since the time I found a Dries Van Noten coat on sale at Jeffrey.
(From top left: Hunslet jug, bottle cleaner, dish washing brush,
wooden scoops, all resting on rustic linen towel)
It wasn't just the saintly, iconic beauty of those items that made me breathless to own them, it was the product descriptions.
Take, for example, the dish washing brush:
Very "Cold Comfort Farm" chic, this able brush would have been discarded by Flora Poste, which would have been her loss.
Have you read "Cold Comfort Farm" by Stella Gibbons? No? Well, then you'd best be ordering it because it's one of the funniest books ever.
If I had to describe it, I'd say, "Imagine Edina Monsoon from "Ab Fab" caught in a Christopher Guest remake of 'Straw Dogs.'"
But don't take it from me.
In the words of the inestimable Stuck-In-A-Book:
Flora Poste, the chic London 'heroine', finds herself orphaned and decides to live with a relative. She tries several, including the Starkadders of Cold Comfort Farm, albeit reluctantly: "because highly sexed young men living on farms are always called Seth or Reuben, and it would be such a nuisance. And my cousin's name is Judith. That in itself is most ominous. Her husband is almost certain to be called Amos; and if he is, it will be a typical farm, and you know what they are like." She breezes into Cold Comfort Farm, and encounters every type of absurd, farcical and outlandish character imaginable.
Seriously. You will love.
And now back to my purchases. The tie for piéce de résistance was between the Cote Bastide rustic linen towel (pictured above) and the Ian Mankin red oven mitts, pictured below:
Of course they found an instant home draped on my Aga. Woven in Lancashire, they are made of heavy cotton and faced with towelling for extra thickness.
I gazed at them adoringly. All was right with the world.
And then it all went to pot.
My OCD took over and I became nervous that the male contingent in my house would drip coffee on them or touch them with greasy pizza hands or cause them in some way to become non-immaculate and so...
...I took them off the Aga...
...and hid them in the back of my linen drawer. My rationale was that if they were going to get sullied, they were going to get sullied by me so there would be no one to blame but myself.
I know, I'm absolutely terrible. I'm a recovering purist who's clearly having a relapse and needs to reread her own advice about the tragedy of perfection. But just let me live with the oven mitts being perfect for two days. And then I promise I'll return them to their perilous and risky life on the stove, come what may.