Saturday, 13 April 2013

Balance is the key

On Friday, while the older two kids were out with friends, Littlest and I had an afternoon of pottering about in our local area.

Yes, I do have an existence outside of my garden, really I do.

First stop - lunch in our lovely local French-Turkish cafe, Des Amies.

Beautiful lights.

And Littlest blowing you all a big kiss. At least I think that's what she's doing.

We walked past the Abbeydale Picture House, a wonderful Art Deco building, once a thriving palace of entertainment.

My next-door-neighbour remembers folk queuing round the block to get in in the 1950s and 60s. It housed not only a cinema, but a tea room, billiard hall and ballroom with a sprung dance floor, and was the place to be seen.

Now it is sadly in a state of disrepair. It was sold last year, and apparently there are plans to turn the Grade II listed building into an indoor climbing venue.

Abbeydale Road is part of Sheffield's Antiques Quarter, with a fair few shops selling secondhand goods, antiques and collectables.

There is an eclectic mix of fancy cafes and delis, a variety of restaurants and takeaways, continental grocers, charity shops, florists, shops catering for those with money for upmarket interior decor, an artisan bakery, and a salvage/reclamation yard.

After a while, Littlest needed another pit stop (and a wee), so we called in at Bragazzi's cafe and deli for a drink and a chat.

Shades of a million Instagram pics!

It did occur to me as I was editing these photos and making collages that it is easy to skew reality. I could make our area look rather gentrified and bohemian, when actually there are boarded up premises and plenty of down-at-heel traders and pawn brokers in the mix too.

There is the obligatory graffiti and dog shit. The River Sheaf, although healthy enough to have resident ducks, brown trout and a visiting heron, is hardly the most picturesque of waterways.

But that's life, isn't it? A mixture of the interesting, dirty, useful and useless, ridiculous, disappointing and beautiful.

On our way home, we stopped to admire these metal fence panels.

They aren't gates, though they look as though they should be. They are set in the wall which fences off the scrubby, litter-strewn bank leading up to the railway line. It's not a road many people walk along, and I have no idea why these ornamental pieces are there or who made them.

But they are an unexpectedly lovely surprise.

I guess balance is the key.

It's not always something I find easy to achieve.

1960-70s suede jerkin - Second to None
1970s Dereta cotton velvet maxi skirt - Ebay
Top, wool hat, necklace and bracelet - charity shopped
Bundle of bangles - gift from dearest Tania

Finding beauty and satisfaction in small things is also good.

The basket of My Little Ponies stayed in the charity shop; the plate, handkerchief vase and blouse came home with me.

Hope your weekend has been a delightful blend of many good things! 



Connie said...

It really is true, isn't it? It's all about perspective. What a lovely day. Kisses back to Little One (and you, too!)

PinkCheetahVintage said...

Your day looks perfect. I would have wondered around/looked/eaten at all those places!
Love that awesome kiss! lolzzz
Snow White is sort of a badass in the pic.
I've never been able to achieve balance. I can't zen out. I probably should of been schooled in the art of yoga or meditation when I was young...
So, instead of meditation, it's medication! Hahaha!
Becky :)

Trees said...

I always love seeing photos of where you live. I feel sorry that the lovely old art deco building is being turned into an indoor climbing centre. We have a beautiful old build in town which now houses a nasty burger king and it makes me so sad. I think you are right, the key to life is balance - although its often hard to achieve! Thanks for your lovely comments about my ugly frock.

Anonymous said...

Such a lovely post, of a lovely day out and your adventures. I loved how you showed the contrast of the area. You're right it's life, it happens and is everywhere.

I love your outfit and the combination of colours, especially love the suede jerkin.

thorne garnet said...

Here's an awesome idea: turn that beautiful theatre into......a cinema, a tea room, a billiard hall and a ballroom! Seriously, how many people are really going to use an indoor climbing venue?

Kitty said...

F#ck balance, where has Sheffield BEEN all my life?! When I have the money I'm bloody well coming over!! Hope you're all well m'dear.xx.

Sacramento Amate said...

I feel like I have been enjoying the day with the two of you. How fabulous, ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

Ivy Black said...

Great to see you both out and about.
Ain't that the truth, but it still looks lovely. I like a bit of down at heel faded glory in the mix.
What a gorgeous building. Indoor climbing centre?! That's very should be an arts venue with studio space for artists and a gallery and a cafe and....why am I not a billionaire?
Next time your in Des Aimes, I'll have a couple of those lights. I'll leave that with you then.

Fiona said...

Aaaah wise words indeed. Love your photo's of the contrasting sides of Sheffield. What a shame that beautiful cinema building will not be used for what it was intended, no doubt they can't get the required 10 screens in there! It's the same here except our deco cinema has been demolished for a bloody Morrisons'
Des Amies looks charmante, what gorgeous lampshadery.
The jerkin was made for you.... and that maxi! Big kiss to Littlest.

OP SHOP MAMA said...

Love the gate! How cool. Thanks for the virtual tour and for taking us along with you on your little mission.. Awesome op shopping and cafes - brilliant!

Vintage Bird Girl said...

How gorgeous are you in that green jerkin! And I think I spy a Nissan Figaro in the pic with Littlest. I would LOVE to own a Figaro one day. They are SO cool. But mine would have to be green. Xx

Pull Your Socks Up! said...

You're a "glass is half full" kinda gal Curtise, that's clear from this beautiful post. You see beauty all around you and I love to see the places you explore. Whether they've been gentrified, historical hotspots accidentally-on-purpose left in ruins, messages engraved in metal or a spray can intended to give people a buzz to their day. And you have a willing and sweet companion who you're training up in the joys of enjoying the beautiful simple things in life. I might add I don't blame you for leaving the basket of MLP there, I still have near-fatal accidents from the little sods left out by a certain someone! In other news, the green suede vest - GAH!!!!!!! Love!!!!!!!!! xoxoxoxo

Vix said...

You don't really exist outside you garden, come clean, even our blog meet-ups are actually Picmonkey-ed.
Sheffield looks so gorgeous, I want to visit and hang out in the Turkish cafe! We all have shitty areas, Walsall more than most, but why not focus on the more positive parts?
What a smashing way to spend the day! Love the Snow White graffiti and the antiques quarter and Littlest is just gorgeous, like a mini Curtise.
Loving that jerkin, it's perfect with that lovely skirt.
I'm still in my dressing gown contemplating what to wear later!
Love you! xxxxxxxx

lucy joy said...

This post left me feeling all warm. Sounds twee and pretty shit, but it did!
Balance is impossible, the best and worst times are about extremes, it balance is the inbetween then that is not whatv LIFE is about, that's existing and getting by. I'm being OTT, of course moderation and balance offer the best outcomes. It's just nobody remembers the people who lived a perfectly balanced life because there were no deviations to remark upon.

I'd have loved to join you and littlest. I have been to Abbeydale Road. I didn't buy anything, but it was a really enjoyable window-shopping experience.

Love the green pieces you've snapped up - gorgeous on you. I need to shop with you soon, will think about what is best for us.

Have a lovely Sunday afternoon.

Lucy x

Ava G said...

What a great post, Curtise! I am still swooning over the lights at the Turkish café! You are so right about the perspective. It's all about presentation! Thanks for showing us both sides to your locale. The handkerchief vase is so cool! Littlest seems like quite the character. Balance is the key, isn't it? I like how you're wearing floral on your foray out of the garden. There's nothing like the smell of soil when gardening. (:


Miss Magpie said...

What a shame about the Art Deco building but I guess at least it is listed and won't be knocked down. Better renovated and used than left to decay even if it is a climbing centre.

I always have to laugh when people think because I live near Oxford it must be terribly posh and gentrified, actually my town is a bit of a shitpit but it's home!

Miss Simmonds Says said...

That jerkin looks perfect! I love the colour, I wore out a suede jacket in the same shade of green. Where you live looks vibrant even if there less salubrious bits. It still has more independent non greasy spoon cafes than the whole of Wycombe. I'd love a wander round with you, especially as you always pick up so much from the charity shops. But why didn't you get those my little ponies?! Xxxx

Patti said...

So true and so well-said, Curtise. There's a mix of beauty and blight everywhere. You see the beauty. You're a terrific photo-journalist. xoxoxo

joyatri said...

What a lovely post to read with a cup of tea on a Sunday morning. Those ornamental gates are beautiful and at you and your littlest (and now us) appreciate them. Small pleasures are the most important and your post is filled with them. Thank you.

Sara said...

Suede jerkin is an absolute beauty. A beauty for a beauty. :) Lovely skirt is so pretty and flowy w/ a gorgeous shape. Hat is perfect addition!

Glad you had a wonderful day. Those metal fence panels are quite unique and very pretty. I love running into things like that where you might not expect to find them. :) The one with the incredible saying is quite special. XO!

Lucy Nation said...

First of all, why didn't you get the My Little Ponies?!! I would have bitten your arm off for them! Secondly, this looks like the kind of day I would love to have with my 6 year old. Unfortunately she doesn't want to do anything other than play in her room these days and would probably be so bored. The Antiques Quarter looks great and I love the sign in the park too. I love seeing small vignettes of philosophy in our public spaces. I agree that in the Instagram age it's so easy to romanticise and beautify our surroundings and although it's nice to pretend sometimes, I like your attitude towards reality. I tend to be a bit of a dreamer who struggles with reality. And an abandoned old building into the mix too. Nigh on a perfect post! xxx

Louise Mc said...

I always find those grand, empty buildings so sad. Nothing but the memories of good times holding them together. It's actually even more sad it's being made into an indoor climbing venue. I think you're right about balance, there's good and bad everywhere. X

Emma Kate at Painted Style said...

My weekend's been crap. I wonder when I can stop doing DIY and go on little family outings?
Lovely photos! xxx

freckleface said...

What a lovely day out with you and Littlest. I love the look of Des Amies with those gorgeous lampshades. French/Turkish sounds rather exotic!

That jerkin is wonderful. Did you know I saw it draped on the floor and thought 'I want' but it looks far, far better on you.

As it happens, I think I know Abbeydale Road, my boyf's brother used to live in Nether Edge, and it always looked fascinating but I never got the chance to have a really good root around. Thanks for the photo journey, I've really enjoyed it. Now get back to that garden!! :) xxx

Lucys Lounge said...

hi curtise . what a lovely day. a simple easy day. i loved the pink dressing table and stool. your outfit is great. i am reading of all the great finds you have had over the last few weeks. i have an itch to shop now. love lucyx

Secret Squirrel said...

I want a bowl of My Little Pony(ies)!! They look lovely, but I understand why they stayed in the shop.

Your new suede jerkin fits you very nicely (mm, green and biscuity brown) & it is a treat to 'come along' on your day out. My city is also very much rough with the smooth - I grumble about the rough, but I'd miss it if it went... xx

Sheila said...

Oh, I love that vest. Such fun to see the areas as you see them (the good and the bad). I really like the little details of things like those metal panels.

Gracie O'Tripp said...

Really nice combo of skirt and jerkin. Looks great on you. I love those decorative metal panels, such whimsical designs. Sounds like a great day for you and Littlest.

Ulla-Marie Nilsson said...

You look so good in the 70s shape.

señora Allnut said...

love your jerkin and maxi color combo!, so nice outfit!
And also love your 'illustrated report' about your walks and whatever that caught your eye!, I like genuine and personal sights!, including graffitis and also pretty corners and awesome findings!
besos & beauty

two squirrels said...

Balance is the key, its just trying to find the bloody door it fits in sometimes.....
You and little poppet look like you had a wonderful day of exploring.
She must love being out with such a stylish mum, the skirt is fabulous.
So pleased the vase came home with you, its dii=vine with the yellow edges.
love V

Melanie said...

What a beautiful building; it annoys me when people let things get run down.
I would love that dressing table! Did you know that the Figaro (the car) was originally a lottery prize?

delia hornbook said...

Wonderful photo's I bet your little girl loves spending shopping days with you. Love the 50's chance glass hankie vase. Have a lovely week, dee xxx

Krista Gassib said...

Your town looks lovely graffiti and all. I love that Art Deco building and find it odd they'd turn it into a rock climbing gym, I guess they would call that progress? Big kiss back to little one and a big hug to you! Your new green jerkin looks pretty on as I knew it would.

Balance is a must or I get outta wack. Lately it's been too much time on the computer and not enough outside, but I am working on restoring that:)
Beautiful pictures Curtise!

Anonymous said...

Sheffield seems amazing, I love the cafe, the building and the antique quarter, lot of interesting things to see or do!
You look lovely in your new second to none jerkin and floral maxi, the hat is very cool too!
a big kiss to you Littlest and the rest of your gang!

Anonymous said...

I don't think life would be so much fun if it wasn't such a mixture of beautiful, ugly, clean, dirty and so on. Sheffield looks really interesting. I love your photos of the Turkish Cafe lights, aren't they beautiful?xx

Vintage Coconut said...

That green jerkin looks so awesome on you Curtise.
Littlest must love one on one time with her Mom.
I WANT THOSE LIGHTS!!! Gosh they are Gorgeous!

Helga! said...

This is indeed a lovely post!
A splendid day out with the littlest for a start is pretty awesome, but you did a whole lot of eating, chatting, shopping and noseying about, and I appreciate that spending solo time with one of your children must be quite special, and I also appreciate that we got to come along!
It would be very easy to make out you live in wonderland, but why would you?! I like the reality, some good, some not-so-good.Life, that's what it is!
Love! XXX

Anonymous said...

Great outfit for us tall gal, Curtise! I would so wear that, especially to that sweet little cafe.

You're so right; our work is such a mix of the perfect and the imperfect.

Forest City Fashionista said...

I am definitely suffering from a senior brain moment - when I first read this post, I was sure you said that beautiful building was going to be turned into an "indoor plumbing venue", which didn't make any sense, and then I looked again, only to see that it was "climbing", not "plumbing"....sigh. Your newly-acquired suede jerkin looks great - green really is your colour! Balance is the key to a physically and mentally healthy life, but it's a daily challenge to stay on the tightrope.

bonsaimum said...

I think your area looks interesting.The Abbeydale Picture House is to die for. An indoor climbing venue just won't do it justice. Heathens I say!!! Of course you look splendiferous as always. :)

Tilly Trotter said...

You must live just down the road from me! Lovely to see the Antiques quarter and des aimes. I once found the most beautiful tins of French tuna on the giant B&M bargains opposite( surprisingly not pictured ;) ). Anyway, I love your style and shall keep my eye out for you and your lovely dresses.