Well, it was on the cards for quite a while. We were down to our last two red wine glasses when one got broken whilst taking it out of the cupboard.
We found a set of four in a local charity shop about two years ago. They were really cheap – £2.50 the lot – but they were great quality and each held almost an entire bottle! They’re quite fragile, they make that lovely, lead crystal ringing sound when flicked gently with a fingernail.
Sadly, one by one, they were getting broken. We’ve been trying to be so, so very careful when using them and washing them up. We’ve been down to the last pair for almost a year, but we knew that it was only a matter of time… a split second of lost concentration…
The chances of us finding another great set like that in a charity shop are slim. We’re probably going to have to shell out properly for replacements. But what should we do? We can get a six-pack of cheap & cheerful ones from IKEA for just £1.25. That’s probably a good decision considering our track record! But the lovely ones from John Lewis hold ¾ of a litre – no topping up needed – decisions, decisions!
Justin’s parents’ neighbours have a few different fruit trees in their garden. In the past couple of years, we’ve had some of the harvest. Last year we made spiced apple chutney, the year before apple cheese. This year, we picked almost 5 kilos of plums – the sweetest, ripest plums we’d ever tasted!
We both ate half a dozen each in a couple of days but we would never be able to work our way through many before before they began to get over-ripe. I’d already made jars upon jars of fruit jam & jelly this year, so I turned half into spiced plum chutney and half into plum jam.
We’ve chosen glass fishing floats for this week’s Creative Collections post – we love the subtle colour variations and irregularities in shape.
Glass floats originated in Norway in about 1840. Christopher Faye, a Norwegian merchant, in collaboration with the Hadelands Glass Works, is credited with their invention. Early examples were hand blown, later the glass was injected into wooden moulds resulting in the faint seam line which can be seen on many examples. Modern replicas are also being produced.
This is how they would have originally been used – encased with a twine netting holder. These would have then been attached to the large fishing nets & lines to keep mile after mile of them afloat in the sea. This is quite a basic form of holder, but the more elaborate antique examples crafted by the fishermen or their wives during long winter evenings can be a things of real beauty. Glass floats are no longer used having been replaced by plastic, aluminium or Styrofoam. However, thousands of the glass ones are still afloat, travelling along in the currents of the world’s oceans. They’re prized by beachcombers and used in interior decoration.
They’re great for interior display – particularly the genuine older examples which have so much character. A collection looks great in a large bowl for example – and they look really fabulous on a window sill where the sun catches the glass and fills the room with coloured light and shadows.