Spanish donkey

Seemed like a good idea at the time

Ever had one of those ‘What was I thinking?’ moments, when you’ve opened your case back home in Blighty and the lurid plate from Tenerife is staring out at you?

I love to buy little mementos when I am away but it is a thin line between tat and taste…

Here’s a few of the bits that I have picked up from my travels…

Dolly mix

I started collecting Russian dolls when I was a young girl (I actually collected dolls – any dolls – but that’s another story!).

This one above I picked up on a trip to St Petersburg…

This was my first ever Russian Doll from the 1970s
An Indian Russian Doll with sari on

Some of my most cherished things that I have picked up are ceramic pieces…

A blue sculpture plaque from Barbados
Sea glass art from Cornwall adorns my bathroom wall
This vintage bone china tea set with scenes from China was picked up in a second hand store in Pembrokeshire, Wales
I love this pink tea cup I found in a vintage shop in Sydney, Australia
This aqua tiny bowl is so tactile and gorgeous but cost a fortune at the time. I was a student in Venice and just had to have it
This pastel-hued tea cup and saucer is from an art gallery in St Ives, Cornwall. It is one of my favourite things. It comes with a really pretty tin spoon with painted flowers on.
Cornish, blue, hand-made bowl
We got this all-white plaster plaque, made with moulds of our boys' hands and feet, in a night market in Sicily

I also try and look out for photography or framed prints by local artists to bring home…

Sepia tones of windswept palm trees taken in St Lucia
Buddhist monks, bought in Phuket, Thailand
Sydney skyline
Moody Edinburgh Castle
I have two of these little pictures of framed, drawn kitchen items. I found them in a little shop in San Gimignano, Tuscany, Italy

If you choose carefully, you can still find mainstream touristy bits that, displayed in the right way, can still look good at home – or so I think! Such as these glazed ceramic mini tiles from Italy. I think they really give a pop of colour against my white kitchen walls and tiles and always bring back sunny memories when I catch sight of them…

Sicily tile
Positano tile

I love my Thai pink elephant – but admittedly it is borderline, being on the wrong side of kitsch!

Tasteful or tasteless?

As is this pot from Russia (below)

Pot from St Petersberg

Foodstuffs… they always seem like a good idea at the time… but I never fancy them once I get home!

Taste was an issue with this truffle oil from Alba, Italy

I haven’t ever bought back a Spanish donkey, but wouldn’t rule it out!

What an ass!

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