I won the fight over who was going to have our car on Walpurgis, Saturday 30 April 2016. But it was a long fight, lasting several weeks, where the family thought I could take the train to Farum and me insisting that it was easier for the family, to take the bus to Lomma, in order to celebrate Walpurgis, with church members. An event which takes place every year and is one I never take part in, since parties are not my thing.
I read about the Farum dollhouse festival, months ago, when I was studying Jane Harrop’s kits and realised SHE was coming to my neighbourhood. I missed her at Miniatura, in 2014 when she was at a wedding, and I was mighty disappointed. So this time I just had to go. The more I read about Farum’s fair, the more I wanted to go since it is quite a big one for Scandinavia, with 65 vendors. But I refused to sit on a train for 3 hours there and 3 hours back, not counting the ticket, which would have cost a fortune, while my husband and three of the five children travelled for free to the coastal community of Lomma.
09:20, I set out from home with the GPS, we have nick named Jane (Fairfax), since that is who she sounds like. Being nervous about everything. That the bridge would be closed down because of too much wind. That Jane would have one of her moments, and lead me astray. Or that our unpredictable VW would break down in a foreign country.
Jane did have one of her moments on the motorway, when it split in two directions and she did not tell me where to go at all. Luckily I had snapped up from my husband that Farum is close to Hilleröd, so I followed those signs. And soon I was in Farum, Jane once again having a moment and not telling me where to go, but I kept my eyes open and parked the car by the bytorv, which houses a long shopping center. I had made it in an hour, which I thought was excellent and after finding a loo and a cash machine, I was ready to head to the Culture house. I had spotted the sign through a door, by a supermarket, so I headed out that door and over to an entrance, where several other ladies entered.
Strange thing was that we entered straight in to the fair, without anyone selling tickets or checking us. I walked around a little and felt strange, since I had not paid entrance and I eventually walked up to a woman and asked her where she got her program from. She looked at me and answered in Swedish, “at the entrance”. I had to ask where that was and told her where I had got in. She told me that of course I could continue looking without paying, but I told her that if everyone did that, they would not be able to host these sort of events anymore. “Good thing I am Swedish, otherwise I would not have understood your reasoning”, she said and laughed and I walked out one door and joined a very long queue, to get my ticket and a stamp on my hand. Boy were there lots of people. I must say that I appreciated Miniatura better, with their limited tickets. It is not fun at an event like this, with too many people. The things you are to look at are tiny, and in order to see properly, you need to stand right by the table. And there were too many people to get to many of the tables. When I went back to the most crowded ones, the items I would have liked to have purchased, were sold out and most of the sellers do not have internet shops or updated such!
But my trip was by no means wasted. I managed to spend almost every Danish krona I had taken out from the cash machine. My first stop had to be Jane Harrop of course. It was fun to talk to her and to see all her little things in real life, displayed on a shelf and thumb through all the 1:12th kits. It was funny because this elderly lady beside me, did not feel confident in speaking English to Jane, but she watched what I took and then took the same things. We had a tower of Babel moment when I had taken a WWII first aid kit and she did not understand what it was. She being Danish and me being Swedish, we had to overcome our natural shyness and I had to try to explain in as simple Swedish as possible, so that she would understand: “The Second Big War. Bombs fell down. People got injured. They needed this to help them!”. She happily nodded and helped herself to that kit as well. So I guess I was standing beside a fellow WWII enthusiast making a Blitz house, or?
I was very, very excited about these three kits since I had not seen them before on Jane’s site. The revolving bookcase, is one I saw in the replica dollhouse, at the Imperial War Museum, so that one I am extra excited about. I have not taken it out of the bag yet, but I hope and pray that I will be able to see what I am doing and be able to put it together. Tweezers will be a must! While standing there, Jane told me that I would need sticky glue and that she had seen that in the big hall, so reluctantly I said farewell to her stall and walked over to the big hall, to see if I could find the necessary glue.
To enter, you had to show your stamped hand, so I avoided an embarrassing moment by having paid for my ticket! The big hall was a nasty place. A gym hall which was hotter than hot and too many people were in there, for comfort. I must mention Truus Kobes, the dutch seller, with his amazing assortment of yarns in the shades of all colours available on this planet. Unfortunately, he speaks no English and I could not understand his German. The only two sentences I understood was “Do you know how to knit?” and “It is good for your love life”. Doubt it. But I can only knit with Swedish patterns, so I had to forego all those lovely yarns that were to die for. Sometimes you see something tempting and lovely, but you really have to rain yourself in and ask yourself “What will I use it for?” I could not come up with an excuse for buying anything from him.
Stall 36, had wonderful suitcase kits, which open, BUT there were too many people and when I later walked up to an empty stall, at the end of the day, they only had one left in peach. Why make a peach suitcase? Has such ever existed? Not in 1940, that I am dead certain of. The ladies thought I should buy the display case one in black, but I will not pay 175 DKK for a suitcase I could have put together myself for 100 DKK less! Sorry! Stella Que Passa from the Netherlands, did get my business though. She had all sorts of glues and kindly guided me to the right kind. Next to them stood Art of Mini, which was at Miniatura, and do not really have my kind of items. Nice shabby chic things and a well visited stall, but no.
But in a box, over by the Italian ladies selling gorgeous handbags etc., artofmini had put little fabric pieces and I got stuck there for quite a while and more women wanted to see what I had found of course. One of Jane Harrop’s kits, is an Edwardian arm-chair. She has a Utility chair as well, BUT do not make Utility furniture for a 1940 Blitz house. The only ones entitled to Utility furniture were newly weds and bombed out people and those furniture did not come on the market until the second end of the war. No such thing existed in 1940. So Edwardian it will have to be, since Art Deco is too fancy and too costly. Not that many people had Art Deco furniture either, since people were suspicious of this new style. If anything, they would get a lamp or a mirror or a clock. Nothing so costly as furniture, which they would be stuck with for years.
But Jane says on the kit, that fabric is not included. I have not dared to buy fabric since that is something which really has to be 1:12 size. You can’t have the wrong size patterns on the fabrics, but they must be true to scale. And looking at things on the internet is no big hit. But here I had the fabrics in front of me. But not owning a house yet, I was indecisive. What colours should I buy? Which sort of pattern did exist 1940? I settled for three pieces of fabric from this stall and bought two more fabric pieces from Else Marie Foged, from a basket she had on the floor. Something of what I have bought, must be of some use. At least almost all of them are 1940 colours and patterns.
As I walked out to get my ticket, I had walked by an amazing stall, which I now wanted to revisit properly. Victoria Fasken’s stall was well visited when I went to have a proper look at all her little metal items. One lady asked her if she ever makes the things in glass or porcelain and she said that she used to, but they broke too often so she went over to metal and I wanted to clap my hands, because I loooooove metal miniature things. Nothing feels so lasting and of good value. But of course everything is not suitable to be made in metal. The items I was most drawn to, were though. Alright, they look like they belong in a Jane Austen room or dollhouse, but on the other hand, now when I am back home and have been sitting looking in Jane Harrop’s book “Edwardian Era”, I have spotted exactly the same items I bought from Victoria. So Jane has placed them in an Edwardian setting and if those items were around in 1918, they could still have survived to sit in my 1940 house. In my WAAF girl Lily’s room, which I intend to decorate in blue. Are these items not the most exquisite?
In the hall which normally is a cinema and theatre, I bought two cheap items from Lena Nobaek, Sweden. I don’t really like cheap mass-produced things which look cheap, but these two items were perfectly alright. Cutlery for my little family and a little trolley in the Kockum look, used by the possibly evacuated children of the family. Trolleys were used to walk around with and collect old paper and scrap metal, which was used to make spitfires and weapons. How could I resist such a detail?
From Nestved Miniaturklub I bought a tiny little pillow to cross stitch this summer, for one of the arm chairs in the sitting room and from Daniela Nielsen, I bought the tiniest crochet needle and some drole yarn that looked sooooo warlike. I could not even capture the colour properly on the photo I took, for this post, but it is a dark brown/olive-green with strands of black. I want to crochet a carpet from the yarn, since if there is something which is really expensive in the miniature world, it is bedding, quilts, carpets, pillows etc. Everything which has taken hours to make from yarn and fabric.
I will never find exactly what I am looking for in a shop, so I hope I will be able to see and make these things myself. Maybe I will have to go and get new glasses after all, but I don’t want to. Last time was such a fiasco, when after 6 months I finally had to return both the glasses I had purchased and this after having them back and forth to the shop more times, than I could count.
In the gallery, I did not buy a thing, even though there were plenty of pretty things. The most vexing thing was K.J. Design. They sell the gorgeous paints Vintage Paint Jeanne d’Arc. But of course the colours I need and wanted, had sold out right away. I took their information and I guess they are connected with a miniature museum, which would be fun to visit. But it is over on Fyn, which means two bridge fees! And I can’t order them on-line from them, since now I don’t remember the names of the colours. I have actually been sitting googling the paints all day, the paint and the colours, but I am none the wiser. It ended with me ordering the colour chart from an interior decorating shop here in Sweden, but they are sold out on it now, so it will not be shipped to me, until they get it back in stock. No date for when that will happen though, so in a way I am back to square one. K.J. Design had some nice wood furniture as well, but to be honest, their entire stall was in such a mess that it was uninspiring looking at things. I think I would rather visit their real shop. To look at boxes where you can’t see what is inside and the quality of things, is not my thing.
Frustrated, I walked out of the gallery, only to discover that the cafeteria no longer had any sandwiches to sell nor anything else funny. I had to leave the fair to go and buy myself an ice cream, since I was close to fainting from not having eaten anything. But I was soon back and ready to get my arm-chair kit from Jane Harrop’s stall, now when I had five different fabric pieces to use on them!
This time I was served by the husband and he was very friendly and said he was convinced I would be able to put the chairs together, that they test the kits out on their students first. How does one become one of their students? That sounded fun! Well, here is hoping that I will do well. From there I walked in to the theatre again, to look at a doll house, which was on sale at Minimani’s stall. To my chock, Gunnel, was packing down everything. But we started to talk about that doll house, about doll houses in general, how difficult it is to put a kit together, how much it cost to decorate one etc. She was taking the house home and not bringing anything for the Sunday fair, except what she could fit in a suit case, since she was going by train that day. I said that I could not buy the house without consulting my husband and she asked where I live. The world really is a small place! She lives in our council, in the town where my children go to school. Actually, just a throw away from where “Kitty” and “Cookie” go to school, but since the other two go to school out here in the countryside, in our neighbour villages, I don’t go in to town anymore except for meetings with habilitation (for autism), child psychiatric care (for ADHD) and the hospital (“Gubby’s” kidney).
But she gave me a picture of the doll house to show T. and also of two others she has for sale at home. And I am welcome to go and look at them in her home! We stood and talked for 40 minutes and after that, I decided to go and use up my last coins, foolishly it turned out. I bought this pretty cauliflower and cabbage, instead of walking on to the last stall, which was now empty of people, so I could see all they had. I am so angry. I could not run and get more money, because the fair was closing. At the last stall, they had a beautiful little balloon whip with wood handle and a dish washing brush with wood handle. They said they have them in their internet shop but I looked and the latter is not there. So I have to be content with my vegetables:
So some real nice finds, some frustration over sold out items, and perhaps a foolish last buy! But they were so well made and the lady who had made them, was delighted to make a sale. Gunnel from Minimani was not so happy, when the organizer lady walked around collecting the stall fees, because she had not sold well at all.
When I got out, I headed for the three supermarkets that were all pathetic. But T. did not want me to go to Lomma and fetch them too early. The Walpurgis thing started at 16:00 and I was done at 17:00. So I wasted 40 minutes in the supermarkets and then sat down in the car to drive back to Sweden, having nothing else to do. When I got over on the Swedish side, I phoned him and he ordered me to go to Macdonald’s to eat and kill time, so that is what I did and got upset of course, since I told the young man three times, that I don’t want cheese on my filet-o-fish and of course it came out with cheese on it! So tiresome! I hate orange cheese or whatever it is. It does not taste cheese, so I suspect that it is orange coloured glue!
At 19:10, I felt I had nothing else to do than to go and fetch the gaggle, and I guess they were pretty much ready to go when I arrived. “Gubby” had played “brännboll”, which is a game resembling I don’t know what? Baseball? Cricket? You take a bat, hit the ball and run around in a square to get a home run or you can stop and wait for the next batters’ shots, at one of the three out cones, and then run for it. The out team tries to catch your ball and burn everyone running, by throwing it to a “burner”, located by the batter. Poor “Gubby” was allowed to hit with a tennis racket and then he just ran around flaxing in circles, since my autistic boy doesn’t really understand games like this. But I think he had fun anyway. People know he is autistic, so I hope they did not scream at him.
All in all, a good day for us all. I had a nice day, getting away from home but perhaps spending a little bit too much. And the family had fun celebrating Walpurgis and I guess they had a fun bus ride as well. “Gubby” just loves going on buses but rarely get to do so. And seeing him excited always make us all happy!