Thursday, 29 September 2011

Hidden Gems: Cotton, Suffolk

So yesterday I played hookey, and went to a little village called Cotton with Belo. It seems somewhat random, as many villages do - so hard to see what brought people to live in a small clump together. However, it has Hidden Gems.

The first Hidden Gem is a rambling building full of old-fashioned 'stuff'. I guess technically this place is an ironmonger's shop, but really it was an Aladdin's cave of Stuff with the surprisingly normal name of J.Lawes.

Stuff you'd never thought of because it's just there somewhere in your life quietly doing its job - but of course, someone must make it, and other someones must buy it .... for example, manhole and drain covers, Vim, Borax, several different types of string and rope sold by the yard from big reels, drawer handles, chains, sweetpea seeds, kerosene lamps, lasagne dishes (trying to tempt Alison down for a visit by mentioning that as she must need to add to her collection), bathmats, galoshes and a truly amazing variety of different mouse and rat traps.

And, well, really, just hardware wonderment in spades. Which they also sell.

To me, these two items are of academic interest only, of course my house is spotless and we have no need of such antiquities as my grandmother used as we have air fresheners. But I did buy the sweetpea seeds as not only are they guaranteed as ''heavily scented'' they are also ''floriferous'' ... and can be planted next month. Which is Saturday, of course.

And the second Hidden Gem was a gift/tea shop called Emzo which was rather like the Tardis in terms of external size related to internal size, but which looked way prettier and I bet smelled tons better too. Belo, who had not questioned that someone might need to buy a door hinge small enough for a dolls house at J.Lawes, along with teak garden seating and a Pyrex measuring jug at the same time, now queried why people might want to buy pretty decorative thingies that were lightly scented to clutter up their house with, or coasters prettily painted with this year's trend ie. cupcakes and ooh ! look ! a matching china mug, candleholder and notebook ! But I did buy some small girly-type pretties for Mini Diva as stocking fillers for Xmas.

Both these mind-boggling shops in this tiny village in the middle of nowhere. Go figure.

Today is the hottest 29th September - 28 centigrade, 82 fahrenheit - since 1865, says the news. So having been to the park and run the legs off the dog earlier while the morning was cooler, now I feel faint and that nothing will cure me but to sit gently and preciously on the patio soaking up some very unseasonal rays ....


  1. Fun discoveries! You always wonder how shops like that in tiny towns stay in business, but they always somehow do...

  2. Sounds like a lovely visit! Finding strange offbeat shops is one of the joys in life. I enjoyed your account of your trip.

  3. Mind-boggling lovely shops often turn up in odd, unexpected places. I suppose that is what makes them extra mind-boggling.

  4. Oh I could do with some new lasagne dishes - I have two to make tomorrow (but it seems to far!).

    I love that Sun card! Andybc.

  5. Borax and Vim! I want to go to Cotton. Random Suffolk villages are the best kind of villages, I say this even though a lot of my Suffolk experiences involve single track roads and an alarming lack of road signs.


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