A new favourite shop in Oxford and random thoughts for Friday

August 1, 2013

I actually went to Scriptum, the most beautiful fantasy shop that any lover of paper products and all things writing could ever imagine to shop in, but look what I found around the corner!

A brand new shop! 🙂

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Objects of Use, how fantastic is that name? Doesn’t it absolutely label everything in the shop as practical, useful and maybe even needful?

Well done marketing people, well done.

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Inside is classic old world simplicity with an industrial modern edge. One of my most favourite things about England is that people know how to seamlessly blend, say, a 17th century Cotswold stone wall with a steel and glass ultra modern door and it looks so fantastic.

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Ok, So I’m walking around, totally in love with everything in sight and I see these beautiful balls of garden twine. HAVE TO HAVE ONE! So I flipped over the luggage tag…GULP £27!!! That’s $42.25!!! FOR A SEXY BALL OF GARDEN TWINE? Why?

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It got worse…or maybe I should say stayed consistent. £25 for a small whisk broom.

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Don’t even ask how much those sexy tea towels cost. No wonder I tend to source old things in thrift stores and flea markets. Sometimes I wonder who would pay this kind of money. Is it for people who don’t care? Don’t know any better? Think, “what the hell, we’re on vacation, let’s go for it”? I’ve no idea.

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Maybe it’s me. I know I’ve got more imagination than money. But for me, that’s a fantastic thing.

So goodbye beautiful sexy new store, see you in my dreams. 🙂

Linking with Nancy at A Rural Journal for her Friday Five. 🙂

WordPress weekly photo challenge: Foreshadow
Vintage market day in Oxford

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  • Reply Karen August 2, 2013 at 1:48 am

    Yikes! Very nicely displayed – but…. I think imagination is a great thing to have!

    • Reply Veronica August 2, 2013 at 5:17 am

      I know Karen, very beautiful display but the prices!

  • Reply Beth August 2, 2013 at 2:38 am

    i think dreams keep us going – they health us, makes us smile & they work things out in ourselves. or at least i think so. ha. ha!! ( :

    • Reply Veronica August 2, 2013 at 5:17 am

      So true Elizabeth. 🙂

  • Reply Robyn August 2, 2013 at 3:59 am

    Neat store find, Veronica! Looks like a place I could spend hours in. Treasures!

    • Reply Veronica August 2, 2013 at 5:18 am

      Me too Robyn, loads to take away from that store and reproduce in my own home for a fraction of the cost. 🙂

  • Reply Snap August 2, 2013 at 4:07 am

    I love the name of the new store and it looks like it would be fun to explore and make notes of what to look for at the thrift stores! 😉 Fun post.

    • Reply Veronica August 2, 2013 at 5:22 am

      Exactly right Snap! 🙂 The little tin enamelled bowl at the bottom right of the last photo, was £32 and about 4″ across. I bet I can get that at the camping store for 99¢!

  • Reply Diane August 2, 2013 at 4:16 am

    I have to simply laugh out loud sometimes when in stores and I see their prices. I know they need to make a profit but the greed is sometimes so evident in their prices. Yikes!

    • Reply Veronica August 2, 2013 at 5:27 am

      It is greed, isn’t it Diane. Or else that whole “we’re exclusive so we’re worth it” mentality. I bet it wouldn’t be that hard to take a garden centre ball of twine on a wooden peg, (I know the Burford Garden Centre sells them for about £7) and dress it up with a bit of tin from the scrap yard!

  • Reply Stephanie August 2, 2013 at 4:48 am

    I want to see who buys a $42 ball of twine. It’s a great looking item and I would be attracted to it in a store – until I saw the price.

    • Reply Veronica August 2, 2013 at 5:28 am

      Fly on the wall Stephanie 🙂 Me too!

  • Reply vastlycurious.com August 2, 2013 at 5:30 am

    Lovely! We have stores like that here as well and people do pay! I will take an old Tea towel which is softly worn any day !

    • Reply Veronica August 2, 2013 at 10:26 am

      Me too Kathryn, something with a history and maybe even a small burn mark, that’s for me. 🙂

      • Reply vastlycurious.com August 2, 2013 at 7:24 pm

        I think so too. It brings elusive history !

        • Reply Veronica August 3, 2013 at 5:25 am

          Does it Kathryn? You’ll have to tell me about it sometime. 🙂

  • Reply Martha August 2, 2013 at 5:51 am

    Hi Veronica: That shop looks like so much fun. So glad you are having such fun. Blessings, Martha

    • Reply Veronica August 2, 2013 at 10:28 am

      It’s lovely to go see Martha, but you know, even if I could afford a $45 ball of garden twine, I wouldn’t just for the principal of it. 🙂

  • Reply Roberta August 2, 2013 at 12:08 pm

    It looks like a fun place…

    • Reply Veronica August 3, 2013 at 5:24 am

      Hi Roberta, it was a really fun place to visit. 🙂

  • Reply latane August 3, 2013 at 3:17 am

    Oh, how sad that things in that lovely store was so expensive. Well, we all can dream, can’t we?

    • Reply Veronica August 3, 2013 at 5:28 am

      I know latane, so true, but, we can take some photos and then duplicate the look with more reasonable stuff. 🙂

  • Reply Nancy @ A Rural Journal August 3, 2013 at 5:33 am

    It would be hard to resist any of these beautiful trinkets. 🙂

    • Reply Veronica August 3, 2013 at 7:53 am

      I know Nancy, they are all so pretty! 🙂

  • Reply hula~la August 3, 2013 at 5:41 pm

    Wow…I want to visit that shop, too!

    • Reply Veronica August 4, 2013 at 8:14 am

      Hi hula-la. It’s a great shop to visit. If you come to Oxford you should take a day to mooch around the shops. 🙂

  • Reply Alex August 10, 2013 at 5:16 am

    The German cotton tea towels are £4.50 which I think is fairly reasonable, Irish linen glass cloths £6.50. Simple spools of British made twine are £3.90 or £5.50, the ones with antique bobbins from long closed Lancashire cotton mills are I will admit £27.50 but we’d rather give people the option and the chance to make up their own mind as they are historically interesting and beautiful things – you probably can buy a cheaper far eastern copy, but what would be the point? The ‘enamel bowl’ is a porcelain shaving mug and £20 not £32, so it’s unlikely you would find one in a camping shop, or a significantly cheaper one in a gentleman’s shaving shop. We sell German made rice straw brooms from £12.50, and English made natural bristle room brooms from £17.50, neither of which seem over expensive to me, given the quality of manufacture, materials, and perhaps as importantly the working conditions under which they are made.
    We try to consider the origin and manufacturing of everything we sell, as well as its good value, but value does not simply mean a low price – some things are cheap, just because they are, like Duralex glasses, others are more expensive perhaps because they have taken a skilled craftsman over a day of labour to produce, so naturally these are more expensive, but that hardly means they should not be made, or sold and every shop should resemble Robert Dyas, does it?
    If you still believe we are greedy compare the following:
    It’s the same item and for those who may not know the first store is ‘never knowingly undersold’ so is generally regarded as a good indication of a fair price and yet like for like we consistently come up cheaper. I suppose to paraphrase Ruskin, it will always be true that you can buy similar things to ours – made in distant lands, in uncertain conditions, by workers of uncertain age, of unsustainable materials, and without environmental controls – for a little less, and simply turn a blind eye to future generations, and even your own conscience.
    I hope this doesn’t seem like a rant, but it is frustrating when people jump to conclusions about a shop based only on appearance without taking the time to properly browse its range and prices – my experience is that most who do take the time are often pleasantly surprised by both.
    All the best, and thanks for calling us your new favourite shop!

    • Reply Veronica August 10, 2013 at 9:06 am

      Alex, thank you for this information, much of which I wasn’t aware of. I’ve reviewed my post and am terribly sorry if I’ve offended you and your lovely store. My random five Friday posts are supposed to be just that; five random thoughts. I do believe some items in certain stores are over priced, however, I did not label your company as “greedy” in any way. My opinions on this site are just that…my opinions. When I went past your store I was taken by the lovely pure lines and beautiful objects, but my life is split between two countries and I find England to be much more expensive than Canada and it often reflects in my writing. The people who read my blog come from all avenues of life and from many countries. As it is, if this post were for a magazine article, (which I write) or if these images were for sale, (which I also do), you certainly would have been consulted and I would have made a much deeper study of your store than the superficial first glance I gave it. Also, it is true that I had very little time and so only gravitated to the items which caught my attention immediately, and, as I’m a Master Gardener, it just happened to be that beautiful ball of twine. I am very aware of mass produced and child laboured products and try to always buy ethical trade and would never knowingly support unethically sourced products, (I think you’ll find that Vancouver is one of the more advanced cities for recognising this and I’m more of a Vancouverite than a Brit), but it is true that I didn’t take the time to do an in-depth evaluation of your store and for that I apologise and hope I haven’t caused offence. 🙂

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