Monday, 5 July 2010


If you've visited my blog on fairly regular basis, you will know that I freely admit to being a magazine addict.

There's nothing like coming home from shopping on Friday morning with a pristine copy of a glossy magazine full of luscious photographs that will lift me up to heaven for a few minutes. My favourite features of these magazines are those where we get have a nosey around someone's home. To be perfectly truthful, they are my favourite blog reads too. There's nothing more satisfying than finding great design ideas that can inspire you with ideas for your own home. I thrive on seeing all these quirky, cluttery, shabby homes. My very favourite magazine without doubt is Country Living. I've bought every issue ever published and although there are times when it has gone through a rough patch I still wait eagerly for that familiar thud as it lands on the doormat and I try not to rip the wrappper off before I've done all the housework. Sometimes, I have to admit, I give in, leave the mop in the bucket, or the washing up in the sink, then just wait for the soothing whistle of the kettle before I grab that coffee and pore over the loveliness inside.

This weekend however, I could not contain my disappointment when this month's copy of Coast was hurriedly removed from its plastic wrapper.

Promising start, lovely cover

Bright, cheerful beach huts

The problem was, there it stopped. What's this? Green plastic lump of WHAT? Yeah, we're all going to dash out and buy one of these aren't we girls? Never mind I thought, that's just one article, a bit further along there might just be a Cornish fisherman's cottage with flagstone floors and a kitchen full of Bridgewater - and no I don't care if that's not the 'in thing", it's what I love! Maybe, there will be some lovely slatted wooden doors with old fashioned latches and windows with monkey tailed catches? Not on your life. I thought I was reading a bloody double glazing brochure! Just look at it all.

I'm sure you want one of these. It's even got lightshades hanging from it!

Patio doors.

More patio doors.

Another set of patio doors

And ermm... some patio doors

Just for a attractive(?) staircase.

Don't know what this is but it's not what I expect from CL's sister magazine. If that's 'design' you can keep it.

Look - this house has a red plastic thingy a bit like the green plastic thingy we saw earlier.

All the time I'm hurriedly turning the pages there are sighs and harrumphs and there's also lots of tutting. I'm tempted to get on the phone and tell Mr F of my better not. Believe it or not I'm getting angry and uptight over a magazine of all things. I put it down, walk away and go and do something else for a while. Problem is, I have to keep walking back, picking up the magazine, looking at the offending pages, swear a bit, throw it down in disgust, swear a bit more.
When Mr F comes home I am waiting and before he's untied his working shoes I thrust the offending magazine under his nose.

"Just look at it" I say "Just look". There follows more swearing and sighing from the grumpy old woman and a few giggles from Mr F and 'Well, I can't do anything about it" sort of comments. My temper doesn't improve after a couple of glasses of red and spag bol either.

Later that evening I pick up a copy of H&A. Now this is what I want. Just look at the loveliness of Nikki's home from Nostalgia at the Stonehouse. It immediately makes me feel calm, content and inspired. All's well with the world again. Aah!

Saturday morning and July's CL - all's right with the world, beautiful, calm, English, comforting, home.

And Coast? I've cancelled my subsciption.


Louise said...

ooh that is disappointing! patio doors and plastic objects are not what we want to see!

I like those kinds of magazines too... I was just flicking through country living, ideal home and country homes and interiors before I turned on the computer! I occasionally buy Coast but I won't be buying that one! I think I would have cancelled my cubscription too if I had one!

Justine said...

Funny you should say that! I, too, am addicted to "those sorts" of magazines. My fave is BBC H&A, with one month CL being a close second and the next CH&I. I tried Coast once and was sorely disappointed; I wanted/expected so much more from it; have never bought it again, although I'm not adverse to flipping through it if it see it at a friend's house or at the hairdresser/GP surgery (once in a blue moon!)
Hubby doesn't seem to understand.

pigeon pease said...

I too cancelled my subscription a few months ago,and I told them why, sadly what could be a good mag has turned out rather disappointing.

lynn xx

Catherine said...

God Bless Country Living!! What would we all do without it!! Love it too! Cx

Simone said...

Oh my! At least the furniture can be hosed down in this hot weather! I agree, it isn't what you'd expect from Country Living's sister magazine. Thank goodness the other magazines lived up to expectations!

Rosie said...

The yellow object looks like a squashed banana! When I see all that glass although it is lovely to have the light I just wonder how it is all kept clean and shiny. Love the beach huts on the front cover:)

DarkUFO said...


Hen said...

I agree, I took out a half price subscription to Coast at last year's CL Fair and I haven't continued with it now it's expired. There's the odd gem but on the whole, it's too modern, samey and disappointing.
Hen x

CrazyJaneDesigns said...

Totally agree with you. I stopped buying Coast last year, way too much, 'modern' & 'contemporary' & 'design'

Louise said...

I've spent the afternoon flicking through my country living / country homes and interiors and ideal homes magazines... country living is my favourite too, but I buy others as they take my fancy.

I've never really enjoyed Coast, I have bought it occasionally but generally I prefer the likes of CL and that issue did look particularly disappointing! I don't blame you for cancelling it!

Country Cottage Chic said...

LOL! We are very particular about what we like in our mags aren't we?
Perhaps we need to start our own!!


Tabiboo said...

I couldn't agree more - I was completely fed up with this issue from start to finish...and have been for quite a while. So much so I too have cancelled my subscription.

Nina xx

Andi's English Attic said...

Oh what a shame. I hope you included a note explaining why you cancelled your subscription.
Good old CL saved the day. xx

Annie said...

I totally agree with you, those sort of interiors leave me cold. I subscribe to Cl, Homes and Antiques and Period Living and generally they don't disappoint.
Ann x

Anonymous said...

I just had the shock of my life. I saw the cover of H&A and the words 'disappointing'. I wrote the piece on Niki Fretwell and immediately thought you meant the story that I had put together with Niki. Im very happy to see that it was not my piece that let you down!
Anyway, big phew, and if you would like me to write about you, I will! My heart was racing there!
Ill join you ladies blogging soon, It looks like fun. But Im not sure how to start?
White Rabbit Media.

Devon Dumpling said...

I love my monthly CHI but now we have stopped printing it I am actually gonna have to start paying for it! I hate paying for mags even if it isn;t one that we print! x

potterjotter said...

Problem with contemporary design is that by definition it has no 'story' or 'history' attached to it ... and I think that's what we want, even if its our own imagined story. We like things that touch our soul - not things that are devoid of soul. Love your blog - just found it today.

Pipany said...

CL is my favourite too, though I did think this last one was a little boring (golly I swore!!). I often find it is when poting over my backcopies that I get the best from them. Ah, so related to this post m'dear! x

Mummy Boo Bear said...

I have to be honest I always have a sneaky flick through the housey mags before I buy. To check that there are lovely eye candy homes in them. I hate it when it all starts getting brown and beige! lol I dont buy them then. But it is dissapointing when the homes featured are not what you would expect.

Thank goodness your Country Living didnt let you down.


kate said...

I love buying British mags, when Im in UK, don't know why I like them so much more than here in States, I am able to get a couple here, but too few!!!


Hello, i am in total agreement with you about coast, and w ill not re subscribeing, do you know i had,nt really noticed the patio door over kill, mainly because i had skimmed through it loking for some thing tio take my interest and found nothing . so sad because it could be great ,so many lovely old cotages they could feature and dont!!! I think we all should write to them and lae them know how we feel? still adore country living though , the world would end if that went down the pan!! so glad some one has said what i have elt for a while, best wishes,Linda x

tracey @ the vintage bothy said...

I stopped buying Coast sometime ago as I have become disappointed with the features, I do like modern design but like shabby chic sometimes it can be a bit much, they used to mix it up. I always have CL and after many years away have started buying H&A again. I supplement my addiction with lovely blog reading!

Curlew Country said...

Oh I know!!!!! The problem I find with Coast is that occassionally - just occassionally, they'll go and feature somehwere fab so I don't cancel my subscription.

But most i'ts full of all this arty, modern stuff isn't it. I could live with it if there was at least a mixture in every edition. H&A does this quite well I think, featuring vintage and classic antiques and they do regularly ask readers what they want to see.

Coast is so up it's own you-know-where that they never bother. Seems you can only enjoy the British coast if you love modern, cutting edge design. Even when they run a "traditional British seaside" feature there's rarely any vintage/cosy styling to be seen. Very disappointing usually!

Hope you're feeling calmer now.

Ticking stripes said...

Make sure you buy this months Homes and Antiques - its full of vintage- see my blog post!

Posie Rosie said...

Oh I too love a magazine filled with gorgeous country interiors, although I have noticed CL have a habit of repeating photos...I have seen their garden 'escapes' (sheds) several years running now, and some are the same as last year. I prefer that to the patio doors look though...

BusyLizzie said...

Yep, I am with you all the way.. that mag would have been straight down to the local surgery for the waiting room!!!!!

a mermaids purse said...

i know exactly what you mean- the sheer pleasure to see such a lovely front cover but then on opening the magazine it stops there in its tracks...Country Living is my fav! mainly for the constant mix of homes and gardens.

lovely post, lovely blog ;0)x