Ah, Paris, it’s been way too long since the last time. I’m always so incredibly busy which makes me feel like I don’t have time for a short break that I can’t get away for a few days. But of course I can. And this spring, I finally made it back to Paris. Thanks to Presley, the neighbour’s dog. He was the one who gave me the idea. Or, rather, his owner. Well, actually, it was the teapot. Does that sound a little muddled? Let me explain.
Have you heard of my teapot? I got it from my mother, who in turn got it from sweet Ling, Uncle Roellie's wife. It’s a lovely pot, with a golden spout and a painting of deer, cranes and, what I always thought was most unusual of all, goldfish playing trumpets. Every time I saw that teapot, I was transported back in time. Back to my old bedroom and to my dollhouse with its kitchen with Delft Blue tiles and living room with paintings (that looked almost like the real thing) by the Dutch Masters on the wall.
When I called out to my mum that I could hear the goldfish playing the trumpet – I had a rich imagination already as a child – my mother poured water into the teapot and I was served tea in a beautiful blue cup with golden trim. I stirred in lots and lots of sugar and said to my mother, “To your health, your Majesty.” Because she was the Queen. My mother played along like a pro – I probably got my imagination from her – and she asked in turn, “Have you already kissed a toad today, Princess Pip of the Netherlands?” We had a fabulous time.
But the teapot is now broken. Splintered into dozens of tiny shards when it fell. Presley whipped his long tail over the tea table. He came running out of the garden, chasing a butterfly that had flown inside. The sound of breaking porcelain was distinct and unpleasant, and I’ve never seen his owner’s face so red.
“Oh, deer!” he cried.
“Oh, no!” cried Olle.
Which surprised me actually because I didn’t know Olle was so fond of the teapot (but when he then tried to save the biscuits, I suddenly understood a little better).
Presley’s owner stopped by the following day with a huge package to make amends. Which was totally unnecessary since, and I mean it, after all, things are just things. But I was absolutely delighted with his gift! Presley can break things more often, as far as I’m concerned. The gift was an antique book of patterns from – you guessed it – Paris. It looks a little like an old wallpaper book and is painted completely by hand.
The book motivated me to start painting again. I found inspiration for my new duvets. You can recognise them by the colours, which can probably best be described as vintage pastels. That lovely book gave me so much! It gave me that little push I needed to visit Paris again. And if there’s any place that gives you lots of ideas, it's definitely that city. I immediately envisioned my new wallpaper, I got great new ideas for bags, summer dresses and pyjamas and – doo doo da doo – can you hear the trumpets? - - for bikinis. These are really something totally new. I have them in lots and lots of colours because I simply couldn’t decide which one I liked best. I can mix and match all of them.
To make up for the loss of the teapot, I’ve put the trumpet-playing fish in my new agenda, the notebooks and magazine racks. If you look closely, you'll also see the butterfly that Presley was chasing. And, yes, I’ve also designed a new series of dishes. Every bowl, cup, dish, plate and teapot feature details from my mother’s pot, the Delft Blue from my dollhouse and the flowers and insects from my garden.
It just goes to show you what can come from a broken teapot. And that what they say is really true: Bad luck is followed by good fortune.
I think I’ll ask the Queen over for tea soon.
Love and kisses from PiP