One of the very obvious joys of taking early retirement is being able to go for days out in the week – instead of having to take my chance on a weekend. I do love children, even those little darlings that belong to pushy parents – it’s not usually the child’s fault they’re rude and skittish. I digress. On my days out I relish the opportunity to wander around the rooms of old houses, heritage properties and the like. Invariably there will be a cafe or shop of some kind selling wonderful momentos of my day out with them. Not. However, these shops do offer a grand insight in to what the owners of the property like to have around them personally. The painted shabby chic dressers and furnishings are a wonder – many a petty vase or dinner set has been bought from such beautiful surroundngs. Shabby chic still rules my country sortis.