Saturday, August 18, 2012

WInston Churchill and Gumps Department Store

History will be kind to me for I intend to write it.
Winston Churchill

Winston Churchill is everywhere these days.

Perhaps it is the times - when times are tough, there is a natural tendency to turn our nostalgic gaze to leaders from other times who faced equally, if not far worse, challenges.

There he was, at the closing ceremonies of the Olympics last Sunday:

Still an icon today: An artist imitating Winston Churchill performs during the Olympics Closing Ceremony

And recently in the fine HBO Biopic, Into the Storm, played by the amazing Brendan Gleeson:

Brendan Gleeson stars as Winston Churcill in BBC Two's Into the Storm

Biographies about him are everywhere, as everyone wants to revisit and reimagine what made Churchill tick and his role in the history of his day.

There was even the recent tempest in the teapot as to whether or not President Obama had "gotten rid of" the Churchill bust that has graced the White House since the 1960s.

But there he is (that is Obama and Prime Minister David Cameron having a good look at Winnie):

President Barack Obama shows Prime Minister David Cameron of the United Kingdom a bust of Sir Winston Churchill (July 20, 2010)

I have always enjoyed Winston Churchill; His wit and wisdom is almost unparalleled and the filter which is on almost all current politicians (except perhaps Joe Biden in the US) to be politically and otherwise correct was blessedly missing in him.  I have a close colleague who looks remarkably like FDR at work and we call ourselves Winnie and Franklin and frankly, it has gotten us through a few dull meetings...

So what made me think of Winston today?

Every once in a while I like to visit the Gumps Department Store website.  For those of you who don't know, and I would have been one of you until last Christmas season, Gumps is a famous San Francisco Department Store.

I have never been to San Francisco, but when I eventually go I will make a pilgrimage to this fine place as it appears that this store has everything you didn't know you needed!  Even better, at Christmastime they have an amazing Christmas Collection that makes me drool with delight!

The store describes itself as "The legendary San Francisco destination for luxury gifts, jewellry, artful objects and home decor".

Where else could you find these lovelies:


I NEED versailles flannel pajamas.  Really, I do...  You can get yours here.

How about fragrant shoe sachets?  I did not know such things existed but now that I know they do I need them and so do you!

You know you want them

And I would place them inside my silk mules:


I would feel like I was Myrna Loy in the Thin Man wearing these.

And really, you would need to bring this silk scarf home with you:


Isn't it lovely?  Get yours here.

But I digress with all these lovelies!  What got me to thinking about Winston this morning was this delight:


The Winston Bulldog statue and he can be yours here for only $79 US.

One thing you need to know about me:  I am a sucker for dog decor though I have almost none of it.  And dogs smoking are even better.  Which is odd, as I abhor smoking.  I also love dogs playing cards or shooting pool, but that is another post and sort of embarassing at times (no - I don't have these in my house, but would in a heart beat!)

This little iron beauty would have a place of distinction in my library.  I could see him wearing a hat at Christmas time and high holidays and I would probably place a glass of scotch beside him every January 24th for Winston's birthday.

He seems downright dignified compared to this cheeky, and more expensive, fellow:


For only $385, this little fellow can be the talk of your cocktail parties!

So... Do you like Winston, too?  Have you ever been to Gumps?  What purely frivolous thing are you coveting these days??

Have an awesome Saturday!


  1. I too like crabby old men like WC!! I have never heard of this store but I must go check out those Versailles pyjamas, they are awesome.
    I am more of a minimalist when it comes to my house and right now I am fantasizing about de-cluttering after my son moves out and takes all of his stuff. I will have a big empty room downstairs that will become my ironing centre, and I'll finally be able to set up my sewing machine so I can make the tablecloths and napkins from the fabric I bought last year in France!
    I don't like much decor around me but of course my clothes closet is another story as you know! ;)

    1. Ha! I am trying to minimize my wardrobe, but love my things! My grandmother was an antique dealer and nb expert and I blame her for this affliction!

  2. Oh of course those pyjamas are BedHead! My cousin Renee owns that company! She's actually my Dad's first cousin, she grew up in my small hometown and moved out to LA as a young woman. Small world isn't it!

    1. Oh! Does that mean friend and family discount? :-)

      How cool is that!

  3. Yep hubs wrote a book about him, I loved researching it, he had such a biting wit.
    Fab pj's, I should really buy some decent flannel pj's for once, I love their soft cosy comfort in winter time. I'm not one for ornaments or anything like that, but I am coveting copper pots and a big Le Creuset casserole dish - how middle aged am I?

    1. Wow! Can I get the name of it? Would love to read it. I love to read history and anything about Winston.

      Too funny - Dani is related to the pajamas and you have the Winston connection!

    2. Between us we can cosy up with a good book!

  4. Winston has been long admired by me. Gumps is a favorite store of mine. I go at least once a year to drool over the jewelry, furniture and the entire 2nd floor of china, crystal, etc. My grandmother loved Gumps too. Holiday time is best for the vast array of ornaments and decor, but anytime is grat to visit.

    1. I think Gumps is now on my bucket list! I must go there!

  5. Love reading your blog. You put a lot of energy and time into your posts and it must be a great feeling to organize the wardrobe before fall. How many sleeps till Paris? Enjoy the vacation and take lots of pictures for us.

  6. Thanks Marsha! 3 sleeps till Paris! I actually watched Julie and Julia (or is it the reverse?) and it got me in the mood!

    Nothing left but the packing! I will take lots of pictures for sure!

  7. I live near SF all my life and never once set foot in Gumps although I walk past it each Christmas. Now I would have to take a peek inside. I'm sure my young sons would get stimulation overload! I'm reading 'The Night Circus' and so far, so good. A WC biography may be next on my book list.

    Your blog is so fun to read. I enjoy it thoroughly!


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