North America,  Travel

Fowls and Antiques of Bothell’s Country Village

The royal wedding’s done and dusted off, everybody’s had their fill of dissecting the fashion of the new duchess and her guests, and life is back again to the realm of the normal. After a weekend of harried baking and then socialising in the cosy piano bars of New York City, I am back to picking up the thread where I had left off. Seattle and around.

Now there’s a medley of antique and home decor stores in the city of Bothell, about 22 miles and a half-an-hour drive from Seattle. The good thing about living with a local like your sister-in-law is that she will take you to places that only residents have the knowhow of. Intimate places where time goes slow, where the rustic cedar-shingled buildings huddle together and where you can land up time after time.

When we reached this charming cluster of buildings on the Bothell-Everett highway, it felt like we had fallen through a hole into an oasis of quiet. Inside the parking lot, we had to halt. Duck and duckling crossing time. I hopped off the car and crept after them. But you know how animals are bloody nimble. Fluffy little balls on the tiniest of feet sped into the stream trickling by. All along the vigilant senior sounded out a series of alarmed quacks.

There is that much quacking one can take, so I headed for the stores, only to be confronted this time by a mighty fine specimen of a rooster. This fellow gave me the once-over, turned his head away in condescension, and after a few minutes of ignoring me, did an about-turn showing me his feathery behind, and stomped off. The huff was inaudible but palpable.

With the aim of giving all rude fowl a wide berth — just not possible in Country Village — I walked past the duck pond. Plump ducks in pairs squatted and quacked, others waddled around a pond upon which dwarf trees with white blossoms leaned in, as if to skim its surface. The stores themselves gave me heartache because we had sworn off buying more junk than we can stow away. A paraphernalia of quaint objects confronted me. Pretty teapots, silverware and coffee grinders that must have been handed down generations till they landed in the store, books autographed by actresses from the ’20s, sepia-tinted photographs of families from the late 1800s to the early 1900s, glassware that had seen better days, and shabby dolls that stared back at me with vacant eyes, promising Chucky-style terror.

It is  staggering to see the variety of things that line the shelves of these stores, things that you would never have known existed but in a few seconds you nod wisely about their practicality in the scheme of things, and things that could be yours. That day I looked temptation in the eye and the win was mine. The only thing I succumbed to from the till of a store — where little girls host their birthday parties with spa and beauty treatments — were chunky oat cranberry cookies that dissolved into my mouth, doubly laden with the pleasures of coconut and butter. The on-dit is that it has been sold to townhouse developers, so who knows if I shall see County Village again? So I leave you with a few images from this endearing place near Seattle and hope against hope that it shall not be a heap of stony rubbish some day.

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50 Comments

  • Osyth

    What a peace of paradise! The quackers and the cluckers are a delight, that buckboard (I think that’s what those crude horse-drawn carts were called) and the buildings all mellowed to that delicious shade of not-red not-brown should be preserved for all eternity. Since it seems they may not be I can only be grateful for your lovely prose and pictures giving me a little glimpse before the developers march their supposedly progressive march. Thank you DD xx

    • dippydottygirl

      Buckboard ah…I would have gone for a mere carriage instead 🙂 You know, I forgot to mention the caboose and the buckboard both, even though I had intended to. Scatty as usual. But thank you for your generosity, my dear Osyth. Your words are a bower of goodness. Any plans for the long weekend? xx

      • Osyth

        I was cowboy MAD as a girl so I know all the terms for anything to do with horses in this country 🤭 We will be working hard in the yard and rewarding ourselves with delicious bakery along the way this weekend but we travel to Baltimore on Tuesday and thence to DC for the following weekend. Hope your weekend (all three days) is a beauty xx

        • dippydottygirl

          Now that sounds like a plan. Baltimore and DC would spice things up I bet. I am yet to see either of them. You go make the bakery count! I shall pilfer my stock of frozen Danishes this weekend meanwhile.
          I profit by your equine enthusiasm, for boy, who else would have identified a buckboard. And now I shall walk around with a know-it-all air and frequent flicks of the hair to accompany it. xx

          • Osyth

            Own that buckboard knowledge, sister and flick those locks with verve! Enjoy your Danishes …. I will be making a scientific study for the purposes of bakery research of several key coffee shops in the area. Life is tough. Very very touch 😉 xx

          • dippydottygirl

            Take care sister, bakeries can be stressful. You have my sympathy and a bucketful of good wishes to tide you through it! xx

  • iwannabealady

    I sure hope you climbed onto that train. It seems to beg for it. I do love quaint old towns filled with antique shops and random old things, like that carriage. It’s so cool to see how everyone around the world wakes up to totally different views.

    • dippydottygirl

      It is a 1920s caboose. I meant to put that in but it must have slipped me! The world has enough to make us engaged, huh 🙂 We share a passion for all things old. I was just reading ‘Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict’ and giggling at the way we romanticise most things. xx

    • dippydottygirl

      I believe he is a regular star inside Country Village, Jim. He was decidedly at his hoity toity best with me.

  • lexandneek

    Oh, what a shame that such a lovely place would be sold to townhouse developers! I hope there will be a place in the future for the cute duck with her ducklings and the proud strutting rooster. Sigh! Wish progress could slow down a bit. Lovely photos of the store. – Neek

    • dippydottygirl

      Thank you, Neek. It is a bloody shame. The locals would miss it fairly, I think. The duck and ducklings and the rooster made me run alright 😉 Hope you guys are gearing up for the long weekend with some nice plans. xx

      • lexandneek

        Yes, it’s happening all around especially in California – sometimes I don’t know where I am in downtown anymore because of all the new tall monoliths they have there. As for the birds, hope you had your running shoes on! We’re looking forward to our three day weekend and hope to binge watch an old show called “The Avengers” from the 60’s. Have you ever seen it? – not the science fiction one with Iron Man but with the very British John Steed and Emma Peel. The best! 🙂

        • dippydottygirl

          I have not actually watched the 60s version of The Avengers. Now that you mention it, we have got to give it a go. We are planning to watch Ultimate Avengers II this weekend anyway.
          Tall monoliths just about capture it. That’s the bane of this commercially oriented world. Money screams.
          On a less depressive note, do have something lovely this weekend. xx

    • dippydottygirl

      It is a local treasure of sorts for people love to go there for Champagne evenings at certain stores and tea. I think you might quite like it, if you are in Seattle, Caroline. Your Patagonian adventures are making me swoon 🙂 xx

    • dippydottygirl

      Oh yeah Amor. I see you have a new post. I shall get to it in a while after I have completed my workout. Thank you! Have yourself a nice weekend. xx

    • dippydottygirl

      Aw you are? Then it shall delight you to know that I was once chased by a duck for trying. It was alarming the way it extended its neck, lowered it and then charged after me. But the good thing was that I had the agility of a child to run really fast. xx

  • whatismaria

    It’s always wonderful to know someone with local insight when visiting places, especially as I am someone who likes to explore far deeper than typical tourist hotspots, really getting to know the culture of a given area and uncovering hidden gems. And this seems like a hidden gem for sure! Birds are always so charming, and I’m very impressed with how well you’ve managed to capture them on camera :’) Hope you are having a fantastic weekend so far! Xx

    • dippydottygirl

      Merci Maria 🙂 I like to go beyond the tourist hotspots too. To see find these small places which locals treasure. I did have a wonderful weekend. Hope yours was fun too. Now to get back to routine. xx

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