Function over form


This is probably my key design mantra. Obviously if you can have form and function so much the better, but given the choice I would always choose function.

We once stayed in a very swish modern styled country cottage, all monochrome and stainless steel kitchen with a huge island unit made from an old butcher’s block.  Modern blended with tradition. All nice in theory but the only problem was that the butcher’s block was very misshapen through time and use and as an island unit it was completely useless because anything put on it would just slide off. Many an item of crockery got smashed as a result. This is the perfect example of form over function…. it looked good but was wholly impractical .

Getting ready for our holiday, I was reminded we had struggled last year to identify our very boring and standard black/navy suitcases. I’d made fabric luggage labels before but they were prone to being torn off. The hair bobbles weren’t securely sewn on.


I had the idea to use some orphan blocks I’d made using Kona colour of the year three years back called Highlight, an almost fluorescent yellow, presumably named after the highlighter pen of the same hue.


At the time I’d been playing with circles but with no real purpose in mind. So I was left with two blocks. It struck me that they would make great bright luggage labels. Of course in an ideal world they would have been made a few days prior to our departure but life has been very frenetic so the morning of our midday departure I was found sewing these up which is why functional they maybe but not exactly my finest work!!! I sincerely hoped I didn’t meet any keen quilters…


After a bit of resistance from one of the 15 yr olds they got attached and I think worked very well. The only failure was that two of our four checked suitcases went awol….  British Airways left them behind despite us checking in early and being a direct flight.

To be fair to be BA I was pinged a text as we landed in Johannesburg that two had been left behind and we had an interesting debate about which two would be the best to be left behind. I know in theory you should mix belongings amongst all cases to avoid this situation but that would never work with my lot.

As one of the teens was only dressed in t shirt and shorts we mutually agreed he had the greater need as it gets cold in South Africa at this time of year and then I said best if mine arrived as my 15 year old daughter could share my clothes. She looked appalled at the prospect! But BA agreed and those were the two that randomly arrived. The others were mightily relieved that their bags arrived not too long after.

This was written at the airport on the way out but I had insufficient Wi-fi anywhere to load pictures and send off. What a great holiday – I was for the first time outridden by my children, they just wanted fast and furious and whilst I joined them occasionally, I opted for more steady canters on this beautiful black Friesan called Albida. And looking at my riding clothes – definitely function over form! Look at those filthy boots!


3 thoughts on “Function over form

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