Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Victoria



In the early 1990s I lived, with my family, in a small village on the edge of the Amazon jungle. My husband was the administrator of a small interdenominational mission hospital. I looked after my children, taught piano and art, worked with the Ecuadorian children in an after school club, and hosted a lot of guests from around the world. 

Our mission offered the service of collecting printed materials - books, magazine subscriptions - at the head office in the USA. Several times a year boxes were sent down in large shipments. You cannot imagine the joy it was to receive printed materials in English. I loved sorting through the boxes, placing each family's items in piles. 

I subscribed to Victoria magazine, among others. Victoria was my favorite. Several issues arrived at the same time, always several months behind. I hoarded them, allowing myself to read only one each month, knowing that if I devoured them all at once, I'd have to wait for another shipment to arrive.  


Magazines were shared with friends. Some of my friends couldn't understand the appeal that Victoria held for me. It didn't have many self-help articles, no diet advice, no exercise regimes, and few recipes. Instead, the pages were filled with beautiful photographs, inspiring quotes, and thoughtful essays. To me, Victoria represented the kind of life that I longed to live, one filled with books and flowers, comfort, beauty, and intentional living. 

What a treat it was for me to anticipate an afternoon hour with a cup of tea (in a china cup), curled up on my couch in my second floor living room which was shaded by a huge tree in which monkeys frequently sat and peered into our home. The world of Victoria was miles and cultures away, yet the magazine inspired me to see beauty in everyday life and to create a home that was beautiful for my family and guests. I didn't have access to the items shown on the pages, but the sentiments and intent resonated strongly with my emotions and thoughts.  


I saved the magazines to read and re-read, returning to this quotation or that illustration. When we shipped our belongings home, I knew I couldn't take my 10-year stash with me. I sorted out a few of my favorite issues and gave the rest away. Then I noticed the occasional issue in thrift stores and I began picking them up again. Friends heard about my collection and contributed to it. 

I have not spent as much time looking at my old issues of Victoria in the past few years. Lately, I've wondered if it was time to let them go. However, before doing so, I thought I'd page through them once more. And I find that, although they take up space on my bookshelves, they do no harm, and they continue to bring me pleasure. I think I'll keep them for awhile longer.

Brenda, from It's a Beautiful Life is holding a giveaway featuring a book written and illustrated by one of Victoria's artists. Pop on over, if you like, to see what it's all about. 

14 comments:

  1. Lorrie,

    It's been a treat to slip by for a wee visit to your ever-lovely blog. And to share our mutual affection for a magazine that, over the years, has given us so much pleasure and beauty.

    Wishing you all the best in the upcoming giveaway. The books should be arriving in my mailbox any day now.

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  2. It's always interesting to see how others found Victoria. For me, I looked after the large magazine section in the grocery store where I worked and when each issue came in, I 'd gather fellow workers and we'd go through the pages. I only bought the ones that had something I really liked in them. I've subscribed for a number of years now and like you, don't want to part with them.
    The flowers you shared with your post are greatly appreciated; beautiful to look at like the pages of Victoria.
    Judith

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  3. How wonderful that the magazine has continued to lift your spirits over the years! I've only seen an issue here or there, and it does look quite lovely.

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  4. A lovely post Lorrie. I also enjoy Victoria Magazine and have bought many over the past 5 years and have saved them too! I don't subscribe as I don't have the room for them all and, like Judith above, I pick up the ones with articles I like best. I enjoy the photos and the simplicity shown in them and of course the art of entertaining tea time in style. Have a lovely day. Pamela

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  5. That must have been fun to receive those when you were so far away. A young friend of mine really enjoyed these magazines and I'd always buy them for her when I spotted them at thrift stores. They are so pleasant to my eye, too.

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  6. A beautiful magazine...and I can totally see why it appeals to you. You seem to find the beauty in everyday things!

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  7. Lorrie, you always have such interesting postings. I especially enjoyed this one as I love "Victoria" too.

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  8. Lorrie this summer blue issue is one of my favorites! I could have written this post. I have a stash of old Victorias in my closet I haven't been able to let go of. And when we lived in Africa, if someone brought us a magazine fresh from the states (back then it was usually Good Housekeeping) we would devour them and then pass them around.

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  9. I also have a stash of old Victoria magazines in my basement. From time to time I pull them out when I need beautiful pictures to inspire or my a collage. They are wonderful!

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  10. I have never heard of Victoria magazine. They look and sound delightful. I am glad you are keeping them since they still bring you pleasure. Reason enough for them to stay awhile longer.

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  11. I love this pretty magazine. I had a subscription to it for awhile but, being on a Social Security budget, I cancelled all magazines EXCEPT Country Living. :))
    Glad you enjoy your Victorias....
    Thanks so much for prayers on the sale of our house. I do appreciate such a gift.
    xo bj

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  12. *great big smile* I have 10 years worth of Victoria 1993-2003. There's maybe one or two missing, but I love that magazine. I too have thought about tossing all but the Christmas or Fall issues, but I just can't do it.

    I've been thinking of "subscribing" ie taking one off the shelf every month and enjoying them all over again. I've not been a fan of the reworking that happened when it was sold; it doesn't feel the same so I too am keeping old copies and loving them again.

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  13. When we first moved to the farm from Vancouver Island, my sister sent me care packages in the 5 months we lived in an apartment while we built our home on the farm. There was always a Victoria Magazine tucked within and I began to treat myself once in awhile. I still have them and they are the only magazines I have saved. But I'm like you Lorrie. There's room on the shelf so that's where they will stay for awhile. Glad to see you're enjoying your backyard.

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  14. I loved that magazine and I still have many of the issues and yes, I still go through them. They are timeless, and the few recipes I have tried from their pages have always been spectacular:>)

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Thanks for stopping by. I read and appreciate each comment. Isn't it amazing how like-minded people can connect across the globe via a blog?