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Tales from Hunda!

June 28th, 2010

When Suzie Woodward opened her home and her miniature village display to the public, she could not have foreseen the amount of interest it would generate and two years on it remains as popular as ever.  Suzie doesn’t charge people for visiting her village, but she does welcome donations to the RNLI (The Royal National Lifeboat Institution) and has raised over £1,188 since opening to the public.  She has also published a book about her village, but we’ll let Suzie take over from here!

“The stories that follow are taken from my little book and were devised when I set up a display of my miniature dolls’ houses, shops and buildings in 2009.  The variety of establishments make up the tiny community of Hunda, so called after the island opposite our house.  In order to bring the village “alive” and make it more interesting for visitors, I created imaginary characters who live and work in the houses and shops, and told these stories as I showed visitors round the display.  Afterwards, many of them said… “when are you going to write a book?” So I did!

These next two blogs are excerpts from my book, which you will hopefully enjoy!  If you would like to learn more about my community of Hunda you can purchase my book, with the money going to the RNLI, by contacting Louise Hatton at The Dolls House Emporium either on 01773 514462 or by email at louise.hatton@dollshouse.com who will forward your request on to me!

Hunda Stores

This is the first house I ever made (in 1997) and was constructed from a pre-cut kit.  The outside of the house has been finished off and harled in true Orkney style – I have used crushed egg shells.  Being a typical Orkney Islands’ Village Shop, a place where you can buy almost anything, it’s quite likely that the pink grapefruit can be found next to the pens and pencils which are near the pyjamas and paint!

The Hardware Department where you can buy oil lamps and lamp oil, so essential in case of power cuts, is by the front door (not shown in the picture).  There are also some boots and shoes together with tools and firewood; on the shelves is a variety of gifts next to plant pots and hot water bottles!  You can also buy knitting and sewing patterns and greetings cards.

The local shopkeeper, Geraldine, is a young widow; she is very obliging and you can order fresh  bread and milk on a daily basis, and newspapers and magazines can also be put by for you.  There are even fresh vegetables and fruit, but Thursday’s are best as that’s the day the boat comes in!

The tinned and packaged goods are at the back of the shop and it is a licensed premise so you can choose a bottle of wine for that special dinner next weekend.  Just to the right are hardware items and you can see there are mops and brooms in the corner; some coat-hangers and buckets dangle from the banisters and there’s also a basket of wine next to the firewood.

The shop counter is the end of one of those old wooden pencil boxes – remember those?  And the little accounts book was made out of a cheque book stub!  You can get three tiny books out of a stub, and the gold-leaved edges were easily produced with a gold felt-tip pen.”

You can read the next tale from Hunda on Wednesday!


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