Thursday, June 28, 2007


28th June Felix pictures.

Felix is almost 4 months old.
Today I looked after him for a short while. Ruth had a hair appointment.
What a joy!


20th June. Our Summer Solstice Walk.

It has been a week now since our evening walk at Tilgate Park to celebrate the Summer Solstice.
Summer still has not arrived - it has been such a wet week; but here in Sussex we have suffered no terrible floods as have occurred in The Midlands and Yorkshire.
But summer flowers still bloom and the world looked lovely as we walked last week.


Honeysuckle - its scent filled the evening air so sweetly.

The tall lonesome pine.

New season's pine cones.

Astilbe flowers.

Path through the forest by the lake filled with late evening sunshine.

A quiet time by the lake - few people there late in the day.

A lake has always attracted people to its beauty or its facilities for leisure.
The plaque reminds us that Sir Malcolm Campbell used the lake to test Bluebird his famous speed record breaking boat.

Anglers spend the hours of darkness by the water.

The lake at dusk.

Saturday, June 23, 2007


23rd June Pictures at an Exhibition.

Today after the boot sale at Ford we stopped in Arundel.
After a pot of tea and toasted tea cakes we went to an art exhibition.
We bought 3 pictures - but don't worry we didn't spend the family fortunes.
In fact we spent 20p and had an enjoyable chat with the 86 year old artist.

I have to say I didn't think his paintings would ever be chosen by me for our walls at home, though he had a certain amount of skill - and much more than I have!

He sat by his pictures and claimed to be able to draw "Name Pictures". The first he would do for nothing and the second would cost 20p.
Before we knew what was happening he had learned our names and his pen was deftly producing cartoon style drawings.

He drew the name across the page then turned the paper 90 degrees and built a face on to the name.

You might be able to see the original name if you twist your neck round a bit.

The first is of William - the artist said he preferred longer names because there was more to work on.

Bill wasn't actually sporting a bow tie.

I wasn't wearing a hat - but, of course, I often do.

He must have taken to me - I got another one done for me.

He loved hearing that by this evening his pictures would appear on an internet site and would be seen by family and friends round the world.

Thursday, June 21, 2007


21st June Summer Solstice

This is the time of the Summer Solstice - the day when we are closest to the sun.
The hours of light are long - from before 4 in the morning until after 10 o'clock at night.
The hours of darkness are short.
This time is a time for celebrations and rituals and some craziness.

Bill and I decided to go out and be a little crazy.

It was almost 8 o'clock in the evening when we left the house, so we couldn't go too far. We decided to take a walk at Tilgate Park.

I love trees. They have such strength and stand tall for centuries. I like to touch the trunks of trees. But this tree has such ferny soft leaves and I always love to feel them.

I danced round the tree and made a wish.
I remembered an old fashioned word - so I can tell you that I danced round it widdershins - anti clockwise.

The curly roots and branches alongside the paths looked sort of crazy. Bill turned this picture to black and white which enhances the eeriness and darkness of night time woods.

But it wasn't yet night time of course - there was still an hour before sunset.

We met few people round the lake - a few dog walkers and some all night fishermen were getting settled in their cosy little tents.
But I did spy this strange man taking photographs in the approaching darkness.

The park has some wood sculptures and we played games around them.

Bill has created a summer solstice flower with a very interesting centre!

Safe in a wooden hand. I think this seat looks like a hands.

It was getting quite dark as we strolled back to the car. I felt I should talk to the green metal lion close to the nature centre.

Nest time I will share some pictures we took of the lake and the flowers.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007


19th June. Rocking Horse.

I have now sorted out the one area in Rocking Horse which will be the one I keep going.
The other area is my half price sale place for about the next 2 months

This is my little space in the shop. It is a long time since I have had to cram all my interests into such a tiny area.

These shelves have things connected with motherhood and childhood.

And here is the kitchen.

This little corner has 2 themes.
There are books and china and old bottles connected with Sussex and the neighbouring counties.
And there is a tray with lots of sheet music, a few records and books about music - and a lovely tambour, which I am surprised has stayed with me for so long.

The china here has a 1950s theme, though some of it is newer than that. I like to sort it by colour.

The cabinet has things which maybe are of greater value.
I also put things in there which are pretty just because there is nowhere else for it to go.
On the top are Royal souvenirs. The earliest I have just now is for the Coronation of Edward VII in 1902.

And here I am enjoying what I have created.
The next pictures show my other area - which has become a sort of Bargain Basement. Everything is half the marked price.
There are some very good bargains indeed because I had already reduced the price on things I felt I had kept for far too long. For instance there is a Hornsea coffee pot which I had already reduced to £2 - yours for just £1 now.
I just want to clear as much as possible the easiest way I know how.
Later on I expect we will have to take lots to car boot sales to sell.

I have tried to keep some sort of order on my shelves in this area, but as you see things are not artistically arranged.

Below is the view of the sale area as seen from the desk.
Bill created the very professional looking sale notices after we bought the big red 50% OFF notice. He scanned it and used the images to make more.

I am a bit sad that I have felt I should reduce my display space, but Times They are a Changing and I am not able to sell enough to cover the rent any more.
The business is not the same as it was.
I suppose I can see that many people now prefer to go hunting at car boot sales and on the pages of EBay - just as I do.
Small shops are dying and small antiques fairs no longer survive in any numbers.
I will look forward to the future though and not look back to how things used to be.

Saturday, June 16, 2007


15th June. Bill's walk. Balcombe to Ardingly

On Friday I did an extra duty at Rocking Horse.
I dropped Bill off by Balcombe Mill House and he walked from there to Ardingly.
Fortunately he missed the day's heavy showers.

This is the Mill House. The narrow winding road passes the other side of the house and we see it each time we go to the shop.
What a wonderful setting for a home - and it is for sale at the moment.

Foxgloves are flowering in woods and gardens.

The path from Balcombe Mill pond takes the walker to Ardingly Reservoir, which was constructed in the 1960s.

There is a footpath round the reservoir and others which lead off into the surrounding countryside.

Dog roses - they are such an English symbol of summer.

Orchid in the meadow.

The reservoir is used for leisure. There are many courses teaching youngsters sailing or canoeing.

Masts and grass.

My first thought was that Bill had caught 2 damsel flies mating. But looking more closely we can see that one of these damsel fly images is not living - it is the cast off skin, wings and legs of the fresh new brightly coloured insect.

Strolling through the fields of barley - not yet gold as in the song. I quote a couple of the verses.
So she took her love for to gaze awhile
Among the fields of barley
In his arms she fell as her hair came down
Among the fields of gold.
Will you stay with me will you be my love
Among the fields of barley
And you can tell the sun in his jealous sky
When we walked in fields of gold.

Farmhouse in the valley.

Monday, June 11, 2007


11th June. The back garden.

Today Mam commented that our garden must be beautiful.
And so I will now show you our very small back garden. We have little knowledge and have filled the small growing areas with lots of perennial plants, most of which return each Spring like old friends.
The garden, like our house, is full of clutter! There are ornaments and pictures and bits and pieces. I could tell you where much of it came from and why it seemed to be important.

The pictures were all taken at dusk - it was almost 9 o'clock.
It is good to record the long summer evenings.

This is the view from the outside the French windows from the lounge.
I can sit on a chair there with a cup of tea and a book and enjoy the vista of flowers. Yes, I think it is beautiful.

This is a view from outside the back door.

This view shows the collection of shells and stones and other things. Many of the shells came from Thailand. The old piece of wood came from the oak tree that was felled close to the front of the house.
You might just be able to see the silver plant container on the right which was my mother's pressure cooker. It contains some mint that we dug up from a meadow in Slovenia.

The lupin plant.

The tall white canna lilies ( I think that's the right name) that Jean gave to us. I have forgotten the name of the plant in the foreground.

The door into the garage is just a few feet across from our back door.

The wall to the right of the garage door has a small border in front, which has had a number of plants grown there. Ashley had given us a lovely honeysuckle which thrived very well. Unfortunately it was too rampant. We need the space between the kitchen and the garage wall for a whirlygig washing line and the honeysuckle stopped it turning.
Now we have some small heathers and conifers mostly. If they grow too big they will have to go.

The large expanse of garage wall is the back ground to our collection of tiles. Some came from Sorrento and some we have found at car boot sales.
This hanging basket is immediately outside the French windows. The plants were bought at the Ford car boot sale on the day of our trip to Chichester and Bosham with Ashley.

This is the view from the kitchen window.

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