Wednesday, April 30, 2008


30th April Roll up, roll up - the end is nigh!

I wrote last night that we were still waiting for the rain - well, there has been plenty of it since then. The roads are awash with water.

This morning we both had haircuts.

Then we went over to Ardingly with the sale notices which Bill made last night to hang in our areas.

Surely this might be the very last time I share pictures of my little space in Rocking Horse with you.
If you have a moment, then do click on each photo to enlarge it.

I do like those tall dolls. I am not sure why nobody has ever been tempted to buy them. Now I would like somebody to feel the same urge as I did and hand over the money that I paid for them.

Just to show that I have gathered together some pretty bits and pieces from some of the better known manufacturers.

Here is Jo sorting out her christening gowns.
Everybody is tidying and reducing prices right now.

A sweet little dolly - I mean the one in my hand of course!
Bill poses by his little area, which has been a great success for him.

Since then we have gathered together all (hopefully) that is needed for our few days away.
Gone are the days when a change of clothes and a toothbrush would suffice.

Jamie is also away from tomorrow. They plan to leave at half past five in the morning, transferring sleeping children to the car and stopping for some breakfast halfway to Chumphon.

We plan to leave home by about 8 o'clock.

I am sure Ashley will allow me a short while to write some words on the blog each evening - photographs of people and places will follow later (not too many I promise!).
We will be back home on Monday evening.
I'll finish with an optical illusion that Ashley sent. You may have seen it before, but fascinating each time it is seen. I think this one deserves to be enlarged to get the full effect - but I am not sure if it can be.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008


29th April. Rocking and working

Perhaps the most depressing thought of the day was something I heard on the radio as we drove away from Rocking Horse this evening. It was exceedingly gloomy, grey and wet and what did I hear?.......It is only 7 weeks until the nights start drawing in again.
Goodness! With the weather we have had we have hardly noticed the lighter evenings yet.

Today has been lively in the shop in a sad sort of way.

I planned to make sure that all the books I have are reduced in price - nothing over £2.
I sorted the Ladybird books first. "Mmmm" I mused " It would be good if these books were a bit more visible"
So I moved something to make a space.... and, you guessed it, I found myself moving almost everything.

Later Sue and Christine came in. They are sharing a large space in a shop in Lewes - starting on Thursday. So, they joined me in piling masses of stuff on the floor to take away, and then making new displays with things brought in from their stores at home to fill the RH shelves.

We are all beginning to think ahead now to our new chapters. Jo took over her cabinets in the Dorking shop today. She rang this afternoon, feeling pleased with things and having sold a good table cloth already!

Later I had to move out a drawer unit that Jo had sold ages ago - it was paid for on the day and the buyer planned to be back for it within the week; but she didn't come until today. Fortunately Christine's husband was there to help carry it over the china piled up on the floor.

There were lots of other customers - friendly, talkative ones which is lovely, except I slipped behind with my plans.
Most of our dealers sold today.
I managed to tell one of the customers that I had a pile of old 78s stored in the garage and we would dearly like to have the space.
He has been to the house this evening and took them all away. He got a bargain for sure, but he genuinely wanted them for himself to play in his work shop as he tinkers with old motorbikes. He is an aging TeddyBoy!
Many of the records were by Lonnie Donegan - a great favourite of mine from the 1950s. By some odd quirk of serendipity, today is Lonnie Donegan's birthday. he would have been 77 now, but sadly died 8 years ago.

Tomorrow we will go back to the shop for a while to finish what I had planned today.
Bill is now making notices to attract the customers into our areas, announcing bargains and reductions.
Even after reducing everything I can to almost rock bottom I will offer a further 25% on all items over £5.
I don't want to make too much of a loss on things, but I must think ahead to the packing up days and would prefer it if the shop customers could take things away and save us carting too much around to car boot sales, where prices must of course be low.

It was certainly gloomy outdoors - though I have been so busy I hardly noticed.
I hope the weather improves for our long weekend in North Wales.

Monday, April 28, 2008


28th April. George and me enjoying the sun through the window.

Here is George - sitting on the table to the right of this computer, watching my every move and hoping and praying that I might leave a pen or pencil on the table for him to play with. He doesn't play with it for long - he just likes to make a nuisance of himself and roll my pen onto the floor as I work at EBay things, or my blog, or chatting with Jamie or Mam, or reading other blogs, or writing and reading EMails, or playing patience or Boggle or any number of things that I do.
If I ignore him for too long he nudges by right arm persistently.

This morning I was busy for a short while sorting out the last of the due payments from EBay buyers. How lovely - all the sold items from yesterday have been paid for and posted.

After parcelling we arranged hair cuts for Wednesday morning and then went shopping in Asda. We spent rather more than expected because things we like to have were on special offer so we stocked up.
Mmmmmm! Bassets jelly babies were half price! Jelly babies are treats that I can eat and Bassets are actually the best.
We have also been able to stock up on our prescription medications today.

I made a chicken soup today. You may recall that we had had a large organic chicken a while back and I boiled up the bones and bits and froze the resulting stock. Today it was joined by left over vegetables (blitzed in the food processor) and we have eaten soup at both lunchtime and evening. The remainder will go back into the freezer for another day.

This afternoon I have washed casseroles and saucepans - almost the last things that will be taken into the shop. Having been out in the garage for some time it was all in need of a clean and the dead woodlice needing removing. My china has been a woodlice graveyard!

I am hoping that the kitchen ware and a little table and shove halfpenny board and a large ceramic bed pan will find some space. The 2 areas in the shop that are being emptied this week can be used by any of us for the remaining 4 weeks.

Here in Crawley we are still waiting for the rain - threatened but not appearing today.


Sunday, April 27, 2008


27th Apr. So where was the rain?

Sunday - "they " said there would be heavy rain.
"They" were wrong!
There were a few splatters of rain in the early afternoon and that was it.

We went to the car boot sale that we might have sold at - the first of the summer at Pease Pottage. We probably could have done rather well because the number of stall holders was less than on a hot summer's day and buyers were hunting for things worth buying.
Never mind we didn't do it - and perhaps that was for the best.
I was very tired and I also had to deal with another aspect of our selling experiences.

I had things finishing on EBay this afternoon.
I enjoyed owning and then selling some crested bits of china. I couldn't justify keeping them for the places featured had no connection with family history.
It seems that if I saw a lovely policeman, like the one I sold today with the Hereford crest, for Crawley I would have to swallow hard and pay more than I normally would for him.
Below is my Hereford policeman - not returning to its West country origins, but going North to Sedburgh.

It is the more unusual pieces that command some interest.
I have quite a lot of other items in the shop or in the garage and I doubt if there will be much interest in them because they are lacking a certain character.

I also listed 31 things on EBay this afternoon - 2 have bids already and others are being watched.

Bill was in the shop this afternoon. He recorded the Spanish Grand Prix which he is now catching up on.
The shop begins the final countdown from now.
Rose and Di who haven't been with us for long, moved out today. Ken will follow later in the week.
Jo will be taking her best things to a shop in Dorking on Tuesday. And Joy and Peter have a cabinet to fill in Lewes on Thursday.
Perhaps come the autumn, Bill and I will look for another outlet.

Meanwhile a break will do us good.

I don't think I have passed on the good news about Bill's blood pressure. Since he has been on the diuretics with the very long name, his blood pressure has been normal! The combination obviously has been right for him. He has also lost about half a stone in weight since starting those tablets. But, like me, he does tend to feel more weary these days.

So, the weekend is over - varied and interesting.
But now it is time to settle down for the rest of the evening.

Oh and I must add that Jamie's blog - monkinthailand is worth a look. It is funny - made me laugh anyway. Jamie's Monk in Thailand:

Saturday, April 26, 2008


26th April Tiredness after the track.

I had thought that maybe I would create a blog tonight that would be a bit more elaborate than on other recent days......
but, I am so tired.
And my gut aches with fragility.

The day has been good - sunshine and a degree of warmth not experienced before this year.
At the track many people were happy to spend the afternoon in shorts and sleeveless shirts - I chose, on the draughty timekeepers' steps to keep my jumper on.
I was chief time keeper for 2 women's league matches. Crawley were matched against Colchester, Ashford and Newquay.
Those Cornish girls had a long way to travel for the match.
The other match from a lower didvision also had 4 teams.

We worked with some very pleasant timekeepers from kent and Essex and it all went smoothly and in a very friendly manner.

Bill and I left before the final results. Despite some terrific Crawley performances I think we were just beaten into second place by Colchester.
I had to smile at the comment from the Colchester timekeeper as their last runner took the baton just ahead of the Crawley girl in the 4 X 400 metres relay..... "I can't see our girl being beaten" he said "she is a junior international". Well, she was beaten - our Crawley girl is also a high quality runner.

We have eaten, watched Doctor Who and the search for a Nancy to star in Oliver on the West End stage.

I then went upstairs and turned on my radio and listened to the last interview by Miles Kington, an amusing writer that I feel I grew up with through the medium of radio. He died in January.
I enjoyed a lie down to share in the programme and almost fell asleep - that's what comes of waking up before 5 o'clock in the morning; or maybe it is just all the fresh air we have had today that has made me feel so drowsy.

The weather forecast for tomorrow is still bad - though not quite as bad as predicted 2 days ago. I still think we made the correct decision not to do a car boot sale, but maybe we'll see how things are early on and perhaps go to one.
Tuesday now looks to be a rotten day with heavy rain.

Right - time to return to the bedroom I think. Goodnight.

Friday, April 25, 2008


25th April Changing of minds.

Today has been a day of changing our minds.

I checked the weather forecast for the weekend - oh wonderful we can expect sunshine tomorrow; but guess what? The heavy rain will be back on Sunday and it hardly seems worth expecting to sell at a car boot sale in the pouring rain. So, we have changed our minds.
Shame - I am impatient to be rid of as much as possible and to have boxes and space ready for the last day of May when we start to move things from Rocking Horse.
I finished sorting all that we have at home in the garage today - and there it must sit until we are free and the weather is fine.

Later Bill changed his mind about video recorders. You may recall that we bought one just 2 days ago. It wasn't actually doing all that it should do - could that be the fault of the machine or our inability to make sense of the gobbledygook language of instructions?
Anyway Tescos took it back.
And now he has a 110 page book of instructions for the new machine - a combination DVD and video player/recorder with a large hard drive.
Ha! We can now return to the good old days and have guests round and have them see our photographs on the TV screen, just like the slide shows that we all used to have.
Perhaps tomorrow morning Bill will attempt to set it up.

This afternoon he cut the lawns.
Here is one part of the front garden as seen from the bedroom window, It is always a delight to peer through the curtains and watch the changes of the seasons and to see which birds are early visitors and feeders. It is really beginning to look lush green now as the trees burst into leaf.

There were no birds to be seen when I took this photo because Bill was still busy mowing grass in the gardens on either side of us.

Tomorrow afternoon we will be back at the track for a women's league match.
In the promised sunshine it could be very pleasant.

Have a good weekend wherever you are.

Thursday, April 24, 2008


24th April Mad dogs and timekeepers!

Yes - we are mad.... but we can feel satisfied that we have been busy for others tonight.
At 6 0'clock this evening, instead of settling down for an evening in the warm at home we opted to go and sit outdoors for three and half hours. This was the first athletics meeting we have worked at for some time.
It was a busy meeting - more athletes wanting to race for times than I had expected.
The evening gradually grew colder - and in the middle was a thunder storm. At times like that we are glad to be timekeepers for we were able to scurry under cover and continue with the job in hand. This doesn't happen at many tracks, and even at Crawley the cover for timekeepers is sparse - but there is no cover for those out on the field.
I borrowed a pair of gloves because my hands felt really cold.
As usual there was friendly conversation as we were worked - catching up with the news of old friends and meeting some new ones.
This evening there were 2 timekeepers from Surrey who have just embarked on the hobby. Bill worked with Dave and I worked with Donna.
I just happened to mention that I had been out of action with health problems - and then added how wonderful the hospital had been. She concurred with my opinion, telling me that she had had very major surgery and soon we were discussing everything. She had a liver transplant at the beginning of last year.
So, despite the cold it was a good evening.

During the day I completed all the describing for EBay that I had planned to do - all ready for listing on Sunday.

Oh - I am yawning so much; yes, I am tired but I think some of the yawns are as a result of the tension in my body caused by the cold.
I am looking forward to bed.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008


23rd April St George's Day.

St George's Day.... there is a general feeling that we English should be celebrating our patron saint's day, but we don't seem to be really sure what to do!
There are flags decorating some places - Horley is very well decorated and I think they held an event (or will hold) to celebrate the day. But Saturday is obviously more comvenient for events.
The day began with weather that could be called typically English - it was wet and grey and murky.

We decided that today would be the day when we should buy a cheap video player to replace the old one that continues to play up. One of the cheapest places is Tescos.
I opted for the Tescos not far from Horley.
And I suggested that as this should be a day of celebration, we could have our breakfast out (but then when did ever need an excuse like St George's Day?)
On this occasion I was disappointed with The Jack Fairman - the Wetherspoons place. Their menu was for set breakfast meals which would be very good value, except I shouldn't eat half of it - tomatoes, mushrooms, baked beans and probably hash browns are off my menu.
So we sadly left - back out into the sad weather and drove to Tescos.
We were hungry. I checked the Tesos caff, which I don't really like, and found they had a better approach - you could make up your own plate of food for 37p an item. So it was still cheap and I could have things I am permitted to eat.
Then we looked at video recorders - items which are now treated by modern young people as being as old as the Ark itself!
Yes, young people, we will, one day, get to grips with the various types of DVD recorders/players.
But for now we just wanted something cheap to record programmes we might feel sad to miss and maybe play some of the very cheap videos we buy at car boot sales. People struggle to sell films on videos these days for 25p.

By this time I was beginning to feel very weary and aware that my back was aching badly - I think as a result of gut spasm.
I did register the shelf filler sporting a St George set of clothing - bless him!
Perhaps they could have had an area of unusual English foods for customers to sample.
Talking of English foods I heard a sad tale yesterday. My customer in the shop who stayed and chatted a good long time was telling me of a trip to Somerset with a friend and they were drinking some good old fashioned cider, brewed on the farm by an 80 year old. The old guy explained that this was the last of his cider because the EU have deemed that he is making cider with the wrong sort of apples!
I am all in favour of European unity, but really the Eurocrats do let themselves down with such daft decision making.
We had to buy a little food, but I found it harder and harder to concentrate and went to sit down as Bill got the shopping through the checkout.

The weather improved this afternoon - some blue sky and fluffy white clouds; but I didn't improve. In fact I slept for quite a while on the sofa.
My plans to describe more for EBay remained as good intentions.

I popped a meal from the freezer into the oven for Bill and I had just a couple of rice cakes with a tuna spread; I felt too tired and not really hungry.

This evening Bill is sorting out the new video - attempting to clear shelves of things we don't want any more at the same time.

We actually cast our votes in the local elections today. We are off to Wales on election day and may opt to leave at 6 0'clock in the morning so we applied for postal votes. I would feel bad to miss voting - even though I am not sure that even local politicians are really working for the good of the town. More of that another time maybe.

I shall get to bed soon.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


22nd April. The shop rocked well today.

I had planned for a quiet day in the shop. I took the laptop with me and a box of books to describe, but at the end of the day I had sorted out just 6 of the books.
It was busy!
The sun shone and it seems to have encouraged people to get out.
So I have enjoyed selling and conversation with quite a number of people.
The sales sheets - yes, more than one today, told of many little sales; and Bill was the top scorer.
Joy and Peter came in and told of their new beginnings in a shop in Lewes where sellers don't have to do any duties.
I started to feel a twinge of envy and wished we had somewhere new to make a fresh start. But right now is not the best time. I would like a free summer to strengthen my body - some more days like today would help no end.

When we got home I saw that an item of clothing I had bid on was to be mine. It is a skirt and top with an attached little scarf. I rarely wear skirts, but this could be useful to have. It is brand new from Damart (who now supply my underwear) - I have yet to see if it fits well. It should be OK.
I already have the clothes - the seller lives no more than a mile from us, so we drove round after dinner and paid her cash and the deal is done - for £5.

There was a fantastic big red setting sun as we drove there. But I had not thought to have the camera with me for a 10 minute trip out.
The image remains in my brain though - for me to enjoy.

Time for a bit of relaxation now.

Monday, April 21, 2008


21st A succession of niggles.

I suppose today hasn't been a really bad day, but there have been niggles and worries.

I hope Her Majesty had a fine birthday with no niggles!

I got busy this morning and started describing some more books for EBay.
Bill was working upstairs in readiness for the arrival of the new bed.
And there lies niggle number one.
We decided to pay just a few pounds more to have the delivery men get the bed upstairs to its place in the back bedroom.
And they did just that.
We had thought we could pay a little for convenience and comfort, as if we were really frail old folk - instead of just us with health problems.
Honestly if we had been frail we would not have been well sorted out. The large base with a big drawer in it was dumped into place and after the men had gone, Bill realised he would have to lift it up to fix the little wheels on the base. Huh!

I had done 6 descriptions and then realised it was time for the lunchtime Boggle. Well done Roger - you thrashed me once. Though I will add in my defence that this game was played just after Bill had returned from an exciting trip to B&Q which needed to be shared with me.

Then I got on to prepare a main meal - mostly using left overs from yesterday. We had eaten a piece of chicken - reduced, because it was at its sell by date, to £1.40 and we were glad that it did 2 days.

I did notice as I worked that the cordless phone beeped.
After lunch I went back to Turbo Lister to describe more and it had gone!
The computer had switched itself off. Bill's had also done this but automatically re booted. Confusion and panic!
Thank goodness we have a back up Turbo Lister in my documents - but this mornings descriptions had not yet been backed up and so they were lost.
Also lost were my permanent settings on the programme.
It took a while to sort things out.
So, niggle number 2.

I had just about sorted things when the huge electric storage heater that controls our central heating clonked off after its afternoon boost - and the phone beeped and away went Turbo Lister once again!
Niggle number 3 was easier to sort out, because at least by that time I knew what I was doing.

Niggle number 4 must be about the heater. Something is wrong. It has always seemed to struggle to switch on and off from its nightime and afternoon boosts. I notice that my digital radio goes silent each night at about 11 o'clock for up to a minute when the heater cuts in.
Bill has been on line and found the manufacturer - and it really does seem that that our heater still exists and that they might have parts - not bad after almost 40 years.
He has Emailed them - but will phone during tomorrow because it will be best to talk things through.
Let's hope that Bill's theory that it needs a new switch is correct and this can be done - a new heater of this style for central heating would cost £1600.

Meanwhile I described the 6 items from this morning once again. You may be sure they have been backed up - just in case.
And I have calculated postage charges for 23 more so that perhaps I could describe them on the lap top whilst at the shop tomorrow.
They are due to be listed on Sunday.

We have just watched an enjoyable programme about Salisbury Cathedral on BBC 4. We rarely watch any of the newer channels, though I am sure we miss some treats. Jonathan Meades who created this sort of essay about the cathedral town where he grew up is a cynic about the motives of man and his purposes in a cathedral and yet finds the building has an awesome beauty.

We are both yawning, so will need our bed soon. I don't feel too bad - I think potassium levels are dwindling again thank goodness.

Sunday, April 20, 2008


20th April. Farewell to Bill the cyclist.

Things got a bit better today - my health and the weather.

I woke up feeling queasy again and very fragile.
I have been forced to look hard at what I have been eating and maybe I have found a culprit.
I can remember talking to the dietician and asking her about soya milk and I seem to have found a subject she knew little about. I pointed out that soya milk is made from soya beans and that beans should be restricted on my low potassium diet. She really didn't know what to say and just offered the advice that I should treat it like ordinary milk, which I should have some of on the low potassium diet. It's a pity that I other parts of my failing body demand that I shouldn't have it.
Anyway I have had very little soya milk until recently. Breakfast has evolved for me without breakfast cereals, which are standard breakfast fare in our land.
But recently I discovered a natural soya yoghurt which is very refreshing and I have had a small bowl of it for my supper most evenings.
I shall now go without that pleasure for a while, at least, and see if I start to get a little more back to normal.

Despite feeling pretty rough first thing I got up and we went to Dorking and Horley to search for items of interest.
I came home with a good supply of books - 10 on the history of Liverpool town and port and a large heavy book on the history of Bristow helicopters.
I looks forward to getting them onto EBay - but it won't be until next month.

This afternoon Bill was in the shop, so he missed the fun of watching his bike get to its highest bid. There had been almost 700 hits on this description and the bike finally sold for £102. The bike is already in its new home (a biking family) and will be ridden to the station tomorrow morning when the new owner (who drove the 45 minutes to pick it up straight away) starts his journey to work.
I also sold a few books.

The rain which was threatened for this afternoon failed to arrive and for a while there was some sunshine which lifted the spirits.

Bill, in the shop, learned that the woman who might have been interested in taking over the shop had changed her mind. She liked the idea, but not all the practicalities. I am sure that I would not have wanted to stay anyway.

Well, I have been working quite hard today, so time for a sit down to relax before getting some sleep.
I wonder if Bill will choose to sleep in the spare room tomorrow night - we have a new single bed being delivered and I am sure he will want to try it out. The old one, which had been Bill's father's went to the tip on Friday.

Have a good week. I will try to.

Saturday, April 19, 2008


19th April. Looking back to a rocking good party!

Today's blog will be of more interest to Rocking Horse folk who shared such a lovely evening together.
I have not included all the photos I took because some were not very flattering - it is always hard to see people at their best as they tuck into food.
I missed some people altogether which is a shame - and I was especially sorry to have missed Christine and her husband David who were flitting about being so busy.
But a heartfelt thank you to both of you for your hard work and hospitality.

I should have had a plan of campaign for photographs in mind.
And of course I didn't ask anybody to take a picture of Bill and me.

For those who have never been to Rocking Horse you just might like a quick glance at the faces that go with the names you may have heard me mention.

First I took a couple of pictures in the garden.

Doesn't it look wonderful?

Many of my pictures I just snapped whilst I was sitting at the table.
Above is a nice image of Jo with Ian, the football programme man.
And below is Sue with her husband Eric.

Later in the evening the rocking horse cake was cut.

There were so many of us - 19 in total that tables were set in 2 adjacent rooms with a large opening between them. Above we have Joy and Peter, then Kate and her husband Dennis.

Opposite them are Debbie and her husband Mike and Jenny (Ken's wife) and Ken.

As the instigators of Rocking Horse and the couple who have worked so hard to keep it going for 15 years in total I thought Joy and Peter should have a picture of their own. Thank you Joy and Peter.

I included this one of Debbie and Mike just because it sums up the relaxed jollity of the evening and us as a group. I wonder just what had been said at that moment!

Peter made a short speech and finished it with the news that a lady from outside the shop may want to take it over. She may not have thought it through and we know that our rents would have to go up so it is all up in the air as to who might or might not wish to continue under a new regime.

There was talk of future get togethers which is a good idea because a feeling of an extended family as grown up between Rocking Horse folk; just as in families there can be occasional gripes and bickerings, but mostly there is a bond of great affection.

Today has been an anticlimax. Yes - more rain and chilliness.
I have felt very tired and run down and have wondered if perhaps the fact that I have allowed one or two higher potassium levelled foods into my diet has caused the queasiness.
But last night I was very good.
I had a superb plateful of the main meal, but thought it best not to have any of the desserts which looked so good. And I drank water.
You all knew that I was unbalanced and now I have the endocrinologist confirming that fact.

Friday, April 18, 2008


18th Apr. Brief lines.

It's late! Nearly half past eleven and we have just got home from a lovely evening with the Rocking Horse folk sharing in a wonderful meal, prepared by Christine.

More details tomorrow.

Now it is time for a quick cuppa and a few moments to unwind from the lively conversation and laughter.


Thursday, April 17, 2008


17th April Doctors, potatoes and routine.

This has been a routine sort of day.

The one out of routine happening was Bill's visit to the local GP - mind you medical appointments do seem to be very routine these days.
Bill's blood pressure is still a bit too high and so a new drug has been added to his original ones.....bendroflumethiazide; just try asking for that in a hurry!
I can't really believe that the doctor didn't tell Bill what these tablets are - but then as Bill probably didn't ask, she may have thought he didn't want to know.
But I think he should have been made aware that they are diuretics - because he might have worried about an increased number of trips to the loo.
They are often used to help lower blood pressure.
I always need to talk through as much as I can and even then turn to the internet for more information, and so of course I wanted to know what drugs Bill was on.

I have been describing today. I really wanted to get some things listed on EBay because it is just about the last day I could do it before a gap of about 10 days to include our trip to Bangor on 1st May.
The auctions need to finish with enough time for me to deal with the stragglers who pay up slowly.
I am still waiting for some communication from the buyer of the Noddy clock that sold on Sunday and a cheque for Mishka the mascot of the 1980 Moscow Olympics. I generally wait 5 days and then send an initial very gentle reminder.
Today I listed 12 more things, including some interesting crested pieces - 3 of which have watchers already.
I shall list again on the Sunday before we go away - so I have time to get quite a lot of describing done.

A friend is selling her old jeep on EBay and is very pleased that it will be going. She was pleased the other day to know she would get £650, but now I see it has just sold for £880.
Lets hope that Bill's bike gets a similar good result - well, not that amount of money of course; but we would like to see the bidding go up.

I have just remembered - there was something out of the ordinary for me today; I have eaten a baked potato in its jacket! Yummy! Dr Hillman said I should take the risk and today I did it.

The sun has shone today - but the fierce East wind has made it feel very cold.

Tomorrow is a hard day for Mo and the family. There will be a special funeral for Rhian the premature twin who did not survive. I can understand the need to acknowledge her death in a personal way with the family. Rhian will not be forgotten. Beth, praying that she continues to do well, will know of her twin sister.

I am still very tired. I nodded off to sleep between half past seven and eight o'clock this evening. Soon I will take myself to bed.
Goodness knows how I will cope with an evening out tomorow. There is a social evening and meal for shop people.


Wednesday, April 16, 2008


16th April That Old Moody Moon

"Your feelings can take you for a circuitous ride today with the moody Moon still visiting your sign. One moment you have it all figured out and the next moment you are overwhelmed by unresolved emotions."

I can't say then that I wasn't warned! Of course I don't believe in horoscopes and yet I have the daily reading on my Google home page.
Maybe it is that moody moon that is making me so tired and unsettled.

Perhaps it really was not a good day to embark on one of my least favourite pursuits - shopping in real shops in town.
I needed some underwear - the sort that is designed in such a way that a bag and tap can be held securely in place; the days of scanty briefs are over - ummm in fact they never existed!

I had bought some from Damart over the phone but in the end could have done with more, but I am glad I didn't order them all at once because the first lot were a size too big for me.

I decided to look and see what the Crawley shops have to offer - well, it is not big pants with a longer leg.
Nor it seems do any of the shops have trousers that I like which are both long legged and have an elasticated waist.
It was all very frustrating and I began to feel very uncomfortable, like a fish out of water. Being in shops has me leaving my comfort zone.

Later I contacted Damart and ordered more of what I want. They do have an on line ordering service but my wants are a bit specialist and most times things are not in stock. So I talked with an understanding girl and I should be well supplied within the month - that's how long the out of stock items might take. As a valued customer I shall also receive a nice silky dressing gown for nothing!
In fact later I might buy Damart trousers - most of which are elasticated.
We met a friend in town who told me that there is a shop in Brighton and it will be better to go there and try things on.

The friend was with her husband. Jack it seems is gradually recovering from a serious heart attack. As he said "You never know what is round the corner".

I haven't achieved very much this afternoon - just couldn't get focused.

There is now a bid on Bill's bike. There are 35 watchers and he has had 340 hits on the description. I am glad that the bidding has started - we didn't want all the watchers to wait until the last minute because there wouldn't be time for the final price to go up.

I have just sent an answer to a potential EBay buyer's question. In my present mood he was lucky not to get the reply I first thought of...." Don't bother to bid on this book because you obviously can't read!" He wanted to know the cost of second class postage for the book - and it is only written twice for anybody to read on the item description.
And whilst I was Ebay browsing I looked at clothes - I like clothes; it's just that I really don't like shopping for them and I don't like the prices.

I have a bid on a dress now - sort of virtual shopping, puting on bids for things which maybe you won't actually own.
But I like this one and I would be prepared to go above the £1.30 which is the highest bid so far.

It is Marks and Spencers size 16 and apparently sold originally for £69.

I have bought a few clothes from EBay sellers and it has always worked out well - except for the trousers which are too big because I just couldn't acknowledge that I have lost weight and bulk in the last few months. I must describe them and try to sell them on again.

Let's hope that the moody moon is now waning - I don't want it in my life. I am normally reasonably cheerful and strive to get on with things.

Tomorrow Bill sees the local doctor again for a session about his blood pressure. It does seem that the amount of medication he is on is keeping the levels just about low enough.

I must clear up the dinner things now. And then it will be time for bed. last night I was in bed before 10 o'clock and slept through (with a few short spells of wakefulness) until half past seven.
So moon or no moon, it seems I am definitely tired and run down.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


15th April. Briefly blogging tonight.

Maybe, now that I know I have definite things wrong with me that might make me tired (B12 deficiency etc) I am allowing myself to feel tired.

It has been a busy day in the shop; and I doubt that I shall be writing that many more times.
I think most of the business was done before half past nine this morning - before Bill and I got there.
And when it got busy again there were people there to help me.

Perhaps I feel more stressed about health and /or other things like the work of dealing with all the stock as the shop closes than I realise - mistakes have crept into my work today and I forgot things.

The weather has been good. The shop door was open for the afternoon and people (well some of them) were going round in short sleeved shirts. I wish it could last - the forecast is for many more heavy showers tomorrow.

March winds and April showers bring forth the May flowers.......roll on May that's what I say.!

That's all folks for today.

Monday, April 14, 2008


14th April Fresh air and exercise

Fresh air and exercise - not good for you!

This morning the weather was fine and we decided to walk to the post office and then take a longer, meandering detour home.

We called in at Cheals Garden centre - well, it was called that when it still belonged to the notable Crawley Quaker family, the Cheals. I remember them at the meetings at The Friends Meeting House, when I was a child.
It is now a Squires garden centre and has been upgraded since those early days. Upgrading means having a shop with attractive artefacts, a cafe, units selling a number of other things - we have garden aquatics, pets, carpets etc.
We wanted to buy some more fat blocks for the birds - in particular we are so pleased to attract the woodpecker with special treats. Bill also wanted a new seed container for the bird table.
We love watching the antics of the birds. We are lucky to live right on the edge of the town and to have lots of trees and hedges close by with a wide range of birds to come and feed in our garden.
This morning a starling had the quandary of what to do with the nesting material in is mouth whilst being lured by the fat block. Problem solved - he tucked the dried grasses in a notch on the bird table post and enjoyed a snack and then went back for his building material.

The woodpecker is like the king of the garden - and he knows it.
Anyway we ended up buying more than we intended for our feathered friends. We had a good chat with a lady on the same sort of mission as us. She was wanting food for a thrush who she is enjoying having in her garden. It was just as well we were on foot or I might have looked at plants!
We continued on and walked back through the Broadfield woods, by the pond and wetlands. I am not sure if the wetlands are intended - more likely just poor drainage.
A stream flows by the path and into the pond and it could all look really good, but nobody takes any responsibility for it and you need to shut your eyes to litter by the path.
Litter upsets me - just a small thing but is a symptom of what is wrong with our country.

There were anemones and celandines in abundance by the stream.
People who know Crawley will be surprised perhaps that Broadfield could have so much to offer. It has a poor reputation and more than its fair share of problem families; but some parts are very pleasant with hard working families striving to do well in life.
This afternoon the weather turned nasty again with thunder, heavy rain and hail showers.
I sorted a few more bits of stock ready for a boot sale and also got ready a box for the shop, though goodness knows where I shall put it.
We had a tasty meal of minced beef and lots of vegetables and a yellow curry - mild and flavoursome. There is enough to have it again on Wednesday.
The fresh air and exercise obviously has affected me - I found it impossible to stay awake for the Delia Smith cooking programme.
So - off to bed very soon.

Sunday, April 13, 2008


13th April. Good buying trip and good sales.

It wasn't raining first thing, so we went out.
The drive to Dorking was lovely with weak sunlight shining through the mist lingering over the fields.

I bought books at Dorking, but forgot to buy fat blocks with seeds for the birds in the front garden.
The woodpecker really appreciates them and fights off the starlings for the best pickings. We also get a jay on the bird table - good to see some larger colourful birds enjoying our hospitality.

We stopped in Horley on the way back - and as usual I just wondered where all the dross on the stalls had come from.
I did find some interesting books finally and I bought some old wooden jig saws, only 2 were really worth saving for EBay, for the others had some faults or no box.
I have written them all up in my stock file.

I set Bill the task of wrapping things for EBay - no books today. I just knew that he would be much better at solving some difficult wrapping problems.
This was the day when my more expensive items would meet their fate and many have done rather well.

The Mickey Mouse milk bottle sold for just over £16 and the Prince Albert/Great Exhibition brass dish sold for almost £20. You just might remeber seeing these. I don't think I have shared with you the Victorian tiles, which I loved - they sold for £26.

Before the auctions ended we drove over to Ardingly to make sure every single space was filled in readiness for all the dealers who should be around for the next 2 or 3 days. This will be the last time that I will feel such a part of the antiques world - no more antiques fairs in the lifetime of the shop.

I have been dealing with payments this evening - just 2 people left to pay.

I will end with a picture that will make Ekatarina smile I am sure - well, it gave me some amusement.
Bill was fiddling with an art programme on the computer and came up with this......
I don't think it will make the short list for the Turner Art prize!

Saturday, April 12, 2008


12th April Cold winds.

This will be short tonight. I don't feel an urge to write and I feel a bit negative.
I shouldn't feel down because I do still feel pleased that Dr Hillman is sorting so much out for me.
I have been researching B12 deficiency and I wonder if I haven't had this problem for many years.
If so, then I have to realise that high potassium might be seen as a blessing - because of the investigations for this, other problems have been found to be dealt with.
This morning it wasn't raining so we went to Ford. We didn't buy much and the wind was cold on that old airfield.
My purchases have been written up and eventually they will find their way onto EBay.
We didn't stay out for long - no breakfast in Littlehampton this time.
If there is no rain in the morning we will probably go to Dorking and Horley.
Then I must wrap things for EBay. The more expensive things that I listed on a 5p listing day reach the end of their time. At the moment there are bids on only 4, but they are good bids. I think there might be more bids put on in the morning.
My Delia Smith How to Cheat at Cooking book arrived today. It is beautifully produced and I think I shall enjoy using it.
But not tonight!

Friday, April 11, 2008


11th April. Today's medical news mostly.

It has been my turn for a hospital appointment today.

I saw Dr Hillman, the endocrinologist - a very nice man.
The good news is that my potassium levels are within the realms of normal. Keep to the diet and keep taking the tablets.
I told him that I can tend to feel queasy in the mornings and he responded that it is reasonably common for people to feel this.

But there are deficiencies in other chemicals - vitamins and minerals mostly. I had to have yet another blood test.
It looks like I shall have to be on B12 injections, which can be done at the local surgery and will take Vitamin D supplements.
It was noted that I already take Vitamin C everyday.
Dr Hillman also had concerns about phosphate levels which are important in absorption of calcium - and levels of calcium are low.
The blood tests this morning also included magnesium.
And levels of blood sugar were low.

I am sure there were other things - I should have got him to print me off all the recent results!

Some of my problems stem from the surgery in the 1990s - especially with relation to dairy and wheat/gluten.
But my gut is doing as well as can be expected.
I am presuming that some of the deficiencies are now caused by the crazy diet I am on - not that I really feel I am missing out too much now.

For breakfast I had a one egg omelette (jumbo egg from the farm) with a little chopped smoked salmon and some tinned peaches. NO - the tinned peaches were not in the omelette! Sounds much more enticing than cornflakes eh?

I told Dr Hillman that having had the blood test on Monday I had relaxed enough to allow myself a few of the remaining chocolates in the Quality Street tin that Isobel gave us at Christmas time (thank you Isobel!) Dr Hillman's comment was "I should think so!"
He thinks it might be worth risking a jacket potato occasionally too.

He was just so helpful and supportive.
I commented that, despite the problems, I felt really lucky to be alive. he said it couldn't all be put down to luck, so I quickly acknowledged the skill of the doctors and nurses who have treated me. But he felt sure that my own strength to fight back and my positive spirit have been very important..... well, I will admit to that positive spirit not always reigning supreme.
Like during last night. Having had a bag problem during yesterday - after several weeks of no problems, would you believe it, there were 2 leaks during the night. One required a complete bed change and a shower.
Oh, I did feel down.
Perhaps I can forget it again now.
I go back to Dr Hillman in July - and in June there will be an appointment with the lovely Mr Swinn!

After the appointment we went to Horley and shopped in Lidls.
Then we had lunch at The Jack Fairman, a good Wetherspoons pub. We still have vouchers that Ashley left with us.
My chilli con carne with jasmine rice and corn crisps and just a dob of soured cream and Bill's fish and chips and our 2 drinks came to £6. Bargain!
We then popped into Waitrose - a fair bit more upmarket than Lidls, and much more expensive too. I wanted to see if they had any packets of Rice Works - the new rice based crisps. Hooray - they had some and it was buy one get one free.
I bought 6 large packs.

The weather has been very mixed - lots of blue skies with some very heavy showers of rain or hail. Whilst we were at the checkout in Lidls there was an almighty clap of thunder which made everybody gasp, wondering for a moment if there had been an explosion.

In case you think I have forgotten poor Bill's health - I can report that he has overdone things in the last few days and his knees and back are hurting. His blood pressure really has crept down to almost a good safe and normal level.

I talked with Ashley again today. He is disappointed with the weather forecast for tomorrow. He had planned to go out early on the bus to Llyn Ogwen and then walk back by a rural route to Bangor - it's wonderful mountainous countryside. The walk is about 10 miles, but if he found it a bit much he could stop in Bethesda and wait for a bus.

Jamie blogs everyday and we skype frequently.
He sent this picture this week - he is now a sought after contributor to a Phuket newspaper. They approached him to see if they could publish some of his blog.
This is not for money at this stage - but just to promote himself and who knows what it might lead to; certainly more articles for The Phuket Post.

We were there for Songkran 2 years ago.

Like Ashley we are not sure of the weather tomorrow - or Sunday. It looks like an "at home" weekend - but we'll get out to car boot sales if we can.


Thursday, April 10, 2008


10th April Lesson learned

Well, what have I learned today?
I now know that wearers of urostomy bags should not carry heavy boxes.
The body supports the box as one carries it - and whoops, plastic bags burst!
This morning I began more sorting of stock out in the garage, preparing it for a car boot sale...... one day, when we get some fair weather on a Sunday.
I soon realised that I would need a quick change of bag and clothing.
Bill, who was out at the time, had been telling me that boxes could be a problem - and he was right.
So, unfortunately he will have to do box carrying - it will be my job to fill the boxes.
I listed all the books on EBay that I described yesterday and Bill added his bike to the items listed.
He hasn't ridden it since he was knocked off it, many years ago it seems now.
The good quality bike has been a fair distance since then, but not by pedal power. Like Bill, our Ashley has imagined being a bike rider and the bike has been to Northampton, to Fleetwood and to Bangor before returning back to Crawley.
Bill used to be a member of the cycle club - not much racing, but he enjoyed touring and the social side of cycling. But we have to let the past go.
Of course we cannot pack the bike up and post it, so we offer it on a "buyer collects" basis. There are 2 watchers already.
Later I dealt with 7 more sales - these were books being sold very cheaply which had been on EBay before; so, very little profit but at least these 7 are out of my way.
I wrote that we have to let the past go - but sometimes it creeps back into our consciousness. Today would have been Cameron's birthday - gosh, he would still only have been 43. Cameron was my nephew, son of my brother Robin who also died at a very young age. Cameron died just over 8 years ago.
Cameron's son, Clayton, shared his birthday with his father - he is 26 now. I wonder where he is and what he is doing with life.
Sad to lose people through both death and circumstances of life.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008


9th April Describing Wednesday.

Twenty one books..... yes, I feel like I have read 21 books today.
Of course they have only been lightly skimmed over as I hunted for the best words to describe them for EBay.
The range has been wide - somehow I have got a book about Quakers right next to a Poacher's Handbook. I am not sure that Quakers and poachers make good bed fellows.
It is always interesting to prepare books ready for listing and as I tap away at the keyboard my optimism lifts and I start to plan what to do with the profits!
They will be listed tomorrow.
I paused only for meals and a walk to the post office.
If we could get a spell of better weather I would happily walk more often - good for the body and soul, and less wasteful of fuel in the car. Though often we call in at the Post Office on our way to somewhere else.
Today the weather was bright and reasonably warm.
Nevertheless the very last vestiges of my snowman still linger on the grass.
Bill has been in the front garden and it looks really neat once again with lots of old friends showing their little heads above the soil.
I am yawning once again - a bit too early for bed really.
I guess Bill has an aching body after all his work in the garden. I just feel my normal awkward self, with fragile gut etc etc.
Yes, I think we need a drink and an early night yet again.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008


8th April Life, death and minor disappointments

Minor disappointments are nothing really - not in comparison to life and death.
In 2 short days Rhian (grand daughter of Mo) has experienced both. For such a premature baby it is hard to think that she may have experienced much at all. It is her parents, Nick and Sarah who will have memories of these 2 days for the rest of their lives.
And all their families too - and the rest of us, too who have felt moved and thoughtful from afar.
Rhian's twin sister, Bethany, still lives and despite her miniature size seems to be coping with life, though she has a long hard struggle ahead of her.
I am sure you can join with me in sending prayer or positive energy, or whatever is comfortable to you for Bethany and her family.

Today the sun has shone and people have come into the shop, commenting on a lovely day.
I was busy today. There were more customers than last week - but, and here is my minor disappointment.... nobody bought anything of mine today.
I sold on each of the days for the last week though.
I spent a lot of time continuing to make new price tickets for things - prices are coming down in the hope that lots gets sold before the final day.
I prefer, if I can, to make new tickets rather than cross out old prices and write in lower ones - that sort of smacks of desperation.

I said that I would take some photos today, showing how much more inviting things look without the dark locked cabinet - and here are a few.

The shelves at the near end are where the cabinet was until last Thursday. Click on the picture if you want to see more clearly what I have for sale.

This is the left hand side of my area - kitchen and nursery items in the main. The far shelves have some pretty china and Royal souvenirs.
This shows rather more clearly the 1950s style that is mostly displayed on the shelves where the cabinet was.
It is sad that what I have created in this friendly and popular shop will come to an end. It is understandable that Joy and Peter feel too much pressure on them now to continue with the venture. And it is understandable, also, that none of us in the shop want to take over that pressure.

Monday, April 07, 2008


7th April Transient dreams and Laurel and Hardy.

Was it a dream?
I have looked at yesterday's blog and feel amazed that the world looked like a Christmas card only a few hours ago.
Almost every bit of snow has gone now and although it was chilly, the sun has shone and the skies were blue today.
The only remants of snow are where snowmen or large snowballs stood. My snowman is now a small pile of icy snow.

Today I can only feel for Mo. Yesterday she sent me news that her twin grand daughters had been born - at 25 weeks, weighing just 1lb 9oz each.
Bethany and Rhian have a major struggle and I have thought of them often during the day.
The most recent news suggests that Rhian's little life might flicker away.
Leaving a family to wonder if it was all just a dream.
Let us hope that at least Bethany might thrive.

This morning Bill and I were at the hospital. Bill's appointment was routine - just checking up on him and his medication. Nothing needs to be changed at the moment.
Methotrexate will continue to be used to fight Bill's immune system, rather than it fighting him.
Whilst he was being seen I went for my blood test. The "vampire" got the blood at the first attempt, but opted for a tiny needle. It might have been a tiny needle, but it was quite a big OUCH!

We got back home and I wrapped more things that would be sold on EBay this afternoon.
One of my items was a strange book with a Laurel and Hardy connection - about a film that they contributed to, with an opera singer as the star. The film was called Rogues Songbook. I bought it for 50p last October at Ford. When I got it home I wondered if it was 50p wasted for there was little really about the famous pair.
But my instincts on that Saturday morning had been right - it sold today for £30.01.

Right, time to pull the curtains and make a drink before bed time. I will leave getting things ready for the shop until the morning.


Sunday, April 06, 2008


6th April. White shades of Winter in April.

The day began with a dull greyness.

And then it snowed; and for a few hours we enjoyed the atmosphere and the beauty of the snowy scenes and activities close to home.

Solly's tree and the field beyond.

Blossom and snow on Solly's tree.

The weeping flowering fruit tree. Compare this with the same Springtime view of this tree taken 2 days ago.

Almost a blizzard out the front.

Tulips in the snow.

A crystal of ice suspended by a web.
Congratulations to Bill for this one.

When the blizzard was over we went for a walk - not much of a walk really just a quarter of a mile or so to get some milk at the Tesco Express.

I called it Walk Through the Woods. But really it is just trees that lead to the main road.

The trees at the back of our house.

Another view of the trees at the back of our house.

As we walked we enjoyed the fruits of other people's fun - snowmen.
It was good to chat to people when we stopped. They were all fascinated to know that we have grandchildren who have never seen snow.

Mr Carrot Nose.

Mr. Snowcat.

Mr Ready for Anything.

Mr Dozy Snowman.
When we got back I got involved with snowman making myself, with a young German man who had built his snowman close to our house.
At first the snowman had no features and I went to get a carrot for him.
Then whoops! As I tried to press the carrot into the snow his head fell off and smashed!
Frantically I tried to sort him out.
Then the German man came back with stones for eyes and he quickly rolled another large snowball to make a new head.

My frantic efforts at rebuilding the snowman.

Now he is finished - facial features on a brand new head and buttons on his coat.
I get acquainted with "my" snowman.

I can see him from the dining room window as I write - waving to me in a friendly way.
The snow has already begun to melt. I think some will remain overnight as the temperature is sure to drop quite a lot - and there is a possibility of more light sleet or snow falls to come.
Winter doesn't feel so bad when the snow comes. People are more friendly and it feels good.
Though it wouldn't be so good where traffic can't get through or conditions became dangerous.

Saturday, April 05, 2008


5th April Racing back to Winter.

I sort of feel that the day has been dominated by horse racing.
We have been to a race course today and we have watched a horse race ...... but not at the same time!

The day was far less springlike than yesterday, but it didn't rain until early afternoon, but the chill wind had returned.
And slowly it looks like we are sliding back into winter, so we were determined to get out to a boot sale today.

There are regular car boot sales at Plumpton race course, an attractive setting under the South Downs.

It was quite busy, but I found little to buy - just a couple of books. Bill did much better - he bought 4 model Dinky cars, which may need a little restoration and some model railway signals and other bits.

We also bought a double duvet cover and 2 pillow cases for £2.

We were glad to get out of the wind and drive home after a good look round.

We got some lunch and turned on the TV - today there was horse racing from Aintree of course.

It is Grand National day.

Over lunch we watched one of the earlier races and as ususal I picked out a couple of horses, using instinct rather than knowledge. And as so often happens my horse came in second.

I sometimes wonder if I could actually make money from all the second places I seem to pick - not that we see as much horse racing as we used to.

The Grand National seems to command attention throughout the land. Many people who would never normally bet, try their luck for this one. The only time I have placed a bet was when we watched the race with friends who were regulars and understood the betting shop system. I went home with more money than I had paid out, so I reckoned that as I had beaten the bookies it was time for me to stop.

It is a long and dangerous race, the fences are huge and there are many fallers. Sadly it seems a regular occurence that a horse (or more than one) has to be put down as a result of a fall and this year was no exception.

There are 40 runners and less than half can expect to make it round.

I picked 4 horses - and until the closing stages I had 3 in contention, but 2 of them dropped back.

But of course one kept racing and guess where he came - second of course.

This horse was picked for name alone - King John's Castle. It was the only horse with a grandchild connection and so he had to be picked.

One day maybe we will have to go to a race meeting. I think horses are beautiful animals and the speed and power of the race must be thrilling. The ways of the betting world are a closed book to me, but must be fascinating to watch - with all the hand signals.

I have continued to sort out stock in the garage, getting it ready for a car boot sale. It has occurred to me that it would be a good idea to do a sale before the demise of Rocking Horse, because that might create a bit of space and empty some boxes which will be needed at the end of May.

We have eaten well from the large organic chicken that I bought yesterday and watched Dr Who.

When I talked with Ekatarina earlier on I asked her to tell me something good about today and she said eagerly that the new series of Dr Who would be starting. I am still not sure about the Doctor's new assistant, Catherine Tate - it is hard to forget her comic characters and believe in this one. I wonder what Ecky made of cute looking monsters called Adipose and created from people's execss fat!

Seeing that last apostrophe reminds me of a picture Ashley sent to me earlier.
And if you are not sure why I find this printed sign in a Bristol Tescos to be appalling then you obviously were not taught English grammar by somebody like me who tried to drum in correct use of apostrophes.
Mind you my English is of course not perfect and I do still make mistakes. And in the 21st century maybe we have to accept the anything goes, texting type of written English.
And maybe the bras and briefs should have been for more than one woman!
Well, I wonder what tomorrow will bring. The forecast talks of sleet and then light snow. So maybe it will be a lie in under the duvet in the morning.
I must now pay for 2 postcards won in EBay auctions. One was a "must have" card because it is of our road. The other is of a favourite village in Slovenia.

Friday, April 04, 2008


4th April Springtime for the day.

The weather here has been teasing us into thinking that Winter is over.
It has been delightful - quite warm and pleasant. The house doors and windows have been open.
We went out without jackets or coats - but we certainly shouldn't pack them away; the met. office website predicts heavy snow showers for Crawley on Monday night and temperatures across the country below zero.

Bill went off to the dump early this morning and called in at Homebase (a horrible DIY shop we find). He wanted a new blade for the mower and they didn't have one. I guess they would prefer that we buy a new lawn mower.
But he did come home with a couple of trays of plants - some little pansies and some bellis daisies.
He then attacked the front lawns, first with the strimmer and then with the blunt edged blade on the mower.
The amount of grass is really not very big - and he gets paid for one third of it, keeping neat the front garden of the house that is let out next door to us. If only the owner would care for the house as well as Bill cares for the garden.

Our weeping tree in the front garden is looking superb just now. It has deep pink blossom, followed by red leaves and later on there is much red fruit, which the blackbirds love. Stupidly we can't now remember of it is a flowering apple or cherry - we must check the fruits in the autumn.

This is almost exactly the view through our dining room window - the view I get as I sit and tap the computer keyboard. The picture will go much bigger with a click.

I spent time this morning going through boxes of toys and books that I am sure will never be taken back to the shop and so certainly will be on a car boot sale stall later on. I decided to make a start on preparing the things so that they have neat price tickets which suit the sort of prices appropriate for a car boot sale. I look forward to selling these things on.
That's me - as soon as an episode or chapter of life seems to be over I want to be done with it.
But the Rocking Horse chapter will take a few months to really draw to a close.

After lunch we went to the Three Bridges Tescos - another horrible shop. I don't object to all Tescos but this one always seems to tense me up.
First they didn't have a copy of the Delia Smith cook book. Maybe they had sold out of course, but Morrisons had a pile last week.
Then Bill looked for blank video tapes to check out our old video player better than the very old and well recorded tapes that we have at home - and no, they didn't have any.
And so we went downstairs to buy our food.
I did buy a huge organic chicken with a use by date for tomorrow. That's OK - that is when I was going to cook it. It's the size of a small turkey so will be providing meals for a while yet.
But did they have packets of the rice crisps that I have found in Tescos over at Hookwood? NO!!!!! And I love them and I can eat them!
Never mind Morrisons in Reigate had them too. We could easily go there after the hospital appointments on Monday.
We did buy something interesting - a breakfast cereal. It is flakes of corn, rice (alright for me so far) and spelt. What on earth is spelt we wondered.

What is Spelt?
Spelt is an ancient grain that preceded wheat and has a higher nutritional value and mineral content - high in protein and Vitamins B and E. It is also digestible by some people with wheat allergies.Spelt flour is not gluten-free.

Apparently it is a must have foodstuff in the celebrity world.

I wonder if us ordinary mortals will think it special. I am not sure if I will try.

I phoned Ashley and, as she often does, Katya answered the phone. "Well," she said in a typical Grandma sort of way "I have had such a tiring day"..... Ashley had taken her to the indoor play area in Llanberis.
Tiring for him too - just sitting there for some hours with books whilst she played.
Jamie has added things to all his blogs this week.
One is about Hobnob biscuits. Having received some fig rolls from a visitor, 2 packs of Hobnobs turned up on his desk last Sunday.
There are more pictures of the children and the new car on the jjjj site.

Time now for a bit of relaxation and resting of weary muscles for Bill and me. I have been lugging boxes about and of course he has been working in the garden.

If the weather holds (and it should) we will head south tomorrow for a lunchtime car boot sale at Plumpton.
If it seems to be quite good it might be worth considering for us to sell at later in the summer.

Have a good weekend.

Thursday, April 03, 2008


03 April Don't do rearranging - dangerous game

A word of advice......don't get involved with rearranging! It is addictive.

We went over to the shop as planned this morning and just for a change the weather felt quite springlike. The countryside looked lovely with clumps of primroses along the roadside.

The task for the morning was to take out a heavy mirrored back display cabinet.

I cleared the top of the cabinet and then emptied it - 3 shelves worth of bits and pieces. I was surrounded by stuff on the floor which spread into Ken's area, so I was hoping he wouldn't pop in and find my things hindering people's access to his shelves.

Bill took out the glass shelves and he and Jo carried it to the car, keeping fingers crossed that it would fit in. Success! It would soon be on its way.

I put 2 sets of folding shelves in its place and began to play with my things.
There will be a photo next Tuesday - but we just didn't get around to it today.
The effect is what I had wanted and had planned to do last summer and should have done a long time ago.

We had a cup of tea with Jo and I was happy to see some of my bits and pieces being wrapped and taken away.

Then we took the cabinet to the YMCA shop. I hope they make good use of it and sell it well and the new owner will be happy to use it store their treasures.

This afternoon I listed my "special" bits on EBay that I had described yesterday. The first watcher was for the pair of lovely 19th century tiles - yes, I had wondered about collecting old tiles. The first bidder was for the charming milk bottle from a Sussex farm with Mickey Mouse encouraging children to drink more milk.
I have now replied to somebody in Japan who wanted to know the cost of postage for Mishka the china bear, the Olympics souvenir from the Moscow Games in 1980.

Bill was busy sorting out the back garden digging, trowelling and trimming and discarding pots that had cracked etc.
This was when I felt the rearranging urge sweep back over me..... the garage needs sorting badly.
I now have things destined for EBay, eventually, on the shelves just inside the door and shelves further down have what I would have called shop stock, but now I suppose it is mostly destined for car boot sales. There is so much of it. Several boxes that I took out of the shop last summer just can't be emptied for there is no room. Goodness knows how we will cope with it all when May 31st comes - all mine and all Bill's stuff from the shop will have to be absorbed.

I guess the the weather gave me some energy - almost warm at times.
What a shame that I have spied snow forecast again this weekend on the met office web site.
I shall try and do some more sorting in the garage tomorrow, whilst Bill takes a trip to the dump and to a charity shop with a couple of boxes that we have ready for them.

You can imagine that both Bill and I feel weary and our muscles ache. Hooray - time for bed soon.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008


2nd April Describing Wednesday.

Today I have been describing things for EBay - and not a book in sight.

I am taking advantage of the 5p listing day tomorrow and getting some things with high opening bids put on - normally the fees would be higher and it is always good to save some money.

I am not sure how they will sell.

Some of them might do quite well; I believe they have the potential to be attractive to collectors.

And I guess that I did once believe in the potential of all the things, but some I paid quite a high price for and I am just hoping some day for my money back.

It will be interesting to see what happens.

Perhaps the item that fascinates me most is a brass souvenir dish from the 1851 Great Exhibition. I paid very little for it and I kept wondering if it could be genuine - perhaps you can buy copies at Osborne House or somewhere like that.
But advice from others has confirmed my belief that it is genuine.
If you want to read the inscription on the base you might need to click on the
picture to enlarge it.
I was tempted to clean it, but decided to advise potential bidders that it might be best left for the new owner who might prefer it to carry its 150 year history of dirt.
There's lots more to see if you had the time or the interest. You would have to find monkland119 on the EBay website.
This afternoon we went over to Ifield to see Jenny. Poor thing she has succumbed to the bug and was coughing badly and feeling rough.
The Ifield Conservation Society are holding a seminar in a couple of weeks and they want to put together a display for visitors and our collection of Ifield postcards will be useful.
It was good to meet up with Dede again. I wonder how he is thinking about our rotten Spring weather. Yes - it has been raining again! He went out to walk the mile or so to collect Felix from the childminder's and presumably got quite wet. Felix was OK in the push chair covered over with rain proofing.
I said last night I would have a blood test today, but elected to wait until Monday. We have quite enough medical appointments just now. Bill will be at the ESH (East Surrey Hospital) on Monday to see the rheumatology specialist, and I might as well have my blood test whilst we are there.
I have my appointment with the endocrinologist next Friday.
And Bill must arrange to see the local doctor about his still slightly worrying blood pressure. Our friend Jean, who has a similar problem suggests that the next thing will be a combination of different drugs.
Tomorrow Bill's heart will have to pump well. We are taking out a heavy mirrored back cabinet from the shop and hoping that a charity shop will want to sell it. Jo has said she will help with the moving of it. I shall have to take in some folding shelves to display bits for the next couple of months.
Right - time for a cuppa and then off to bed.
Goodnight all!

◄  Older Posts      Top of the Page  ▲