Friday, October 31, 2008


31st Oct Chores, wonderful photography and a birthday!

The work goes on.
The last of the food cupboards has been emptied - apart from those things that get used frequently; tea, coffee etc will stay in the kitchen until Sunday afternoon.
And then I got busy at the office end of the room.
We have a chest of drawers which houses all sorts of stationery, paperclips, pens, pencils, scissors etc.
There are also price labels and packaging for posting postcards.
And there also are (were) a great number of notebooks. I can't resist them.
The thought of a virgin blank first page in a notebook excites me - what will be recorded there? What details of life? What dreams? What fancies?
Many that I have bought remain empty and as many came from car boot sales I have put a pile in a box which will eventually be taken to sell.
The paper skip has also had a lot dumped in it.
We are still not sure where this chest of drawers will end up. I would be sorry to see it go - we thought it very stylish when we bought it in 1966.

This afternoon we had chores to do away from home.
We have collected the carpet tiles from B & Q.
We bought a new container for the fat balls which the many bird visitors to the garden love. Our previous one was on the grass yesterday and has since been removed; perhaps by a human or maybe an animal dragged it away.
We did the main shopping in Lidls and then bought a few bits in Waitrose.

This evening it is clear and cold and we have been untroubled by children ringing the door bell to plead for a trick or a treat.
Perhaps making the effort to dress up to get treats was too much - after all life for many children is one long succession of treats.
There are of course fireworks exploding, though in the distance this evening.
Tomorrow some of the big displays take place and people will have firework parties at home too.

It is sort of a time for me to be celebrating too.
A year ago on this Friday evening I was drugged up to the nines and unaware of the implications of the bladder removal which had just happened.
The actual birthday date of my stoma is November 2nd - but the Friday will always feel significant.
Happy anniversary to the stoma which saved my life!

And now I will share some photographs taken by David Whistance, which were displayed at Dimbola.

Later on (several more days I should think!) I will be putting on photos taken by us at Alum Bay. They don't show quite the same fantastic forms that Whistance saw, but the shapes and colours at Alum Bay were special.

Thursday, October 30, 2008


30th Oct. Chill day in Dorking and Dimbola Lodge.

It has felt so cold today. The bright crispness was lost to clouds and cold rain - a little snow even.
It is early in the winter for such a chill.
We have been in the Dorking shop for the day.
Sales have been good during the last 3 weeks - well, very good for Bill and not good enough for me. Thank goodness for Bill's contribution because it keeps us in profit.
It has been quiet today - but then it is easy to see the reasons why the good folk of Dorking and district might choose not to venture out today.

In addition to the cold of the weather, my body is fighting hard to ward off a cold that might be lurking.

It feels good to look back to the next chapter of the Isle of Wight experience - we are still on the first full day!

We chose to have lunch at Dimbola Lodge (Dimberla) - the home of Julia Margaret Cameron.

She was an influential photographer of the 19th century.

A delicious crab soup was enjoyed in excellent surroundings - just look at the cabinets full of old cameras! Gentle modern jazz played quietly in the background.
It was good to be inside, warm and made very welcome.

The museum was dedicated to photography and of course in particular to Julia Margaret Cameron. Above the splendid fireplace are examples of her work.
Her portraits seem rather austere to our tastes - very contrasty black and white and of course the sitters had to sit very still for long exposures and looked stern or a little morose.
She loved to photograph children and would drag the local children in off the streets to sit for her - imagine trying that these days!
Of course the Victorians loved to have their portraits done and studios were established providing backdrops to make the people seem more interesting.
At Dimbola there was a room with such a backdrop and a range of clothes one could dress up in.
They even provided a digital camera and a printer for instant results.
We had fun - but opted just to model the hats.

This had once been a home for a family and it was good to imagine their lives. Julia's bedroom was preserved and made to appear like she had only just left it.
I loved the stained glass over the bed - and the William Morris wallpaper.

Now the building is a museum and below we see Bill looking at exhibits and listening to a commentary.

There are frequent exhibitions by modern photographers. There was a room of Lord Snowdon photographs and tomorrow I will share with you the work of another photographer whose pictures I surreptitiously photographed.
There is also a permanent exhibition devoted to the huge rock festival held very close by in 1968, 69 and 70.
Below is a statue of the rock legend Jimmy Hendrix.

Next time I will share with you the work of David Whistance.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


29th Oct. Saucepans, colanders & Freshwater Bay.

I am writing early today because this evening we are off out.
We are going to enjoy (I hope) a performance of the musical, Oliver staged by the local amateur operatic society.
Frieda is coming with us - our birthday present to her.
I have been back to work in the kitchen cupboards today.
I have been through all saucepans, casseroles, baking tins etc.
Many are not used these days and I couldn't really see when I might use the motley collection of cake tins. I have kept the best.
There are things I haven't used for years.
I did have to think long and hard about an old aluminium colander.
I bought 2 cheaply (2/11d - old money comes to mind) in Woolworths in Richmond during the months leading up to our wedding. After all, the other girls were filling their bottom drawers with items which would be needed in the new home.
I had almost no money and hardly more idea about what a well reared young housewife should have; but I did feel proud of my colanders.
The handle of one broke some years ago and I put the remaining one to the back of the cupboard, not wanting to damage that one too. Recently I bought another one in Ikea and that is what I use most days of the week.
But today I decided to release the old one from my life - this old friend has become redundant.
We need space and lack of clutter more than a sentimental colander!
I have also emptied much of the food cupboard.
I wonder where it will all fit back in.
The weather has been bright - I feel sorry for Ashley having Ecky home from school for the half term holiday and it keeps on raining.
And now we will continue along the southern coast of the Isle of Wight.
We drove up from our village and were greeted by the stunning view to the west - to Freshwater Bay and The Needles.
Look how rural and unspoilt it is.

I was fascinated by the variety of geology - sandstone and chalk so close together.
The road is called the Military Road - and there will be military history on another day.

We stopped for a walk at Freshwater Bay.
The summer season is well past and the bay sea front itself seemed a bit jaded and faded,
but the views are lovely.
I can see why Tennyson and other of his friends were so entranced.
We will "meet" one of his friends in the next chapter.

On another visit we will enjoy walking on the cliff tops - but despite the sunshine it was quite cold in the strong wind.

Thatched churches are rare. The church of St Agnes stands a little above the bay and is considered to be a real gem and celebrated its centenary this year.

Next time we will dine at the home of Julia Margaret Cameron amongst cabinets of old cameras.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


29th October Today's musings & St Catherine's Lighthouse.

I will begin with today..... and I look ahead to all the work that will be done in our kitchen with some dread.
I still feel undecided about whether I ever wanted any changes made - but the decision is now in the past and the work will be done and the money will be spent. I have to make the best of it.
It seems that this work will take longer and cause more disruption to our routine than the last time it was done.
This evening a couple of the workers came to check things out and I realised that for maybe 2 weeks we will have to live around their needs and their decisions.

I have felt tired today and unwilling to push on with the clearing of cupboards.

I had my hair cut and Rob, my stylist, said that people all seem to be feeling tired right now. Maybe it is the onset of winter and worries on the financial front that are causing a mass depression in society.

There are fireworks being let off out there somewhere this evening. Bang Bang!For heavens sake! Its October 29th! It is not Halloween or Guy Fawkes Night.

I do little about either of these things nowadays, but at least Guy Fawkes Night reflects our own history. Halloween has always existed but the trend to tie it up with spending money and trick or treating is a watered down import from America.
Talking of America I fear that Obama may not be the target of amateur fascists next time. I fear that a much more organised plot might be set for him, perhaps as was set up for the Kennedy's.

And those of us in Britain will have realised that at last Jonathan Ross has been found out. I have always thought the amount of money paid to him by our BBC was obscene and after his latest exploits hopefully he might be dropped.
I did hear somebody propose that Ross was good for the BBC because we need unpredictable comedians. I found him to be entirely predictable - always adolescent despite nearing 50.

I returned from our holiday full of good intentions about being a more creative cook; and today I managed that. But of course for the next 2 weeks or so I shall have to depend on take aways, meals out or ready meals in the microwave.
I made a fish pie from a salmon steak and mussels. It was good.

So let me now look back to the next chapter of the holiday.

Our cottage was in Niton, a village of 2 halves. The main part is on the upper cliff, but there is also a community on the undercliff. And also on the undercliff is St. Catherine's lighthouse, built to protect shipping from treacherous waters which wrecked many a ship.

We walked down to the lighthouse on a bright and very breezy morning. It felt more like a howling gale!

The next picture was taken close to the edge of the cliffs down to the sea, looking back to the upper cliff, now grown with shrubs and grass.

Next time we will reach Yarmouth Bay.

Monday, October 27, 2008


27th Sunny Monday in the kitchen and Godshill, I of W.

Thank goodness - a sunny day!
It has felt warm indoors with the sunshine streaming through the windows.
Washing has got reasonably dry.

I have worked today on kitchen cupboards. In a week's time the present ones will be taken out and so everything has to be removed. It is a good time for sorting and rejecting.
I have quite a lot boxed up - but there are still many more things to be dealt with. Already we have a large amount for a charity shop - I have been quite ruthless for a change.
I suspect that even more might be rejected when it is time to find new homes for everything.

I have also found time to explore some of the face book games that some of my family and friends are involved in. My boggling experience has stood me in good stead and I am the leader amongst us in word challenge. But Ashley reigns supreme (at the moment) at How Good is Your Brain. This is the sort of game that advertisers promote for people to keep their brains working quickly - and manufactured versions cost quite a lot. We can have a bit of fun for free.

And now for a look back to chapter 2 of the Isle of Wight experience.
Of course you can always miss these bits - but it is where you will see photographs.
If I do a bit at a time I can foresee it will take a couple of weeks! (at least!)

We landed on the island and we thought we would first do a bit of shopping for the week ahead. There is a Lidls in Newport.
There are lots of shops in Newport and a one way system that takes you round the outside of all of them!
It was busy and we were frustrated and so decided to move south.

We stopped in Godshill for a stroll and some lunch.

The Old Forge had what would have been a lovely garden if it had not been filled with plaster models of creatures and cottages. I guess they were trying to compete with the Model Village up the road (supposed to be fun for children and with an admission charge).
This view through a window was the best I could make it look.

I am not sure why we opted not to go into the cafe we went to in the summer, which had been so friendly. Maybe we thought they just did cakes, ice creams and drinks.
We ended up in a place opposite and had the worst lunch of our stay.
We should have left - but the woman in her fluffy pink sparkly cardigan had her claws into us, for she was very short of customers.
The home made vegetable soup arrived - a rather thin soup and the basic vegetable was onion. It was salty.
I wanted to grumble, but we decided to laugh instead.
There was much to be laugh at - for it was very tacky.

The walls were covered with "cute" scenes. The lemons on the tree in the top picture were plastic of course!

At least we enjoyed some more picturesque sights.
We did our shopping at a supermarket in Ventnor.
But having stopped off at the village shop, we wish we had done it all in there.
It is now part of the Londis franchise, but definitely still has the personal touch.
They sold the best home cooked pork pies that I have eaten.

You can see that it has been a village shop for over 100 years.
We settled into the cottage and enjoyed a relaxed evening "at home". Pictures of our island home will appear later.

Sunday, October 26, 2008


26th October. Sunday rain and a ferry crossing on the 18th.

Back to normal........I really wish that today had felt normal.
It has been Sunday, but it was far too wet to consider going to a car boot sale.
And somehow putting the clocks back one hour has caused a jarring to our own body clocks.
The cats certainly didn't believe that it wasn't really time for their evening meal at about half past four when started to get dark on this dull day.

But I have learned something today about Sundays that I hadn't been aware of - the whole world goes shopping!
The car park at Asda was full and fraught.
A peer through the doors revealed packed aisles.
We just didn't want to be there and so called in at a local Co-op store instead to buy bread and a few bits.
By the end of the day I felt so tired that I didn't want to eat anyway.
I am not surprised that tiredness has set in - we really have lived life to the full during the last week.

And so to a few pictures to start the story of our Isle of Wight experience.
We begin at the beginning - the ferry crossing.
It doesn't take long - about 45 minutes.
We spent the time outside and it felt warm out of the wind.

Just look at the bright blue sky over the boat and the new Spinnaker Tower.

Of course we both posed for pictures as we left the harbour.

Nearing the Isle of Wight with a flotilla of yachts from the Cowes yacht club situated round the headland.
White sails in the sparkling morning sun.

Saturday, October 25, 2008


25th Oct. Back home.

We are back!
It all happens so quickly - ending a holiday and being back in our own home and getting some work done.
The week has been special for many reasons.
I think the emotion I felt as we sailed out into the Solent was mostly because I remembered that this time last year there could be no thoughts of holidays. Would I even have another holiday?
We have packed this week as full as maybe - living life up to the maximum, grabbing at opportunities. And of course we are tired.
I shall be writing up episodes on the blog as time goes along - with pictures of course!
We have seen so much and some of the coastal views are breathtaking.
Today has been full too - a bit chilly, but packed with incidents.
We looked at Yarmouth on the north west coast - nice town, with a nice cafe selling sea food chowder. But the chowder didn't quite match the mussel, prawn and fish chowder we enjoyed in the sunshine at Ventnor.
We walked in Parkhurst Forest after lunch in the hope of seeing red squirrels. I did see one as we drove in the car during last week, but there were none today, despite other people telling us of how groups would come and "play". There are no grey squirrels on the I of W.
That's it for today. One load of washing has been done and we have eaten a light meal.

Monday, October 20, 2008


20th Oct Murky Monday

Murky Monday - very murky as we hit the evening of the day.

Saturday, though, was sunny.
We sat outside on the car ferry in the sunshine and enjoyed views back to Portsmouth and all the yachts in The Solent.
Our first plan had been to get some shopping in - Lidls in Newport.
But we failed.
Newport is a mass of one streets and a busy road that whizzes round the outside.
Give up - we thought.
And so we headed towards the south of the island stopping at Godshill for a light lunch.
Why oh why did we not stop where we went with Ashley and Ecky?
We chose another place and the woman in a angora sparkly cardigan, tried to be helpful, but matched the tackiness of the place.
The vegetable soup was too salty as well.
We shopped in Ventnor. After wards we realised the small supermarket in the village was a much better shop.
The village was a welcoming home and the cottage, just superb.
The owners live in Salisbury and use it often for them selves. They have our tastes.
The kitchen has shelves of things that I might have had for sale myself - and did have in Rocking Horse. Lots of 1950s and 1960s things. There are lovely pictures and photographs on the walls.
It is warm and cosy and we have all we need.

Sunday was a bright and breezy day - actually very windy at times.

We parked up in Lower Niton and walked to the lighthouse of St Catherine's Point on the lower cliffs - yes there are 2 levels of cliffs here!
Lovely views.
Then we drove westwards - not too sure what the day would bring.
The chalk cliffs out towards The Needles shone bright in the sunshine.
WE decided that as it was sunny we would head for Freshwater Bay.
As with so many sea side place and particularly out of season - it had a faded air.

But it had once appealed to the arty famous types - Tennyson had a home there.
He was joined by others, including the Victorian photography pioneer, Julia Margaret Cameron.
It was to her house that we went for lunch.
WE sat and enjoyed hot and exceedingly good crab soup - I of W crab.
Gentle modern jazz played in the background and we were surrounded by cabinets full of old cameras - some newer too for it was a record of the history of Cameras.
Then we paid to view the museum, which was really interesting.
There was one room with dressing up clothes and hats and murals on the wall so that visitors could take photos of themselves in the old style.
Interestingly there is a section on modern rock start for the I of W rock festivals took place close by. There is a statue of Jimmy Hendrix in the grounds.

Rain was forecast - what could we do?
Museums seemed goo.
The one on postal history and post boxes seemed to suit us but it is a private collection and you have to reserve a time.
I phoned but there was no reply.
And that was the story of the day.
Anyway we headed back to Newport for the I of W history museum.
Could we find a car park - not on the first time round the town and finally found somewhere out of the centre.
The first sign post was followed by no more helpful signs.
The museum was a disappointment- 2 rooms. It was tastefully done but there was not enough. The labelling was attractive but with not enough information.
That was Newport.
We had read of another place - The Orrary in Ryde.
There would be a cafe with planets revolving over our heads etc etc.
But it didn't get finished in time for this year!
We bought some trainers in the shop next door.
WE sat in a place to have a light lunch - but the soup had run out.
So that was Ryde - we got lost in Ryde too - one way streets and no signs.
We decided to go to the place in Godshill where we went with Ashley and Ecky.
It was raining really hard by this time.
The owner of this cafe had decided the place was just too dead and he was shutting up at 3 o'clock.
Failed again.
So we drove back to Niton and bought a few bits in the shop and have had a picnic by the fire in our cottage - eating at about 4 o'clock!

Then we came out in the pouring rain to write this - something to do! We are in the library. A little square room that used to be the telephone exchange.

WE will hurry back to the cottage soon.
I hope the weather will be better tomorrow.
We are meeting Bill's sister Ros for a meal tomorrow evening at a place called The Dairyman's Daughter.
We'll do The Needles and Alum Bay on Wednesday - supposed to be clear skies.

My health has settled - still rather weak, but coping well. Just hope I don't get a cold; sore throat threatens.

Ashley is in a bad way with broken finger. Was back at hospital and hasn't got the splint because he was severely allergic to micropore. He now has big blisters on his finger.
I hope the fracture clinic can help him better tomorrow.

Right - must stop now.
Won't blog again until Saturday when home.

Friday, October 17, 2008


17th Oct Trying to be ready for the off

Oh how optimistic I seemed to be when I wrote yesterday evening!
Half an hour later I was crawling into bed feeling dreadful.
The nausea and headaches were back - I just couldn't function.
As you may recall we have a blood pressure monitor and I did mine - it was way up. It was close to the 140 figure that doctors warn is above the safety zone if it stays like that for long.
Goodness! My BP was higher than Bill's.
The only other time I can recall that happening was when ambulance men took our BPs after the car accident. And then it was way above 140!
By morning it was back down to my normal 102 ish.
But my body didn't feel normal.
I still feel the nausea.
But packing up has been done pretty well - so many things to think about when going to a cottage rather than a guest house or hotel.

I know we will have a good time, health permitting. But somehow the week will feel rather like having a week at home and going out days - though of course we can't have too many days out on the Isle of Wight whilst in our own home.
There is lots to see and do and we enjoy each other's company.
But I think we will miss the opportunity that a guest house or small hotel brings to meet new people and to talk and become friends - normally very temporary friends of course.
I love going down from our room to a well prepared meal and to watch the others and maybe at some point to decide to share a table with other people. And after dinner, maybe take a stroll with new friends or have some drinks together and perhaps play cards or just laugh and talk.
And of course I love that the washing up is not part of our lives!
So this is like going back to an earlier time when we thought we couldn't afford any other sort of holiday.
I guess we will chat to people whilst we are out and about - like we do. But it won't be the same.
When the boys were young, camping and cottages were of course ideal for a family and we have very good memories. But life changes.
So I look ahead just slightly bleakly to a week that had seemed such a good idea when it was planned.
I felt a cottage would be good for me because we could have a base for bags and equipment.
And I do want to explore as much of the Isle of Wight as possible. But I don't think we would consider 7 days out in a row from our home.

One thing packed is the lap top. I can write some diary each evening, just as normal. It may or may not get used on the blog later.
I have this dream that perhaps the computer will be able to pick up some stray wireless network from close by and I can get on line - but probably not.
I shall miss my new found pleasure on Facebook!

I will have an early night and hope that I feel much more jaunty in the morning.
The ferry boat leaves Portsmouth at quarter past eleven.

Have a good week.
Will be back on the 25th.

Thursday, October 16, 2008


16th Oct. Recovering slowly

Well, here I am again.
I can't say I am well - indeed, if I hadn't had yesterday I would have felt like complaining about feeling yukky today.
But yesterday was horrible, leaving me virtually incapable of doing very much.
I must be a really horrible person because I have been glad to know that my brother has felt just as bad as me.
This is because it left me sure that I have a bug, which will soon go, rather than a flare up of high potassium. The symptoms were much the same.
Today after 12 hours in bed, I got up and had a much needed shower.
My legs felt like I had been for a long run rather than stood in the bathroom for a matter of minutes.
But I have been up all day and felt more alert.
So, hopefully I will have the strength tomorrow to sort out what is needed to take to the Isle of Wight on Saturday.
I think food shopping will have to wait until we get off the ferry - I know there is a Lidls close by.
Talking of food, I have eaten today - but very little.
I have lost half a stone this week.
And that is just what I thought I ought to lose - but of course as normality returns the weight will creep up again.
Basically that will be it for tonight.
I will try to stay up a bit longer this evening - BBC 4 have a steam trains night.
But when I go up, in a moment, to put on nightdress and dressing gown the bed might look just too alluring.
And thanks to Grandpa for writing something yesterday - I didn't know until just now.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


Wed 15th. Grandma is poorly.

Grandma has taken to her bed early tonight. She has been feeling rather ill all day after a rough night with trips to the loo and feeling nauseous all night. She may well add to this in the morning as I am sure its one these 48 hour or so bugs. Grandpa has been through it and hopefully it is now clearing his system. He has managed a few small jobs today. So we will see how Grandma is tomorrow. As we are off to the Isle of Wight on Saturday we need to be feeling better. That's enough from me today. Hope you feel better soon Roger.
Love to all GRANDPA.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


14 Oct It gets no better

It doesn't get any better.
In fact, for me, it gets worse.
I am trying to embrace the idea that this awful nausea, headache, stomach pains and extreme weakness is a bug; most probable because so many others are being stricken with is.
But, hell, it feels like high potassium and I don't like the memories of that.
Bill, I guess, has felt a bit better.
He was better enough to deal with a leak from the washing machine. He needed a trip to B & Q for new hoses and then to fit them.
We took 2 parcels to the post this afternoon - exhausting!
And that's it from me.
I have a cuppa soup with me - carrot and coriander. It is tasty and demands little from my digestion.
Then I shall be off to bed - very early tonight.

Monday, October 13, 2008


13 Oct Oh woe is us.

Oh woe is us!
I started the day with optimism and the sun shone for a while.
Bill began the day feeling struck down with a dodgy digestive bug.
Now, some hours later, I feel queasy and my head aches.
I wanted a day of rest, but for positive reasons - not nasty feelings.

I sorted out more payments and took 11 parcels to the post office.

Then I dabbled - I may have partly de-activated that first face book page I had. At least I don't seem to be friends with myself any more.
It was good to see a few comments from my circle of family and friends today - and pictures of Felix and Otto from Megan.

My intentions to do positive things faded as the day proceeded. Never mind.

I had a long "chat" with Mam. Look out next week for a blog about a trip they will be making by sea plane to Phi Phi (Pee Pee) Island. It seems Jamie has been invited to do this because the company want Jamie to give them a write up on his blog. How exciting - a freebie full of good experience.

I have potatoes baking in the oven which we could eat with some cold turkey from yesterday - if we both feel like much. The food may not be eaten until tomorrow.

I hope we get to bed early and that my sleep is not disturbed by the weird dreams of the last few nights.

So, an early goodnight. Its half past six.

Sunday, October 12, 2008


12th Oct. Typical Sunday.

There was none of that "etheril" quality about the mist this morning. It was cold and clammy and wrapped itself around one like an icy shroud!
All the time we were out at the car boot sales we would look to the sky and wonder just when the sun would break through.
It did eventually, to produce a lovely day again.

At the last minute we decided to go to Dorking and I am glad we did because I found some interesting things,
I have 5 bottles - 4 stoneware ones for ginger beer - from Dorking brewers.
I also got a souvenir book for the 1911 coronation with lovely colour prints of London scenes. The best part is that it was produced for the Central London Railway - a long gone name, though lives on as the Central Line on the underground.
And there were more china items.
We called in at Horley on the way home. I wonder why that sale attracts so much rubbish.
There have been good finds there in the past, but normally we walk round and are not attracted to any stalls.
I bought 2 Ordnance Survey maps from about 1930 this morning.

We got home and had a cup of tea. Then I got busy.
I decided that my first task was to begin the filling of boxes for the next car boot sale that we do.
I have stuff that I have bought for Pilgrims which just turned out to be unsuitable. Some has been there for a while and other bits I knew I would never take.
When you have a small space then every inch should be used to display quality items.
So now I have 2 and a half boxes full and priced up for a car boot sale - which we won't do until next Spring.

Then I dealt with some payments that came in.

And finally I began to write up the purchases of the weekend in my stock book and get it all onto shelves in the garage - which I had tidied up earlier.

We had a roast dinner this evening and watched the Antiques Roadshow.

And soon it will be bed time for me.
I am tired.
Yes - my eye lids were heavy and sleep was close during the last few items on the Antiques Roadshow.
Ah well - as the rest of the world looks to Monday morning and wishing they could stay home and relax, we can look ahead and know we can do that.


Saturday, October 11, 2008


11th Oct. A full saturday

I suppose I really should slow down a bit some time. I am feeling so sleepy.

This morning we were away from home by 7 o'clock and drove down to Ford.
It was a beautiful morning.
And the view from Bury Hill was incredible.
There was a big orange sun rising over the distant Downs and the valley was filled with a floating pure white mist - "etheril", Roger might say!
And where were the cameras? At home sadly - but the picture is recorded in our brains.
And I had to use Roger's mis-typed word from the other day; I think it might become a family favourite.

The boot sale at Ford was big with the usual mix of stalls - professional dealers charging a bit too much, families clearing out things they don't want any more and house clearance men.
One of the house clearance men is a local vicar and the money he makes goes to a hospice.
I didn't find anything with him at first.
In fact I was slow to find things at all today - what to buy? I wasn't really sure because I haven't quite worked out yet what the people of the Dorking area are wanting.
Eventually I bought some bits from a woman we have bought from before. She may have hit hard times, I don't know. But she is selling her own collection of lovely things - glass, ornaments etc.
I bought a good piece of glass for £25 and 2 Shelley jugs.
This set me off - and then I found more to buy.
But there was not enough for a trip back to the car.
We decided to sit in the sun and watch the world go by at one of the food wagons.
As usual I got chatting to the person sharing the table with us.
Before we left we returned to the reverend house clearance man (not in his clerical clothing of course).
By this hour he felt he had done all he could and everything that was left was free.
I picked up some terra cotta flower pots and a few other bits and pieces.
We stopped in Billingshurst on the way home and got to the post office just a bit too late for parcel posting.
We had joined the queue and hoped - but we were about 3 away from being served when the lady had to call a halt in order to pass over the sacks of mail to the postie who had arrived with a van to take it all to the sorting office.
We decided to bring the lot home and post locally on Monday.
We looked in a couple of charity shops and I bought a brand new pair of bedroom slippers for £4.
We got home and slumped.
I should have got my purchases written up - but didn't.
That Persian Empire needed my attention.
Have you finished it Mo? I get to within 10 levels of finishing and then fail and get sent back to Level 61 - over and over again!
Later on we got ourselves ready to go out.
First we called in at Bill's brother Michael's with a birthday card for Bev. Naturally we stopped and chatted.
Then we went to Ifield for tea with Jenny and Ruth and the little ones - and also Roger and Sue, Simon and Nikki and Megan.
Lovely to be all together and Felix lapped up being the centre of attention.
We got home to watch X Factor - yes, its that time of year again. The weekly heartache and tensions are upon us.
Some of the finalists are really good and I enjoy the variety and range of people we can see and hear.
Well, its 11 o'clock. Very much time for bed.
We are assuming the car boot sale at Pease Pottage will be on - there have been a few days of sunshine and the field should be dry enough. We'll get there early - just in case we have to drive to Dorking for the boot sale fix.

Friday, October 10, 2008


11th Oct. Busy Friday.

Very tired and digestion is fragile.
This will be brief - I want my bed!

Did the week's shopping in Asda.
Posted parcels.
Home to wrap parcels.
Bill did some vacuuming etc.
Dealing with sales.
There were 24 sales today. Bill's camera sold for £54.
Bill mowed the lawns.
Dealing with payments.
Posted more parcels.
Playing with facebook.
Sorry people I seem to have 2 facebook pages!
One was never used.
I now have the opportunity to be friends with Paula Monk!
I can't seem to get rid of old Paula Monk without also getting rid of the new one.
Any suggestions other facebookers?
Postcard club - almost didn't go.
Speaker an attractive and lively 89 year old who has been an acrobatic performer all over Europe and met so many great stars.
Fascinating and interesting.
Didn't win a raffle prize!
Bought some postcards of Crawley, including expensive one of the old Crawley church school where Bill and his mother before him were pupils.
Off to Ford tomorrow morning.
Later to meet Roger and Sue over at Jenny's.

Thursday, October 09, 2008


9th October Dorking Day.

It has been a happy day in Dorking.
We spent a lot of time this morning dusting and rearranging in order to include some of the fresh stock that we have.
It has not been extremely busy with customers, but those that were with us were pleasant and chatty.
One lady, very smart, came through the door clutching her Fortnum and Mason carrier bag asking Jill if she was interested in some glasses. The woman was delightful - rich and slightly eccentric, living in the south of France with a "pied a terre" in Paris. Jill wanted the glasses and gave her £120.
I also bought today. A man brought in a set of flying geese - so many homes had these on the wall in the 1930s and 1950s. If they had been by Beswick then they might have been more desirable; but these had no make and I felt I couldn't offer more than £15. He then asked if I would give him £16 for the geese and 2 crested bits of china - and I did.
Crested china should sell on EBay.
Both Bill and I sold today. In fact Bill took more than half of the sales total today!
We both went out for a breath of fresh air and sunshine round the town today - lovely day.
Now here are some photos of the new look area.

Bill bought the decanter with 2 glasses a week or so ago. I realised that I needed more pretty things to attract the eyes and hearts of the customers.

This is my "orange" section.
Lets see if carnival glass might have some appeal in Dorking.
On the shelf below there is some 1950s black,

Here Bill has some recent more masculine interest items. I think I mentioned the letter weighing scales that he bought in from somebody who came into the shop 2 weeks ago.
He has worked on the brass case ship's clock during the last weeks and also the brass barometer.
Oh and the clock does have 2 hands! It just happened that I took the picture at twenty past four.

Some juvenile pretty things.

Toy soldiers and a pair of coronation coaches.

More farm animals and some of the model cars in Bill's cabinet.

A view of our area and through the window to the other side of the road.
The window is always well displayed and changed every two weeks, using things from every area.
There are more little sections than I photographed.
So that has been Thursday.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008


8th Oct. A reaction to yesterday.

To exaggerate a little - nay, indeed I exaggerate a lot..........
I have the flu!
At least I have a reaction to the flu jab.
I don't feel 100% good.
And my arm aches.
But never mind - it must be better than real flu.

This morning we went to B &Q to order our carpet tiles - they will be a straw colour,
We got it done eventually.
We were along time in the car park talking to Paul and Dorothy Cooper. They were part of the athletics crowd over 20 years ago.
They, like us, centred our social life on where the boys would be competing next. It was a good time and we had lots of friends in that crowd.
Their boys are now past 40 and ours are getting ever closer to that age.
Once inside we were waylaid, once again by an athletics friend. We haven't seen Jean for quite a while. Like us, she has opted to do far less timekeeping. She has had her own battle with cancer and at the moment seems to be doing well, though beyond the "How are You's?" and the quick replies we didn't talk health.
I felt that with so many people of our age using B&Q on a Wednesday (10% discount day for the old folks) it would be nice to have a coffee shop there to make it a real social centre.
Anyway we checked that we liked the tiles we had chosen last week and went to order them.
"Sorry" she said "You'll have to come back later because my computer is not working. Though the computer upstairs might be alright."
So we queued upstairs and waited whilst a couple of nice older men ( B&Q have a policy of employing older experienced people), sorted everybody out.
So, the carpet tiles are now ordered.
We looked at wallpapers whilst we are there. Yes, there was one I would be happy to have.

The kitchen people rang to say they could start earlier than expected - November 3rd is now the date for chaos to get underway. No, we'll have to start before that as we empty all the cupboards and drawers and decide what to do with the contents - both in the short term and for ever. There must be a mass of stuff we don't really need.

This afternoon Bill went out to put some flowers on his parent's grave.

This view shows how the plot has become a family grave. The ashes of both Uncle Bill (Mum's brother) and Aunty Pink (Dad's sister) were interred in the plot.
You can see that it is now very close to the anniversary of Bill's Mum's death - 21 years ago.
The stone is quite small and once flowers have been placed you can't read a word about Bill's Dad.

This one shows the wording about Bill's Dad.

Oh dear - I shall get a telling off for having yet more graves! Jamie thought it was all a bit morbid. But memories are not morbid.

Then he went to see his Aunty Joyce - wife of Uncle Ned Brand.

I had good intentions - but was beginning to feel really tired. I decided to have a look and see how the Cradle of Persia was doing!
Mo understands!
Then Jamie came on for a "chat".
And I talked with Ashley who now has a date for coming to stay for a week or so in mid November.

I sold 5 out of 6 books on EBay this afternoon.
It is the Olympus camera that Bill listed that is commanding the interest. There have been 234 hits and there are 58 watchers. There have been lots of inquiries too. The bidding stands at over £26 - probably more than he had actually dared to hope for.

The best bit of the day actually came early. I accepted the challenge of dealing with the bag on my own and was successful.
I felt like shouting from the rooftops!

And the day has been good for weather. It has been a blue sky day with sunshine.
Oh how we hope that it will be the same for our week on the Isle of Wight - only 10 days to go now.

Right, I will certainly have an early night.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008


7th Oct. Medical and hot stuff Tuesday.

This morning of course was dominated by the trip to the hospital - not that we were there very long.
I was surprisingly nervous about this appointment. It wasn't that I was worried about my health unduly; I was just concerned that in unfamiliar surroundings I might fail to get a bag on successfully.
I think I should have seen the stoma nurse before now - but it seems it is up to me to ask for an appointment.
So Julie caught up with all that has been going on. She listened as I outlined any problems and then showed me other gadgets and apparatus and such like that might make life even easier. She understood that having got a system that works pretty well, then I am loathe to change it. But there are all sorts of things that I could have to make things better.
She told me that the bruising or colouration of the skin is very common. It might be best to change the bag every day for a while. So, plenty of practice for me in doing the job on my own. Julie helped find a different technique for doing this.
She also advised joining the urostomy association which has a journal and I will feel closer to others who have had the bag for much longer and see all the adverts for things that I might like to try. There is an industry devoted to all my needs. The society can help with travel insurance.
I have since been in touch with the secretary who will send me an information pack.
And the good news for the day is that there has been no leaking since the bag was fixed at the hospital.

We had our cooked meal in the middle of the day.
And we learned the name of a spicy dish which is too hot for us! Piri piri! If I had looked it up first I would have known. It is made with the African red devil chilli. This meal was one of those that supermarkets prepare to go with their complete foreign meals. You can choose different types of rice, main meals and accompaniments. The prices for all are very reasonable and especially so when they are selling the main meal off cheaply because it has reached its sell by date. The chicken was fine - and the rice which I had cooked. But most of the sauce remained on the plate.
We like things quite spicy and interesting - but this was just a bit too much for our delicate palates.
African red devil plant from Wikipedia.
This afternoon we have been out again.
We took 2 parcels to the post office. A little jug with a picture of Boston church has gone to Australia and the Downham Market hair tidy sold for over £18 and is going back to Downham Market.
Then we joined the queue of people at the doctor's surgery for our flu jabs.
And now my arm itches and probably there will be swelling and some pain for a week, if past experience is anything to go by. Bill doesn't react so badly.
I had bought a couple of nice choc bars to take round to Ruth. She likes goodies as much as we do and she is having a hard time just now. There is the lack of sleep and a breast infection which is very painful and needing more time because she is having to express milk. Otto contentedly feeds from the bottle for a couple of days and is a little pig! He has put on almost a pound in 8 days.
I had intended to come home and describe some more things for EBay, but got way laid by the needs of the Roman Empire!

I think I shall rest for much of the remainder of the evening . I do seem to get tired, despite the B12.

Monday, October 06, 2008


6th Oct. New curtains.

How many people start a new kitchen with the curtains?
Well, we have!
The curtains were chosen with all the other chosen factors in mind and as we now have them we thought they might as well go up.
Bill went into town this morning and bought the rail whilst I did a bit of ironing.
And then my good intentions came to a halt because Frieda came round and we made a cup of tea.
Poor dear - she wondered who this Peter fellow is that is going to be the salvation of the Labour Party.
She has never voted anything other than Labour in all her years and would feel it a betrayal of her roots to do otherwise.
She hasn't dabbled around and played the field like me.
Anyway I did my best to explain where Peter Mandelson came from - with a bit of help from Wikipedia. I needed that because she commented about how young he is - well, 55 actually.
Politics do interest me - but the global financial crisis shows just how little power the politicians have.
Except that David Cameron and the Tories would have us believe that it is all Gordon Brown's fault. This seems to suggest that they see him as exceedingly powerful.
Crumbs - I even tried to explain the financial crisis!

This afternoon I described 8 post cards for EBay. They will be listed on October 26th. And I dealt with a few sales too. One of my crested bits of china reached a bid of over £18.

If you have a strong constitution then do look at Jamie's Phuket blog today, but it is definitely not for the squeamish. You could try looking through a small gap between the fingers of a hand held over the eyes!

Now - here I am sitting as I do so often with the computer in front of me and the table to my side, with George determined to get as much attention as possible. And at the window are the new curtains. The material has a sort of hessian texture.

It will be 6 weeks or so before they adorn the new kitchen.
Tomorrow we will go and order the carpet tiles.

That will be after my awkward appointment at the hospital to see the stoma nurse and before we have our flu jabs.

Good night.

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