Thursday, April 30, 2009


Busy day with glass

Gosh I am tired this evening!
It has not been an extraordinarily busy day in the shop - though the figures tell a different story.

I spent quite a while this morning with my stock book. I went through everything except china, glass and books. I made new tickets for anything I had had for at least 2 years - that would have been in Rocking Horse days. All I want from these items now is to get my money back and maybe a pound or so more.

I also seem to have been busy making a succession of cups of tea for the busy folk at the main desk. That was mostly Bill and Jill.
Jill has had a tremendous day - but most of her success was a follow up to a glass fair she was selling at on Sunday.
She had a customer there who wanted to buy but didn't have his cheque book.
This man is a dealer or collector of high quality old glass.
I say I know very little about glass - but as I came down from the back of the shop to see it all out on the desk, I gasped with pleasure, for it looked so good. Seems I do know quality when I see it, even if I don't know maker's names.
So Jill sold a lot of glass (£785 worth of it) - but this was not really a success for Pilgrims.

I sold some glass today too - to Jill!
And Bill's sale was also glass - a pair of glass Vikings.

Jill's husband, Tony has been in today too - not all day. He took himself off by bus to Guildford and then by train to Ash and from there did some walking by the Basingstoke Canal. Tony is a character - he has the air of an aging rocker. But rock music is not his thing - he is an avid Radio 3 listener and is a devoted fan of Vaughan Williams (born in Dorking).

This was the last duty day until the first Monday in June. I left with a slightly wistful feeling, bidding my things a safe journey onwards to their new homes in my absence.
In fact we plan to pop in for a while next Tuesday to pay the rent, tidy up and collect any takings.

Well, I need an early night. I will have a quick cuppa and enjoy crawling into my bed.
There will be no bed at all this time next week - just an airplane seat.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009


Picture of me or a woodpecker?

The Crawley Observer, in their wisdom, opted for a picture of a greater spotted woodpecker instead of one showing us.
Pity they called the bird a great speckled woodpecker, but we all know not to expect accuracy from a newspaper.
I think I was quoted fairly accurately - but wish I hadn't sounded so pleasant and fair. I had said that I accepted a need for a medical centre and that is true - but it won't be what other protesters would want to hear from me.
Anyway my grievance is now in the public domain.

And with the sunshine on "our" field today I do feel aggrieved.
The sunshine was pleasant for a walk to the post office.

I don't seem to have crossed enough off my Things to Do list today. But we were out this afternoon for much longer than expected.
We arrived at the hospital in plenty of time for the appointment with Julie, the stoma nurse.
She was scurrying about back and forth - apologising as she passed us. She had a patient tucked away and was to-ing and fro-ing for equipment to remove a clip. And then she put out a call for the help of a doctor and of course that took time.
My own appointment was quick and easy.
I just wonder why when Julie seems almost to throw a new wee bag on it stays dry and when I tried on Monday afternoon at the shop there were problems.
Julie had been on a course recently and found out more about my blue skin. She had not seen it before seeing mine, but had heard about it. It seems that it is a recognised and acceptable thing that happens - purple bag syndrome!
So with a few other reassurances we were on our way. We walked out of the room straight into Bill's sister Jane and Geoff.
They had been at the hospital all day. Jane has a long list of things that should be sorted if possible. Hopefully her breast cancer is sorted. She will have a rigid cystoscopy on Friday - I had a few of those. It involves a general anaesthetic and an overnight stay. I don't think Jane has what I had.
Today she was there for other problems.

We called in at the big pet store on the way home and have bought about 2 months supply of food for the cats. I must write out instructions for Frieda who will be feeding the cats for nearly 3 weeks. Rose will be on hand to help if necessary.

Bill is doing the ironing right now - so I feel guilty.
Somehow we will get done all that needs doing before next Thursday.

Tomorrow we will be at the shop all day - rain is expected again, so maybe it will feel a bit like Monday.


Tuesday, April 28, 2009


Time to stand up and be counted

There was a comment today on Facebook, from our niece Emma - thinking that we are now famous!
Well, we have stuck our heads above the parapet and have joined in the neighbourhood protest about the proposed development in front of our house.
Comments on the web site are mounting.
I thought perhaps it was only us who saw this small green area as a valuable oasis of green.
But other people are feeling equally aggrieved about its proposed loss.
I loved the image of one writer who talked of this land being a place where children could play ball games and fly kites!
This morning I responded to a request from a journalist on one of the local papers. I talked with her for a while and then she asked if I would mind being in a photo to be taken of the area.
Well, yes, I mind just a little - but of course was prepared to stand up and be counted and have the picture of me in the paper.
This is why Emma commented that I would be famous.
There was a time when I didn't just have my name in the paper for doing things, but I wrote for it and submitted photographs.
I wrote athletic reports - which the editor found hard to cut and change.
I took photos of athletes which one paper used regularly to accompany the things written.
So I don't really feel this picture is anything very special - it will probably look awful.
Anyway, I wasn't alone.
I spent a little while this morning calling on neighbours to invite them to join me.
And at the same Lil was calling on them with a petition.
Lil..... for 43 years she has been Mrs Stag Motors and we had no real name for her until now. She and Mr Stag Motors (Len) live in the house next to the flat we lived in until Jamie was born. Len used to drive a van for Stag Motors.
We see them regularly at car boot sales and no words have passed between us - I guess we thought they didn't recognise us and presumably they thought we didn't know them.
So, if nothing else, this proposed development is creating a bit more community spirit.
At midday the photographer called and in the end there were 5 of us. There was Bill and me - Frieda, Rose and Brenda (one of the sisters I mentioned a couple of days ago).
The photographer had us holding the notice that had been placed for all the world to see about the plans. Except that nobody could see it because it had been ripped from the string tying it to a lamp post. We found it later in the long grass. I complained to the council about this.
The photographer wanted us to look grim - how I hate being on camera looking grim!
Finally he asked us to raise clenched fists at the notice.
What an embarrassment!

The rest of the day has been more normal - wrapping, invoicing and dealing with payments.
These are the last EBay things I shall deal with now until June - although I would like to get some more things described in the next week.
We have been shopping - apart from bread and milk we need no more food now until the end of May.
We had better buy cat food though!

So that has been the day - mostly quite a sunny day.

Time for a cuppa and to watch and listen to the music on the Jules Holland show. Goodnight.

Monday, April 27, 2009


A wet day

Not the best of days really.

Picking up my envelopes with the money and tickets from last week's sales at the shop was a fine activity. I have had 2 really good weeks.

But outside the rain was beating down hard and no matter how hopeful we tried to be, it was very wet all day.

Wet, I regret to say in more ways than one. Yes - I had a wee problem, which turned into a major problem because an hour after I thought I had successfully dealt with it, there was that nasty evidence that I had failed.
We just had to leave early to get home and deal with things properly - at least I hope all will now be well.
I don't need reminders just now, with our long journey not too far away, of how things can go awkwardly wrong.

Sales were few in the shop today - as we very much expected. This afternoon was very quiet. Lets hope the Tuesday crew do better.

We have had a long conversation with one of the young women who live next door this evening. I had wondered if the "girls" who rent the house next door would care very much about the proposed development. After all they are just tenants and could move on at any time. But they do care and this neighbour (I forget her name) had printed off information for people who might know nothing of it.
The publication of the planning application in the local paper was published very late and just last weekend one announcement was tied to one lamp post for people to read.
There really is bad feeling - which I hope the local paper will pick up on. The reporter came today but left a note for us to contact her tomorrow.
Unfortunately I am cynical and reckon this is already a done deal.
But individuals have to stand up and be counted.

Right - I want to relax now. The earlier problems combined with feeling very cold have made my body feel very tense.

Sunday, April 26, 2009


Sunshine and Frost part 2. Pictures by Simon.

There are 2 blog postings today.
I have added more pictures for this second instalment.
Simon just sent me pictures that he took this afternoon and his pictures of Otto are very much better than mine.
Thank you Simon.
So here are more images of the Frost get together today.

Keep going for more pictures and the story of the day.


Sunshine and Frost

This has been a family day in the sunshine...... though Bill and I abandoned the family for a couple of hours first thing.

We went to the car boot sale at Pease Pottage.
We didn't buy very much at all - but as we spent a great deal yesterday perhaps we need not be concerned about not finding very much.
I have some books and a couple of other items. Bill has a model car.
I bought a lovely white cotton night dress which will be packed for our stay in Thailand - and I now have enough books to read for our holiday.

We got home and had some breakfast and then we went for a walk with Roger, Sue and Megan.
Our route took us to Malthouse Road - which has connections with my family. My Great Aunt Mercy and Uncle Ern lived there and we know that Granny and Grandad and our Dad visited them, for there are photos.
But we don't know which house.
But Roger got a feel for the place.
We walked back up Brighton Road, seeing buildings with some local history and also family history - for we pointed out the passageway and door which took us into the doctor's surgery when we were children.
We recalled that if you were lucky you would see dear Dr Collyer - but on a bad day you might get stern Dr Knight.
We got back home just in time to greet Simon and Nicki.
Then we all went to Jenny's house for lunch with her and Mike and Ruth and the children.
It was a splendid meal of roast beef.
After eating we sat out in the garden in bright warm sunshine.

But first the garden must be surveyed.

Felix just wanted to play.
He is a bright little boy with conversation coming fast.
Today he went into the front garden drive and counted the cars - 1..2..3..4.

Uncle Roger and his boy.

Jenny got the set of boule out - and we started a game.
Felix was delighted - bright shiny silver balls to play with!
We didn't finish more than one game.

I wanted to include a picture of Otto - but I didn't get a good one.
This is the best of him - but maybe Ruth won't thank me much for publishing this one.
I had to fiddle with the brightness - because it was very dark. I was sitting in bright sunshine and not allowed for them being in the shade.

Bill spent a while plane spotting.
Planes taking off from Gatwick can be seen not too far away - but without too much noise in the garden.
The binoculars obviously made the view even better.

Felix and Bill.
Both the boys have been so amiable today - no fuss, no tears. There has been chat and laughter from Felix and lots of running around. Otto grins - with 4 teeth now - and plays quietly.
Thank you Frosts for a lovely day.

Saturday, April 25, 2009


Saturday - Ford, Littlehampton and where?

The rain was beating down as we began our journey this morning.
Just as we got to the point where we might have veered off to the left to drive back home we spied blue sky to the south west.
We carried on and by the time we got to Ford is was a lovely morning.
We stopped first at the house clearance man who we favour - have heard that his other job is a vicar.
Bill bought just the camera he coveted 20 years ago. In this digital age it is now a collector's piece. It is a Canon A1 with 2 extra lenses and all sorts of odds and ends.
So he was back to the car straight away.

Between us we spent a lot of money today - for us.
But that's fine because we won't be stock buying for 3 weeks in May.
I bought few books today but did buy a variety of interesting things, including a 1950s coffee table with a tiled top, some of which show stylised veteran cars.
Now where am I going to put that in Dorking?
I bought other china and glass that interested me.
Bill bought 17 road signs - ones to fit with model car layouts.
And there was loads more.

I bought something for my Crawley collection - a heavy container and lid from an original Crawley firm who were on the Manor Royal Industrial Estate.
This modern factory estate gave me a sense of pride in my modern town.
I don't think very much is made there any more.

We arrived in Littlehampton, feeling that we should not spend too much time out today. We breakfasted well with our hosts in The Balaton. We strolled a little by the river and then drove home.

We have written up all the purchases and everything is stowed on shelves in the garage.

I have chatted with Jamie. He had been looking through old family pictures and commented on one that foretold Ashley's Christian commitment perhaps. We knew when it was taken - but have no idea where.

Anyway I am busy talking again now - Roger and Sue and Megan are here and I will not spend my time at the computer.


Friday, April 24, 2009


Friday chores and bluebell carpets

This time in 2 weeks we should be under a light weight cover in Thailand trying to catch up on some sleep.
But today has been a busy day at home as I cross more things off my Things to Do list.
The sun has shone once again.

There has been the usual EBay work culminating in a pleasant walk to the post office this afternoon.
We have sorted out our repeat prescription orders for medication needed during the next couple of months. It is so easy now that we can order on-line.
I made an appointment to see the stoma nurse next Wednesday. I am not sure why she needs to see me - but I am happy that she wants to be sure that I am in control and that the sore patch is healing.
I phoned the airline to check how much they needed to know. Perhaps all I need to do is warn the air hostess assigned to our section of the plane that I might need extra assistance, but hopefully not.
I was told that all is in order for our luggage. It will be booked in for Phuket at Heathrow and therefore should end up there at the same time as us.
I have caught up with a few emails - more of them to be done before we go away, if possible.
We chatted with somebody who lives close by that we know a fair amount about, but have never spoken to before.
Cryptic eh?
We call her "a sister". There are 2 sisters who were sort of friends with our friends Dee and Andrew before the latter moved to France. I think the sisters took advantage of their good nature.
Anyway this sister called on us about the proposed development in front of the house. She is outraged - though it is not in front of her house. She has talked to the local paper about it and says it will be featured next week and that a reporter is coming on Monday. We told her that we would not be around that day and she said she would try to get the reporter to come on Tuesday instead.
I don't think we will get anywhere, but I am prepared to join in some sort of protest on this matter.
This afternoon I coloured my hair. It badly needed it - my dark hair, mostly a dark grey these days I think, had grown a lot since I last did it. It is now a bit lighter all over and I am pleased. Bill asked if I wanted to do it again before we went away and I thought not. Then he suggested that perhaps I could buy some hair colouring in Thailand and Mam could help me do it. That is a good idea. I look forward to it Mam!
Bill has cut all the lawns in the front - exhausting work he finds these days. And he has cleaned all the house windows as well as cleaning the car.
It is now half past six and I must get on with cooking some food to go with the smoked mackerel in peppercorns that we are having.

This evening we shall rest - in readiness for a day out tomorrow at Ford, Littlehampton and who knows where!
So tonight we shall settle down and watch some TV - I am hoping I shall enjoy the re-incarnation of Reginald Perrin with Martin Clunes.

Now for some bluebell pictures.
Normally I like a very varied selection of pictures for the blog - but today it is wall to wall bluebells; a carpet of bluebells, just like we saw.
Imagine the joy of that walk in the woods with the cuckoo calling close by.
I have some other Emmetts pictures that I shall share another day.

The last picture, below, shows bluebells growing round an emmet nest (or hill). An emmet is a country name for an ant.
Don't forget - newcomers - that any picture can be enlarged by clicking on it with the mouse. You can get straight back to the blog using the back arrow at the top of your screen.

Thursday, April 23, 2009


Thursday chores - and no bluebells.

I promised you bluebells.
Sorry I am still not organised. Both Bill and I have sorted out our pictures but we have not yet put them together.
It has been a busy day.
We have 2 weeks before our departure for Thailand and there comes a point when my natural way of looking at things must be overcome.
I do not generally think ahead very well.
But obviously we need to feel sure that we have all that we need before going so far from home.
Jamie will chuckle at that - Thailand is not a 3rd world country and everything (almost) that we can get in the UK can be got there.
Basically I realise that we must make sure that we have enough medication and stoma items.
So today I got organised with a list of things to be done.
This included ordering a gift to take for Jamie and Mam, writing comments on the web site about the proposed plans for the medical centre opposite our house, sending some photos that I took of Julie Pilgrims to her daughter in France, dealing with payments, invoicing for more sold items, emailing to some recent contacts etc etc.
Bill has been to the dentist and this afternoon he had a blood test. I went with him for that so that we could then do the food shopping together, post parcels and drop things off at a charity shop.
I called in at the hair dresser to see if Rob could do my hair 2 days before we go - and he can.
The day just slipped away in all these little chores.
There are still more on the list.
I want to phone the airline again to make sure about proper transfer of luggage and to see if they need to make a note for the benefit of the aircrew of my special needs if the wee bag springs a leak.
Which has just reminded me that I should ring the stoma nurse. She wanted to see me again either tomorrow or next Wednesday - as the potential problem is under control it can be left for Wednesday.
This evening I escaped the list of chores to be a timekeeper.
It was heading to be a very pleasant evening - 5 of us working together; we are good, confident and happy people and we looked forward to chat and relaxation.
Then about 20 minutes late, Gerry turned up.
He is such a pain! But I enjoyed the banter between him and David. David has such a dry sense of humour and even Gerry could see that he was being put down and not taken seriously. It didn't stop him though!
But despite him it was still an enjoyable evening.
We got a few chips from the shop on the way home.
And now it has gone half past ten.
Tomorrow there will be bluebells!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


Want to see some pictures?

Who wants to see a bluebell picture?
Go on.... you know you want to!
Well, sorry....... you will have to wait until tomorrow.
We have seen bluebells in their millions but having got home late this evening I have not had the oomph to think about my pictures.

Emmett Gardens, where we have been today, would not normally rank amongst the other National Trust gardens we have visited - except for the bluebells.
We arrived about 10 minutes after opening time and the car park was filling.
There was already one coach in the car park
We were greeted at the entrance kiosk by a National Trust worker outside whose job it was to ease any hold ups there might be.
She explained that it had been announced on a TV programme that the bluebells at Emmetts Gardens were the best they had been for 20 years and people had responded in droves, particularly on such a beautiful day.
They were expecting more coach parties.

It was impossible to find any solitary places - damn it we had to share those wonderful bluebell carpets.
But there was no getting away from it - we were experiencing a magnificent sight.
And blessed too by the call of the cuckoo - becoming much less common these days the naturalists tell us.
We can't share with you the cuckoo - but tomorrow we will display the bluebells.

We decided to have lunch in the old stables - but had to queue to get in and order our food. It was worth the wait.
After lunch we strolled in other parts of the garden.
For those that realised that an emmett is an ant - we did, indeed, see some giant ant hills.
But by 2 o'clock the afternoon visitors were arriving in hordes and we felt it was a good time to leave.

We stopped in Westerham - we might have explored and photographed the statues of General Wolfe and of Churchill and the old buildings, but I had another mission.
It was a mission in which Westerham let us down.
I needed rice cakes - having forgotten to pick up my tin before leaving this morning.
We were going to see Bill's cousin, Ann. Our visits there, before Gordon died, always drifted into tea time and we would be asked to stay for tea.
I just was not going to eat bread - my digestion has been doing so much better without it.
There were no rice cakes to be found amongst the classy cafes and antiques and craft shops of Westerham - even the Co-op had none.

We were told that there was a Morrison's in Oxted - a few miles on our way. But we didn't know where it was. We stopped in the High Street - as luck would have it, right outside a health food shop.
This was indeed fortunate for we had already discovered that chemists shop, designed initially to sell things to care for people's' health, did not stock items for a gluten free diet.
But the health food shop gave us rice cakes and some tasty spread to put on them - and a treat of halva with grape juice and raisins.

And so onwards to Godstone to chat - and chat with Ann.
I commented yesterday evening how she is grasping life and this is very true. But she has also been very depressed in the last month - all the classic symptoms. Grief at the loss of Gordon has just hit her hard.
So she was glad to talk.
We were glad to be there.
Bill has come home with clothes - Gordon's clothes.
Ann was in the habit of buying him things if she went on a shopping trip and many clothes have not been worn.
Some were not the right size for Bill - but there are all sorts of things that are very suitable.
Slowly Ann is doing what is needed with all Gordon's things.

This evening I decided to chill out and watch The Apprentice.
And soon it will be bed time.

Tomorrow will be a less busy day - sort of. There will be no gallivanting but I have a long list of things to do and Bill has dentist and blood test. We need to do a little food shopping too.


Tuesday, April 21, 2009


Wonderful Spring day.

I drew back the curtains and instantly could see that this would be a special day.
Today was spring verging into summer.
I wanted to see bluebells…. rather aware that our time in Thailand will cause us to miss some of the little changes in nature which become so precious to the western European eye.
Of course there will be compensations.
Two years ago we went for a short walk in the forest at the end of Parish Lane and by chance came upon the most magnificent carpets of blue.
And so we went for another look today.
It has become a strange area - once it would have been entirely forest and farming; but now there are industrial units and places to make you wonder ….. who lives in the scruffy caravans surrounding the grand house at the end of the lane?
We walked down the track to the bridge over the main London to Brighton railway line. There are frequent trains hurtling along.
The track is narrow and uneven so how and why did a person bother to drive down and dump an old washing machine? It would be less far, and there is no charge to take them to the council dump.
Once over the bridge we wandered into the scruffy, ill-managed woods and could see that the bluebells there were later than others we have seen. We were perhaps 10 days too early.
Unfortunately our eyes fell on an abandoned cooker instead of beauty. Now, we had reached a point where it would have been more than difficult to drive – it would have been impossible. Somebody thought it better to heave this heavy piece of equipment and old kitchen cupboards and throw them in the woods, rather than deposit them at the fine new refuse centre.
Sad and stupid!

So after an hour we were back at home, a little disappointed that we had not made best use of the wonderful weather.
And we planned other expeditions.
This afternoon we returned to our old favourite Wakehurst Place – a National Trust garden; so it was just as “free” for us to enjoy as any woodland.
And there we saw wonderful trees and flowers and views.
And there were bluebells!

And we have planned that tomorrow, which should give us equally good weather we would visit a garden that we have not visited before – Emmet Gardens at Ide Hill in Kent. The web site promises us a famous bluebell walk and also wonderful views from the hillside.
We will leave early and walk in the gardens and then find somewhere for some lunch – either in the gardens or at a village pub.
Later we will visit Bill’s cousin, Ann. We haven’t seen her since Gordon’s funeral. This is not just because we have put off going, but because thankfully Ann is filling her life.
She has been to France to stay with her son – and will go again next week. Her sister is taking her to Ireland soon. At 80 years old she is wisely grasping life.

And now for some of our Wakehurst Place pictures.
The images don't need words.
We hope you enjoy them.

Monday, April 20, 2009



Suddenly this evening life has caught up with me.
I want to sleep!

We have had a good day in the shop.
The clock that Bill took in on Thursday and was put in my area, sold today. We delivered it on our way home.
I sold the quite beautiful old potato masher that I had bought at an Anglesey boot sale last month.
Saturday had been an even better day for us. We sold lots of items.
So my theory that it wouldn't be worth taking much in because there had only been 2 days of selling since we were last there failed to be true.

The sun has shone and it was warm in Dorking - everywhere but in the shop I think.
The walk to the post office felt summery.
The shop has the characteristics of a cave - cold!
Although even in the shop it was warm enough to have the back door open for a while.

We got home late - taking a roundabout route, after setting up the mantel clock; we came home via Leith hill - well, no walk to the top for us today.
I was glad then of my diligence yesterday - with a lovely shepherds pie which only needed popping into the oven.
It was good.

And now at 9 o'clock I am very close to thinking that I would like to be in bed - but first a cup of tea.
Good night.

Sunday, April 19, 2009


Cold Sunday morning.

We opened the curtains to see blue skies.
We drove the mile or so up the road to the car boot sale at Pease Pottage, already well under way at quarter past seven.
We had remembered how cold we had felt yesterday at Ford and dressed, we thought, to beat the wind.
We certainly had more protection than some who were there in shorts.
The wind was bitterly cold; everybody was talking about it.
I bought some interesting bits to take to Pilgrims - some time.
The shelves were full when I sorted them all out on Thursday and there have been just 2 selling days since the, so I doubt I need very much for tomorrow.
But, hopefully, we will need stock ready to take in after 3 weeks away in Thailand.
And likewise I shall be glad of interesting books to have ready for EBay on our return; so I was pleased to buy railway books today.
We bought a few items of clothing for us - though I doubt that I shall wear the hat I bought - it is pictured at the end of my ramblings.

We had thought of travelling on to a later boot sale about 10 miles to the south. But after our time at Pease Pottage we had had enough. The cold was making us feel quite wretched.
We hurried home and put the kettle on.
We were home just after 9 o'clock.

Since then there has been rest and work.

I have written up all the weekend's purchases. I always feel so eager to get the new stock on the shelves as quickly as possible - but some of it must wait for sure.

This afternoon I had a cooking marathon going on - there are meals prepared for the next 3 days.
Today we had sausage and mash - the wild boar and calvados sausages were a real treat with mash and green vegetables.
Tomorrow there will be a shepherds pie and on Tuesday we will have a similar mixture but done in a Thai basil and oyster sauce. Both will leave us left overs which can be dealt with on Wednesday.
Hey - I have been a proper housewife for a short while!

Between peeling potatoes I was also back and forth to wrapping and invoicing.
Today's selling surprise was a slim volume of pictures showing Pagham and Nyetimber in the early 20th century.
A buyer had bought a Pagham book yesterday and had a bid in on today's too.
Poor fellow had to concede as the bidding went up and up.
It sold today for over £31.

The April weather, following on for some extreme cold spells earlier on certainly seems to suit the wild flowers.
The dandelions are just wonderful. The verges we passed yesterday were carpets of bright yellow. The delicate milkmaids that I have a soft spot for are forming thick clumps by the hedges.
Bluebell carpets can be spied in the woodlands. We really must get along Parish Lane to enjoy bluebells before we go away.
And the blossom on our little trees has been really special this year.
April heralds all that is good and wonderful about this land.

In Thailand it heralds a time of more ease for Jamie as the high season turns and there are stronger winds and rougher seas.
But it will still feel hot and there will be sunshine too for us.
Jamie has added the song from Disney's Bambi, "April Showers" to his weather blog today.
There is a lovely picture of John and his umbrella hurrying out to the garden to pick up a toy.

And now to the hat that I will never wear.
As you probably know I collect interesting items connected with The Olympics and other major athletic events.
This hat is from the Sydney Olympics of 2000.
And the peak is signed by one of the GB athletes, Katherine Merry who won bronze in the 400metres, behind the great Kathy Freeman.
I met both of those girls at a Junior International staged at Broadbridge Heath in 1990.

Click on the picture to enlarge it and see the special message from a medallist.

And so another week begins.
We are in Dorking tomorrow - and then who knows what the days will bring us.

Saturday, April 18, 2009


Ford and Littlehampton.

It was cold down towards the coast at half past seven!
It was promised that the sun would break through - but not that early in the day and we had not taken on board how chilly the wind would be.
As we walked round the stalls at Ford, my first priority was to get something else to wear - something thick and warming.
I bought a big jumper for 50p - too big for me really, but it made me feel more comfortable. Later Bill tried it on and it fits him very well.

We didn't buy a great deal at the boot sale - but there was a trip back to car with items once.
I have an interesting selection of bits - mostly for the shop.
Bill has a box of glass slides and some model vehicles and people.

We also brought home 3 packs of sausages from a fine sausage maker. Tomorrow we will have the wild boar and calvados - delicious! We know because the seller had samples for us to taste.

Despite not buying very much we were there for nearly 3 hours I think.
The fresh air and the chilly wind and all that walking and browsing is very tiring.

We were glad to drive off to Littlehampton. It is a quirky little town - still quite popular with day trippers in the summer months.
We talked idly of living there.

The summer season has now begun - Easter always begins it. There were more people about than during the winter. The fun fair rides were open - but it was not really weather for sitting on the beach. In high summer the beach close to the amenities can be very crowded.

We sat in The Balaton with our second breakfast of egg, bacon, sausage, beans and sauteed potatoes.
The guy who does all the cooking - the father of the family, collects anything to do with Mohammed Ali. There are pictures and posters all round the walls.
We had found a book about the boxer recently - a very good one and we gave it to him today and he was really delighted.
In return Bill got his second cup of coffee for free.

Then we strolled by the river estuary - the River Arun.
The flock of swans that patrol up and down are quite famous.
There was lots of "adolescent" spring behaviour amongst them and more flying off, being a tease, than we had noticed before.

We have walked in Littlehampton many times now and today's pictures reflect people and sights that we see.
We love to make stories up about other people!

Pictures today perhaps need enlarging with a click on the mouse.
This view shows the thrills of Littlehampton seafront!

The tide was far out giving plenty of sandy beach to walk along.
It is also a very shelly beach in places and we always come home with something to add to a collection in the garden.
Many people huddled in more sheltered spots. This couple may well have enjoyed memories of their childhood days by the sea by the bins of spades for digging in the sand.
When mobility goes, like for this lady, then such memories must be very precious.

This hardy family created a little shelter for themselves with a wind break and were busy sorting out their picnic lunch.

These two old boys really were talking about the war!
Looking back to a time when they felt they counted for something perhaps.

The unicyclist did actually get going after a while.
I wonder if he bought it recently in Lidl - they had them for sale last week.

A bucket castle.
The sun did shine well this afternoon - but I think the wind took the edge off any warmth the sun provided.
I have felt really tired all afternoon.
I dealt with some EBay things - but have made no attempt to write up the purchases.
After our lovely breakfast in The Balaton I felt I didn't need to push myself to cook much - I didn't feel like cooking or eating.
Tomorrow we will not drive far to a car boot sale.
Pease Pottage boot sale starts the summer season in the morning and we will take advantage of an easy morning - and just could go on to another sale at Sayers Common, if we are feeling disappointed with our buying at PP.
But time now for a cuppa and then to bed.

Friday, April 17, 2009


Sad wet friday

What a day - it was exceedingly wet rain today.
Never mind - the gardens and trees love it.
I look out at the trees out the front and really relish the brilliant green which suddenly fills the world.
Oh dear! Is this really the last spring in which we can enjoy "our" trees?
This morning we both worked - although, Bill doesn't see my tasks as real work, I know.
I described for EBay. The 9 items done today will be listed tomorrow afternoon and these will be the last I list until we return from Thailand.
Bill cleaned the bedroom and changed the bed.
There has been sadness this week and shows how it is important to be in touch regularly.
I sent a sort of newsletter Email to people on Wednesday evening.
I hesitated and didn't send to our good friend Bill Dack, who we had got to know in Slovenia. We knew he was having treatment for an incurable cancer and I wondered if he would care about news from us. Normally he would - but not that evening. For that is when he died.
Another of my mails did reach a camera club colleague (from many years ago) and he has emailed back to tell us that his wife died a few weeks ago. Lynda had also been battling with cancer - for 12 years.
With that thought in mind Bill phoned his cousin in Australia - today is her 60th birthday.
Diane has also had a shave with death recently it seems.
But thank goodness for our tiscali contract - no extra charge to chat away to Diane for nearly an hour.
After lunch we drove up to the East Surrey Hospital. The car parking charge has gone up - from £2 to £3. That's a massive increase. I really wouldn't mind if the profits went into hospital funds; but of course the money we pay ends up in the bank account of the car parking company who runs the car park - and the shareholders.
Because of this we choose to park in the golf club car park - at least the money is used for a local amenity.
I had an appointment to see the stoma nurse.
I might have ignored my concerns for a little longer, but felt I should have an opinion before leaving the country.
A small blister developed close to the stoma and this now looks red and raw - but doesn't actually feel too bad.
Julie had a look and felt sure there is nothing to worry about - but of course skin constantly in contact with a certain bodily fluid might take a long time to heal. She gave me some powder to put over the affected area at bag changing time and will see me again before our trip.
We were not out for very long.
I came back to deal with some maps which had sold on Ebay.
I talked with Ashley for a while and chatted with Jamie.
Its Mam's birthday tomorrow - 3 years ago we were with them all for Mam's 30th birthday, celebrated in Chumphon.
Now for some pictures of the slightly expanded area in Pilgrims which I had hoped to put on here yesterday. I know now what had happened to prevent me doing it.
Don't forget to click on the picture if you would like to see the range of stock on my shelves more clearly.
We added the shelf on the right, which forms an L shape with the shelves that were there already against the wall.

A few items which create nostalgia for childhood.

I call this the "masculine" end, which is daft really because I love it all.
It now has some of Bill's bits - including the mantel clock.

The 1950s and 60s bits that I love to have.
I actually sold one of the Homemaker plates on Monday.

And another view of the new shelf in place. I have put more "pretty" things on this shelf and glass.
The forecast for tomorrow is good - clear skies for much of the day. Hooray!
We will be off to Ford early in the morning.
Breakfast in Littlehampton!

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