Friday, July 31, 2009


The family in Market Lavington by Ekatarina.

A day out - by Ekatarina.
There are 3 separate blogs - keep scrolling down to see them all.

On Thursday we drove to Market Lavington in Wiltshire - 100 miles from Crawley.
We passed Stonehenge - I wonder just what that was built for.
We began with dinner with my Great Uncle Roger and Great Aunt Sue.
As usual I ate my own style of dinner.

I took lots of pictures with Grandma's old camera.
And I have learned how to crop and enhance them on the computer.

I also have learned how to take self portraits by using the screen that swings right round.
Here are pictures that I took of all of us.
Except the last 2 pictures, which Grandma took of me in the garden.

After dinner the adults sat around with cups of coffeee or tea.
I have learned that it is more difficult to take pictures of things against the light. That's why the people in the room seem quite dark.

I like the way I posed for this self portrait.

This one makes people laugh!

Grandad before he fell asleep. I have a picture of him sleeping if you want to see it.

Uncle Roger and Aunty Sue at the village museum. Roger and Sue do a lot of work at the museum.

Grandma under an arch of bushes in the front garden.

Grandma and me playing with shadows in the back garden. It is after tea and our shadows are quite long.

Here I am in the garden.

It's a good place to run and play.


Market Lavington Village and Museum by Ekatarina.

We went for a walk round Market Lavington.
All pictures by Ekatarina - except the two with her in them.

Lilac Cottage near Roger and Sue's house.

Thatched Cottage - next door to Lilac Cottage.
Grandma likes this picture. She says she can imagine walking through the gate and knocking on the front door and having a cup of tea with whoever lives there.

We walked through the churchyard.
Grandad likes taking grave pictures and I liked this angel.

In the museum I looked at lots of things.
I am in the kitchen weighing a lemon on old fashioned scales.
It wasn't really a lemon - it was a pencil sharpener!
I enjoyed playing with the dolls house, which is there especially for children.

Big bellows.

Things from the war.
These things are in a glass cabinet and Uncle Roger and Grandad said I would get too much reflection!
But I didn't!

Uncle Roger got an old sewing box out of the store room and we enjoyed arranging all the things.

There was an interesting weather vane on a roof in the village.

We walked to the Elisha Fields. This playing field was left to the village by Mr and Mrs Elisha who had a shop in the village which sold sewing things - perhaps the box came from their shop and probably many of the things in it did.


Roger and Sue's garden by Ekatarina.

We went out and played in Roger and Sue's garden and admired the flowers.
There are also lots of vegetables.
After tea we played hide and seek.
Sue knew the best places to hide.

Pictures are all by Ekatarina. She cropped and enhanced them herself.

A hollyhock by the window.

Peacock butterfly
Orange flowers. Grandma told me they might be called crocosmia.

Sundial in the lavender.

Three white butterflies.

Grandma likes this picture. She said that it makes you want to walk down the path to the field at the end.

Pink water lily.

These are not thistles, they are called alliums.
Whoops! Grandma got that wrong. Uncle Roger has sent an Email to say these flowers are called echinops - or globe thistles.


Pretty pink bell flowers called penstemmons.
The wild path.

Thursday, July 30, 2009


A long day and a short blog.

Brief blog tonight - full details tomorrow when Ecky and I have sorted out photos.

We have been to Wiltshire to see Roger and Sue - and had a lovely day.
Good food.
Walk in the village to the church and museum.
Walk to the Elisha Field for a playground play.
After tea, hide and seek in the garden.
Lots of photos.

Time for a quick cuppa now and then off to bed.

Thank you Roger and Sue - and just a favour to ask. Hopefully you might be able to post Ekatarina's horrible history book to her at our house.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


Ekatarina - ace photographer.

Shall we, shan't we go out?
Rain was forecast - but when?

Oh, well - lets make the picnic and set off.

In fact there has been no rain for us during the day - hooray!

We have been back to Polesden Lacey, and as I thought Ekatarina appreciated the place.

In the morning we looked at the statues - there are 88 of them. I am sure we haven't seen all of them.
We tried to guess what the sculptor might have titled their work - not always very possible.

Ekatarina has been using my old camera all day - the one that I abandoned after the Thailand trip.
She must have taken over 100 photos both at home and at Polesden Lacey.
She has learned well - and this evening learned how to crop and enhance. She will be busy on Friday sorting out all her photos!

After our picnic Ecky and I explored the house with an information and question sheet. This was good fun and the we really enjoyed imagining that we were grand ladies visiting the house.

Here are just 3 pictures that Ecky took today.

This one we called "Looking Girl". I like the way Ecky has got the statue to one side so that we can see a little way in the direction the girl is looking. We wondered what she could be looking at.

I chose this picture, just because it is a good picture of Grandad.

This herbaceous border is almost as good as the one we had seen at Polesden Lacey.

Early this evening it rained - exceedingly hard. Thank goodness it didn't come earlier.

Tomorrow we will be up early for a drive to Wiltshire.

That's all for now.
We are tired and ready for bed.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


The computer has recovered.

Some things are better..... the computers are now working with a wireless connection.
Having bought the new wireless box it has remained in place - but it wasn't really needed.
The problems were more to do with settings and not to do with the equipment.
The PC doctor needed only half an hour to sort it out - and much of that time was spent talking.
But at least it is sorted.
Taking the expert's opinion Bill has decided to change the anti virus programme.
He recently put one on called Comodo.
Who knows maybe that has altered things.... our man said he removed it recently from somebody's computer because it had caused havoc.
Now Bill is gradually installing AVG - much recommended by many, but not Ashley.

We did lots of food shopping this morning - we had hardly done any for two weeks and so we were running low on everything.

I have felt some benefits of my French medicine - the wine remedy prescribed by Julie.
But this evening I can feel swollen glands again and I feel tired.
Ah well.
Soon be time for a bedtime dose of my red wine and sugar.

Of course the happy news is that Ashley and Ekatarina are now with us for 2 weeks.
That time will slip away quickly as we have more to do than we can fit in.
Ecky likes to do new things and then remembers old favourite places too. What can we leave out?

We ate late this evening - having waited until Ashley got back from church. So, Ecky was late to bed - just settling down at 10 o'clock.

Tomorrow if the weather is reasonable we are going to Polesden Lacey again. We will make a picnic and leave early - because the forecast is for rain to spread in later. I think Ecky will enjoy the sculptures and the house and we can explore the play area.
We will just have to see what the day brings.


Candid Camera at Littlehampton.

Last Saturday we indulged in a favourite hobby - people watching.
We were in Littlehampton.
I love to take snapshots of life.
This selection just captures Littlehampton by the sea during that hour as we strolled back along the beach from The Balaton cafe.
Only the person in the last picture knew that they were on camera.

A group of happy diners in the Balaton - a lifeboat crew.

Dining alone with her fish and chips.

I am guessing these two knew each other - probably came down with the same coach trip from London.
One nibbles on an apple and the other is absorbed with a crossword.
Few words were spoken.

A family dining together on the beach.

There were 13 coaches of day trippers from London.
There was lots of fun - on the beach, games on the green, music, eating etc.

Some families, mostly locals, I think, were content to fish for crabs as the tide swept up the estuary.

Lots of people in the sea.

Looking out to sea - or maybe on the beach!

I wonder who had hired this Southdown open top bus for the day.

Sleeping and playing.

Quietly sitting and looking out to sea.

And this poser had just enjoyed a late Saturday morning breakfast.

Monday, July 27, 2009


"I'm not working with you!"

Just what goes on in their minds?
Now you logical, scientific folk have immediately distanced yourself from my question.
"The woman is mad" you are thinking with a wry smile, because you know should humour her!
As you know, there was a sudden breakdown of the wireless network which allowed Bill and I to be online on our different computers at the same time.
Poor Bill couldn't understand the breakdown and how to put it right.
Certainly a new wireless box didn't solve the problem.
But he set this computer - my computer, to be the fully working one for the time being.
But it is not fully working - at least it isn't if the other computer is switched on. There can be things that need doing without going on line - and Bill was wanting to back up photo files and things like that.
As soon as he switched on I couldn't get on line.
"That's ridiculous" said Bill - "there is nothing connecting the 2 computers."
"But, as soon as you switch on" I protested, "I can't get on line."
"But I don't see why that should happen" He is getting a bit cross.
"Accept it - it does happen!"
Oh, silly me - it is then I start giving human qualities to my dear friend the computer. My computer knows that it has been cut off from its partner and is now refusing to work with it (him?) in any way shape or form - even though there is no physical connection between the 2.
I wonder if the "expert" who is coming tomorrow morning will be able to make any sense of things - and how much it will cost.
I do hope the "expert" succeeds.
We will have Ashley and Ekatarina here tomorrow - and even 2 computers will not seem like enough.

Today has been busy.
For the first hour or so there were few customers - it was raining hard.
It gave time to arrange the shelves with new stock taken in.
I also spent a while reducing things in price. I started to look at all things I have had in stock for more than a year. These items can be sold for hardly more than I paid for them to get them out of my way.
In fact I sold a vase today for exactly what I paid for it - hardly the way to do business. But at least I have the money back to go and buy something which might be more successful.
Later there were lots of customers and Bill and I were rushed off our feet.
There should be 4 of us on duty - Julie never stays for more than 4 hours and Monika is always busy doing something else - unless somebody pauses to look at her things. Then she is up and eager to help.
Am I being catty? Just a little.
But Julie has been very sweet.
She heard how I have been feeling and passed on her old French mother's cure all for all problems of the mind, heart and body.
A small glass of wine - very small is better with an added spoonful of sugar.
She did better than give advice, she went out and bought me the bottle of wine.
I should have had my medicine before dinner this evening - but I forgot. I'll have it as a night cap.
I am eager to feel better in mind and body - and will try an ancient French remedy with enthusiasm. I don't think a tiny glass of wine will upset my digestion - and who cares if it does? Well - Bill cares! But I would rather get rid of the malaise and minor run down symptoms and let the gut do its worst.
This evening I have been busy sorting out our sales for the week. This has been the best month yet for us in Pilgrims. We must enjoy the ups - because there are always downs - and August is often a down month.
Tomorrow will be busy.
The computer man cometh.
We must buy food - the cupboard is bare and we have guests for 2 weeks; fussy guests!
We have beds to prepare.

Right - time for my medicine!
I should sleep well eh?
Good night.

Sunday, July 26, 2009


Triumphs for some in Paris and failure for Bill in Monkland.

I am sitting here at the computer as if there was nothing wrong.
But Bill has toiled all day to solve computer problems and failed.
He doesn't like having to realise that there are technical jobs that he can't fix..
We do have one working computer that will connect to the internet and do all the other hundred and one things that need broadband. He opted to make it "my" computer that will function.
Thank you Bill.

Poor Bill has tried various ways of sorting the lack of wireless contact between the two - or three (counting the laptop) computers.
It just suddenly stopped working. It was there before dinner on Friday evening and then wasn't there after we had eaten.
So, Bill decided that there must be a fault on the wireless thingy that we have used for a long time and we went to buy another.
But that has failed too.
Now he wonders if there is a setting or property within one of the computers that has somehow altered. Why? How?

We didn't have all this problem with the washing machine. It failed, we bought another, Bill plumbed it in and switched it on and hey presto - within a very short time there was washing blowing on the line.

I have seen Bill slowly feel more and more exasperated so when he uttered something about maybe getting somebody in to sort it, I happily accepted this.
I hope Bill can relax now and not feel anxious about his inability to cure the problem.
I certainly wouldn't be able to do anything constructive - I have never bothered my little mind with just what modems, routers etc actually do.

This morning we went to the boot sale in Reigate. It always seems that it will be a dead loss when we arrive - but gradually more cars arrive and I have found some interesting things.
There is one little ornament that I paid £30 for. I don't really know very much about them - but assumed I can make a profit.
This little Hummel could be worth over £100.

I know, hard to believe something which actually looks so naff could be so valuable!
Once collectors are hooked into a range of things then some are prepared to high prices to add to their collection.
Bill now has a collection of cuckoo clocks. The one he bought this morning was not expensive and is grander than others we have. But it does need some attention.
I have written up all the weekend's purchases during the day.
And it was actually me that saw most of the Hungarian Grand Prix - Bill was tied up with the computer.
And this was followed by the last stage of Le Tour de France - the ride into Paris.
Two Brits have done better than Brits before them - Cav or Wiggy (to use their nicknames) - who was the best?
And following this day of sport is a strange day - no sport for me on the TV. This day comes every year - Wimbledon tennis has long gone, the Open golf is over, Le Tour is finished and there is a pause before anything else.
Of course the cricket starts again on Thursday and during August there will be the World Athletics Championships. I don't think my sad little mind will be without sport for long.
I am very tired this evening. And tiredness increases any underlying feelings of depression. And it is raining again.
I shall get to bed early - hope for a dream free night and get up early to prepare for the shop.
Little Chick Girl can come with me!

Saturday, July 25, 2009


Trying to turn the tide

I did things today that did me good - and the sun did right by me, by shining well.
We left home before 7 o'clock for the lovely familiar ride down to Ford.
I never tire of coming over the hill and seeing the River Arun in the valley and Arundel castle on the hill beyond.
I was determined to find stock today - finding things on a hunting expedition is what it is all about. It always feels so pointless to arrive home with very little to show for the trip.
My first success was a pile of 14 books - a trip back to the car was needed of course. Couldn't carry that lot around for long.
The rest of my buys are on the table in the lounge, as yet not written up; but I have done the books.

We opted then for a breakfast in Littlehampton.
It is a friendly place to be.
The Balaton attracts local boatman and fishermen - I am not the only one who can walk in and just ask for "my usual, please".
Glad there were no disasters at sea - for a lifeboat crew were in there enjoying breakfast too.
We strolled back along the river and beach, chatting with fathers and children fishing for crabs as the tide was speeding up the river. I laughed with one of the dads who was asked by a woman with her small son about the fishing.... "What are you doing it for?" she wanted to know. We shrugged our shoulders... "Fun" I suggested.
There were 13 coaches in our car park - and from each poured bands of happy lively black folk. They set up all sorts of games, tents and music on the green. But they were not all connected as we assumed. We talked to a few who were with their church, having a day out in Littlehampton. The presence of so many people, young and old, determined to enjoy a day at the seaside enlivened the atmosphere, which usually feels a bit run down in an attractive sort of way.

We have taken pictures today of course - so stay tuned; there will be a photo montage of Littlehampton 25th July 2009 on the blog at some point.

Once home there was a lot of wrapping to do - books sold from yesterday and today. There were invoices to send and payments to deal with.
I have watched as much athletics on TV as I had the time for and of course the climb up Mont Vantoux in Le Tour de France.The race finishes tomorrow - but really this was the last day of racing. It is an unwritten rule that the final placings will not alter on the last day. It is like the last day of term - a party atmosphere.

I am not sure what we will do in the morning.

Friday, July 24, 2009


Sorting out problems

I conceded today that I am suffering with depression. There is no reason of course - depression is beyond logic.
Acknowledging this condition is the beginning of controlling it - so that's good.

And then along comes something to increase anxiety levels - my computer is not functioning!
Well, not the computer - it is the router which has ceased to perform.
Bill's computer ought to function without the wireless, but for a while he couldn't bring up any broadband at all.
But patient, clever Bill has now got his computer working - so I am not devoid of computer facilities.
I am too tired to understand just what he has done.

Tomorrow he plans to have another go at setting up the wireless and if that doesn't work we will have to buy another.
It is not the same without my own machine - it is almost like the death of a friend!
But thank goodness I can deal with some EBay sales - only 4 books today. A couple of the payments are in and I promise to deal with payments within 48 hours - and normally very much more quickly.

I still have a number of physical health problems - mostly minor.
I didn't know until this morning that a cause of a red shiny tongue can be depression or stress. I do know that stress can cause mouth ulcers and I have one of those. I do wish my sense of taste would come back.
So, now I accept the problem perhaps I can start a bit of CBT - cognitive behavioural therapy - to turn my brain around. I still think my brain is believing that winter has arrived already.

But we are promised a good day for tomorrow. I want to go to Ford, have breakfast out and generally feel like I am having a nice day.

I suppose if there have to be causes of depression then I am still grieving for the 4 Js in Thailand. I spoke very briefly with Jessica today - she is 8 years old today. She was far too excited for long conversations for she had friends there. You may recall that I had felt stressed when I thought her birthday parcel had got lost again - well, it hadn't thank goodness. It was sitting in the PO Box for Sunrise Divers. Mam says that Jessica was delighted to receive her birthday things.

So I should end this little ramble and get to bed.

I have done 3 blog postings for you to enjoy (hopefully) if you want to see about Polesden Lacey. Just keep scrolling down.


Sculptures at Polesden Lacey

Our visit to Polesden lacey began with the sculptures.
This was an added bonus - the range and style of art was superb.
We are hoping that we might go again next week, for we didn't see all the sculptures and we think Ecky would love them too. The exhibition ends on 3rd August.
The pictures need no words.

Scroll down further to see the garden, followed by the house.

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