Monday, November 30, 2009


Busy little Pilgrims

I feel so tired this evening.
I am too often tired. I wake up yawning!
I wonder if it is because of the urine infection that I have obviously had for well over a year.
There are no other symptoms obvious to me.
Maybe just now the antibiotics are affecting me - nitrofurantoin. I have never had this one before.

But the weather is tiring too.
This morning it was just horrible as we drove to Dorking through heavy rain. Inside the car we were protected from the cold northerly wind, but it blew hard.
As predicted the rain stopped by about midday.
The drive home was much better - hey! - we could see the almost full moon!
The moon is always lovely - but being able to see it at all was a bonus after the heavy grey clouds.
It is getting colder - but if that brings clear skies I won't feel so bad.

And then of course the day has been tiring.
Julie didn't come to the shop at all - too much water in the Epsom area.
Monika was busy with her own things.
And I was busy too with my own things for a while. I had a little lockable cabinet with me and so I enjoyed arranging paperweights and other small and potentially nickable items in it.

My other activity is also my own business really - taking photos for the shop blog.
It is for my pleasure as much as anything - but I was pleased that Jonathan, who I had phoned about a best price for some plates, was fulsome with praise and was grateful that it was being done.

Here is Monika on the steps up to where my area is, writing her price tickets.
As soon as she came in this morning I threatened to photograph those boots!
They are personalised cheapish wellingtons.
She and a friend have thought about making more and taking them to the rock festivals (like Glastonbury) next summer to sell.
Monika was out for an hour or so at lunchtime.

So Bill and I have dealt with all the selling - we both had sales today.
I felt I was the one to deal mostly with Mr No Short Term Memory. He was in the shop for ages this afternoon. Some of his conversation can seem almost normal and then he asks the same question over and over again - the same ones every week. "Do you like Storrington?" "Why don't you like The Lanes?" "Is it rare?" "Have you been to Salcombe?"
He spent a long time looking at a bagatelle game I have - and then bought a very cheap chamber pot!

I popped out for a few minutes at the end of the day to buy a few bits. We came home with half price sausages in the Paul Rankin range (he a celebrity chef). They were good.

I think I should have an early night. It is all too easy to to decide to have just one more game!

Sunday, November 29, 2009


November - no sort of a day.

This was no sort of a day.
The alarm went at 6 o'clock. We peered through the curtains - sorry, Bill peered through the curtains. It was raining hard.
Have we heard this tale before?
You bet we have!
This has been the 5th Sunday that we had no chance to go to a car boot sale.

Bill and I got some things ready to list on EBay and thankfully we have people already interested in some things.
No doubt people - dealer people, I mean - are feeling a bit desperate to find new stock.
I was certainly EBay browsing for a while.

I have played too much Boggle - saw my brother and sister in law at the top of the leader board. Congratulations! I assume it was a joint effort.
I ended up just chatting with a Boggle friend and half heartedly playing.
Sandra lives on Hayling Island.
Yesterday she had been in Dorking - and so had I of course.
American bogglers are getting over Thanksgiving - but there are quite a few very wordy people from across the ocean (I will not call it "the pond"!). The chat that goes on between bogglers is good fun.
My claim to fame today was finding the word PELMONISM and scoring 11 points.

We enjoyed a roast beef dinner this evening, watching Countryfile. I also enjoyed The Antiques Roadshow whilst keeping an eye on X Factor too. We are down to the last 4 - and the great British public have matched my hopes with their votes.

But really it was no sort of a day.
Which reminded me of a poem written almost 200 years ago.
Thomas Hood might have been looking back at a November like this one has been.

by Thomas Hood
No sun--no moon!

No morn--no noon!
No dawn--no dusk--no proper time of day--
No sky--no earthly view--
No distance looking blue--
No road--no street--
No "t'other side the way"--
No end to any Row--
No indications where the Crescents go--
No top to any steeple--
No recognitions of familiar people--
No courtesies for showing 'em--
No knowing 'em!
No mail--no post--
No news from any foreign coast--
No park--no ring--no afternoon gentility--
No company--no nobility--

No warmth, no cheerfulness, no healthful ease,
No comfortable feel in any member--
No shade, no shine, no butterflies, no bees,
No fruits, no flowers, no leaves, no birds,

The last lines sum up the negativity. But looking back things haven't been that bad.

We have birds a plenty - we even saw a female blackbird at last today pecking at the fruits in the front garden. We still have lots of flowers in the garden too. And we have warmth and cheerfulness - many things to be pleased about. We have enjoyed walks and trips out. But today was no sort of a day!

Poor Jamie only gets one day a week for trips out - and they spent time again yesterday at The Beach Bar. The sun was shining.
He sent some pictures through Skype today.

John is on the beach by The Beach bar. This one was not taken yesterday - it was still a bit cloudy and low season. He has had his hair neatened up since then - still not short though, which I am pleased about.

Jessica posing in the shade.

Mam now has short hair. I think it looks very stylish and chic.

I am glad we are back to the shop tomorrow. I have a small lockable cabinet which needs to be slotted in. And I shall take photographs for the shop blog. We will be busy.

Saturday, November 28, 2009


The Pilgrims and The Kings Arms

I am sure we shall feel really confused tomorrow - Sunday.
It probably won't feel like a Sunday because, yet again, we may not be able to go hunting at a car boot sale.
And it will be the day after a duty day in the shop.
Jo was not able to be there today and we said we would do her duty for her. Saturdays are busy. Often the shop was full of customers.
All sorts of things were sold.
It was good to have a chance to get to know Gill.
There were enough people around helping, so Bill and I went out for lunch.
The Kings Arms is just along West Street.

It is the oldest pub in Dorking - indeed, one of the oldest buildings.
I would guess it didn't start life as an inn - but I may be wrong.
But it was good to think we were dining where William Mullins probably visited.
He lived some yards up the road opposite Pilgrims Antiques) and now has a blue plaque dedicated to him. He sailed on The Mayflower to America as one of the first Pilgrim Fathers.
We chose jacket potatoes with chilli con carne. It was filling and tasty - and the chilli had some heat to it. Sometimes it can be a bit bland and taste of just mince.

Then we were back to work at the shop.
The new shop window is really good and customers were full of praise. I hope that Bill or I can get a good photograph on Monday.
I did have a browse round the shop eyeing up things to create a new shop blog next week, when the theme will be "boy's toys and gadgets".
I went and bought some card today so as to be able to vary the backgrounds to my blog photos.

This evening we have chilled out and watched TV.

The weather has been good today - apart from a chilly wind.
The rain began just as we were about to shut up shop - and the journey home was in torrential rain.
The forecast for the morning is that the rain will not have cleared.
At 6 o'clock heavy thunderstorms are predicted and just heavy rain at 9 o'clock.
I am sure we will peep through the curtains early just to see what is going on, but it looks like a day at home.

Friday, November 27, 2009


The World Has Gone Mad.

The world has gone mad!
How many times do we of the older generation feel like that?
It is not until I become aware of just how out of touch I am with the world of 2009 that I am prepared to admit I am of the older generation.
Only yesterday, Stella and I were commenting on life with "Why can't things be like they used to be?"

So what has upset me today?
Firstly, something trivial.

There have been auctions of famous people's possessions this week.
How can Michael Jackson's glove be over 40 times more valuable than Oliver Cromwell's boots?
OK - I know we have video footage of Michael Jackson wearing the glove - in 1984, when he first did his moon dance. It was definitely a glove worn by him.
But the appeal of media stars must wane. The people who loved him will grow old and not survive for ever to love him.
In 50 years time he will be close to being a name in the history of pop music. In 100 years time, there will be nobody left who knew him or saw him perform.
The nostalgia and fascination for him must die.
So the person who paid £212,000 for the glove may never get a return for his money.
If he sells it quickly, perhaps somebody would pay more; but eventually it will lose its value.

Now Oliver Cromwell is different. He is part of our historical heritage. People from each generation after his time would know his name. And his name will always be important and the things he achieved known about.
OK - of course we do not have the video footage of the man actually wearing the boots.
We can only record that they are presumed to be his.
Items connected with Oliver Cromwell will always be of interest - even if we look back on a man who might have got things wrong.
His boots fetched £5,000 this week. This seems a lot to me - but was far, far exceeded by Michael Jackson's glove.

The world has gone mad!

My second cause for fury is serious.
And I can't blame the whole world for this one - just Britain.
I feel like I have been kicked in the stomach when I hear that our government consider it is right and proper to send a fragile man to the USA to face trial.
Yes, Gary McKinnon did wrong.
It is wrong to break into other people's computer systems.
Bless him, he was looking for evidence of UFOs. This was his passion.
He has Asperger's Syndrome and finds social interaction very difficult and can get very involved in single projects.
Since it was discovered that he had hacked into US computers he has been under threat of deportation to face trial away from his mother and his support system.
He is already more than fragile.
But our government have agreed that if the USA want somebody deported it must be followed through - whatever.
The reciprocal arrangement is that we have to offer the USA complete proof to get anybody deported to the UK.
The lawyers have been fighting the deportation - but the Home Secretary has waved away their objections, claiming that the man has no real health issues.

Ans he does this in the week that the Official Inquiry into the Iraq war begins.
I think most of us had come to realise a long time ago that the war was not wise or right.
Many already knew that we were just accepting what the USA wanted.
At first I really did believe that perhaps Tony Blair was getting involved with George Bush with an arrogance (which we know he has) that he, Blair, could influence Bush with his superior brains and charisma.
But not so.
Blair and our government were no more than puppets, with strings being pulled by USA politics and big business.
So America wanted war - and they got it.
Now they want our fragile man and it looks like they will get him.
Our government should stop acting like poodles and find some of the bulldog spirit and fight for what is right.
I could just add that perhaps the USA should be glad that it was Gary McKinnon who broke into their computer files.
It could have been anyone.
Maybe Al Quaeda have people who could do it.
Gary McKinnon has cost them money - but has not created great harm.
At least there are many who feel as I do about this, including Sarah Brown, the Prime Minister's wife. Listen to her Gordon!

Thursday, November 26, 2009


Ironing Day

I am not really intending to turn this blog into a collection of memories.
But that is where we are going today.
My intention is to use an episode of the day to focus on an idea and extend it.
Sometimes that will be memories and sometimes opinions; other times it will be a diary and it could go who knows where.

Yesterday would have been Bill's parents 70th wedding anniversary.
Sadly there is not a single picture of their wedding. Maybe it was all done in rather a rush, so as to be respectable.
So I have found a picture from their 25th anniversary party, held in The Red Cross hut in West Green Drive. This was in 1964. Maybe I took the photo.
It shows Bill's parents with their 10 children - in order of age we have Bill, Julie, Jane, Sheila, Pam, Rosalynn, Andrew, Michael, Lesley and Ian.
Today we took a few flowers to their grave.
I know it is wasteful to spend money on graveside flowers, but somehow it is important to Bill.

I have a very painful neck and shoulder and down my right arm.
I don't know where it came from.
But I will blame the ironing.
I do ironing (or Bill does it) when we get round to it. We certainly don't iron anything that we don't feel is necessary - but some things look better for being pressed.

I recall that ironing night was Monday night when I was a girl.
I can't believe that everything had been washed that day. It was all done by hand of course.
The ironing pile grew each week.

Dad must have had Monday evenings out.
Mum and I listened to Wilfred Pickles "Have a Go" on the wireless.
Dad wouldn't have been a fan of Have a Go.
This must have been one of the first shows with the participation of "ordinary" people.
I loved it. I loved to hear the tales of the people, particularly when Wilfred asked the young ones "Are you Courting?" And the answers to "Have you had any embarrassing moments?" were often slightly risque.
That was on at half past seven.
At 8 o'clock we listened to Monday Night at Home - when Radio 4 was called the Home service.
This was a magazine style programme with a miscellany of ideas and features.
I loved Ivor Cutler.
This programme was his first dabblings in the media.
He was a weird Scottish poet. I can't believe I understood his poetry.
I guess that at 9 o'clock I went to bed, leaving Mum to finish the ironing and listen to the Monday Play.

This morning I was ironing at an ironing board - standing up.
I always wanted an ironing board - like other peoples' mothers!
Mum was different.
Maybe it was just because they were so poor at that time - but she had no ironing board. She did it on the dining room table - sitting down.
I can remember the folded bundle of old blankets with a sheet on top that was used to cover the table.
I was allowed to iron handkerchiefs.
Of course there is no photo of Mum sitting at the table doing the ironing.
So I found one of the table being used at Christmas for a game of cards.

Mum would sit, for ironing, roughly where she is in this picture - under the tropical fish tank.
The tank contained guppies and sword fish mostly.
It sits on a box shelf unit that Dad made.
In the corner is a smaller shelf unit with the big old wireless on - the sort with strip showing all the places that could be reached by our radio. Hilversum..... some sort of magic word I thought!
I am sitting between my brothers, with my posh dancing shoes on my feet.
Granny and Grandad - Dad's parents are in the foreground.

So my stint of ironing today has taken me (and now you) back about 55 years.
And the flowers on the grave were to celebrate that Bill's parents were married in 1939.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Winning Prizes

I sold this sporting trophy today.
I am happy to say it has been bought by a resident of Uppingham who, hopefully, has a connection with the school.
I also sold a collection of 1950s athletics medals - not for The Olympics of course!
It got me thinking about trophies and I had to think back to remember if I had won any.
My tally of prizes is low.
My sporting prowess was merely a certain amount of enthusiasm.
My academic prowess was never recognised. I think the teachers were looking for the wrong things!
The first prizes I ever won were for entries in the Ifield Village Flower Show.
My parents made sure that my bunch of wild flowers was a superb bouquet - and I had to know all the names of those flowers.
I can remember 1st prize for hand writing too.
I painstakingly wrote out a poem which began "Tender handed grasp a nettle......."
I would have so liked to win a prize with a garden on a plate. I don't think I was encouraged to enter this class.
I also won prizes at the flower show in adult life - for cookery. That was in the days when I did quite a lot.
I never quite forgave Jamie though....... I taught him how to make fudge. He got 1st prize, beating me into 2nd!!!
But I did triumph with bread pudding!
One of my proudest moments was being captain of the blue team at the village school sports.
I stood alongside handsome Geoffrey Gardner to receive the shield from Mrs James, local dignitary.
My brother, Robin, is standing straight and proud alongside me.
I remember the names of the other children in the photo too.
When I was 10 I was sent to elocution lessons. I actually enjoyed them a lot.
But I enjoyed it all rather better once I realised I could tell others I was doing "Speech and Drama".
I was entered into the speech classes at local music festivals.
I would recite poems or as I got older act out a scene from Shakespeare, playing all the parts.
My best activity was sight reading. I was good at it then and am still good at it. I love reading to children.
In the sight reading, each contestant was kept in a room until it was their turn and then given a book and told to read a particular text.
One year, at Redhill, the text was a poem called The Pasture by Robert Frost.
I'm going out to clean the pasture spring;
I'll only stop to rake the leaves away
(And wait to watch the water clear, I may):
I sha'n't be gone long. You come too.

I'm going out to fetch the little calf
That's standing by the mother. It's so young,
It totters when she licks it with her tongue.
I sha'n't be gone long. You come too.
I enjoyed the whole experience. There was a pause as I finished and then a crescendo of applause.
I won first prize.
Before I left The Grammar School I had the honour of collecting a trophy for our House - Pelham House - winning the school sports.
Pelham had come last most years.
I like to think that the enthusiasm I mentioned earlier had something to do with the turnaround.
I took children from the younger year groups out after school to encourage and advise. Good grief! What did I know then about throwing the javelin?
It was thrilling to win.
Since then - nothing for me. Bill has won trophies and competitions for his photography.
But as the saying goes "You have to be in it to win it", and I guess I haven't been doing things in a competitive way in my adult life.
Unless you count the disaster of the Thomas Bennett Community Choir at the very prestigious Dorking Music Festival.
Ashley and I still chuckle about that.
No - we didn't win!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


Meeting up with family

Today we met a niece we haven't seen for some time - at first I was a little unsure who she was.
We were in Asda. Bill had left me hunting for one thing, he had gone off to get some "I Can't Believe its Not Butter".
He didn't return.
I found him in conversation with his brother, Andrew. We don't see Andrew very often these days - in fact it may well be nearly 18 months when we met up with him at a family wedding.
With him was a heavily pregnant young woman.
My first thought was "Surely not!"
Then I twigged - it was Charlotte.
We have never known Charlotte well, not after Andrew and his wife divorced and he went to work in Germany.
I did meet her as a schoolgirl when I was supply teaching.
She was as bright as a button.
She uses all her wiles and energies these days caring for children.
Her first was born when she was 15.
Since that time she has maintained a relationship - a partnership with the father of her children.
But they have chosen not to live together.
After the first daughter, Atalanta there followed 3 more daughters - Thyme, Blaize and Destiny. The baby to be born in January is also a girl, but as yet she and her partner have not decided on her name.

It was good to catch up with some family news.

We had been in town, not just for food in Asda, but to get a small gift for another that we are great aunt and uncle to - Ruben in Switzerland.
Bill's sister can take it with her on Friday when she and her husband go to meet their grandson.

I have done a Pilgrims Antiques blog that I am quite pleased with.

But generally I have felt energyless. It is Tuesday - it often happens like that.

So I think I will now just go and relax before bedtime.

Monday, November 23, 2009


Do we trust politicians? No we don't!

It rained again!
We all kept ourselves busy in the shop - and there were customers too.
Bill has had a good week - I had a poor week. It will be Bill who boosts the funds in November.
Though the profits on my sales more than cover the rent.

I was busy taking photographs. I set up pictures from other peoples' stock and my own which reflect Christmas entertaining. I shall put them on the shop blog tomorrow - decanters, glasses, candle sticks, cheese domes, coffee pots, cutlery, silver tray and all that sort of thing.
It is a good way to get to know the stock in the shop a little better.

Bill and I didn't get out today - we were busy this morning and then Monika was out and Julie went home.
Never mind, it wasn't pleasant out there as I discovered on a quick trip out to get some milk.

We had our weekly visit from Mr No Short Term Memory. It seems Monday is Dorking Day for him too.
I asked where he would be going tomorrow and he asked what day that would be. On being told it would be Tuesday he said it would be Reigate.

This evening I have been talking with an old school friend Kay. She has MS. And what she said made me realise I ought to have my eyes on government goings on more than I do.
The present government have introduced a Green paper - first step towards becoming law - which will take away payment of Disability Living Allowance to the over 65s.
I confess I do wonder if I deserve it - but it was awarded for life.
When I did once ask about my entitlement I was reminded that I was only in remission - and of course have had cancer again in recent years.
When it goes - presuming it does - it will severely curtail my life for our income would be cut back to standard old age pensions for both of us.
It will be especially hard for people who have used the DLA for the motobility scheme in which you have a car, tax and insured and changed for you every 2 years.
Suddenly some severely disabled people would have no way of getting about.
Any benefits would be means tested and people with a modicum of savings would not be entitled to anything.
Perhaps we ought to indulge in a "Spend, Spend, Spend" regime for the next 2 years.

I have just been checking web sites about this. It seems the sick and disabled are soft targets.
But there is a fight back.
And whatever this government decided right now we assume might be irrelevant.
I am sure our MP, Laura Moffatt, will have no further part it in after next Spring. She has the smallest Labour majority in the country.
But as a lefty I have grown old trusting the Tories even less.
I guess I shall have to snuggle down with my "What will be, will be" attitude and just take what is thrown at me.
But Kay is fighting - and has even had Laura Moffatt round to her house to talk things through.
Kay is at present secretary of the Multiple Sclerosis club in Crawley.

Well, it is 10 o'clock. I shall have a cup of tea and watch the news.

Sunday, November 22, 2009


We found somewhere to go hunting!

It was raining hard at 6 o'clock.
We turned over and went back to sleep.

By 8 o'clock we were wishing we had opted to go out hunting - but too late.

We had a leisurely breakfast.
Then I phoned Jo. It was with great relief that I heard Peter's voice at the other end. He came out of hospital yesterday - but is not well and maybe his heart problems have not been well enough considered. He saw a doctor at Crawley hospital before dawn, with breathing difficulties.
But Jo was not there when I rang. Peter told me she had gone to Mannings Heath.
We haven't been to that little antiques fair for a long time and we instantly found coats and set off.
I spent money - maybe too much.
I bought 2 excellent Venetian paperweights.
And I bought Amelianne books. If I collect any books from my childhood it is those. The condition is not good and I probably paid Carol too much. At one time Carol was in Rocking Horse.
I also bought a Merrythought dog from her.
Oh it felt good to be out - and there was a lot of happy chatting going on.
But Jo had left by the time we got there.

This afternoon I really had to concentrate on EBay. I had a dozen payments in that I needed to account for. And I had to get all the parcels addressed. It seemed to take ages.
We shall take the parcels to our local post office before we go to Dorking in the morning - we can park outside that one. We have 2 huge parcels with Bill's large model aeroplanes.

And now just a few pictures of our walk at Littlehampton yesterday.
The sea was wild and the air was bracing.
I was a bit frustrated because my spare batteries didn't seem to be charged properly and I ended up with only 3 snaps.
But a walk on a beach can never really feel frustrating.
Bill enjoyed his new telephoto lens.

This picture is one of mine.
Compare and contrast with the one below taken by Bill - he was standing at a similar spot.

There were shafts of sunlight as we arrived at the beach - but you can see how the weather was closing in again.

Oystercatchers staring at the sea. They didn't seem to want to get their feet wet.

We believe the little birds to be sanderlings.

A turnstone.

Saturday, November 21, 2009


Saturday activities

There should be pictures - but the images are still on the chip in the camera.
We have run out of time today and not yet dealt with them.

The day began early - 6 o'clock when we were disturbed from slumber by the alarm clock.
I felt so negative about the weather - more rain today I assumed.
I pulled the duvet back up and snuggled down.
Surely it would not be worthwhile to travel to Ford - 30 or 40 miles - just to be disappointed.
But maybe I realised that being up would feel good or maybe I didn't want to let Bill down.
So, eventually we did get up and get dressed. We had no time for breakfast - that would come later.
It wasn't raining.
And it didn't rain again until much later in the day.

There were less sellers at Ford than usual. I doubt that many were what we would term "normal people". The normals are those that are not dealers.
There were a few things I coveted at prices beyond what was sensible.
There was a superb Royal Winton Chintz china breakfast set. There was a lovely china tray and all the bits and pieces one might use at breakfast time - breakfast for one that is.
I knew it would have a price tag in 3 figures; but I couldn't justify £220, although maybe in the right place it would have fetched more than that.
We didn't buy very much - but it did feel good.

And then it was time for breakfast - so, off to Littlehampton. The Balaton is boarded up for 3 months and we chose the cheap option again of Wetherspoons.

Then we had a walk by the river and along the beach.
It was windy and the sea was rough - impressively rough.
Bill was happy to try and take pictures of oystercatchers, using his new telephoto lens.
I hope there will be some good ones for me to choose from tomorrow.
It was lovely on the beach as the grey sea topped with white crests crashed in. The oystercatchers stood and looked at it too.

We had items finishing on EBay again today, I haven't wrapped my books yet - after all they can't be posted until Monday.
But we needed to know the weight of Bill's items.
He sold 2 large model aeroplanes - and another camera.

We had news from Jamie today. John lost his first baby tooth - our little boy will be 5 in a couple of months.
The follow up to yesterday's news from J is mixed.
The girl who was stabbed outside their house died. The man who did it is in police custody.
Apparently the police were there again today - with the man, to check out all scene of crime facts.

As soon as I had sent the invoices to ebay customers, we went out.
We went to see Jenny, Ruth and the boys.
Perhaps the boys didn't want to see us.
Otto began a little out of sorts.
Felix followed up with a full blown temper tantrum!
Poor boy - absolutely nothing was right. He screamed, he threw things and no doubt he was baffled by his own behaviour, wondering where it came from.

Back home we cooked some food and settled down to watch Saturday evening TV. X Factor is hypnotic in its appeal - even though nobody this year seems to me to have that extra something which the winner ought to have.

It looks like we might be out early again tomorrow morning. Hope so.

Friday, November 20, 2009


What should I write?

What to write?

My brain feels lifeless tonight - not in the depressed sort of way, but just tired.

Yes, I can sit here and remember this evening in 1996. Was I at a computer that evening? I think we were computer users then.
The weather was different - cold it was.
The phone rang about 10 o'clock ..... my Dad had died.
What would he want me to do?
I had been trained not to allow matters of life and death to be major issues. At least that was what I perceived to be the training.
Suddenly it didn't matter what Dad wanted. I wanted to see him.
So I went to him and I combed his hair. ..... just as I had done so often as a little girl.

He had begun to see my life evolve into something new after my terrible illness when death threatened me so closely.
I am glad that he saw me blossom a little as a dealer in antiques centres.
Shame that he never knew the great grandchildren that our sons produced - but then my Mum never knew the sons either.
But whatever the events of a life and a death the generations move from one to the other.
There is to be another great grandchild next year.

Life is full of tragedies that we would wish had not happened. But in truth I do not regret my Dad passing from us that evening 12 years ago.
His heart was failing him and taking away the life that he had created for himself.
He was still active, despite health problems. But he saw that he could live on, losing more and more strength - and he dreaded that.

So Dad - if you are aware of who I am now, be proud of me please.
Of course I wonder how you are explaining it - explaining that you are still aware of me beyond the grave! If you are.
I have no big achievements to offer you.
I am just happy to be alive and have the freedom to explore this and that as I continue on my journey.
I never wanted to climb up the rungs of any ladder. Maybe I never believed I could.
But I am doing well - really I am.
Would you believe that I am now an international dealer?
Parcels to Turkey, France and the USA today.
Would you be amazed at how people are communicating with each other these days?
Of course you knew about computers - but you never knew that a computer would become one of life's necessities for so many.
Through a computer we found your ancestors and your sister. Shame you never knew.

And tomorrow is another day. I move on with the desire to be a strong old lady.
Others, like you, will forever see this day as a sad anniversary.
Frieda, next door, lost her Ted on this date just the year before we lost you.
There was a policeman lost in horrendous floods in Cumbria today.
Polly told us on facebook about the death of her Godson today. Shame you never knew about Polly - she is a cousin of sorts - she is the great grand daughter of your aunt Nellie.
Jamie has told us too of the death (maybe) of a stranger - stabbed outside his house. The young woman may have survived to tell her tale. a bad experience too for Mam.
I have not heard news of Jo's Peter today - I just pray that this date will not have significance for that family too.

This blog's title suggests that I ramble on aimlessly. Yes, that's my life and my blog.
Time to be aware that I should call a halt!

Thursday, November 19, 2009


A sense of foreboding

I really hope the feeling of optimism I have this evening is justified.
I think I am a creature of feelings and instincts.
This afternoon I quite suddenly had a less positive feeling.
Some would say that thoughts and feelings can be directed by energies in the environment and atmosphere.
Others would look for a more logical explanation.
I am somewhere between the two.
I can see some logic in why I suddenly was fearful for my good friend Jo's husband.
Yesterday I phoned and both she and her husband were not at home - or at least not available to answer the phone. I thought no more about it.
But, as I stood behind the ironing board, I began to feel concern.
There may be some logic - Peter has a serious heart condition and what I have heard from Jo reminds me of how my Dad was affected by a similar condition. Both men saw the same heart consultant.
Peter is now 77 - and that is the age at which Dad died. The anniversary of his death is tomorrow. I wasn't consciously thinking of this anniversary but of course things lurk in our subconscious.
As I worked on the ironing pile I feared for Peter. I imagined him in hospital and in a bad way.
Silly Paula! I tried to tell myself that I am just a day dreamer, imagining all sorts of things.
It was a very short while after I had completed the task that the phone rang.
It was Jo.
Peter is in hospital and at that very moment was in the operating theatre.
I felt just a bit spooked.
The problem that took him to hospital is not about his heart. He has problems with the corneas on one eye - he was very close to losing his sight and the doctors wanted to operate straight away. It would be a long operation of 2 to 4 hours.
But the heart consultant had already decreed that Peter was not fit enough for anaesthetic.
The operation was delayed a little to try and resolve these issues.
And this afternoon they went ahead.
I know no more.
I do feel optimistic that he has come through. Please may I be right.

My own health was centre stage for a while this morning. I had to collect samples from the stoma and take them to the doctor's for testing.
Why do I have no wee when I would like there to be some?

Bill and I did our fast walk into town again this morning to deliver my samples.
It is hard work striding out up the hill. My calves still feel painful from doing it the other day.

We went on to do a little shopping in Asda. And I did something in there that I rarely do - I bought brand new shop clothing. Well, OK - I bought tights on Tuesday in Primark.
My eye was taken by knitted thick cardigans which look like a duffel coat.
It has a hood and toggles.
I tried one on and went to look in the mirror and I loved it.
It was only £12 - more than I normally pay for my clothes of course, but a real bargain for a shop bought item.

We caught the bus back home.
Bill got off before me to check out a postage charge for a large model aeroplane that he is selling on EBay. Somebody wanted to know the best price with insurance to Poland.
That person has been very helpful and added to Bill's knowledge about the model. All the Polish person (well English probably) has to do now is bid for it.

Weather has been very fair today. It is the north and west who are suffering tremendous rainfall at the moment. This includes north Wales - with flooding and problems.
It seems that we get our turn again for the heavy rain on Saturday - so another week without going to the Ford car boot sale.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


This has been Blogday.

When we went to bed last night we were without a functioning connection to the world wide web.
Hell's teeth! I felt bereft - cut off from so much that pleases me.!

We woke up late this morning - to be greeted by a phone call from Tiscali asking us to check everything because they said we now had a connection.
Hooray! They were right.

The day has been very grey - with rain threatening most of the time as the wind blew fiercely.
We didn't go anywhere.

For me it has been a blog day - mine and other peoples'.
I caught up with describing our walk at Tilgate yesterday - after this evenings's ramblings.

I then added to my Pilgrims Antiques blog. I am so glad that it now appears nearly at the top of a google search - even with just West Street Dorking.
Now I have to start thinking of a theme for next week.

And then I began to look at other blogs.
It takes such a little time to feel you start to get to know the authors.
I have already mentioned one I found recently

The author is a nature lover - birds and butterflies mostly. But blogs seem to include many snippets apart from a main theme.
Jamie's weather blog is like that - more about him and his activities than the weather really.

I have copied one of the bird watcher's photos - just because it impressed me so much.

This is a red throated diver.

This blog mentions some other blogs - lots of birdwatching ones of course.
But I opted for the miscellaneous ones.
And I discovered diamond geezer.
This man lives in East London and writes every day - more than me......can you believe that?
His topics are very varied, but I have seen that he is quite an underground train geek.
This man wrote yesterday an open letter to his new next door neighbours - who are annoying him greatly. I assume he does not mean to send it to them, but it got it off his chest in an amusing manner.

From his page I found another about charity shops.
It is called Charity Shop Tourism.
The author talks of places where charity shops have been explored.

There are just so many blogs to discover (millions?).
And I know most people hardly have the time to browse through my blog - but do have a look at others some time.
I have some favourite Thai blogs that I look at apart from Jamie's.

I have also been communicating with the bogglers of the world again.
Today at lunchtime there was a crazy person on that chat line and also playing.
He /she was stupid and rude to other players.
Was that person there when you were there Roger?
But most people are full of support for each other.

I shall watch TV shortly - the Andrew Marr history programmes about the 20th century.

So, goodnight all.


Tuesday sunshine at Tilgate

Where was my blog posting yesterday?
Sorry - we were let down by our ISP. I am a cynic and I will blame Mr Tiscali for the fault.... Bill, bless him, thinks it is just a coincidence.
We were phoned by a Tiscali salesman. The offer of an upgrade was good and to have all our TV through Tiscali too.
He would just need to check our connection and line, the man said.
Suddenly we had no connection and line.
But all is well now; they have sorted it.

Apart from that frustration, yesterday was good day with lots of sunshine, though the wind was quite chilly.
In the morning we walked into town. I wanted to go to Primark again to buy another pair of leggings and more tights. They do tights in a variety of sizes and colours for £1.
And we went into Poundland. They have just moved into the old Woolworths, which is a huge store.
When the new town centre was first built we young people (well me anyway) were so impressed by the size and the fact that it stretched seemingly from one side of the shopping centre to the other.
Now it is Poundland - a dangerous place! There is so much there that is worth having and it is easy to think "Well, its only a pound" and pop something extra into the basket.

After lunch we decided we should take advantage of the sunshine and walk some more.
We went to Tilgate Park.
We are so lucky to have this amenity, although it is quite close to the motorway and traffic noise.

In the low light I thought the fellows on this seat by the little lake were a pair of older men deep in memories.
But no, they were lads.

The pictures I have put on the blog are half mine and half Bill's.
I wonder if you can tell who might have taken which photo.
Bill was trying out his new telephoto lens.

What colours! I don't think I realised that a turkey could be that beautiful!

"Look at me! I can stand on one leg!"

Late season rose, looking perfect against autumn leaves.

Swan and cygnet stretching their necks for bread thrown by a visitor to the lake.

Lots of gulls.
Sea gulls live inland too of course; but maybe some had come north to escape the fierce winds along the coast.

The lake.

This one was title "evening seeds".
It wasn't evening - but the light was fading fast as the sun slipped behind the trees.

Delicate pink hydrangeas - almost seem to be in the dark

A last look at autumn colours before heading home.
Thank goodness we took advantage of yesterday's good weather.
Today it is grey and very windy. Rain will surely come.

Monday, November 16, 2009


The train at Dorking has just departed.

This has been a busy day - but didn't all go as expected.
There was no trip out for Bill and me today.

We arrived at the same time as Stephen who wanted to see how the wet floor was doing.
The side of the building is in a poor state and when there is a lot of rain water seeps in through the bottom of the walls down what we call Pilgrims Way. Stephen had moved his precious juke box away from the water, but this morning moved it back - but standing on some newspaper.
He didn't stay long.

Bill and I agreed that as soon as Julie arrived, we would go out. But she had the journey from hell to get to Dorking from Epsom. She arrived late and needed a cup of tea.
And Monika had agreed to meet some people for an hour at midday.

I did get out to post a parcel. I wandered into some of the Dorking charity shops - and walked out again. The prices that the charities expect Dorking people to pay is outrageous. But then, if they can get the money it is all to benefit a good cause.
But I wouldn't pay £7 for a jumper or £16 for a thin jacket.
There are bargains to be found I am sure - but I didn't find any today.

I spent a while with my camera, preparing for this week's blog posting about the shop. I opted to gather together items from as many areas as possible with an animal theme.
I look forward to sorting it out tomorrow.

Sales have been good. The top seller of the day has to be Bill - though I will secretly share in the pride of most of that.
In July I went to a car boot sale with Ashley at Edenbridge, whilst Bill was timekeeping.
I saw a 1950's boxed Hornby Dublo train set with lots of accessories.
The seller wanted £100.
I thought it was good and rang Bill's mobile phone. Did he hear it? No, he did not!
What should I do?
I didn't have £100. Ashley had a cheque book so I paid half cash and half cheque.
Today most of what I bought that day has sold for £165. There are still a few bits left.
Bill had worried that I had paid too much - but I have been vindicated!
It was only in the shop a week.

I sold some very 1950s plastic Christmas tree decorations. In the past I would have been delighted to use them in a Christmas display at home. But not even having a laugh with Christmas decorations really makes it feel worthwhile.
Hooray! Somebody else will enjoy them.

Late in the day Bill was able to pop out to buy some plaster for his poor fingers. One of them is oozing a bit where a lot of skin was scraped off.
And his shoulder hurts too - he felt he couldn't raise his arm very well.

And that was the day. Julie tends to say before she goes home that she hadn't really felt like going out, but is always glad she did and has enjoyed company and life.
After 3 days of not doing enough I felt very much the same.

Sunday, November 15, 2009


On this day......

The day went wrong early and we have rather wasted it since.

This was to have been the morning when the organisers of one our summer car boot sales were starting a winter one in a multi storey car park in the town.
We applauded their good fortune in starting on a rainy day. Everybody would flock there.
The only trouble was that it didn't happen.
So a third Sunday running for us without a car boot sale.

We went home to deal with a little problem.
We had noticed that George the cat was very interested in something under the fridge/freezer.
On investigation we saw a tiny live mouse cowering right behind.
Bill was down on the floor trying to save the little creature.
The mouse did crawl into a jam jar - but then fell out when Bill tried to turn it upright.
Mousy then found another exit from behind the freezer ..... and George was ready to pounce.
Of course he then took it to the lounge - which we didn't want.
Bill tried to stand very quickly to chase George outdoors.
But he tripped and flew forward with his shoulder hitting the door frame and the the back of his fingers scraping across the floor.
He was shocked and hurt.
George was chased out with the mouse - which was dead by this time.
Plaster was found for Bill's fingers.
George thought he would show us how clever he was and brought the mouse in again.
Not so clever George - Bill grabbed it, wrapped it in tissue and put it in the dustbin.

Eventually we got some breakfast.

Later we could have and should have gone for a walk. The skies were clearer and it certainly wasn't cold.
But we didn't - we pottered.
Bill has sorted out toy soldiers for the shop.
I described half a dozen more things and have listed them.

Generally we have felt lifeless.

Soon we will eat dinner..... even pudding today! The pears Bill bought in Lidl for 50p were rather hard so they are in the oven with raisins and jam.
And we will enjoy (hopefully) a Dr Who story on TV.

Life must start again tomorrow - in Dorking.

And just to remind me of life I have looked back over the last years of blogging for this day.

Our weeping fruit tree which the blackbirds love.
But where are the blackbirds this year?
We just haven't seen them and the tree is still full of fruit.
This was in 2006.

It is just blackbirds who have disappeared. The tree and bushes in the front garden are alive with birds of all sorts - but no blackbirds.

The peaceful autumn colours were also in 2006.
Those trees have considerably less leaves this weekend.
And sadly, next year they probably won't exist.

Two years ago there were no pictures of this day.
It was my first full day home from hospital after surgery. I had been away for two and a half weeks.
It was hard at home and I had a lot of pain - I had forgotten that.

Last year on this Sunday we had been to Fontwell, Bognor and Chichester for boot sales and a good tasty breakfast.
And also a stroll by the sea.

Right Dr Who is beckoning!

Saturday, November 14, 2009


The weather news.

There is not much to say about today.
We got up. We stayed at home. We ate meals. We watched some TV and we went to bed.

I could pad that out a little of course.
I have described and listed some more books.
I have played Boggle on the computer - fun now, that I am able to get to know the people.
"Dan in Oz" is female, named Marsha. It is her husband who is Dan.

Bill has received his telephoto lens - and hardly had the chance to use it because we didn't go anywhere.
He contented himself with some pictures at home and of The Lord Mayor's Show which he watched on TV. But those photographs didn't need the new lens.

There is really only one topic of conversation - the amazing weather.
We enjoyed a cup of tea in bed this morning and during that half hour we saw a little sunshine, extremely torrential rain, fierce winds, lightning, thunder and a hail storm- hail stones as big as gobstoppers!
The lightning apparently caused problems and the fire brigade have been needed - but I don't know where exactly.
And so it has been all day long.
I think it is calming down now.

Bill took these pictures to illustrate the day.

If you like good pictures I recommend this site.
When I was doing our Kent photos I googled St Margarets Under cliffe - the place from where we could see France.
This blog appeared and I check it out often now.
The blogger seems like an interesting man - and a superb photographer, particularly of birds.

Friday, November 13, 2009


Glorious Godstone Part 2.

Did we just manage to catch the last few hours of autumn yesterday?
It certainly seems like that.
The rain began as we ate some lunch at The White Hart over 24 hours ago and it hasn't stopped since. The forecasters predict more rain and gale force winds.
We have scurried about from car park to supermarkets this morning. Food shopping has been done, combining Waitrose and Lidl.
We bought more goji juice in Waitrose - I said I would tell you about it; we thought it was delicious.
There was also a trip to the local post office to sort out confusing postal tariffs - well we were confused.
I am not surprised about the confusion. If we should need to send Bill's Canon A1 camera abroad it would be better to split it and all the equipment into 2 parcels. A parcel over 2 Kg is about £36 to post - 2 smaller ones would only cost £14.

I have been in communication with the man who bought the book Glorious Godstone, telling him that Ann had told me a little of the family. He has revealed that it was his father who edited the book.

And so back to those last few hours of autumn in Godstone.

There are 2 parts of Godstone, linked by Bullbeggers Lane.
The old part was, in medieval times, the centre, but was almost wiped out during The Great Plague of 1342.
It was this part that we had known nothing of until Gordon's funeral last December at the church.
There are several really old houses along tiny Church Lane.
Other parts appear to be old.
The church is largely Victorian - and restored by Sir George Gilbert Scott in 1872 -3.
At the same time he designed the almshouses and their little chapel for a wealthy lady in memory of her 16 year old daughter.
The almshouses almost appear to be medieval.

The church from the lych gate.
Last December when we were there snow covered the ground.

This gravestone moved me - it marks the death of two daughters who died just a year apart aged 15 and 14 in 1982. Cousin Ann could recall the girls and told us that there were underlying health problems.

Last Sunday was Remembrance Sunday and the war memorial was surrounded by poppy wreaths.
There are no family names marked in Godstone.
Bill took a little walk on his own down a path into the woods from the church yard, whilst I stayed on the paths and studied the stories on the gravestones.

The woods were once more managed and maintained.

The pond now has nothing more than mud - although Bill did see a notice about the need for fishing permits!

The bridge appeared to have been quite freshly painted.

I have mentioned the almshouses already.
This is home for 8 elderly people or couples and a warden.

All the plasterwork set between the beams is decorated.
The crest bears the date 1872.

In the centre is a covered well - very attractive.
The well dried up a long time ago.
The view through the well structure shows the entrance to the almshouses chapel.

Opposite the almshouses were lovely old cottages.
The oldest (not one at this point in the lane) is 15th century.

The windows and attractive brickwork were on the Headmaster's House.
The old school building was behind.
From Church lane we drove to the more bustling large village which most people would know of.
We parked by the pond.
The pond is in one corner of the village green.
We chose to eat at the 16th century White Hart.

A dull picture really - I normally try to avoid parked cars.
But at least it is better than the picture on the White Hart's own web site - taken from the same spot. Their picture has both parked cars and traffic on the road too.

We visited The Emporium in the High Street.

Old cottages in The High Street.
This part of Godstone was once a maze of alley ways and cottages. It was once claimed to be the worst slum in Surrey!

The 1989 village sign on the edge of the village green reflects the main summer activity.

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