Sunday, February 28, 2010


It was on a Sunday morning.....

I am not sure that I felt such tiredness thirty nine years ago.
It was a Sunday and I had, indeed, enjoyed a very busy weekend - the memories of activities are etched deep in my mind.
I had entertained quite a large number to tea on the Saturday which was followed by an extremely disturbed night.
And today the cause of the disturbance has celebrated a birthday.
I did spend most of the Sunday resting, of course.... so maybe by evening my body didn't feel weary and my eyes heavy with longing for sleep.
Right now I am somewhere twixt sleeping and waking - I was deeply asleep through most of Lark Rise.

So, how I have spent the 39th birthday of my youngest? Goodness that is daunting..... just another year and both my sons will have crossed the threshold of a 40th birthday!
I have spoken with Ashley of course - full of sinus problems and feeling quite exhausted too. Its just another day - but a shame that a birthday had little special for him, apart from a card from his daughter with the words inside "You have been Hugged!"

As promised the rain was beating down when we awoke.
The wind was fierce.
It stayed that way for several hours, but I don't think the weather was as bad as we had been led to expect.
We got up and drove to Croydon, full of expectation for a busy search of stalls set up in a multi storey car park.
In the past it was always a big affair.
But we were disappointed. The number of stalls was far less than we hoped.
I bought quite a lot of small items of china and glass - lots of cream jugs amongst them.
The best buy was a cuddly lion cub.
The seller thought it dated from the 1920s, which I doubted.
She apologised that there was no maker's label; but I felt sure I didn't need one. I handed over £10 and later confirmed my suspicions that this was a Steiff toy, although there was no button in the ear.
I was also right in assuming it to be later than the 1920s - 1950s is much closer to the mark.
The one I found on the internet didn't have a button in the ear either. Children cut them off - just like they might cut the tags off a Beanie baby, without realising that this would detract from their value.
Actually, are there any valuable Beanie babies anymore? Some people may well have got very rich out of that temporary fashion, which died a death.

As we drove home, Bill half jokingly suggested we go back via Godstone and visit his cousin Ann.
It was only quarter past nine.
So, I phoned her to warn her of this suggestion and she happily invited us in for cups of tea, shortbread and lots of chat.

By the time we left the rain was easing. The ground is now very wet and many fields by the road side are under water. There are flood warnings in parts of Sussex and there are already some floods in Kent.

I have written up all the weekend purchases and have a box filled ready to take to the shop tomorrow.

We have finished the fish pie I made yesterday.

And now it is time for bed.
Tomorrow is a day for Dorking.
I have plans for the shop blog, based around St David's Day. I am not sure how much relevant stuff I will find.
I need daffodils - might go out and buy a bunch to enhance the photos.

The tiny part of me which is Welsh blood feels proud to celebrate my Welsh ancestry.
Dydd Gwyl Dewi Dedwydd!

Saturday, February 27, 2010


Stormy seas

When the alarm went off at six o'clock the rain was beating hard against the window pane.
I reminded Bill that the Met office web sight foretold that by 7 o'clock we were in for a dry spell.......and they were right!

So, happily, we could go to Ford and enjoy browsing. I have few interesting things, but it was Bill who spent the most money. He has bought a Victorian plate camera.
One of my finds leaves me baffled. I have a commemorative beaker. On one side there is a transfer print of a young man, hardly more than a boy; there is also the date May 30th 1929. At the back of the mug is a print of Arundel castle.
It could easily be one of the Dukes of Norfolk (possibly the 16th), but I have not yet found that date as being significant.

A little more research tells us that in 1929 the 16th Duke would have been 21. Now I need to find the date of his birth.
And yes - he was born on May 30th 19o8,
Problem solved!

Once we were finished with Ford, of course we went to Littlehampton.
We parked the car and walked to the beach - we could hear the stormy sea before we could see it.

What a contrast with the Littlehampton beach we walked along last Saturday.
It was just past High Tide.
We have not see the tide as high before.

Thick spume had formed by the side of breakwaters.

The frothy glutinous spume seemed to shiver and shake, blown by the wind. It looked like something from a Science Fiction movie - the evil monster would be formed within.

All sorts of things are tossed up onto a beach at high tide.

Looking east from the little pier or jetty.

Silhouettes on the pier.

Looking inland along the River Arun.

Littlehampton West. There used to be a ferry to take trippers across who arrived at the station.
Bill and I have used that ferry - way back, before we were married.

The view from our table in The Balaton.

Pictures on the wall.
The mirror reflects Mr Balaton's Mohammed Ali collection.
The colour photographs are new this year. I covet the one at the bottom, to the left of the mirror.

Bill studied the turnstones busy on the beach.

By the time we walked back the tide was already rushing out fast.
The turbulence in the estuary was even more spectacular as the rushing tide hit the waves being blown fiercely in from the open sea.
We bought some locally caught sole from a kiosk by the river, which was built last year.
This afternoon I made a huge fish pie.
It had been my plan to add prawns - I had some in the freezer.
I bought them a while ago - but was flabbergasted to see just how long ago. Best before Dec 2003!!! The prawns looked rather dried out and poor quality. They probably wouldn't have killed us - but we decided to throw them away and open a tin of crab instead.
This evening we watched a film. This is a rare occurrence for us.
We have bought some well received films on videos over the last few years for a few pennies, but not got around to watching them.
Tonight we watched Erin Brockovich, starring Julia Roberts and a brilliant Albert Finney. It is based upon the true events of the real woman who battled against a major US corporation who contaminated local water supplies causing much illness and death.
I enjoyed it - we must do it again!
The weather warnings for tomorrow have been heard loud and clear. I have heard of events that have been cancelled because of the serious nature of the storms tomorrow.
But we shall be up early to go to Croydon. It is so good that the Boot sale we used to go to in a multi storey car park has started up again.


Friday, February 26, 2010


A Hint of Spring.

Some years there are lots of days when there is a certain something in the air which tells us that Spring is close.
It is a special feeling, full of hope and promise.

There have been very few days like that this year; but today has given us a little hint of that good feeling.
It has been a rare day without rain.
And it has felt warmer here than of late - we have reached a double figure temperature for the first time since early December.
But the wind was quite stiff - practising to be a March wind!

I have spent a while browsing through our photos and I can see that Spring flowers are blooming later this year.
Even had we gone anywhere special today I don't think we could have taken pictures like the ones I have chosen.

Yes, there are snowdrops now.
But they bloomed later than we have come to expect.
These were seen at Nymans on 26th February last year.

I have yet to see carpets of daffodils this year - a few have bloomed already.
These daffodils were flowering by Tilgate Lake on February 8th 2 years ago.
A couple of weeks ago I did notice the catkins. They are not yet really open and full of pollen.
And certainly not hanging gracefully in the sunshine as they were on the trip to Tilgate 2 years ago on February 8th.
Never mind, if all these good things are later appearing we can look forward to keeping them well into April this year.
I think daffodils were almost gone by Easter time last year.
We enjoyed a walk this morning - it was just good to be out breathing the good air and striding well. But we were only on the route to the post office and then on into town - peeping into the front gardens to see just what was in bloom.
This week I was successful in my hunt for long legged leggings from Marks and Spencers.
I bought 2 pairs as they had them.
We admired all the high quality foodstuffs in M&S.
And we wondered how come all the old folk, for whom charities like Help the Aged do such good works, can buy their food in Marks and Spencers. We look at it and wonder if we can afford it!
Thinks! We are getting older - perhaps Help the Aged are looking for us!
I bought some of their chutney and we bought a bottle of sherry for those evenings when we feel like a little boost.
This afternoon we have been describing. I have 9 books ready to be listed on EBay tomorrow. Bill has a few things too.
Tomorrow - sadly we can't count on today's hint of Spring to continue.
There will be rain - but we might be able to squeeze a trip to Ford into a dry spell.
By Sunday the heavy rain will have set in once again.
Never mind - we now know of a car boot sale in a multi storey car park in Croydon and we plan to try it out.


Thursday, February 25, 2010


It lives to chew for another day.

OK -I accept that I went a bit over the top yesterday evening!
But I was feeling distinctly un-nerved.
Sooner or later I will have to go through it again.
Mr Patch it Up, my dentist, reached for his tools and decided to give me an easy ride.
The tooth still had quite a substantial base to it, he thought, and he chose to add a sort of crown to it.
This involved no pain for me at all.
But I was warned - the tooth was warned - that if it behaves badly again, it will have existed its last in my mouth.
I have a plate with false teeth on, all ready to receive another.
Now I just feel lots of sympathy for those who sympathised with me - some still waiting for the appointment to have teeth extracted.

Anyway, I stepped out, not in a state of shock as I expected.
I felt able to continue with chores - parcels to be posted and food to be bought.
The trip to Lidl turned into a major shopping expedition.
So we have enough food in the house.
I bought 2 more pomelos. They are fiddly to peel and prepare, but make a huge fruit salad.... with some sugar.

This afternoon I described 6 more items for EBay. This includes a 1951 Rupert Annual.

I think the bottom has dropped out of the Rupert market.
When I began wheeling and dealing, such an early Rupert would have been snapped up.
I believe that nostalgia for Rupert is almost dead. Anybody who has an interest in Rupert already has everything and nobody under the age of 60 cares about the little bear.
We shall see.
Gloomy weather still - and some very heavy rain.
We are faced with a sea of mud in front of the house.
Bill has watched work going on and checked out with the plans. It looks like the huge hole is the base for where the lift will be in the building.
A fence has been erected round the tree that is on the plans to be saved.
Time for a cuppa and some fruit. Good night.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


All I want for Christmas is some decent teeth!

My brain has addled today.
In the space of a split second this morning I lost that lovely secure feeling about life.... and its crazy!
I have endured very many traumas with regard to my health but against the thought of having a tooth extracted they seem to pale into insignificance.
Major operations are done without my knowledge and I have been cared for through the worst days of recovery.
I have to cope with the tooth extraction alone and conscious.

It is very strange that this morning as I washed, I gazed into the mirror and wondered about my teeth. One day, surely, my dentist might agree to me having all the remaining top ones out under an anaesthetic.
Half an hour later, as I ate breakfast my thoughts were brutally back on my teeth.
One of the worst looking ones crumbled as I ate my rice cake.
It is one that I want taken away - near the front and ruins the looks of my smile.

Bill Clinton, my dentist is a great person and a good dentist and has the NHS ethic that his skills should be used to save teeth rather than to make money.
Time and again he saves my teeth.
But both Bill and I feel that this tooth has gone beyond saving.
Just maybe he could take the other one I really want gone at the same time - I doubt it.
And there are others that are very close to being terminal cases.

I shall know the dentist's opinion tomorrow morning.
The thought dominates my brain.
At times I feel a bit shaky.
I try to remember all my coping strategies - in this case I must keep in mind that whatever the outcome the trauma will be over and done with in half an hour. What are 30 minutes of my life? Just a very short time.
Experience tells me that when it is done I shall feel such relief and such a rush of adrenalin that I will feel pleased with myself.
I have coped before and will do so again.

But it is strange that I don't recall feeling this bothered on the night before having a much more major part of my body removed.

Sorry to sound such a wimp - I just needed to clear the negativity from my brain, and so have dumped it onto my blog!

I have done a bit of EBay work - I re-listed some items and decided that some others should go to the Oxfam bookshop in Dorking.
Bill had 2 things finishing today on EBay and they both sold.

The little patch of blue sky and sunshine that appeared around lunch time was a very brief interlude within the gloom and the heavy rain.

Tomorrow evening a different woman will write the blog - the one who laughs at life and copes with upset; I hope that is the normal me.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


Back to routine.

The field in front of our house looks like a battleground.
The trenches are filled with mud, there are wet piles of mud and squelchy mud lies everywhere.
But the work continues.
It seems that the builders will have yet more heavy rain to deal with tomorrow.
Now it looks so dismal, I can almost look forward to a neat building.
Today we have stayed at home - tidying up and finishing up food.
Bill ate up the half a tin of spaghetti hoops, that Ecky had left in the fridge, for breakfast - our niece commented that she hadn't had spaghetti hoops for breakfast since student days!
Half of a huge shepherds pie is ready for tomorrow's main meal.
The first half was consumed this evening.
Other sorting has been done.
We filled in forms to say what athletics meetings we would do this summer season.
I have got our "business" accounts up to date.
And I did another instalment of the Pilgrims Antiques blog.
This week I can conduct you on a tour round the shop.
Bill has repaired the heating again. He awoke in the night to that dreadful over heating stink. All is well again - but how long for?
Apart from the gloomy weather keeping us at home, we stayed home all day for a delivery.
Everybody can tell that tale!
The wood for the flooring we are putting down in the kitchen was due to arrive. It did not.
Tomorrow I must get some things ready to be listed on EBay. One item was listed for the second time today. A man in Australia had bid £71 for a model car, he was the winning bidder and that was the last we heard from him. I am having a few unfortunate occurrences on EBay just now. Bother!
At least one winning bidder has paid today after 2 (very polite and grovelling) reminders.
And that is that for today. Good night.

Monday, February 22, 2010



Radio 2 presenter, Chris Evans, has this game in which he gets listeners to join in ......they can phone in and tell of some tenuous link they have with a celebrity. For example, my uncle went to school with the famous person's brother! Recently the celebrity was Katherine Jenkins and I think the link was more tenuous than I have ever heard...... "I have a friend" said the listener "who cleared away the chairs in York Minster after a Katherine Jenkins concert".

Today I have come up with some rather tenuous links to people who have been on TV myself.
A regular customer in the shop was with us today searching for prizes to be awarded in a sheep dog trial competition.
Her husband has been a regular on One Man and His Dog , winning lots of big awards.

When we got home I saw Felicity Kendall on TV. I met her first husband when we were all at school - he was at Collyers in Horsham. In fact I went out with her first husband's best friend for a while, and Pete Drummond (the boyfriend I audaciously chucked after about a month) also went on to a career in show business.
Hey - I could have been Felicity Kendall's best friend!

But today the tenuous link I feel most proud of is that I have met a BAFTA winner. I didn't actually meet her today - it was almost 15 years ago.
The winners (there are 2 of them) of the BAFTA for short animation film this year include my half brother's wife's sister!
Sally was a bridesmaid at their wedding.
Congratulations to her!

And what of the day?...... it rained! A lot!
It was not the sort of day to tempt people out to buy antiques. It has been quiet in Pilgrims. Bill sold something - but I didn't.

Before going to the Dorking we had the sad business of taking Ashley and Ekatarina to the station.
Parting is such sweet sorrow!
It is not really so sad to see your loved ones returning to their own version of reality and knowing that their lives will be as full and enriching as they can make it.
But the house seems empty tonight without them.
We will have to keep their purchases of the week, including the procelain dolls, here for 4 months, for that is when we have planned to go to Bangor again - for Ecky's summer half term.

Bill and I went to lunch today and over ate.
We went to the Old House at Home in West Street.
The specials board had a sharing platter for £5.95.
At just £3 each I assumed there would not be very much to share and we ordered some chips as well.
That was a mistake.
The platter was very full indeed - 6 chicken gougons (good quality), 2 large tasty haddock fish cakes, baked potato skins filled with mashed potato, bacon and topped with cheese ( made sure I had none of that) and quite a bit of salad.
We couldn't eat all the chips.

So, it has been a pleasant day and not too taxing. I have some photos in the camera for a shop blog. Today I decided to keep things simple for me and have photographed a guided tour of the shop.

Sunday, February 21, 2010



At quarter past six this morning, Ekatarina declined to get up.
Wise move, Ecky!

Bill stayed home with her and Ashley and I ventured out on what seemed to have been a frosty morning.
But just as set off for Dorking we realised that the temperature was above freezing - lots of cloud cover.
And the clouds began to release their rain content.
"Ah well, it won't last long" we said to each other.
It did ease off whilst we were at Dorking - but we were not there for long.
Generally stall holders stayed away.
We bought nothing.
We drove home via Horley - in quite heavy rain.
It was the first Horley car boot sale of the year - and it was bigger than Dorking.
The rain eased whilst we were there.
We even bought things - I bought a little Shelley vase, which Ecky later admired and a couple of other items to sell. Ashley bought 4 CDs.

The one positive for me really was that I had driven to Dorking.
Almost always Bill and I go places together and I let him drive.
I have been warned that I shouldn't allow this to happen.
So I was happy to feel just as confident as I always was.

The rain continued hard all morning.

Ekatarina seemed much more fit when we got back and has been busy playing all day.
Meanwhile Ashley has started to suffer with the chesty cough and sinus condition. Bill has had it all week, really.
So nobody has done much today - except maybe eating and drinking.

I cooked a shoulder of lamb at lunchtime.
And for a change we had some dessert - a fruit salad, the basis of which was a pomelo, and ice cream.

I have written up the purchases of yesterday and the few from this morning. Most are packed in a box to take to the shop tomorrow - I shall have to tell Ecky when the little Shelley vase sells.

This afternoon we found Grease on TV - and I watched that until I fell asleep.

The adults had a boiled egg for tea. Ecky had spaghetti hoops - they have to be Heinz!

She eats with one hand and holds her book in the other.

Ordered to pose for the camera!
And I didn't have the flash on, so they look slightly ghostly!

Now, both Ashley and Ekatarina are in bed.
We have discussed arrangements for when we shall be together again.
The best idea seems to be that we visit at the summer half term holiday. Then perhaps we can bring back some of the things that they will need when they come to stay in the summer.


Saturday, February 20, 2010


Sun, sea, bargain hunting and the opera.

One very tired little girl took herself off to bed quite early this evening.
She has shown few signs of struggling through the day, but she has coughed and croaked a good deal. Cough medicine has been bought.

We got up early - still dark, and dressed up warmly for the cold. It was 3 degrees below zero when we left home to go to Ford.Soon the big orange sun was peeping over the South Downs and the world looked wonderful.

I bought well at Ford - at least I was the one who spent most money. Ashley didn't find very much for himself. Ekatarina bought a cuddly tiger from a charity stall - raising money to protect tigers.Um......Ashley bought himself a teddy bear from this stall!
The sun was shining brightly and we all began to feel quite warm. There was no chilly wind today.

We drove round to the sea front at Littlehampton and walked along the beach - the tide was still quite a way out.

We had breakfast at The Balaton - it feels like home.
You have to walk through the kitchen and out onto their balcony and down to their garden before going back in to use the loo.
Very homely.

On the way back to the car there was a little time for playing.

Waiting for Ecky.

We were home in time for a cup of tea and then to be ready to go The Hawth Theatre.
We took our seats and sat expectantly for the performance.
We had already had a look at the story of The Pirates of Penzance so that names and plot line would be familiar to Ecky - indeed to us all.
Interesting that the plot hinges on the fact that our hero was born on 29th February and he had been apprenticed to the band of pirates until his 21st birthday.
My mother, Ecky's great grandmother, was a 29th February baby.
The orchestra began with the overture, the curtain went up to reveal the band of pirates, dancing and cavorting - lots of colour and music.
They left the stage and the girls came on - pretty and in floaty dresses.
They danced and sang - Ekatarina loved them.
And so the story unfurled with many a familiar song linking the action. Until it reached the climax when it was revealed that the pirates had all been born noblemen and had ended up in piracy by mistake. Therefore they could all marry the girls!
Afterwards, as we talked, Ekatarina revealed that she was very impressed with the hero - a tall, handsome man with a fine tenor voice.
It was a very good afternoon.
I hope Ecky will feel OK tomorrow. I always seem to preach the virtues of a good night's sleep - so maybe she will feel ready for action in the morning.
If not, the number of us going to Dorking and Horley for boot sales will be less than planned.
We are all tired and a bit run down.
Ekatarina needs to be strong enough to cope with the journey home, including crossing London on the tube, on Monday.

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Friday, February 19, 2010


Well, well, I missed blogging for a day!

It has been a long time since I missed a day on the blog.
Bill might have written a little yesterday evening, but he was exhausted.

I will start with the end of the day - only the last couple of hours were awful for me.
Bill and I had gone over to the sport's centre at Broadbridge Heath to timekeep at the indoor sprints meeting.
I felt tired and therefore was happy that Don took over as chief timekeeper.
All seemed well.
Suddenly I felt quite unwell - nausea, stomach pains and fierce headache.
I couldn't concentrate at all.
I told myself to sit still and wait until the meeting finished and I would get to bed as soon as possible.
I wondered about the cause - I was feeling like potassium levels were high. It could have been so. I had over indulged on mushrooms over the last couple of days, which I can't digest and are a high potassium food.
As I sat I was aware of another urgent problem.
That's right....... a leaking bag!
"Quick, Bill.... take me home"
The meeting was nearly over and somebody else took over as a timekeeper - thank you Keith.
And so, with head swimming, we drove back home and I had to deal with the urgent needs before I could lie down.
The night was baddish and I have felt weak today - but now able to cope with things.

Hopefully a good night's sleep will see me fit for Ford car boot sale, breakfast at the Balaton and then to The Hawth for Pirates of Penzance in the afternoon.

But yesterday was generally a good day.
We (Ekatarina and I) spent the morning with Carla and Julie - and Ecky played very happily with Emily and Gemma again.
They dressed up and played imaginative games.

Before we went home, Ecky was introduced the world of Wii.
For a complete beginner she did very well at ten pin bowling.
Tennis flummoxed her.
And the treasure seeking game played by flying an aeroplane round lots of islands was a triumph.

During the afternoon a wave of sadness hit Ekatarina as she realised that she missed her new friends and realised that it would be quite a long time until she would see them again.
I hope they will keep to their words of promise and will keep in touch via the computer.
Today, of course, I have been very quiet.
Jo and I had made plans that Ecky and Florence could spend time together - maybe at Wakehurst Place. The sun was quite bright today.
I explained to Jo that I felt rather too weak for walking round Wakehurst.
Sadly Florence also felt unwell.
So Ecky has had a quite day doing all sorts on the computer.
This afternoon Jane and Geoff came round - that's another of Bill's sisters.
Our meal - at least mine - was simple. Jacket potato and tuna.
Now to get some sleep and hopefully to feel strong enough for a chilly morning down on the coast.


Wednesday, February 17, 2010


New experience, new people and many joys.

Today Ekatarina was 9 years and one third of a year old.
I think the day went well for her!

This morning she took me somewhere I have never been before and the like of which I have not experienced for perhaps 25 years.
We went to the cinema.
Today's cinema is very unlike The Embassy, where I went as a young person.
There are 14 film theatres at the Crawley cinema.
We wanted to see The Princess and the Frog.
We were there at just gone 11 o'clock in the morning.
So were very many other people - the queue to get tickets was sooooo loooong!
People were going to a variety of films, but we wondered if we would get into the half past eleven showing of our choice.
We just made it - creeping in as the preliminary adverts for other films were being shown.
The film is a Disney cartoon set in New Orleans with lots of jazz and cajun music.
The story tells of people with dreams and how just wishing on a star is never enough. You have to work to fulfil your dreams and you also have to know the difference between what you think you want and what you really need.
Our hero and heroine knew what they wanted and Tiana, the heroine was prepared to really work to get it.
During the story, whilst as frogs, they both learned that more than anything they needed love in their lives.
The animation and music was good.
I enjoyed the experience - I will do it again!

This afternoon we went to meet a new member of the Monk family tree. Well, Caleb is not completely new now, being 5 months old, but we had not met him before.
Caleb is of course yet another second cousin for Ekatarina.
Without doubt he is one of the most beautiful and placid babies I have ever met.
It was good to meet up with Fiona (our niece) once again. She lives in Burton on Trent and thus we meet rarely.

Even at my advanced stage of life, such a bonny and happy baby can remind me of the joys of motherhood.

Ecky was impressed with him too.
And Caleb was fascinated by her - he spent a lot of time staring and grinning at her.

Mother and child.

Caleb looks across the room to Ekatarina.

Now he has a cuddle with his Great Uncle Bill.
Everybody should have an Uncle Bill!

Suddenly all the socialising got a bit much and Caleb fell asleep.
Amongst other topics of conversation - and a little gossiping, we talked of our activities with Ecky.
We talked of porcelain dolls.
And then there were 5!
Aunty Pam ( Great Aunty Pam ) has had one for years, gathering dust and not specially loved these days.
She brought the doll down and gave her to a delighted Ecky.

Another topic of conversation was ballet. I was relating how good a ballet dancer, Emily is now.
And talked of how Ecky loves to dance in her own way too.
I remembered the time she danced for me at home a few years ago.
When we got back home we found some music - The Dance of the Flowers from The Nutcracker Suite and Ecky danced for me once more.
We pushed back a bit of furniture and she pirouetted and twirled and stretched and tried to portray the feeling in the music.
I sat and watched in delight.


Tuesday, February 16, 2010

At last!
A cup of tea in bed!
The morning was leisurely.
Ashley went to church. Ekatarina had a bath and hair wash.

The weather was awful - incessant heavy rain for much of the morning.

We went into town - needed supplies of blackcurrant drink, apple juice, bread and seemingly many other things.
I did buy a small frying pan.
We also went to Marks and Spencers who have a tie up with The Times this week and are giving free books away - a Percy Jackson tale (he is half boy and half God - father was Poseidon) by Rick Riordan.
Ecky read yesterday's free book within 24 hours. It has 264 pages.

At lunch time we made pancakes.

Silly woman hadn't even taken her hat off!

This pancake nearly got away from me!

Having lots of fun and successfully tossing the pancake.

This afternoon has been quiet.
I did the Pilgrim's Antique Centre blog whilst Ecky did lots of Facebook quiz and questionnaires - what sort of mythical monster are you? And that sort of thing.

Ashley was off to church again this evening.
This is an important time for Christians.
It may be Pancake Day - but it is also the day before Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent.
Ashley will be in church again tomorrow.
Ecky and I are going to the cinema to see The Princess and the Frog.
I can't begin to think how long it is since I have been to the cinema - long before Ecky was born.


Monday, February 15, 2010


Busy day for all.

Hands up who feels tired!
And other hand up if you have felt chilly today...... now that is most people with 2 hands in the air!
Oh to be in Thailand eh?

The shop was indeed very chilly to start with.
We had too many heaters on for Stephen's liking - understandable, I guess, because he pays the electricity bill.
But it took a long time to warm up and customers commented.
Bill and Monika both got chilled and then couldn't warm up all day.
I put some extra money in the tea and coffee fund with a note to say that I was paying towards extra electricity.
If we are to welcome customers then the place must be warm.

But there were plenty of customers.
I seemed to have been busy wrapping and packing for customers for much of the day.
Bill was busy sorting out the lighting in his cabinet.
Monika and Julie were being their normal selves - sweet and lovely, but often off out somewhere.
I have sold beautiful dessert wine glasses and plates and a teapot set and all sorts - and even sold a couple of items for me.
Bill sold a model racing car to the wife of an Italian who drove this racing car. He took part in many of the big road races - Le Mans, Mille Miglia etc.
I was able to spend some time taking some photos for the shop blog.
There is a new window display and Sue, must have had a similar idea to me - back to the kitchen, because tomorrow is pancake day.
I shall have to buy a new frying pan in the morning!

Ashley and Ektarina have been to London.
They have watched street entertainers at Covent Garden and been to the British Museum, where Ecky did a museum trail.

Tomorrow is a day for some relaxation. I don't think any of us will leave Crawley.

Sunday, February 14, 2010


The joy of friendship.

It has been a successful and happy Sunday.

We were out very early, under a clear sky and on our way to Dorking.
It was just below freezing.
Shortly before we reached Dorking the weather looked really murky and we saw that the fields and verges had a covering of snow.
We had not expected that.
But obviously some stall holders had decided not to attend.
Our man, Michael was not there this week.
But people were there, selling.
But I guess we bought very little.
But for a 9 year old girl there were things to buy - a dress and some trousers.
And then she pointed at porcelain dolls.
"How lovely they are"
The family selling them had about 6 of them - we could have 3 for £5. Ecky assured me that she would make a contribution from her pocket money.
And so now Rosemary, the doll found at Ford has 3 companions.

We were back home by not long after 9 o'clock.
We worked on parcels, prepared vegetables for later in the day and also tried to have some rest.
I still feel run down, as if something is trying to take a hold on me.

We went out to lunch at Julie and Roger's - Bill's sister.
They were entertaining their 2 grand daughters this weekend.
Ecky had met Emily and Gemma some years ago, and I felt sure they would all get on.
Emily and Ecky have in common that they are both quiet people who like their own company.
The girls sat round the table and tucked into a McDonalds Happy Meal and we could hear lively chatter and laughter.

Playing with the Scooby Doo creepy hands that came with their meals.

No - that's not the Play Doh that Ecky played with yesterday! Its a McDonalds chicken nugget.
Later the adults had a much more pleasant lunch of bread and ham and cheese etc. Thank you Julie and Roger.
The girls played.
They played and played like old friends and all seemed thrilled to have made a new friend.
They played at cats and fairies (not baby fairies you understand) and hide and seek and all sorts.
At the end of the afternoon they posed for some photos.

Emily is 7 months older than Ekatarina.
Soon be in double figures, Emily!
She is a very talented young ballerina.

Gemma is 7 - lively and outgoing.

Before we left there was an exchange of information about the Moshi Monster website, where friends may chat with each other.
Bet I have got that name wrong!
Ecky knew about the site and has used it - she is thrilled that she will be able to keep in touch with Emily and Gemma so easily.
We came home for a roast chicken dinner - and Antiques Roadshow and Lark Rise.
Ecky was bubbling over with happiness about making new friends and they all are hoping there will be a chance to be together again later in the week.
Tomorrow Ecky and Ashley are going to London.
And I look forward to a quiet day in the shop - need rest!
But it will feel very cold in there I expect.


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