Thursday, March 31, 2011


Dealing with changes

Why must we have them?
The blog page has altered....I grappled with it earlier on when I did the Pilgrims Antiques Blog.
In the past I up loaded all the pictures I wanted and wrote my text around the pictures in the appropriate place.
Now I shall have to see if I can write first and then add a picture.

But first - here is the link to the shop blog. This week I looked at Monika's section.

I think I shall soon adjust to the change because I have more ability to display pictures in a variety of ways.

Now lets see what happens when I put in a picture.
Great! It popped in at the place where I had got to - not at the top, like it always used to.

I bought this tea pot - the old woman who lived in the shoe - last Saturday.

I wanted another picture - just to establish the new way of working.
And now I am not feeling resentful about the changes!
It works well.
This pictures was taken March 1971 - 40 years ago.
Somewhere close by was Bill, with camera of course and a baby Ashley in the pram.

Today we have acquired things - food items. We have shopped at Lidl.
We came home with the beef wellington that we had planned to have at Christmas.
And this afternoon I have arranged to clear out things.
As many know I used to do lots of jigsaw puzzles of the collectable kind.
I used to sell them well - so my pleasure in sorting them turned into a profit.
But I have not done jigsaws for a while - too busy with the computer I guess.
Last week, when we did the car boot sale, I took the details of a woman who said she would like to have them if I didn't want them any more.
I now have 6 boxes, containing about 80 puzzles which we will deliver on saturday.
She is going to pay me £20 for them - and this is money that will go to charity. I will discuss this with her (a lovely lady) and we can chooses something we both would like to support.
I still have about 40 waiting to be done - and hopefully these will sell.


Wednesday, March 30, 2011


Not all as it seemed

It has been a busy day ticking things off the Things to do List. Bill took his turn with the vacuum cleaner, whilst I wielded the iron. So we are reasonably up to date on the housework front.
This afternoon we were both describing. I decided to put some things on to EBay which I failed to sell either in Pilgrims or at the car boot sale last week. There has been interest. I got a bid very early on. But that bid no longer stands because I felt I should withdraw the item. It is a Camberwick Green book of nursery rhymes - a paperback book; at least that's what I always thought, and I have had it for some time. After the bid came in a question was received. The questioner felt that the picture showed the inside of a book that would have had a hard back cover. As soon as I read the questioner's words and looked very briefly at the book, I knew he was right. How very stupid of me! I have written to the bidder to apologise and explain why it has been withdrawn. I also offered to send it to him for nothing if he actually would like it as it is.
This evening we watched a BBC 3 programme about Thailand - based mostly in Phuket. This was investigative journalism and revealed aspects of life that we know nothing of. The journalist first stayed in a cheap Phuket hotel and marvelled at the service - perfection! That is what tourists expect in Thailand. Then she changed sides and worked with the chamber maids, who worked very long arduous days for what is deemed to be the minimum living wage. She saw how those women lived - in awful conditions. Many had children, being raised far away. One had not seen her children for over 2 years because the cost of getting home was so much and she needed that money for the children's food and clothes.
Then she turned her attention to the sea gypsies at Rawai. Just such a person took us out in his long tail boat last year to an island with a huge Buddha on the cliffs. The sea gypsies came from China 400 years ago and settled the land. But there were no such things as title deeds. They live now in exceedingly cramped and squalid conditions on just 5% of the land that they used to think of as their land. And even that 5% was due to be swallowed up in developments for more tourist activity.
Our young journalist, Stacey aged 23, took this matter right to the top in Bangkok and it maybe that the sea gypsies will get some rights now to live where they have always lived. I joined a Friends of Rawai group on facebook a while ago. Maybe the sea gypsies should get more of my attention.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


Allowing my body to potter.

Body is feeling a bit better this evening. My things to do list has some ticks on it - but I have ticked off nothing that required much energy. I did leave the house for a short while. Dr O had given me a form for a blood test when last I saw him. I think I was expected to get it done a couple of weeks ago. And today blood taking was easy peasy! I hardly felt the needle and out flowed the blood. Tomorrow I must do more.

 That ironing pile won't disappear just by waving a magic wand. Nor will the few things left on the dining room table. This includes 2 plates I bought in at the shop in Monday - plates by Denby for children. They are very attractive. Research shows that they were produced for just 6 years and discontinued in 1985 - and are now comparatively rare. I think they will try their luck on EBay.

I had a look at the timekeeping papers for last Sunday - comparing the times I returned for everything with the times recorded by the electric system. My little team was damn good! I did my end of financial year accounts today - just a bit early tis true. We have made enough to cover holidays and days out, but not enough to bother the tax man about. He wouldn't be able to start charging me tax on what shows up on our accounts book. I shall soon curl up and watch some TV. Last week we caught a programme about the work of Katie Piper.... no not Katie Price aka Jordan. They do have something in common. Neither of them now look as they once did. Katie Piper had her face burnt to shreds in an acid attack. She remains disfigured and now is promoting the needs for people with facial deformity to be recognised as normal. She is actually beautiful - great figure and with inner beauty shining through. *********************************************************************** Jamie - why have I lost paragraphs on the blog? What setting have I inadvertently altered?

Monday, March 28, 2011


Body beyond tiredness.

Too tired! Body has had enough. Body is misbehaving. The day was good. Shop full of people - their purchases were good for us. How about helping people find suitable and easy to post presents for a family in Kazakstan who they had never met? That was one of my tasks today. Now to listen to my body and let it have some time to get stronger again. Good night world!

Sunday, March 27, 2011


Keeping time at the track

Right now I am thinking that I would have been better off not losing an hour last night. I feel so tired - and my gut is complaining about it. I woke up just a few minutes before 7 o'clock. My radio reminded me that the Australian Grand Prix was about to start. Bill stirred and I suggested he turn the TV on. I went and made cups of tea. I left Bill to watch the race in bed with his tea and chocolate digestives. Vettel was in the lead, with Hamilton in second.....and that's how it stayed for the whole race. What is the point of the race? Barring mechanical breakdowns, the race is pretty well decided by the qualifying rounds. We were at the track at 11 o'clock to meet up with friends and colleagues we had not seen since last summer. It was the first track meeting of the season. It was busy - very well attended. This is good news indeed, after a few lean years. There were 5 timekeepers and the electric timekeeping system. I was the chief timekeeper, which I enjoyed. Bill has checked his times against the electric readings and came up with an average error for the entire meeting of 3 hundredths of a second. Mine will be worse than that - if I ever get around to looking.

Bill and I pose on the timekeeping steps, modelling our new UKA identity tags.

The weather was good - but once the sun slipped behind the stand it did feel quite chilly in the wind.

I didn't have time to look at electric times today. I had a roast dinner to prepare and cook when we got in and also had to deal with a couple of EBay sales. The book on Guildford in The Great war sold for £23. I want an early night. I shall watch The Antiques Roadshow - whats left of it, and then go to bed. Professor Brian Cox is being recorded for a time when I can appreciate his knowledge and charms more.

Saturday, March 26, 2011


Boot sale, breakfast, beach, buys, boats.

The sun tried its best today - but it never reached the highs of the previous few days.

The day can be summed up briefly - browsing, buying, Balaton breakfast, beach, books, box, boats.
The boot sale was busy.
We both bought some interesting things.
I had quite a pile of books today.
All the purchases have been written up in my stock book and much has been stowed into a box, ready for the shop on Monday.

We walked on the beach before our breakfast - the tide was far far out.
The sea was lost in the thin sea mist which was hanging over Littlehampton.

I don't know if you like this sort of picture - but I feel really pleased with it.

This shows how, at low tide, the estuary and the ocean are very distinct for some distance out to sea.
This is just a very few minutes later and the dividing breakwater is almost covered.
The tide rushes in.
This afternoon we watched The Boat Race - an event steeped in earliest memories. We would listen to the commentary of this mysterious event with a vocabulary all of its own.
John Snagge would intone "One out, two out, three out" etc to convey to those that understood, the rate of the oars.
They passed by such places as Harrods Depository - I had never heard of Harrods and didn't know what a depository was. But it was obviously a major London landmark.
Chiswick 8? I had not a notion that we were referring to a small island known as an eyot.
I did know that universities existed - objects of reverence in our house. Bill really had no idea, but spent the morning of the race making light or dark blue rosettes.
I hope he wore a dark blue one.
I was always an Oxford supporter, taking the cue from my mother that it was kind to support the under dog.
They won today, Mother!
And they won in style and it was apparently unexpected.
Right - time for bed soon - especially as we lose an hour tonight.
Not that we are planning an early morning.

Friday, March 25, 2011


The monkland119 garage.

I have worked hard.
The garage is organised and its great to be able to see where everything is.
The car is obviously not an item ever in our garage!
I have been through all my things and my stock book and it is all up to date. - apart from the pile on the dining room table.
There is one box full of all sorts of small books, magazines and ephemera which I have to sort out.

Open the garage door from the garden and this is what you see.
It is that plastic box that I still must get ready for sale.

China, glass, kitchen ware.

Beyond our vast store of folded plastic boxes there are stacks of jigsaw puzzles waiting to be done - about 200!
They are old and interesting and I wouldn't attempt to sell them without doing them and securing all the pieces in a bag.
But - there may be a way to lessen the amount.
I sold a large tray to a woman yesterday at Ford who wanted it to do her jig saws on. We got talking. It seems she loves just the same sort as me. She might take them - all, many or some, and I could charge her about 50p each.
She lives in Rustington and we drive through there most Saturdays after our Ford and Littlehampton exploits.
I must now sort out the puzzles and email a list to her.

Boxes of padded envelopes, which we buy in bulk. These are for EBay parcels.

Looking back to the garden - do note the fitted carpet and matching rug!

The work shop corner.

I do try to limit my book stock to a few subjects.
I have transport, war time, UK places and their history, household and children's.
These are all destined to be described for Ebay.

The birds are not forgotten.
The water pistol is to shoo away unwanted cats. Silly then to keep it in the garage - by the time we have gone outdoors and got the water pistol, any cat would have run anyway!
It has been most satisfying.
It was pleasing too, to steam our vegetables in the £2 steamer.
Now - lets have a cup of tea and later a shower and be ready to start all over again tomorrow.
We will be off to Ford to be on our more normal side of the tables.
I have done another posting of the Pilgrims Antiques blog. Do have a look.

Thursday, March 24, 2011


On the other side of the table at Ford.

The sun shone and we worked hard.
We left home at quarter to seven - but that could have/should have been earlier maybe. We were almost at the back of the queue to get into the Ford car boot sale ground.

The first half hour was madness! It is always like that at car boot sales, with people wanting to almost climb into the car to see what you have.
But at Ford, this morning, it was different.
Whatever we got out of the car people were picking up and buying straight away.
Of course everything we were selling today had, at one time, been destined for Pilgrims Antiques and profit. Now we were offering it to other dealers who were eager for their bite at the cherry.
Prices were low.
I had altered price tickets so that mostly I would be selling at a small profit.

As the stuff went on its merry way to who knows where I realised I was very much enjoying seeing it go.
Later I did see some of it again - on another stall. Good luck to them!
As the morning wore on I could see there was not enough left to do another boot sale any time soon.
And I was letting things go at silly prices until at last I was selling things of potential value for £1 an item.
I kept 5 things to see if the Ebay world would give me a little more.

When it was time to leave we had enough to fill 2 carrier bags, which were dropped off at a charity shop in Littlehampton.
We left with nothing - except the money.
And the money totalled more than we have taken at a boot sale before.
We now have £284 to put back into our funds - oh less the £6 stall money.
So everything was as we wanted it to be.
Money in pocket and empty space in the garage.

We rewarded ourselves with a lunch and half a pint of Hobgoblin beer in Wetherspoons.
Then we strolled round to the river and just stood and stared for a while. We were exhausted, but found the river both calming and exhilarating at the same time.

I had taken a camera with me - but by the time I had a chance to record our happy selling day the stall looked so thin that I didn't bother.

Of course I did find a chance to buy a little - some 1950s curtains, some books, some doll's dreses and a M&S jacket which is lovely and should sell well.
I am not sure what will happen to the bowl - pictured below.
It is a special souvenir piece in its box and features bridges of the north east. It is based on the 1929 original.
Two weeks ago we were walking on the bridge featured above.
I love bridges and am now loving the north east and I love the bowl. I think it is mine for the time being.
I also bought a three tiered electric vegetable steamer for £2. Our friend Jean has one and now that I no longer have the urgent need to boil vegetables to death to remove the potassium I shall give it a try. It works.
Bill has already been tidying in the garage. Tomorrow we will do a bit more and I might start some sort of stock take.
But now limbs feel weary.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


Oh what a beautiful morning....and day.

It all feels so different in the sunshine.
Today has been lovely - I walked to the post office with no jacket and my toes appeared for the first time since maybe Thailand. I pulled out my comfy sandals and didn't need socks.
I really would enjoy the winter more if, when we got to this day, we could feel confident that Spring and Summer would be a continuous time
of sunshine. But we all know about the ups and downs of our weather.
And I have already heard of dangers of water shortages later on in the year. So rain is a good thing too!
Nevertheless I think we can trust tomorrow to give us clear skies and some warmth.
I certainly hope so, for the car is loaded and we will set up a stall at the Thursday car boot sale at Ford.
This will mean being up early in the morning - we should be there by half past seven. If we ever decided to do a Saturday sale then we would be best arriving by about half past five or six o'clock and waiting in the queue to get on - that's what most people do.
I described 3 items of clothing today for Ebay and 3 brooches. No bids yet, but watchers on a Laura Ashley dress and one of the brooches.

Fifteen years ago at this time we would have been dining with Liz's parents after Ashley and Liz's wedding in Aberyswyth. It has been so interesting and poignant to read Liz's memories that she read as a tribute to her father at the memorial on Monday. I have missed knowing a gem! Other people have commented on Liz's words on Facebook - people who had the time over the years to know the man. Basically we had just the one meal with him fifteen years ago; though we met him sometimes when we went to stay with Ashley and Liz in Fleetwood.

And now to Newcastle. Work has started on the roof of the bungalow. Ashley continues to tear his arms and hands to shreds attempting to clear the garden of ivy and discovered a length of wall under the ivy!
Ivy was used to entertain as well.

Ecky looks so cool and grown up!
She starts at her new school on Monday.

Time to get Bill a drink. He is feeling so tired and lacking in oomph. I feel a bit guilty wanting to do a boot sale. I think I need to find a friend who could help me in the future.
In the summer maybe Jo and I could both go and sell at Edenbridge (an afternoon sale, so no early start)

Tuesday, March 22, 2011



It wasn't until the afternoon that I really got going today.

A couple of weeks ago I had bought some crested china from somebody who came into Pilgrims, along with some brooches.

Some sell well and others not; what is needed is an unusual object, a place that is not visited by tourists and for it to be manufactured by William Goss.
None of mine is Goss and not all are very unusual shapes
and some are from seaside resorts.
I decided that EBay was the best place for them - the chances of somebody coming into the Dorking shop wanting a crested vase from Marlow in Buckinghamshire are quite small. At least people from Marlow will be looking on EBay.
There were 9 pieces to describe.
This is the one that has a bid already.

I also had some things finishing on EBay this afternoon.
Most sold this time - and for some of them it was their 4th attempt!
The 4 books describing aspects of Brighton history were there for the 4th time. The buyer lives in Horsham and has already been over to pick them up. He particularly is looking for this series of books and was quite sad that he had missed "some others that I had sold in January". Well there were others - plus the 4 he bought today. If there are things you want, then it is a good idea to have a look at least once a week.

This evening we did some shopping. My aim is to get to Asda at the right moment when the reductions are being much further reduced. On the whole we missed that moment today. I must ask our neighbour, Lisa, who works in Asda, when the best time would be. I bought a pack of leeks and potatoes for soup for 20p and a portion of thick beef stock for the same price.
But despite missing the real bargains, we found it a pleasant time to shop with not too many people about.

Monday, March 21, 2011


Silver at Pilgrims.

The sun shone, it got warm and fresh air filled the shop as I opened the back door and used outdoor light to photograph things for this week's Pilgrim's blog.
And yet, there was tension in the air; people were maybe a bit tetchy.
It could be that we (Bill and me) were feeling edgy after a very poor week for sales - not many worse!
But there was a sort of fear of the unknown future too.
I can't say too much now, but I was left wondering if we were facing the beginning of the end or maybe it would be the beginning of a new beginning.
It may well involve some moving around - but how long for we don't know.
Sorry to be cryptic - all will become clear.

Sales in the shop have been good today - though not for Bill and me. I sold a little 1950s vase that I had reduced down to near rock bottom because I had had it for a couple of years.
It was a silver day.
A father and son came in and out came the small digital scales and silver cutlery was being weighed and assessed and bought.
If you had had money to invest during the last year or so, then gold and silver were the place to be.

I shall be ready for bed soon.

Sunday, March 20, 2011


Family lunch

Thirteen of us sat down to lunch - all from various branches of my slightly complicated family.
Before lunch we wandered out into the garden - warm enough to be comfortable again today. People played and talked.

We dined well and we thank both Jenny and Ruth for making it all possible.

Young C tucked into his beef and veg.

I didn't take lunch time pictures until we got to the pudding stage.

By this time children were ready for play again.
Otto is wearing is ever present helmet - or pudding basin to you and me.

Then it was present time - making it feel like Christmas all over again.
This was Roger and Sue's chance to give presents that have been waiting for this opportunity.
Felix had a box with a tub of bricks.

Otto, who did not have a birthday, had a sort of fuzzy felt clock.

And Bill, who is almost ready for another birthday, received a book, which Sue insists is his last year's birthday present.

Felix took himself off to play with the bricks.

Granny Sue shares a cat book with young C.

Young C with admiring uncle and aunt.

Saturday, March 19, 2011


Sunshiny Day

We were out to the car this morning at just gone 7 o'clock, but our start was delayed by ten to fifteen minutes that were needed to clear the ice from the car.
It was minus 3 degrees. It had been finger numbing hanging out the washing earlier.
But we were promised sunshine and warmth.
Everybody was promised - and everybody was at Ford!
It was hard to park and at first the crowds were a bit daunting.
I bought lots - you can see pictures at the end of this posting.
It was 11 o'clock when we drove into Littlehampton, where we opted for fish and chips from the dinner menu at The Balaton to make a change. It seemed rather late for breakfast!
Then we took a walk.

Almost all the pictures today are mine. I will mark the three that are Bill's.

By the river - the tide was really high.

Sparkling river.

Red rope.

White rope.

Masts in the sun.

There were 2 cranes today lifting yachts from their winter resting places back into the water.
The river was very busy today with all manner of boats.

A sunny Saturday treat - fish and chips on the wall by the river for this couple.

Time for a sleep.

We wandered into the fairground - just opening for business.

We both were attracted to this camel on a roundabout.

Camel and blue sky by Bill.

The Hungry Caterpillar switchback ride.

I call this "Red and Blue".
It is part of the fairground complex, so I called the man a "faux fisherman".

This building is also part of the fairground - don't know what goes on inside; but somebody is up there watching us! By Bill.

The castle is also part of the fairground.

Sparkling sea.

One girl and her dog. Bill.

Some of my purchases.
The doll is from a doll dealer and is a known 1930s/40s make. She has been "redressed" by the dealer. The vase is by Denby, as is the plate in the background - the plate is a Glynn Colledge design; the name normally attracts buyers. I must point out those original cards of hair grips - I was entranced by them.
Glass ware on a little 1950s table. The art glass is quite modern, but I love it anyway. The little wine glasses are very 1950s.

I don't know who this is. He was my first purchases of the day. I couldn't resist such a charming hand crafted toy from the people who sell things for £1 - the same people who sold Bill a small digital camera for £1.
By the time we got home it was time to rest and play with pictures and play games on the computer.
I have not sorted any of the purchases yet.
Ashley has spent time with an architect today.
It was a special day - full of activity and beautiful river and sea and countryside to drive through.
Some of my picture sorting was to deal with a posting for the Pilgrims Antiques blog.

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