Wednesday, September 28, 2011


Festival time in Thailand.

Bloomin low season!
No, no, I said - nothing like a monsoon!
Well, it was yesterday.
We went out for some lunch - indoor restaurant, of course.
Reading, playing in the afternoon.
Then, hooray - a brief rain free break.

The last 2 days have mostly featured the festival - the vegetarian, cleansing festival.
We were there for the pole raising - a huge sturdy pole with a tree fixed to the top.
Then Jamie, Bill and I were there for the official beginning of the 10 day event.
It began at midnight.
This was a peaceful and moving Chinese/Thai religious event. It was mostly very peaceful.

This photo is mine - obviously we tried to stay in the back ground. Here I am watchibng through the open window.

This is a set of photos already organised by Jamie.

During the festival the evenings are spent socialising on the streets and at the shrine.
We joined with people in the village to eat tasty vegetarian noodles - no alcohol of course at this time of cleansing.
It is a time of fireworks and firecrackers - the bangs frighten away evil.
The children bought some little ones for home - mostly sparklers,
And then it rained again.

It has already rained today. Sad - we had planned to go away to Khao Sok, the national park on the mainland. But it is not worth it during bad weather, ........hopefully next week.
We may well go to a museum, that we have visited before.
Tonight some of us might join the street activities in Phuket Town.


Sunday, September 25, 2011


The first few days in Thailand

Just found a few minutes to send back report.
Journey was long, of course, but not too tedious. Got some sleep.
Arrived with the 4 J's about half past seven on Friday evening.
Yesterday superb. Went to a temple on a hill. Fine views. Peaceful.
Last time Bill and I went there we felt guilty because we had left all money in the car and could make no donation. So I have cleansed my soul!
Lunch at a familiar cafe in Phuket Town.
Afternoon to old 'stately home' - which we visited last year. But Mam had never been. Occasion heightened because a bride and groom were having lots of professional photos done there.
Home for some rest.
Dinner in the evening on the  beach in the setting sun (about 6.30). We were at The Beach Bar. I had fried rice with pineapple and seafood served in a scooped out pineapple.
Today Jamie has been to work.
Mam and the children and Bill and me went to one does in Thailand.
We bought one sun lounger - Bill thought he needn't bother.
It is very comfortable and popular with the children!  Comfortable for me too - except I can't get myself up from it unaided!
This afternoon I have been reading a Jacqueline Wilson book with Jessica. Then we started some craft work. I had brought a kit for painting a plain white doll's china tea set. Jessica was impatient - wanted instant success "now". But eventually she did something good which pleased her. John did a snake wrapped around a little cup.
Dinner at home this evening. Mam cooks well and she was thoughtful in including a menu that would suit Bill.
He is quite a fuss pot! And Mam would be too if she came to England!
Don't know what we will do tomorrow during the day. Tomorrow evening is the start of the vegetarian festival. A huge pole is raised at the village temple with 9 lanterns for 9 Chinese gods to slip down and into the souls of the people. There will be fireworks at midnight.
Lots of village stalls too.
Pictures some other time. Maybe not until October/November!
There are 6 of us fighting for computer time here!
We should be going away for a few days on Wednesday.


Wednesday, September 21, 2011


Shop, lunch and neighbours.

I suppose it could be raining on Saturday, too....which will upset family plans.
But at least it will be warm rain!
Today rain changed our plans. It was dismal for a while and we opted not to go to Brighton.
Instead we went to Dorking. I am glad I did because with the kitchen chairs gone I was able to put some other things in front of the main shelves.

Those kitchen weighing scales are extremely heavy and much to large for most modern kitchens.

The doll's pram is in very good condition, despite being 40 or 50 years old.

General view of my section.
I wonder how much will have gone by the time we are next there....October 17th.

It was a very sociable time with about 7 of us dealers chatting and laughing .
It is a good place to have as part of my world.

Bill and I came home via Horley and had the bargain afternoon meal in The George Fairman (Wetherspoons).
But I had to battle for it!
Bill had ordered and thought he had been understood - but the silly girl had sent through the wrong order to the kitchen and slices of ham with egg and chips arrived - and not with the tea or coffee included in the price.
I think Bill might have muttered "Never mind"....but I did mind. I wanted gammon and I didn't want to have to pay for the drinks.
I got it sorted and I enjoyed my meal for £3.49, as it should have been.

By this time the weather was much improved.

Once we were home we went to see our neighbour Rose - enjoying more tea with her.
Rose is over 80, but in no way are her faculties diminished. I need to know that she is around in the back ground to keep a watch on Frieda - our 90 year old neighbour, who does have difficulties holding life together these days.

It is now time for Who Do You Think You Are - Robin Gibb of the Bee Gees this week.
BBC TV is one thing I miss when we are out of the country.
I miss the interesting programmes about people - their triumphs and tragedies and the way people cope with things.

I definitely won't be blogging tomorrow evening - at this time (9 o'clock) we will actually not have yet left the country - but should be boarding the plane for a late supper and hopefully some sleep.
I shall try to put a very brief blog posting on most days when we are away - but there will be 6 of us chasing just one computer!
I think pictures will get on to facebook - from one or other of us. Maybe not on to the blog.

Time to finish the red wine from yesterday evening.

Bye for now.


Tuesday, September 20, 2011


Chores followed by wine.

I wrote last night that today would be a chores day- and so it was, but I forgot to write down ironing on my things to do list. So that must be fitted into tomorrow.
But almost everything else on the list has been completed - from a blood test to ordering tickets for the paralympics next year.
If we get them we will be making 3 trips to the Olympic Park - I would like to be a part of it at the main arena and in the velodrome.
We have also booked for a day pass which will allow us to see other sports and to wander about.
I would have booked for more - but I feared total exhaustion making more trips to London. Over 60s' tickets are only £5 each.
Now we wait to see what will happen.
I guess that even if we miss the most popular days (if there are any), we would be able to book later for undersubscribed events.

This evening I am late writing. We have been talking and drinking with Bill's sister and her husband.
We had a British wine from Norfolk. I liked it a lot - definitely a hint of blackberry.

Tomorrow, apart from that ironing, we plan to go to Brighton. Arrangements are not fixed - depends on the weather. If fine we will go to the midweek racecourse bootsale. Lunch could be anywhere - but The Marina is in mind.

Monday, September 19, 2011


Farewell to Pilgrims for 4 weeks.

It was the last shop day for 4 weeks.
I hope the next 4 weeks will be as successful as the recent weeks have been.
Since last Monday, 22 things have left my shelves and found their way to new homes.
Of course I have added more things today.
I had 2 boxes of stock with me, so that there would be things to fill spaces as the next 4 weeks pass.
It was a different sort of day - Monika had lots to do to prepare for a fair tomorrow and had asked Stephen to do her day for her.
On the occasions that Stephen has been in on a Monday - he and Bill have had a boy's time out and gone to the pub for lunch.
My only trip out was to buy some gloves - actually there are  loads of old gloves around the house, but I wanted to have some fingerless gloves to keep my hands warm, but not interfere with my ability to do things. The pair I bought have a mitten bit too that can swing over the top of the fingers when there is nothing delicate to be done.
I have felt quite chilly today - the shop is beginning to feel colder. In the winter it can be very cold.
This evening, at home, I feel warm for the first time today.

Tomorrow we will be a chores day - ranging from cat food buying to blood tests and lawn mowing and ironing.
I must also sort out instructions concerning cat feeding for Frieda. Our neighbour Rose can also have a copy.
We are hoping to get most of what needs doing finished tomorrow and then we can go out on Wednesday.

Sunday, September 18, 2011


Not the best of days

Probably the best bits of today were those when I was sleeping.
It hasn't been a good day.
What went wrong?
I know that the trip to the Pease Pottage car boot sale was not good.
There was nothing to buy.
And it was cold.
I had not dressed up well enough.
And I came home musing on yet another medical problem.
I did a bit of research and realised that I must, after Thailand, make sure that I have another piece of medical equipment to hand......literally, a pair of gloves.
I think it almost certain that I have Raynaud's syndrome. I have wondered about this before.
My hands are normally quite chilly - people comment on this. And my hands react badly to cold.
In cold air I quickly get a weird tingling sensation on the back of my hands - even walking along the aisles of a supermarket.
I also find these days that if I handle frozen food I can get frostbite burns very quickly. I generally use a towel to get food out of the freezer.
But worse than that are the times when my fingers go white and numb. My research showed pictures of fingers looking a good deal worse than mine. Wow, I feel sorry for those people; they must have been in quite a state. I just don't know how a feeling of numbness can be so painful.
Well, I do know because my toes have been like it since the early 1990's and it is thought a chemo drug set that off.
So, it seems I might have Raynaud's syndrome or phenomenon, but not too badly. My research tells me that there is little to be done - except gloves; or maybe a permanent move to Thailand.
Oh, this time next week I will feel warm!

I don't know why, but the experience with my fingers made me feel very tense. That is bad because cold is not the only cause of Raynaud's.....stress can also set it off.
But it was definitely cold that set it off today - my whole body was cold.

I spent a while watching The Great North Run - until I fell asleep.
Ashley commented that Newcastle and Gateshead were teeming with people this morning.
All those thousands of people running for so many good causes was inspiring.
I was inspired later by more athletes.
I found a programme about dwarfism and the rivalry between two young dwarves, competing at a high level in disabled sport. I would like to see their competition next year at the paralympics....must book for tickets tomorrow.

And that basically is it. The TV schedules are now well into the winter programmes. The new series of The Antiques Roadshow began this evening....and I slept through most of it.


Saturday, September 17, 2011


Getting ready for something special.

This has been at home day.
We spent time this morning doing the bulk of our packing for Thailand.
I know this is quite early - we don't go until Thursday afternoon, but it is good to get the worries of decision making over and done with.
There seemed to be so much to pack - could it all fit in our travel bags? And if it did fit would it all be too heavy?
The bags are certainly heavy - but both are under the permitted maximum weight.
There are still a few more things to go in. And our cabin bags are maximum size - so they can carry all the things that I would really worry about not having with me if bags went astray.
Having a stoma does make travel a bit more complicated.

Shortly after the bags were packed Jamie put a picture on facebook.....and suddenly I remembered exactly why the packing and the travelling is so worthwhile.

We have something special!

It will be a great three weeks doing lots with the family and playing and talking at home.

The picture makes me feel really good and I am excited about the trip.
Carpe diem......I will enjoy each day.

Now we can relax. If there is no further rain we will go to a car boot sale in the morning.

Friday, September 16, 2011


People at Littlehampton and things.

Today has been routine - with a few preparations begun for Thailand trip.

Bill's first job of the day was to order up car parts. How very annoying it was yesterday morning to return to our car at Ford yesterday to see the wheels looking very black and ugly.
Somebody had removed all the wheel trims and taken them away.
We can't be absolutely certain it happened whilst the car was parked. Just maybe, it had happened over night, outside the house and we hadn't noticed first thing in the morning.

Then we went into town. Bill wanted to get some money sorted for Thailand. We get less and less baht each year.
I bought one or two books for the Thai grandchildren in the Crawley charity shops.
We also popped into a new supermarket in the town centre. There are foreign foods of all kinds and a really good green grocery department.

I have begun writing up things that I bought yesterday - but seemed to get distracted easily.

Earlier on I watched the last big athletics meeting of the year from Belgium.

Here are a few pictures from yesterday in Littlehampton.
The first two were taken from our table in The Balaton. It was such a lovely day that our hosts were spending time sitting out in the sun by the river, with a cup of coffee.
Mrs Balaton.

Mr and Mrs Balaton. George does all the cooking.

After our meal we walked by the river.
We stopped to look at a parked car - abundantly decorated.

Well, this sporty BMW must belong to some flashy boy racer.
Actually do note that the owner didn't drive with the largest of the pictures in that position.
He wasn't that stupid!

And here is our "boy" racer, chatting to Bill about the merits of the engine.
He is one of life's characters - he loves rock and roll and dancing.

The car was spotless. Both the body work and under the bonnet.

It was high tide.

A little further along the river we stopped and talked again.
Just a simple comment about the lovely weather led to us sharing life histories with a couple. The wife was in a wheelchair and happy to be so, for she had come back from the brink after suffering a stroke.

Then we went to sit on the pier.

We were not the only photographers at work. A group of young people were busy with some fine looking Nikons - students sent out to get their eyes working.

Good! Glad to see that she could see the interesting patterns in the piles of plastic toys outside one of the seafront kiosks.
We have photographed them several times.

Talking of photography, we have enrolled in a photography day in Thailand.
Jamie will be doing it too.
It is part of something called Worldwide Photowalk.
It will be in old Phuket Town on the day of one of the big processions of the vegetarian festival.
Read all about it......

We didn't drive straight home from Littlehampton. We phoned Bill's cousin Pat and asked if we could call in.
It was good to stop and have a cup of tea with Pat and Pete.

I'm not sure what we will be doing over the weekend - depends on the weather.

Thursday, September 15, 2011


St Andrew by the Ford.

I have described today as a truly scrumptious day!
Except that I missed the 'm' out of it, which turned the word into scruptious and Ashley and I have decided that this sounds much more sharp and prickly and it describes the weather we might be experiencing at the weekend.

But - seize the day!
And that's what we did and it was glorious.
The air was crisp and chilly when we left home - down to 6 degrees. The sun was coming up but still ribbons of white mist swirled across the fields.
But it was soon warm enough to discard a jacket.
The boot sale at Ford today was bigger than it had been last Saturday.
I bought quite a bit - aware that today might have been the last buying trip for a month. We'll have to see how "scruptious" the weather actually will be.
It is so relaxed at Ford on a Thursday.
I had time to look at clothes - 3 tops, 2 skirts and a pair of shoes for £7.
And there is time to talk to people.
We have done lots of talking to people today.

But after the boot sale we hade a peaceful time in the meadows by the River Arun.
Every time we go, we pass by a farm track, stretching through the fields. At the end of the track is a simple Saxon church. The track also passes by a farm house painted yellow.
I have long wanted to investigate.

The church is named St Andrew by the Ford.
Of course! There had to be a ford at Ford. This had been a crossing point in Roman times.

Walking in the warm sun under a bright blue sky turned this little treasure into a paradise.

The interior was very simple. There are some remains of medieval wall paintings.
There is a service there every Sunday evening.

Behind the church the River Arun meandered across the meadows.

Beyond the river is the railway and beyond that, across the fields is Arundel.

There were lots of trains.
There are always lots of trains - almost certainly we are stopped on every journey to Ford, at the level crossing by the station.

Turning the other way we could see the entrance to the disused air base, where the boot sales and Sunday market are held.

A Hunter Jet scatters the sea gulls!
Of course it sits on a column, which Bill has removed from the picture.

We walked for a while by the river.

Some houseboats were moored in a creek.

The creek was once a section of a canal, built in 1822. Once the railway came it was no longer needed and abandoned.

Houseboat with Buddha and a lawn mower.

The creek, when the tide was still quite low.

Thank you, robin for your joyful song.

Then we went to Littlehampton, which at midday could surely be called "lunch".
I'll post some bits about Littlehampton tomorrow.


Wednesday, September 14, 2011


Wednesday - end of the track season and new beginnings.

What a beautiful rising moon this evening - huge and deep orange.
We saw it above the athletics track.
We were there on this fairly chilly evening to timekeep for the club 5K championship.
There were 26 runners of very varied standards - keeping a lap chart proved quite difficult.
But the group of us got the finishers in the right order and they all had done the required number of laps and they all had a time.
We bought a portion of chips to share with a cuppa when we got home.

This morning I had my hair cut. Rob, my hairdresser, must have had a gap after me - which he filled with talking. I realise that I am a good ear for him. His partner has all sorts of health problems, including a stoma. Rob is happy that, obviously, such things do not embarrass me. At the moment his partner is in Buckland ward - where I spent quite a bit of time almost 4 years ago.
It is a good hair cut, by the way.

Bill has plodded on, restoring things to his computer. I think it is mostly done.

I end with a couple of photos sent today.
They are "first day at school" pictures.

Our nephew's school is The Discovery School....and he loved it.

Felix must have been aware that Otto found it hard being without his big brother at the childminder's yesterday.
Apparently when the brothers parted today, Felix reassured Otto with "I will miss you Otto."
Then he explained how at the end of the day Otto could tell him what he had done at the childminder's and Felix could tell him what school was like.
Then he waved to his brother and called "I love you Otto".
It brings a lump to the throat doesn't it?

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


Diary of the day and pictures from Pilgrim's Antiques.

It has been a day of several small episodes.

My first was to visit the doctor.
As I drove there I did wonder if it would be a waste of time.
But decided that it can never be a waste of time to be told there are no particular problems at the moment. My parathyroid glands are behaving well!

Bill's computer - the original one we got over 10 years ago has not been behaving well.
He collected it from Crawley Computers today with the original hard drive wiped and gone.
His second hard drive is the only one now.
Many of the programmes and activities on the original hard drive are not on the second one.
So, Bill is now beginning the task of sorting it.
I mused earlier that maybe the ominous silence was worse than the mutterings and huffings and puffings of frustration as things didn't go quite right.

I spent a while this afternoon on the phone. I was talking with old friend Lyn. At one time we spent a lot of time together on timekeeping steps; but she and her husband seemed to suddenly burn themselves out and all enthusiasm had gone - so we meet no more. "After Thailand" we must put that right.

Later we went to see our two young nephews - one had a 3rd birthday on Sunday and the other has his first day at school tomorrow.
He is part of the free school experiment.
It maybe isn't really right that money is put into these schools with better facilities and pupil/staff ratios - money that could be used to improve main stream schooling.
But I do know that had such a school existed I would have been very much for my boys being part of it.
Good luck to the new school and all the new pupils.

And now I will sahre with you the fresh re-arrangement of my section at Pilgrims Antiques.

General view, as seen by the customers as they reach the end of the shop.

Mostly 1950s and 1960s. The musician ornaments are from the USSR.

The next pictures show how I came to be moving everything around again.
I decided to combine the pretty feminine stuff with the children's toys and books and call it the Mother and Child section.

The kitchen area had to be squeezed into a smaller space than before.

View of my section from the back door.


Monday, September 12, 2011


All the Fun of the Fair Findon

It has been a busy Monday.
I wonder how it came to pass that arranging a few of the treasures bought over the weekend required me to have a grand re-arrangement of my shelves.
But enough of that - there might be a picture or two tomorrow.
We have also been busy with customers; Bill and I between us took over one quarter of the takings.

But now I look back to all the fun of the fair - the Findon sheep fair.

I love this man! He didn't think to himself that he was too old to enjoy a ride.He climbed on his horse and alone he had fun.

We have met this gentleman before - when we had breakfast in the Findon shop and tea rooms.

Rain was beginning to fall - quite hard.
It didn't last long and I was sorry that we left when we did.
Next year we will make a day of it - anybody want to join us?


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