Monday, October 31, 2011


Selling glass.

Suddenly I feel that I am trying to sell the wrong things!
Last Thursday we sold a goodly amount of glass - practical, yet beautiful drinking glasses.
We sold another £300 worth of glass today - decanters and glasses.
None of it was mine, of course.
We also sold a fur coat.
The buyer tried it on and it looked like it was made for her - she was a stylish slim woman and in the ocelot coat she looked like a Hollywood star.
So, yes it has been a successful day - but not for me.
Never mind, tomorrow will be another day.

This evening has been relaxing, after our tiring day.
Basically Bill and I were working on our own today.
I am now printing photos taken at the Phuket Mining Museum.

Tomorrow is the day of my friend's husband's funeral. A sad time.

Sunday, October 30, 2011


Time on Sunday to get things done.

What a long day!
How many of us in the UK woke up too early this morning?
And in the south east we woke to find a really murky day - damp and dismal; though even today the golden leaves did their best to glow.

We have used the day to continue with Thai photographs. I am loving it - Bill maybe is feeling it is all a chore.
I have now sorted 722 photos.
I have about 9 sections to go.
I have also started to print pages for my album and I am so pleased with it.
I am trying to limit the amount of photos quite a lot, and yet still tell all the stories.

I haven't sorted out yesterday's purchases. I think I'll do some in the shop during the day tomorrow.

The suitcase is  a child evacuee's suitcase, dated 1939.
The cylindrical glass vase in the centre is from a famous glass works on the Isle of Wight. Much sought after.
I had hoped to get some West German pottery vases. Thelarge orange one can go to the shop tomorrow.
And I bought little things - like the waxed paper Christmas dishes, still in the original packaging. Just right for a 1950's sherry trifle!

Talking of puddings - I have another bread and butter pudding in the oven right now.

Saturday, October 29, 2011


Littlehampton - end of an era.

It's the end of British Summer Time, but more than that it is the end of an era.

Today we discovered that one of our regular haunts will be no more - at least not in the same way as now.
The Balaton is up for sale.
The family were due to close today for their long winter break.
Now it rather seems that they will not be in Littlehampton to open up again in February.
Two weeks ago we had eavesdropped as they were looking at property on websites....but, no, no, they said....nothing may come of it.
Already, they have some plans made.
Now, the new owners could merely take over and run a very similar style cafe, but it won't be the same - walking in and having people not know us and not know what we will be eating and drinking and how we like it, will feel disappointing.
So here are a couple of pictures of the place.

We have the £4.20 all day breakfast. Bill has coffee and I have hot water and a tea bag, from which I can make 3 cups of tea.

"Our" table is by the window on the left hand side - where the reflection of yacht masts can be seen.

But life will go on. The River Arun, like all river estuaries is full of life.

A small fishing boat stops at the steps below the fish stall.

Fresh fish for sale.

And I will continue to love being in Littlehampton after a hunting trip at Ford.
I bought well today.
Spent lots of money - what fun!
I'll photograph the things bought tomorrow.

Don't forget, UK folks....clocks fall back one hour tonight.


Friday, October 28, 2011


Father Jamie with Jessica and John

Not much to say about today.
It stayed grey for much of the time.
I have sorted more photos. I've done 550 now.
Some of my favourites I put on facebook.

It was a wet evening.
We went into the village to eat noodles - not in a cafe, but at a roadside stall close to the shrine. The family who lived in the house could supply vegetarian food of the type required for the festival for the many people who would gather in the village and at the shrine during the festival.
Better even than the noodles was the longan drink - a fruit juice with some longans in.


Thursday, October 27, 2011


Extra day in the shop.

Today was an extra day in the shop for us.
We were on duty with Jill, a glass specialist.
Monika came in for a while too, which was lovely.
The morning was very quiet indeed - lots of time for chatting.
This afternoon things went quite hectic. A glass buyer came in - Jill knew that her luck would be in!
He was with us for a while and bought lots.
Meanwhile Bill and I sold a cupboard for Jonathan and a Lloyd Loom chair for Jo.....and lots more.
There were some things for us too.
But I spent more than I took today.
Huh! My takings would be better if I took a bit more care. I sold a musical poodle dog yesterday (very 1950's). It would have made me a tenner if only I had re-labelled it. It still had the label on that the seller down at Ford had put on it. Thus I made nothing and it sold for £5.
I wonder if I can do better on the things I paid out for today.
I had rather hoped that the woman with the mahjong set would take it away and stay away. But she came back!
I was duty bound to pay what I had offered.

I know nothing about mahjong - except that it is a game of Chinese origin.

Later I bought a small flat iron on a basic but quite quaint stand that had been home made.
I didn't have the man's tatty spoons,  but I hope the iron will prove to be ornamental in somebody's kitchen.
I have Bill's grandmother's flat iron in my family cabinet at home.


Wednesday, October 26, 2011


Swingtime at 360 degrees.

A day of all weathers - sunshine, rain, rainbows and hailstones.
We were out for a while.
I was at the doctor's again for my B12 injection.
Bought a few bits in Asda on the way home.

This afternoon Bill's sister Pam came round with Antony and Fiona and young Caleb.

He had some fun playing with Fiona's necklace.

I have also sorted photos.
I looked back to our only trip off of Phuket. We went to a cafe on a hill, called 360 degrees.
There were some wonderful swings there - long, long ropes from high tree branches.

Ooooh! This is scary fun!

Oooooh! This is getting too scary!

Ooooh! I don't think I can cope - I am so scared!

A series of 3 photos of John, taken by Jamie. Oh dear! We did get the giggles when we first saw them. Poor John.

His swing was smaller - Jessica had wound it round and round and it was spinning to get unwound.

Nice picture of Jamie with cake.

Nice picture of Bill with coffee.

Just one more picture for today - taken earlier.
It was Mam who noticed it. She is so observant of peoples' mannerisms and features.
Look at the way they both walk.
Look at the way their arms hang.

Tomorrow we are doing an extra day in the shop for somebody who is not feeling well.


Tuesday, October 25, 2011


Joyful photo statistics, joyful John and joyful bread and butter pudding.

I have been working hard at Thailand photos today.
I have sorted and named 323 now - and have only got to half way through the  7th day.
I must have deleted many dozens too.
Of the 323, I have picked out only 137 to print for my album - I might reduce this a bit too.
This evening the only Thai picture you will see from is not one of my own.
It was taken yesterday by jamie and I think is just wonderful.
Oh the joy of being at The Beach Bar for sunset - even if it was the last evening of the school holidays.
They didn't seem to mind returning to school too much. They skyped me today - not sure if anybody else knew about this!

For my part, the day has been a work day - though the photo sorting is a real pleasure.
This morning I was ironing, whilst Bill was at the osteopath.
Later I cooked - a bread and butter pudding. I used a stale fruit loaf and rice milk.
It was exceedingly good - even if I did have to bully Bill into paying me a compliment.

Monday, October 24, 2011


Tusker Beer in Dorking.

It was a day of pottering and re-organising at the shop today.
There were sales  and quite a lot of people were about.
I sorted out my kitchen shelves. This led to me doing a swap with Monika. She wanted an old wooden cutlery tray from me and I had a lovely olf wooden rolling pin from her - plenty of patina.
I also had some fresh stock for the masculine shelves - including this jug.

No doubt, Jamie can tell us all what the beer is like to drink. Tusker Beer is brewed in Kenya.

The picture is not mine - I just didn't get round to taking any photographs today. It is from an African EBay site.

I have felt a bit vague and far away today.

Sunday, October 23, 2011


Food and drink today and 4 weeks ago in Phuket.

Not a lazy day - but it was a stay at home day.
That makes it a bit like the Sunday 4 weeks ago - a Thai Sunday.
Today we began with a late breakfast. I'm afraid I confused some people on facebook when I wrote in Monkland language and said we had oiled beggs.
I don't know what I had for breakfast 4 weeks ago. The day before it had been a bowl of left overs from Friday night's dinner - rice, prawns and vegetables.

We had lunch out 4 weeks ago - after a shopping trip to Tescos.
Tesco Lotus is like a French hypermarket, with lots of smaller shops and stalls and cafes on the site.
Tesco seem to be hellbent on taking over Phuket. Another super store opened whilst we were there and smaller Tesco Express shops have sprung up all over the place.
We ate at MK.
MK Restaurants is primarily a mixture of Thai and Chinese cuisine. The main menu features Thai-style suki that is a hot pot of fresh meats and vegetables ...

The cooking pot is on a hot plate in the middle of the table.
Everybody chooses things to be thrown in the pot along with noodles and green vegetables.
Jamie wasn't with us - he had to work that day.

John tucks in - using chopsticks. I just can't get my fingers to cope with chopsticks.
Looks like the piece of meat only just made it to his mouth though.

Bill has installed my new printer - and it works. All I have to do is absorb how best to lay out my photos.
Bill has also been out in the garden, planting 15 autumn flowering cyclamen. We bought the tray of plants yesterday for £10.
I wrote up my purchases from yesterday. They are now ready (most of them) for the shop.

Of course, being an at home day there has been a chance for lots of pausing to enjoy another cup of tea.
On that day 4 weeks ago I was busy with the children creating the tea china.

Jessica, the new Clarice Cliffe of the 21st century.
I wonder if Clarice would get so impatient waiting for the paint to dry!

Quite soon John had a cup and saucer ready.
Later he would decorate it.

I was impressed with this decoration on the tea pot.
Jessica realised that on a small surface, simple is more effective.
She spent more time on the other side and it looks good - but it doesn't have the stand out appeal of the black on green.

John working on his cup and saucer.

There is more in the box, children. I would love to know that you finish it all one day......or do you need me to bully you?

This evening we had chicken fillets in garlic and herbs with a dish of potatoes, onions and mushrooms, also broccoli.
A meal a bit like the one Mam cooked 4 weeks ago.

Look, on the right there are some potatoes for the foreigners.
Mam doesn't eat potatoes - most suspicious of foreign food!
That's a bit like old folks here in the UK who cannot think about foodstuffs that were not available in the olden days when they were young.

Saturday, October 22, 2011


Swanbourne Lake Arundel.

Lovely day with lots to do.
We were at Ford by 8 o'clock. Almost by first purchases was a silly hat. It will appear in  a picture later.
There was a chilly wind (or willy chinned as Bill is wont to say) blowing across the boot sale site. The sun was shining though and the air was crisp and fresh.
I can't say that I bought a great deal - enough to make a bit of money to add to the holiday fund.
I had been hoping to buy West German vases. I had worked out my negotiating skills to get 8 for a price I could work with. But, damn it, the seller wasn't there this week.
Time for breakfast - almost the last time we will be at The Balaton this year. The family have one more week until they close for their holiday for 3 months.
We walked by the river and on the beach.
But I had another walk in mind and we set off back to Arundel.
Once before we had driven along a road close to the river and saw various landmarks, including a large lake. We had never stopped along there until today.
We found ourselves at Swanbourne Lake - part of the Arundel Castle Estate.
I think I have been there once before - over 50 years ago. I cycled there with my friend Mogs when I was staying at her house near Storrington.
Swanbourne Lake nestles in the river valley within the South Downs.
Our first thought was that it was an extremely popular place. Did the people come to see the birds? Or did the birds come because the people came with food?

I loved the birds  and was able to make them the subjects of this week's portraits.

I really don't know what this water bird is. What a strange creature!

Bill would be the first to admit that this is not much of a picture.
But, at least Stella can now confirm (or refute) that this bird is a buzzard.
There were several of them whirling and circling over some trees on the downland slopes.

I had assumed that there would be a fine display of autumn colours on our walk.
But the bigger trees are still quite green.
There were some berries and seeds and some orange leafed trees.

Old man's beard and spindle berries.

We had no idea what these seeds were.  I somehow imagine spears of little yellow flowers being there in the summer months.

At one point on our walk we had to climb over a stile.
Yes, that's my silly £1 hat keeping the chilly wind out of my hair and ears.
See the little portcullis style door to be lifted for dogs to go through.

We could spy one of the castle estate lodge houses peeping over the brow of  The Downs.

More autumn seeds.

Beautiful leaves.

We had hoped to have a drink at the pub, The Black Rabbit, at the end of road.
Pehaps everybody for miles around had had the same thought.
It was crowded with folks enjoying Saturday lunch at tables beside the River Arun.
The queue inside to order food - and drink - was long. Bill could have been waiting 20 minutes or more just to order 2 half pints.
We'll have to return at  a less busy time.

The Black Rabbit has been popular for a long time. here is an early postcard with visitors enjoying themselves.

A view of Arundel Castle along the River Arun, from The Black Rabbit.

What a lovely day.


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