Wednesday, November 30, 2011


Medical matters - mostly indirectly.

A medical day of sorts.
There was a missed appointment by Bill - just a blood pressure check up. I thought the appointment was early, and so it proved to be when he looked at the time in the diary before he set off. Whoops - missed it.
Our very elderly neighbour has now been told that she has cancer. I knew this weeks ago - but felt it best to keep quiet for the time being.
She had a large scabby growth removed from her nose, which required a skin graft, using skin taken from near the ear.
She is waiting for a letter from a different specialist - she thinks its another skin specialist. She had the results of the biopsy on Monday and feels sure that the letter will arrive tomorrow. I warned her that almost certainly it would be  longer.
This afternoon I described 2 medical books.....novels set amongst nurses in a hospital in WW2.

The book was published in 1941.

This is almost the same time that my mother would have been a probationer nurse at Pembury Hospital.

This is Mum, aged 18.
I was never sure if the dress she is wearing in that photo was part of uniform or just a dress.

Too late to ask now.

Just as it is too late to ask her about other things at Pembury Hospital.

Recently a woman, approaching her 100th birthday had been a nurse at Pembury. Friends took her to see the new buildings and she reminisced about the old days.
'Hospitals were expected to be more self-sufficient in those days and Pembury had a piggery in one part of the grounds. Many of the patients were also given a daily ration of beer."  Ellen Noakes.

Did Mum know Ellen, I wonder?
Ellen would have been her senior by about 14 years - so when Mum was 18, Ellen was in her early 30s; almost old to a young one.
Did Mum remember the piggery?

In recent months I have read much about Mum's times at Pembury - mostly how awful it felt to be separated from my Dad!
All the letters they wrote to each other were saved and I read them all and sorted them into chronological order.

Here I am in September, surrounded by their letters.

I described and listed 12 odds and ends on EBay today - there were 2 Bunty Brown books.
I wonder if they will sell.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


Picture trip to Chichester.

Welcome to our county town - Chichester.
We haven't been there today, of course. In fact the urge to hibernate has kept me snug indoors all day.

This is a web site picture.

Such elegant Georgian buildings.

The cathedral from the cloisters.

There is a tiny platform at the top of the spire - used by men working up there.

St Richard is the patron saint of Sussex.

We called in at St John's Chapel, a simple elegant Georgian church.

There was a three levelled pulpit in St John's.
The top 2 were cordoned off - so I wagged my finger at the imaginary people from the lowest one.

Self portrait.

No - not another church!
This was a pub - West's.

It is opposite the cathedral and obviously had been a church.

Cobwebs add to the atmosphere.

Lovely tea and chocolate cake.
So relaxing!


Monday, November 28, 2011


Monday again

Monday again!
Shop day again!

Almost as soon as we arrived there was a customer..."How much are those vases in the window?"
"The ones with the waggly tails" I almost replied.
And so another Christmas present has been bought - he decided £78 was an admirable price.

This was closely followed by a Moorcroft bowl for £195.
It was another good day in Pilgrims Land.

I sold something too - for rather less than the above items of course. I found a weird lemon squeezer a week or so ago at Ford in the shape of a pastel blue cat.

I have sorted out my photos of Chichester this evening. But I shall wait until tomorrow to share them with you.
Its gone 10'clock and I would like a cup of tea and an early night.

Sunday, November 27, 2011


In Chichester.

Sunday November 27th has been a long and exhausting day - but a day full of pleasures too.

We left home at 7 o'clock - it was still dark and it was drizzling.

The boot sales we have been to are not regular haunts for us and they proved to be rather a waste of time as far as buying things to sell is concerned.
But I did buy clothes and also some Chr things.
I think I have almost all I need.
Apart from Christmas cards.....yes, I think some might get given this year.
Bill would prefer not going from home to home with plants - mainly because each home (very fortunately) is a long and very pleasant duty. And thus we don't actually get round to seeing everybody we would like to.
Cards are still to be discussed.

The second boot sale we went to was in Chichester. We had time for a walk with cameras first - that's always a pleasure.
It was such a pleasure that we returned to the centre of town for more photo opportunities and for cups of tea and cake.

I haven't had time, or energy, to deal with all my photos yet.
I had to deal with EBay sales when we got back. Half deal with them anyway - buyers contacted, accounts done; but I shall have to get up early to get the books ready for posting.

But here are 2 pictures that maybe sum up the day.

I called this one "Self Portrait in Chichester".

"Guilty Pleasures".
I wonder what the original users of the building would have thought about their beautiful church being turned into a pub.

More photos tomorow - after another day in the shop.

Saturday, November 26, 2011


Christmas Shopping has begun.

Christmas shopping time.
Christmas shopping by the good people of Dorking and some done by me too.
Obviously I can say nothing about the latter.

The shop has been very busy - people looking for something original and interesting for their friends and relations at this festive time.
I think some were also buying for themselves too.
And why not?
Stephen specialises in old telephones; he renovates them and converts them for use on modern BT lines.
Three times today he had a phone on the desk, plugged into the phone line. I then called it on my mobile, so that the customers could hear the ring and hear how good the tone quality was for conversation.
One like this - a stick phone sells for quite a lot of money.

One rather like this was bought today for £270.

I have sold well today too - though not in the hundreds of pounds class.
I was really pleased to see a teapot go that I have had on the shelves since March.
So, it was an enjoyable day.
This evening I have enjoyed relaxing with Saturday night TV.
Tomorrow - let's go hunting again!

Friday, November 25, 2011


Littlehampton with friends

Lovely day!
Sunshine and very good company.

We took our friends to Littlehampton. We love the run down sort of timelessness of the place and wanted to share our affection for it.

We know it so well - silly of us not to keep to the well worn track to The George (Wetherspoons). It is not grand, but it feels homely and the food is good value. But no, I had to try and rise above it for our friends - always a mistake to try and rise above one's own normality!
There is a new cafe by the river - it looks chic and continental.
In fact it was disappointing. It felt chilly in there and we never really felt welcomed.....and we waited an age for our food. We had not ordered anything complicated - Jean and I had toasted sandwiches and salad. Why the long wait?
Never mind - the company was good.

Well, at least we know now - and we don't need to wonder what the place is like any more. We won't be going again.

We then enjoyed a walk along the river and out to the beach. The sun was already getting low in the sky and there was a chilly wind.

There is always somebody to talk to by the river.

Though it was the dog that attracted Jean.

The tide was way out. The light was low and clear. The sea was still.
Quite an eerie amosphere.
We watched a pair of egrets.
Our attention was taken by a huge black backed gull - just what had he got to eat?

Research suggests it is an eel.
I look forward to seeing Pete's pictures of this scene.

The curly end to the longest bench in Britain always invites one to play - almost impossible I would say, to stop people climbing on it; although there is a small notice saying "No Climbing"

And just like the endings of many a story....we went home to tea.


Thursday, November 24, 2011


Sussex Poetry

Today I described and listed half a dozen more books on EBay.
I have one by my side that I may regret selling - I hadn't realised until I began to read it, just how much I valued it.
Maybe it won't sell - it was hard to give it a concise heading.
It is a collection of writings, mostly poetry, written by West Sussex Primary School children in 1962.
That was a long time ago - those children are now aged about 60.
The poems are all very readable and most are not twee; they have been well thought out - no doubt aided and abetted by good teachers.

Sadly, the names of the writers are not included; maybe a poem was a group project.
This one was submitted by Pound Hill Junior School in Crawley.
Could it possibly be the work of Sue?

As I Watched.
People are hurrying, scurrying, flurrying,
Over the pavements of Crawley Town.
The fountain is rushing, gushing, blushing
Into the air and plumetting down.

Women are chattering, bustling, hustling
Quietening their children gay.
Cars are tooting, hooting, parping,
As they go forward on their way.

The child, 50 years ago, could have been looking at that post card.
The poems cover town and country, Downland and coast, flora and fauna.

What a shame it is just about West Sussex.
For I would love to have tied it into a request my brother received about the artists who lived at Furlong Farm on the South Downs, where my family would camp each summer.
I rather ignored them - I was a child/teenager and I tended to mistrust earnestness amongst adults. Like adolescents everywhere, I assumed they could know nothing of the intensity of my life and loves.
The artists were free to pursue whatever intense feelings came their way.
I was far too late anyway, to meet one of my later heroes of art - Eric Ravilious. Wow! he's had a mention twice this week already!

But both West and East Sussex have The South Downs.
Here is a poem written by a child at Bosham School.

As I look away from the top of the hill
On an old fashioned village
With its tumbledown mill,
Winding cart tracks, rutted and worn,
Running by fields of shimmering corn,
I see far away match box spire and towers
And at my feet are rare Downland flowers.


Wednesday, November 23, 2011


Writing and photographs.

Another 12 items are now described and listed on EBay.
It is always such a leap of faith to list things on EBay - I have to be optimistic and assume that in 10 days time I shall be preparing to post everything on to new owners.
Pessimism would lead me into forever thinking about not selling.
Hurry up, buyers, and show enthusiasm for the Brighton street map, which I love.
The guide to Malvern, however, picked up a watcher very quickly.

This evening I began reading a new blog - the very first posting written by our nephew, Antony.
He's good!
His vocabulary and humour create a vivid picture of an episode in his life last weekend.
I love to share the joy of writing with him.

Another good piece of news came today from Thailand.
I don't mean the news that Jamie is not well. He doesn't know what the trouble is or if he will need help to overcome it - bad head ache and neck ache and exhaustion.
He told me today that he had sold another photograph.
He is registered with Getty Images.
Today he received a goodly amount for this picture.

Ashley says he will be out this week, hoping to take pictures of a vampire rabbit!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


Brighton - last home of Great Granny.

I described yesterday as routine.......but it never reached the depths of routineness that today provided.
The weather was below par and so was life.
I guess it was a much needed day of rest.
I have pottered with getting things ready for EBay.
I am very pleased with a map I bought on Sunday. Its a Brighton street map - from some date before 1922. I know that because the London Brighton and South Coast Railway is marked and this became Southern Railway in 1922.
Brighton was smaller then. Parts which are built up now were no more than farms.
I just looked up Egremont Place which was where my Great Granny lived in her latter years - quite a while after this map was published.
Perhaps next time we are in Brighton we should go and see if No 85 is still there.
I feel sure that others will think it as fascinating as I do. I will list it on EBay tomorrow.

Egremont Place is now a street of small flats.
I presume that Great Granny lived in a flat too. She died in this street at the beginning of 1946. She was 91. I was about 18 months old she and I had met.

I don't know when this photo was taken.
It looks like Great Granny is very old . But in those days people from middle age onwards could look old.

Monday, November 21, 2011


November 21st.

Routine sort of day at the shop - except, of course, that every day in Pilgrims is different and so there is no routine.
We chatted with interesting people and sold some interesting things.
We put out a few things bought at the weekend and made sure everything was tidy.
We put some energy, as usual, into the boost up Julie routine.
I do somewhat dread a time when my life might be like hers.....lonely.
Loneliness is a very negative destructive state.
Bless Julie, she always says how good it feels to come in and work with us, talk with us and laugh with us.
To be honest she doesn't do much work.

Both Bill and I came home feeling pretty tired.
There has been some dozing.

Even history shows this day to be a routine sort of day.
The notable events on this day seem not to very noteworthy.
The list of people born on this day reads like a list of celebrities in a TV show. There are some names I have heard of - some even I could tell you a little about. But most of them......well! Who?

So farewell November 21st. I look forward to seeing what the day might bring in a year's time.
But for now - let's sleep.

Sunday, November 20, 2011


Rottingdean Windmill

What a day!
Beautiful weather and so many pleasures.
I am so sorry if you are one who has not enjoyed good weather today - quite foggy in much of the UK.
I told Bill as we drove to Brighton at 7 o'clock this morning, that I felt sure it would be fine at the coast.
I couldn't have known....but all my dreams were fulfilled, weatherwise.

I did quite well at the Brighton Marina car boot sale too.
This is the famous (or infamous) car boot sale that used to be held at Brighton Station.
It was always said that all sorts of dodgy deals were done under the cover of darkness, before most people arrived for their hunting.
We had been to this venue once before and been disappointed; but it has picked up.
Many of the sellers are  dealers, small time and house clearance.
I am pleased with some interesting purchases - nothing yet sorted though.

We went for a cup of tea and toasted tea cakes by the sparkling Marina. We sat watching yachts making their way out of the safety of harbour out into the big blue sea.

Then we went to have a look at Rottingdean windmill - never been up to is before.
It was built in 1802 and has been renovated a couple of times since.
The sails are quite recent and are decorative only- they would hardly catch the wind.

View from the windmill, across The Downs, to the Marina and Brighton Pier.

church, down in the misty valley.

We had quite a chat with the black dog's owner. She had 2 of them.
We got talking about art!
She is a lover of the work of Eric Ravilious, as I am.
We were joined by another woman with 2 white dogs. They come from the lovely home in the village, with the blue plaque to say that it had been the house of artist, Byrne Jones.
We thought of less cultural things when we saw the black and white dogs together.......whiskey!

I finish this section with the work of an artist - Lou Partridge.
If you like it, as I do, then look him up. He has great flare and style.

You can just
see the windmill up on the cliffs
on the right hand side.

This is quite like the view from the end of he Marina, as we have seen it several times before.
Actually I found an actual photograph on Google of such a view. It was mine, from a few years ago.

Now, it is just as well we went to Brighton. If we hadn't we might have missed a commitment we had made.
We passed the road to the Brighton athletics track.
Suddenly I remembered that were down for timekeeping this afternoon, in Horsham.

The meeting is for youngsters - the sports hall athletics league.
It is fast and furious and noisy with enthusiastic young people and their parents from all over the county.
I was chief timekeeper - and there was hardly a moment for chatting to people.
But it was great fun.
Oh - and well done Crawley.... top of the leader board.

Saturday, November 19, 2011


Details at Littlehampton.

It was quite misty before dawn.
But, Wow! Later on we had a glorious November day. Clear blue sky and bright sunshine.
We didn't buy as much at Ford this week, despite the fact that it was completely full of sellers. I believe they had to turn potential sellers away.

Walking by the river and on the beach at low tide was just lovely.
I already had it in mind to concentrate my photography on close ups and details.

Now here is a picture which makes us sad.

Best wishes, though, to the Balaton family.

The river and then the beach always make me feel happy - especially with the added bonus of sunshine.


Friday, November 18, 2011


Parcels ready for the post.

I feel like I am finally back in the saddle!
I have parcels to post.
The last EBay item that I posted was on August 24th; it has been almost 3 months without activity.
Today 7 things were sold - including the mauchline egg that I pictured 10 days ago.
One of my parcels may not need to be posted tomorrow. I know the buyer and he will be at the Ford car boot sale tomorrow. I am not sure if we will actually meet up, because he says he arrives at the very minute the sellers are admitted to the site. Bill and I are usually 20 minutes or so later.

I wish I enjoyed the Children in Need evening on BBC TV.
The cause is worthy.
In fact the bits I prefer to watch are the items about the particular needs of particular children and their families.
And I hope lots of money is raised for the good of our society.
But I do recall the comment of Gandhi (not about Children in Need of course).
He said that when a man gives money to the poor, he is considered a saint; but if he asks why are they poor, he is thought to be a political agitator.
We really do need to address that question.........maybe there can be no satisfactory answer. Maybe we will always be dependent on the good will of people who give their money away to good causes.

Thursday, November 17, 2011


Oradour sur Glane

Another day to work and learn.
I have 12 more items listed on ebay - all books.
One engrossed me and moved me and inspired me to learn more.
So close to remembrance Sunday this story has filled my mind.
Have you heard of Oradour sur Glane in France?
Like me, you may have a heard a little......people locked in a church which was set on fire.
This village was attacked by a group of German SS men with anger and evil in their hearts....I so want to believe that such Germans were really a minority.
One of their leaders was missing, captured by the resistance in the village of Oradour - so Oradour had to be destroyed.
The wrong Oradour, as it turned out.
I learned so much from the book.
At the end of the book was a list of the dead - "how many more pages must I turn to get to the end of the list?" I wondered.
642 people lost their lives - most never actually identified.
And every building was destroyed too.
The ruins remain, preserved as museum and memorial, alongside a new village.
I feel I would like to go - to share in the past with those people and to mourn for all. It would be a chance to send out aspirations of hope for a world where such a thing could not happen again.
So sorry, world - it keeps on happening somewhere, in some form or other.

That is the doctor's car in the top picture, still in the square, left just as it was after the dead doctor had been pulled from it.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


Wordless Wednesday - well nearly.

Dinner things have been washed up - very good sausages and mash tonight.
Time to write a little posting for the blog, I said to Bill.
"Trouble is I have nothing to say today"
"well let it be a wordless blog" suggested Bill.
So I sat at the computer and types "wordless" into Google.
And what did I find, but many web sites devoted to Wordless Wednesday.

Here is a definition........

On Wednesdays all over the internet, bloggers post a photograph with no words to explain it on their blog. Hence the ‘wordless’ title. The idea is that the photo itself says so much that it doesn’t need any description.

I wanted it to be relevant to my day - do you really want a picture of somebody having a mammogram?
I thought not.

But I am just about to put the kettle on and settle down to watch David Attenborough's Ice World programme.

Here is a still photograph from that series.

Looks magical - but what makes it so very special is that it is not magical, but reality.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


Finding pain relief

This afternoon we went to see cousin Ann - Bill's 83 year old cousin.
Poor Ann is not well.
The main cause of her distress is severe back pain - how back pain runs in Bill's family!
Her doctor gave her a new pain relief drug regime - which included the dreaded tramadol.
Is there anybody who can tolerate tramadol?
Bill's sister has opted for severe pain rather than tramadol side effects.
I did the same when prescribed it for broken ribs.
About an hour after taking it this afternoon she had a very bad time. She is resolved not to take any more, but will phone the doctor in the morning.

I took some tea to Ann's - but she ate just half of a tiny sandwich. She has lost a lot of weight.
But she was happy to see us - she craves company.
Normally she can keep herself busy - but not just now.
We talked and talked and despite everything it was a happy time.

I have no pictures today.
But I thought you would like to see this one from Thailand.

Orchids are common place in Thailand.
But one could never describe this one as ordinary could you?
I love that funny little person sitting in the middle of the bloom!

Monday, November 14, 2011


Bill in a hat at Pilgrim's

I didn't buy very much at Ford on how come it took me all morning to get those things on the shelves in Pilgrims?
Well, of course one or two things had to be moved, which led to one or two more things being moved and so on.

But we did have time to sit with cups of tea and lemon drizzle cake.
Thank you Monika.

I spent a while helping Chris again this week...."You remember me don't you?" he asks as he walks in.
His carer had given him £10 to spend on antiques!
It is my job to steer him to anything that might be worth having and would interest him - and also to see if he would like something of mine!
Bother - he didn't want the dog ornament that I have had for months and would like to be rid of.
Finally I think I did well for him. He had a vase of Julie's and a mug commemorating the 1st moon landing, of mine.
I wonder how and why he went all wrong.
He knew the name of the first man on the moon.
He was fascinated that Julie was French and told us he liked French at school.
When he left I asked if he could remember how to say "Goodbye" in French....and he could, with a good accent too.

Talking of French, I give you now another comment on a school report of my brother Robin's French. Different teacher this time. "He is not really with us".

Bill was busy this afternoon selling furniture - not his, of course. A young man came and bought 3 items, all of which had lots of small items on them.
One of the things was a tallboy - exactly the same as the one we had at home when I was a child, in my parents' bedroom.  It was basic wartime utility furniture. This one had been presented in the shabby chic style with uneven paintwork.
Yesterday I actually saw the family tallboy.
Jenny and Ruth don't want it.
I don't want it either.
If Roger, or anybody else in the family doesn't want it, I know that Monika would be interested in taking it on as a project for her new venture. She is using a section of a shop two doors down the road from Pilgrims to display just such furniture and items that fit the current trends.
To be discussed!

I yearned to buy something today that Jo had for sale.
It's a hat.
But not just any old hat.
It should be had by a collector of old Crawley items - but I am not a museum and don't feel justified in spending out £40.

This will mean something only to people who lived in Crawley many years ago.

Fogden's moved from The High Street....when?
They had a shop in the new town centre....but for how long?

If only Bill would concede that he looks good in a hat or could be bothered with one.
I would buy it for him, if only he would wear it.


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