Tuesday, January 31, 2012


Sussex ephemera.

Tuesday - a day to catch up with some relaxation.
I have described things for EBay.
Mostly these are items of ephemera relating to Sussex County Cricket Club that I have had stored away in the garage for  a long time. They are over 100 years old.
They all have people watching them and somebody has contacted wanting to buy immediately.

As you see a Grand Bazaar was held in 1904. Listed inside are the names of the good women attached to the cricket club who were organising stalls at the bazaar.
The photo on the front is of the Sussex team - with C B Fry seated on the left.
He was to be presented with something on the first day.....oh think of those fluttering hearts amongst those worthy stallholders. Will he smile at me?

I look forward to seeing what will happen to these treasures. I think they will all sell.
The item with the first bid, though, is much more recent and only acquired last Saturday at Ford.

Bill worked outdoors this morning. It was most unpleasant out there - such a grey day with some slight falls of damp powdery sleat.
Bill was putting up a replacemnt lamp outside the back door - one that comes on when it detects movement. He went and bought it yesterday afternoon in Dorking.
He was out again this afternoon for a blood test and to collect this month's medications.

Monday, January 30, 2012


Today's treat and hopefully next year's treat.

Today has been a lovely day in Dorking - not the weather, which has mostly been grey and rather cold.
I was determined that this week it was the turn of Bill and I to get a break from the shop, and that is how things turned out.
Such a treat in the middle of the day.
We took one parcel to the post office and then crossed the road where we were lured away from our first idea of a venue (Cafe Rouge) by the thought of January's special offer in The Surrey Yeoman.
The offer was a sandwich, chips and a drink for £4.99.
The sandwich could be any from their sandwich menu.....so we chose the most expensive!
This turned out to be 3 slices of thick tasty seedy bread (toasted on the outside) with 2 different fillings; there was chargrilled chicken in one and bacon lettuce and tomato in the other, each with a dressing. There was also a little side salad. This sandwich alone would have cost £4.75!
The chips were well cooked - would have cost £1.65.
Not sure how much my white wine and Bill's pint of cider would have cost.....but you can see that £4.99 was a very good offer indeed.
It was warm and friendly in the pub....and so comfortable.
After all the food we ate, I could have put my feet up on that lovely sofa and had a doze!

Ooooh! We felt good! We returned to the shop feeling really relaxed and happy.

Sales have not been wonderful today - but at least Bill was on the sales sheet.

Today a seed has been planted in my brain....and I already feel the growth of healthy shoots.
Maybe this time next year we could be in Thailand.
I have been envious of all the interesting festivals and events going on in Phuket just now and today Jamie posted some wonderful pictures.
Last night I talked of the beautiful little street called Soi Romanee.
Here is a picture taken at the weekend.
Interesting stalls and Soi Romanee - my idea of heaven!
It has been the old Phuket Festival with all sorts going on - shows, street entertainments, food, music.
Jamie and family went on one of the free canal boat rides. Once the canals were the towns main thoroughfares - now they are not used and need some renovation to make yet another attraction for everybody.
Jamie certainly knows how to create fantastic photographs from quite difficult situations.
Perhaps when I know that he has posted them on flickr, I can let you know where to find all his pictures. Well not exactly all - he told me he took 200 photographs over the weekend.

It would be great to be there next year - though as yet the dates are not certain.
It would be brilliant for us to escape winter for 3 weeks and to experience more local culture and traditions.
It might seem like a down side to be there when Jamie has to work long hours and the children will be at school, but it was like that when I went on my own and I enjoyed just being part of family routine. I would collect the children from their classrooms and feel like I was a part of their school world. We can always drive Jamie to work and have the day free for us and then collect him in the evening. Or we could enjoy some days out with Mam - lunch and shopping eh Mam?
Oh I am excited already.

Sunday, January 29, 2012


Memories and so on.

Sunday at home.
I spent some time this morning doing something I have been planning for a while....I added to my Pilgrims Antiques Centre blog. It is almost a year since I contributed anything to it.
I will add postings regularly this year - but not weekly. I cannot spend every Monday just sorting out photographs for the blog.
Here is the website of my shop blog....click on and enjoy a tour round the shop.
I am sure that I mostly do this blog for my own pleasure.
But I see that despite me not adding anything for so long, I get visitors (between 10 and 15) to the site every day; not the kind that just flick from blog to blog either - people obviously stay a while and read and look at pictures.
Grandma P gets anything from 25 to 45 visitors each day. Bless you all for spending just a few minutes to see what I have been up to.

The morning was full of sport too....not quite true, I had to allow the tennis players to get on without me as I worked on the shop blog.
What an amazing match was the Australian Final.
We watched some of the first set as we ate breakfast.........and 5 hours later we had a light lunch, watching the final set.
Djokevic and Nadal - 2 fine specimens of manhood with such skill, stamina and mental strength.
Either could have won - and I would have been pleased for either of them.
But I did find myself smiling that bit more as Djokevic hit winning shots.
The sporting news of the afternoon was the draw for the next round of the FA Cup.
Crawley have drawn a premier division side at home......and yet I am disappointed that its Stoke. They are good, of course, but without the charisma of the really big clubs.
It was left to Brighton to get the charisma - they travel to Liverpool. Think back, people, Brighton have knocked Liverpool out on two previous occasions.
Oh good grief! I just looked it up....was it really almost 30 years ago that they did it (1983 and 1984).?
Happy memories!

Memories too of happy days in Thailand.
In 2009, Bill and I enjoyed one of those special moments when we were invited into a cafe and entertained by the host. We hadn't planned to go there, but were so happy that we did.
This was not, at that time, a cafe Jamie had visited.
The owner is a lawyer who gives time to helping people sort out problems at no charge.
He is also a jazz enthusiast and holds impromptu jazz evenings in the cafe. People with instruments do not get charged for drinks.
We had no instruments - but were not charged either.
It was so good to be drinking a wonderful tea with strains of Ella Fitzgerald wafting through the room.

There were so many interesting things in the cafe; and conversation was interesting too.
Since then, of course, Jamie has become familiar with the cafe - Glastnost, it is called and is in the most beautiful little street in Phuket Town.

This is the part of town that draws us like a magnet and where I long to be, when I think of Thailand. Part of the old town is within me and I like to think that a little part of me is in the old town now.
How I would have liked to be there last weekend. It was the Old Phuket festival.

This year’s event will be the 13th anniversary of the popular Old Phuket Town Festival which is held in collaboration with the Chinese New Year. The festival is held at the heart of the Old Town on Thalang, Krabi, and Phuket Roads and along the famous Soi Rommanee. Thalang Road and Soi Rommanee will be converted into walking streets during the festival. Expect many colourful entertainment options including a Phuket Baba Light Show, a rickshaw tour around the streets, cultural parades, Chinese opera performances, Chinese folk dancing troupes and more.

The Phuket Monks were there of course.
And here, in Glastnost are 2 musicians that I love.

Saturday, January 28, 2012


Red River Arun.

That was my theme for the day - though there was not much red in the items I bought at Ford.
But Littlehampton was in the red......I opted for a photographic theme today.  The sights along by the river today had to be red.
They need no explanation.

No red here. But this woman is a Balaton regular. We have talked - but not today. She keeps herself very much to herself. She would appear to be an educated woman, with a plummy accent, who has fallen on hard times.
Today she had some chips (with lashings of ketch up) and a cup of tea.
We enjoyed The Balaton breakfast.

When we got home, I was restrained.......I didn't turn the computer on. Instead I wrote up this morning's purchases straight away, whilst watching indoor athletics from Glasgow.
By about half past three, I could restrain myself no longer - the computer had to go so that I could keep track of football scores.
Fantastic wins today for the Sussex clubs - both Crawley and Brighton playing superior opposition. So onwards to the next round of the FA cup - wonder who they will get. Crawley would like a home match maybe - with a big club. But if the 2 Sussex clubs were to be drawn together then Sussex would march on to the 6th round.

This evening we have been with the toffs. First a documentary about the young things who "came out" in 1939. As youngsters they were very unaware of life as it is lived by the majority, but the war and their later maturity changed that. The old aristocrats seemed to have a really good understanding of what is important in life.
Then we watched a film about the 18th century Duchess of Devonshire (having listened to views of the present Duke and Duchess in the documentary). It was a good film - portraying the strict formalities of that time - and how rules were bent, especially for men. The 18th century Duchess had been born at Althorp Hall as a Spencer and entered into an arranged marriage; a marriage which very much could be described as having three in it. The mistress actually lived with with them. Sounds familiar?

Friday, January 27, 2012



Everybody loves the sunshine!
Today we have enjoyed bright sun and blue skies - it made the house feel very bright and warm.
I hope and believe we will get more tomorrow, for then we will be out and hopefully enjoying a brisk walk.
Our sunshine was quite a chilly sunshine - a winter sunshine. It was freezing this morning. I guess it will be tomorrow morning too - ice will need to be cleared from the car windscreen at 7 o'clock.
In Thailand the sunshine is hot - sometimes very hot.
And the sun sets are magnificent.
The time of sunset hardly differs through the year - perhaps by half an hour. Phuket is quite close to The Equator. Sun set is at half past six, or thereabouts.
And all this leads me to wonderful sunset pictures from Jamie. He wandered the couple of 100 yeards from his office to the beach.

Magnificent and skilfully executed picture.

Despite the sunshine, I have worked indoors today.
I have 12 books about bus/coach companies and their history to be listed tomorrow. They are almost brand new. I bought them - and many other books from one of the house clearance chaps at Ford, before Christmas. They look like they have not been opened!  I wasn't the only one picking up books by the dozen - I am happy with what I have, but wonder what I missed.
Later on I was dealing with some sales.
The little Ant and Bee books did well.

Thursday, January 26, 2012



I've done it!
I have succeeded in sorting out all the potential stock that had been dumped in the garage.
I have some boxes ready to take to a car boot sale - one day, when it's warmer.
I have masses of books to be described for EBay. I might start, tomorrow, with a pile of books from the same series about different coach companies round the country.
And I have shelves of all sorts ready to take to the shop.
It feels like a fresh start.
As with all fresh starts I have made resolutions - not to allow such a build up of things again.

This morning we had to do a bit of shopping. We came home with Chinese meals from Asda; they were obviously clearing out things not sold for the Chinese New Year - so very good offers.
I do love prawn wantons!
It has been our New Year today.

Looking forward, now, to the drama on BBC 4 in a few minutes, telling the story of the relationship and work between David Bailey and Jean Shrimpton in the 1960s.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


My first - and second - experience of haggis.

Lovely evening - long, leisurely evening meal.
That's my verdict on the haggis. I have never eaten it before. I am sure there are many varieties - in fact I tried 2 this evening. There was the badly cooked variety and the well cooked variety.
Never having eaten it before I sort of thought that maybe it was meant to be hard and crunchy - that was until I got to the solid ball of rock hard haggis. I asked if I could have some better haggis and got a complete new dinner.
It was soft and tasty and the potatoes and swede were just great.

There were 6 of us dining together - Julie and Roger and Jane and Geoff. None of them had the same meal as me. Bill and Julie and Roger had steak with a layer of haggis spread over it. They agreed with me that the haggis was really good.

We talked and reminisced - The Jubilee Oak was many years ago, Woolworths.
We could all recall the grocery counter inside the doors on the left hand side - where there were tins of biscuits from which half a pound would be weighed and put into a paper bag. We also could remember the wooden floors. Young people won't know what I am talking about!

Time for a cuppa and then bed.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


Crested sellers

There is not a great deal of knowledge needed to sell crested china successfully.
Many people know that Goss is the most sought after make, with Arcadian being a poor man's Goss. There are many other makes and some crested china is not marked with a make.
The thing you really need to know is that an interesting ornament shape will always be more popular than a vase; and china from small inland places are much rarer than items sold at the seaside.
Most of it was made in the first 2 decades of the 20th century.

I bought 42 pieces yesterday - 18 of which I deemed to be the most interesting. These 18 have been photographed and described and listed on EBay.
And just to highlight the fact that an interesting ornament will be in demand, it
is a seaside place which has already received the most watchers.

Tweedledum or Tweedledee for Great Yarmouth. No maker's mark.

Also popular is this post box for Horsham. It is marked with the initials of Edward VIII. Quaint little message on the back.

I have already been approached by somebody who would like to buy them this evening - just name my price.
I never end an auction early. It just wouldn't be fair to others who have taken the trouble to mark their interest.
Very occasionally I might regret letting a buyer go.
It is now up to the watchers - being cagy now, for there are 10 days to go before the auction ends. Let's see what happens.

And basically crested china has been my day; a successful day.
Bill has been less successful. It should be easy to transfer a video to a DVD - but he has failed  to do the ones for Ashley.
Maybe he needs some advice. Maybe we will have to pay somebody who as better equipment than us.

Tomorrow is Burns Night - and we are celebrating with a couple of Bill's sisters and their husbands.
Haggis, neeps and tatties at the local Wetherspoons pub and a drink (pint of Guinness!) for about a fiver.

Monday, January 23, 2012


Left holding the fort.

Well, Bill and I did much as we normally do on a Monday.
We worked in the shop.
Can't say the same for the two who work with us!
Yes, we are taken advantage of.
To be fair, Monika hit a mighty big problem this morning and the shop was the least of her worries.
Basically a wheel nearly fell off her car. She had realised that some recent work on it had not cured a noise as she turned corners - but had failed to take the car back to be looked at.
This morning the failing ball joint or CV joint - for that is what Bill surmises to be the problem - failed completely and collapsed, taking the wheel with it.
So she had to wait for breakdown men.
So no Monika.
Julie arrived - not actually very useful these days at doing work; but at least she could man the shop if one of us needed to go out.
Did she ask if we needed to go out?
No, she merely informed us that she was going out to see a friend and spend time in a local coffee shop.
By the time Monika came in, she had organised people to help her transport wise.
She needed transport to Epsom antiques fair.......which she packs up for the afternoon before and leaves the shop by half past three!
So, on the whole Bill and I had a peaceful day - not troubled a great deal by customers; but enough to make things a bit interesting.
Somebody came in to sell to me. It looks like I shall be going into crested china in a big way. I recently bought about 30 pieces and today have added 42 items.
Some of it is very dull - seaside places and the like. I could only give the woman £1 each for those. The others included small Sussex and Surrey places (inland) which should sell well.
Maybe tomorrow I will photograph some and get them onto EBay.
Ant and Bee books are doing well - still 3 days to go.
I took some photos today with a view to doing a guided tour of the shop for the Pilgrims blog - if I get around to it.

Sunday, January 22, 2012


The noise of gunfire and battle!

An afternoon of noise - gunfire, screaming, tension and battle!
It was another session of the sportshall athletics league.
I looked after the time keepers - Bill and David and June (another married couple).
David is nearly 90 and still very much involved with life; I will forgive him a few lapses in concentration - we all have those.
The afternoon is fun and hard work. We have one more of these meetings this winter.
Crawley boys were triumphant and the Crawley girls were just beaten by a strong Horsham team.

The morning, at home, was leisurely.
Tea in bed, breakfast late.
I got much of what was on the dining room table cleared - and then put a pile of ephemera (much Festival of Britain stuff) back on the table.
But I can see the end of this task - maybe even during this week.

Now for a roast dinner and a Sunday evening relax with the TV. I enjoyed the series Midwives, which began last week based on the autobiography of a young midwife's time in the East End of London in the early 1950s.
It is hard to realise how historical and primitive the times of my own life time can seem.

Saturday, January 21, 2012


Buying, bracing wind and music.

It was a dark morning as we drove off to Ford.
My mood still felt dark as we started to walk around - nothing to buy again?
I am definitely not a glass dealer- but somehow, now I am! I had bought in good quality glass in the shop on Monday and today I bought a similarly high quality item - a lovely decanter for £5.
I must hurry and become an expert in Thomas Corbett glass.
Having bought one thing, I found it easier to part with money and allow my imagination free rein to think of how things might be suitable for my Pilgrims' shelves.
It is often that one first item which gets one started - trouble is, Bill doesn't find the first item.
I have a box by my side, now ready to take to the shop.
We called in at the farm shop that I like for a few things - and came out with more than a few, of course.
Then it was time for breakfast - we were quite late. Some familiar faces were on the point of leaving.
We might not see them so much now because.........

Yes - the Balaton has not yet sold and the family have re-opened for business after a good winter break.
We popped in to say hello and have a chat.
We'll be in there next Saturday!

It was extremely windy by the river - and on the beach. I have never felt it so windy there.
The river looked really choppy and the wind whined through all the yacht masts and clanked metal ropes together.
It was not really cold - but very bracing.

We met this friendly cat by the river - miaowing and nuzzling.
What fun to have caught him licking his lips!

Now I can see why Bill referred to my hat as a tea cosy!
I think it is stylish brown corderoy large beret; it certainly did its job, keeping my ears warm and my hair reasonably in place.

This evening we have been enjoying Paul Simon - and Garfunkel.
The programmes were on BBC 4 yesterday late into the night.
There have been 2 Pauls who created the soundtrack to my entire adult life - Paul Simon and Paul McCartney.
Paul Simon is really superior in many ways - thinker, musician, poet;  I see him as a superior being to me - not really part of my world.
Paul McCartney feels like my equal and friend. He. too, can find real musical and lyrical genius at times.
Others have popped up and coloured my sound track and I love them too.
But the 2 Pauls have just always been there.
I thank them both for the pleasure.....and how dare they be 70 years old! OK - Paul Mc has 6 more months.

Friday, January 20, 2012


Sorting out computer clutter and garage clutter

It has been a day of clutter - getting rid of clutter.
First scans have been run over this computer - I don't know how many thousands of items the scan felt were a problem.
They have all been repaired - took an age.
It also advised removing Cradle of Rome and Cradle of Persia - that was when I began to play. I am sad to be without these so timewasting games which could absorb my simple little mind.
Maybe they will go back on.
So the computer was de-cluttered.
And I had time to continue de-cluttering the garage.
I have spent time sorting 1920's board games with lovely art work. I have put 100 year old magazines on crochet and fine needlework in cellophane bags. I have beeswaxed the handle of an old potato masher and so on.
There is still more to do - I have a pile of 1950's  Mother magazines on the table - the magazine of happy marriage.
Lots of nostalgia for "the good old days" within those pages.
But slowly I am getting things clear - and never again (she says!) will I dump things out in the garge before sorting them out.
We paused a little in our work this morning to give Frieda a cup of tea. She had been over to the doctor's for a blood test.
But she was more concerned about her new fridge freezer. She has never had a freezer before - just a little ice box within a fridge.
She was very worried that there was ice in the freezer and it was even on the packets of food. Um - it's a freezer, Frieda! I hope I have re-assured her and advised about making sure most frozen food is de-frosted before heating it up.
After a run of lazy mornings, the alarm will ring at 6 o'clock tomorrow. We will go to Ford and then, well - who knows? But probably, Littlehampton.

Thursday, January 19, 2012


Nostalgia - Boxall and Collins and Mad Mary.

Nostalgia day!

Bill was reading the Sussex Industrial Archaeology magazine and found a request for information about Boxall and Collins.
This is the garage where he did his apprenticeship and worked as a mechanic and in the stores for over 20 years.
I worked there too - in my college holidays between 1962 and 1965.
I guess we met under a car that was up on the ramp.
But I knew about this request before today - I am sure I told Bill about it.
Our friend, Pete, was also a Boxall and Collins apprentice and he had put me on to it, with a web site for a local history forum.
Today we have been reading all that people had written.
I hope that Bill can now add some memories of his own.
I certainly can.
I claimed this morning that I had worked at every branch of Boxall and Collins (there were 5 of them).
But Bill told me that I hadn't worked at Handcross. I am sure there was no B & C at Handcross when I worked there.
I am good at names - far better than Bill and I am sure I could be useful to the inquirer; but names are not being used on the history forum page.

This evening there came another blast from the past.
Crazy world that it is, this came about in a message from Frank in Canada, who had been reading the Crawley local paper.
I don't buy the paper anymore - usually pick it up to scan the obituaries, and then at some point go on line and pick out some of the stories.
Frank got there first.
The article is about Mad Mary - that's what everybody called her. I didn't know her name until after her death in 1995; she was Sheila Snelling.
It seems she had been a teacher in her youth and lost her lover/husband/fiance at some point. Killed in the war? Car accident? I have seen both scenarios quoted.
Snelling is an old Crawley name - there was a Snelling's sweet shop in The High Street. But it is suggested that Mad Mary was not an old Crawley person.
She walked and walked in her raggedy clothes and shouted at anybody who made attempts to torment her.
This appeared to be her only communication with the people she met.

Here she is in Crawley High Street.

The reason for the article today is that a local brewer has created a beer in her memory.
It sounds like it would be a good beer - so I look forward to trying it.
The beer is Mary's Ruby Mild - and is a strong beer. It has the byline - "Treat with the Greatest Respect" - something which Mary/Sheila had to do without, though I am sure people did try to help.

In between times I have worked on clearing stock piled in boxes in the garage.
It will feel wonderful when I have finished - but it could take weeks.
I have a box full of books - 60 or 70 of them, highly suitable for EBay. I can't even remember buying them now!

And I have been out to receive my Vitamin B12 injection. Ouch! These injections hurt more than most. But I am blessed to be offered it - I am so well looked after.


Wednesday, January 18, 2012


Wednesday - day of rest.

The fact that I slept for a while this afternoon seems to suggest that I needed a day of rest.
My body is grateful to have been given rest.
I haven't asked much of myself. I have sorted out the sold things from yesterday and been to post all but 3 of them.
I have begun to go through unsorted boxes in the garage - some bits for the shop, some for Ebay, some for a car boot sale. It all needs checking and writing up.
I now feel I have some enthusiasm for tomorrow - I shall really get my teeth into some work.


This link gives a Google search for "Phuket News Jamie", and you could then find the various bits he has been doing for the paper.
This week there has been a picture of me in the paper. But the website doesn't have as much on it as is on the page.

That's the picture - me walking along Rawai fishermen's beach.

I am getting excited about Ant and Bee!
One of the books (the ABC book) has had 2 bids already and has 7 watchers.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


Books and things.

Still chilly, but I have been indoors for most of the day.

It has been an ebay day - photographing, describing, listing for a new batch and invoicing and dealing with payments for an old lot.
I am always pleased when a book I am selling goes for more than £10 - and the one I mentioned 10 days ago did just that. This was the one about the 1st public railway, which was in Surrey; it was horse drawn and for goods - before steam power and passengers, though I wouldn't mind betting that some people did ride on this train.
Today I am offering 2 Ant and Bee books. They were great favourites when my boys were young. These are much later editions (1998) - but still popular.
I have already been asked if I would sell them today - with no auction.
I refused - we always do. It doesn't seem a fair way to run an auction to suddenly remove an item because of a good offer. Occasionally we have missed out on a generous offer - but generally things find their own value anyway.
I cooked a meal from my 100 calorie recipe book today - beef, pepper and mushroom sautee.
Bill said he thought it was hot - maybe he just expects me to inflict hotness on him. There were no spices in this meal at all. Maybe his palate couldn't cope with a sprinkle of fresh parsley. Maybe he couldn't fathom out the teaspoons of quince jelly in with the beef stock, which gave some sweetness.
Right time to stop. I am keen to watch and enjoy The Story of the Musical on BBC 4. I love musicals.

Monday, January 16, 2012


Cold Monday. Family day Part 2 Julia's birthday.

Monday, cold day!
It was colder in the north of England and Scotland - but it felt very cold in Dorking - in the shop.
Pilgrims is not on the sunny side of the street and the heating is inadequate - about 5 -8 degrees indoors, when we opened up. By about an hour before closing the temperature becomes tolerable. Consequently  we are waddling round like Michelin Men! - Many layers of clothing.
January is always a quiet time in our line of business - and defintely so in the last couple of weeks. But it was, nevertheless a pleasant day.

I will now return to Family day Part 2.
On Saturday evening we dined at The Goffs Park Hotel to celebrate Bill's sister's birthday. The 4 of us were joined by our niece, husband and 2 girls.
It was a lovely evening.

The 2 eldest (of 10) from the Monk family.
There is a non silly picture of Bill - but Julie had her eyes shut!

Emily writes down our orders. Her sophisticated nails came from the pound shop - sophistication needn't be expensive.


Mam has already commented on how like Jessica is Gemma - particularly in the picture on the left.
They are actually quite similar in temperament too.

Were we waiting ages for our starters? I am not sure - happy just to chat.
But the girls felt a bit bored.
So, using their napkins, started to write down animals, fruit, veg, names etc for each letter of the alphabet.
We all joined in.                             
This is Gemma's list. She did get Y after this - don't think we found an X.
I love the spelling!
Gemma spells as she hears words.
OK - I know we should aim to get spellings right; and in fact its something I find quite easy.
But, above all, I love communication. Better to communicate with wrong spelling than not communicate at all.

My dinner - can't resist a curry. This was a smooth, gentle Goan vegetable curry with naan bread poppadoms and mango curry - and rice of course. Very tasty.

Then came Julie's surprise.
Carla had arranged for the waitress to bring a cake with candles to our table.

The candles were blown out and then re-lit.

How lovely that life can throw up happy family days for all sorts of reasons.

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