Wednesday, February 29, 2012


Giving French Julie some life.

Costa Coffee......can't help it ....we tend to call it Costa Lotta!
But today we have been to Costa Coffee and were very happy to do so.
We didn't know it would be a Costa Coffee when we set out.
I thought we were going to a WRVS tea shop - nasty tea in a polystyrene cup perhaps.
We have been to Epsom General Hospital to see Julie - French Julie, who is with us on Mondays in the antiques shop.
Thank goodness - she looked so much better than last week. She was out of bed, sitting in the chair.
She had a head scarf on - hiding her unwashed hair no doubt; and even in hospital clothes and with no make up she looked like a very chic elderly woman.
She had had a bad day yesterday - no visitors, boredom, constant noises from woman in next bed....just noises, no words. She told me it was a day like a load of........... I suggested it might be  a load of something beginning with "sh". Oh no, she said with a twinkle in her eye " a load of something beginning with 'm' " I know my French swear words! Her word beginning with m was the same as my word beginning with sh.
That's Julie!
We teased and bickered and laughed - just like happens in the shop on Mondays.
She ate the yoghurt we had taken in for her.
I asked if there could be a wheel chair that we could use - and it was brought in.
And we pushed her to the lift and down one floor and found Costa Coffee.
Oh my, she was so excited to be on this treat.
But it did tire her - well, of course it did.
She needed help to get out of the wheel chair when we got back to the ward.
Now everybody has to decide where it would be best to get her strength back. Her son and daughter live out of the country and must find it hard to get an accurate opinion.
We were happy to be with her and lapped up her appreciation of our being there. Making her tired is not really a problem. Cheering her up and tempting her to believe that there is still some life to be lived was the aim, and we succeeded.

Maybe she will never return to happy days in the shop. But I think we will all go on loving her for as long as she needs us.

A bit later........I just had an update from Julie's daughter. It seems she is being sent home tomorrow. Julie knew nothing of this at 5 o'clock.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012


February 28th - a special day.

February 28th.......there were not enough hours today!
I should have started the day earlier perhaps.
Forty one years ago I certainly started it earlier - in fact I might well have been on the go for a full 24 hours.
The day before had been busy - we entertained quite a family gathering to tea. As the evening wore on I became aware that this would be the night to complete our family. Ashley was born at twenty past one in the morning. Did I doze later on? I don't know.
The next day  I took the wee babe home from the hospital (over 8 and half pounds, so not so wee really) to meet his brother.

Having been born on February 28th, people were wont to comment that it was fortunate that he hadn't been a leap year baby. Don't know why it was said - 1971 wasn't a leap year.
But 1924 was.
And my Mum was a leap year baby.
Tomorrow would have been her 22nd birthday.
I don't think she minded - birthdays were not forgotten. They were usually celebrated on the 28th, though I do remember a year when there was awful weather on the 28th and she decided to leave it until the next day.
I spent a while getting together a series of photos of Ashley - one for each year until adulthood; either taken on his birthday or quite near his birthday. I posted them on facebook.

Consequently I haven't got as far as I would have liked with wedding photos. I am about a quarter of the way through sorting them all out.
I did show all the photos to Frieda this morning.....lots of "ooohs" and "Aaahs" and "I say's"
Oh Frieda - you know what weddings are! But she would keep saying  "It all has a meaning doesn't it?" But she seemed to be unsure of the meaning.
But then she did come in with the words that she had seen something on TV that I was connected with...."The German ship that sunk that you will make lots of money from"
The "German" ship was The Titanic - I had told her about the talk we went to. Yes, if I did have something connected with The Titanic, it would indeed make me  a lot of money. I had also told her about an EBay sale that had done well. It all became one story.

I have written up some of the stock I have bought in the last week or so, and done loads of little tasks on my things to do list. One thing to do ended up being to write down some of them again for tomorrow!

Monday, February 27, 2012


Family connections with a celebrity

Oh bother!
My dear brother - the one who I shared the weekend with - has killed something today.
He has killed a family myth.
I didn't know it was a myth.....  I believed my Great Aunt when she told us the tale of her meeting with Buffalo Bill.
I have never been hot on American history, but it did cross my mind that it was a bit strange to have Buffalo Bill crash landing in the Sussex village of Firle.
But if my elders told me it was so, then surely they were right.
Only now do I understand that it is the job of a great aunt to love, cherish, advise, congratulate......and also to tease.
But I still don't know if Great Aunt Nellie was teasing or she had come to believe her own tale.
The myth began with an aeroplane and a Cody - that much is true.
The aeroplane landed at Firle - crashed? Maybe not.
Where did that horse come from?
Colonel Cody was not Buffalo Bill (also with the Cody surname). He was Samuel Franklin Cody - an American.
Actually our aviator was not born Cody.....he stole the name in admiration of Buffalo Bill.
Having just learned that I can well believe that he was happy to let the English peasants think they were in the presence of Buffalo Bill.
It does seem that my Great Uncle was good at tinkering with machines and managed to help get the plane's engine going again. Well that was Great Uncle Frank's story.
The man was not just an inventor and aviator - he began his life in England as a creator of successful wild west shows (just like Buffalo Bill) and music hall acts.
The Colonel became a celebrity of his time and when he crash landed a plane he was testing and was killed, less than  a year after this photo was taken, he was buried with full military honours at Aldershot and 100,000 people came out to witness the funeral procession.
He has an impressive grave - perhaps it is one to visit.
Now, how did all this knowledge come about? My brother was searching EBay pages for post cards connected with family history locations.
Maybe he always knew the truth - wiser than me and less gullible.
So a family myth has been killed - but a new tale has been established in its place.

I will just add some pleasing news - the chest infection/pneumonia that our French antique shop colleague was taken into hospital with has been knocked on the head.
There is much talk of getting care plans into place and seeing how well she can cope at home.

Sunday, February 26, 2012


Wedding Day magic.

What a weekend....what a wedding.
It  is the love of the people that make a wedding special and the shared love of all the family and friends.
Love was there in abundance.
Now add the bonus of a sublime setting and the sort of day that by rights February shouldn't be giving us.
After the ceremony the guests were able to mingle and share chatter and drinks on the patio under a bright blue sky, feeling really warm
Children played, sheep baaed on the hillside and everybody smiled. My niece, Meg just smiled and smiled and looked lovely.
Everybody was happy.
Thousands of photos have been taken by all sorts of people. The groom's brother was the official photographer and I look forward to seeing his pictures.
I am sure he had the knowledge and the equipment to over come what is my one was almost too bright with a low sun, for bright sharp photographs.
But I like what I have seen on my camera and Bill's camera - and also from a couple of other's too.
How could we fail to capture love and beauty on such a day?

There is a photo somewhere of Bill and I posing with the wedding bouquet, which Meg handed to me to carry. It will appear later.

The parents of the bride - my brother and his wife.

And now we return to the beginning because I would love to share with you the barn where the ceremony was held.

Tom stands alone, waiting for his bride.

At 4 o'clock we sat down to a lovely 3 course meal, in the large room adjacent to the barn.
There were speeches, touching and amusing.
Later there was dancing.

Many of the guests stayed at a Premier Inn for the night and we gathered together again this morning for an English breakfast at the home of my brother and his wife.
There were at least 25 of us!
Meg and Tom joined us later after their special night away.
Their young son, forever contented, was very pleased to be reunited with them.
There was still a large group of us together to enjoy lunch - Sue you are a marvel!

I am sure there are many rather exhausted folk right now. I know I need an early night.
I am looking forward to time with all my photos - I will pick out some of those I think really sum up the day and post them later in the week.

Friday, February 24, 2012


The day before.......

How are they feeling down in Wiltshire?
Obviously I am not showing concern about every Wiltshire resident - though I wish everybody well.
Tis the eve of my niece's wedding.
Excitement? Some nerves? Some anxiety - is everything done that should have been done?
At least there will be no rain - but probably no blue skies either.
We are looking forward to a happy day.
The setting is beautiful, nestling under the Wiltshire Downs. The ceremony will take place in a converted high vaulted barn. The reception rooms look to be very special too.
Hundreds of photographs will be taken tomorrow!

Today has been routine - getting purchases and accounts in order. Parcels have been posted.
Generally relaxing.
I must sort out the clothes I need for the weekend - and also medication.
The warmer early spring weather thankfully means I don't have to panic about shoes. Sandals can be worn with comfort.
Anyway I am quite happy to be the dotty old aunt!
The plan is to drive to Devizes and stop there for some breakfast.
Then we will potter to Wellington Barn.

We will return home on Sunday afternoon.

Thursday, February 23, 2012


Spring at the seaside.

What a lovely day....and what a very full day.
What variety we have in our weather! Not long ago it was minus 12 degrees and today it was almost 30 degrees higher than that. Imagine the difference between a freezing 0 degrees and a sizzling 30 degrees. But it wasn't exactly sizzling and the wind was strong.
We have been to Ford - there is a good atmosphere at the Thursday boot sale. I have come home with a variety of things.
Then, after some discussion about going somewhere different, we went to Littlehampton and The Balaton for breakfast.
We walked by the river and out to see the sea.
The river and sea were quite turbulent, the high tide creates fast flowing water and weird currents.
On the oyster pond, though, all was calm.

On weekday mornings model yacht enthusiasts gather at the oyster pond to sail their boats.

During the morning, fishing boats come in and unload the catch. The fish stall does a very good trade.
Here is Emily Jane -she  stopped to unload baskets of whelks.

Doesn't look a bit like an Emily Jane!

Hard to capture the motion of the swirling tide.

We walked along the high water mark, lots of fresh sea weed washed onto the pebbles and shells.

At high tide there is no sand at Littlehampton; but at low tide the sandy beach reaches a long, long way out.

This afternoon we did a big supermarket shop. Just lately we have tended to use Asda a bit like a corner shop and pop in for s few things when needed. Now the fridge is full and we have stocked up on essentials.

This evening we have been in The Tube.
It was the last of the sprints evenings for the winter.
I do hope it was not the very final such event. When Horsham council say that they will look again at their plans for the sports centre, I fear that they are offering only a suitable pause before they go ahead and do what they want anyway.
People will be making money out of demolishing a facility for the people. What do people matter when there are profits to be made?
Indeed, what does it matter if losses are made?
I am a very simple soul when it comes to money - so easily baffled.
RBS has made a pre tax assessement loss of  766 million pounds. The losses get worse.
But the staff are rewarded for their failure to turn things around, with bonuses totalling 785 million pounds.
They don't deserve the bonus and if no bonuses were paid, then RBS would be in profit (just).
Maybe if I actually understood any of this, I might also deserve some bonus!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


Some regrets.

Regrets - I've had a few.
And this one I choose to mention.
I was unable to create a new blog posting yesterday evening, nor again this morning. Frustrating.
On my blog there was an instruction - been there for weeks, months even, - suggesting I try the new blog interface.....I wondered about it and then hit the button.
I still couldn't create a posting, nor could I return to the old style interface. Unless, I installed Google Chrome.
Having done that I could post my pancake pictures. Hooray!
Except that I don't like Google Chrome - does anybody?
Where is the little tool that will take me instantly back to a page I was looking at several pages ago? That is so useful when dealing with many different things on EBay in quick succession.
So many little details set me on edge for not being as user friendly as before.
Since then Google Chrome has been uninstalled and re-installed a few times today.
Oh Paula - you shouldn't have broken the unwritten rule about not changing things; except that in this case something did need fixing.
I did need to have the ability to create my blog.
And another regret I choose to mention.
We have a savings account with ING. It has been in my name only because I don't pay tax. This has rankled Bill a bit...."oh go on then" I agreed today "put your name on the account." We get almost no interest anyway these days - so there is very little to tax.
Several phone calls later we established that we would have to open a new joint account.
Bill does all the online banking, so knows far more about it than I do. That is not difficult, because I would claim to know almost nothing. People at the other end of the phone would ask me a question and I would turn, appealing to Bill for the answer......"Excuse me" man barked "no prompting". If I was heard to receive answers from other people I would have failed the test.
Stupid complications because we thought about changing things.
This afternoon was a much more regretful time.
We went to Epsom to see French Julie. Oh my, life is draining away. She is a fragile tiny little old lady, lying bored and lonely in a hospital bed. She told me straight that the only way she would be leaving there would be feet first and could it be soon please. I know how easy it is to feel like that with the body struggling to survive; but maybe with the right medication she would be well enough to go home to be cared for there. She would like that. She would rather end her life at home than in that cramped hospital ward.
We talked. She was able to laugh a little. I am glad about that.
I feel mentally shattered now - have I kissed a final goodbye to this dear woman who has been part of my Dorking life?
She is hating these days - but I think she carries few regrets about her long life.

This is the morning after the night before.
I had trouble with getting something posted yesterday - and again this morning for a while. I now have the blog new format page supported by Google Chrome.
Yesterday was pancake day - officially Shrove Tuesday, or world wide would be called Mardi Gras.
Today is the beginning of Lent. In the Christian church, Lent is a time for abstinence and reflection. The night before is for partying...and eating up all those things that will be rejected during Lent.
For some reason we in Britain, don't really party  on Shrove Tuesday - but we do make and eat pancakes. Traditionally there can be pancake races with people running through the village or town with the frying pan and tossing the pancake at intervals.
There was no running for me - but I did toss pancakes.

The batter is made with flour, eggs and milk. In my case I used soya milk.

The batter must be beaten well.

Batter is poured into the hot pan. I successfully tossed it to turn it over to cook on the other side. That was practice - the camera could wait.

Platter of pancakes and a lemon.

Bill had a little lemon juice and sugar on his pancakes and a lot of Nutella!
I  had just lemon juice and sugar on my pancakes. That is how I have always had pancakes on Shrove Tuesday.

Having used a new format for blogging today I am not  sure of the layout of this once it is published. If it is all over the place, I apologise. I don't seem to be able to get the cursor where I want it every time. I will learn new strategies in time.

Monday, February 20, 2012


Not quite a normal shop day.

There should be photos.....but time ran away, like it so often does.
I suggested there would need to be reorganisation in my section at the shop...and that is just what the section had.
I guess it is not so very different, but somehow I wanted to use the little corner shelf unit that I bought on Saturday. I moved almost everything from one place to another.

I got that done and then went out for a short while. I was hoping to find just what Ashley would like for his birthday in the Oxfam book shop. Wow! They have some very fine books, but not books of the obscure philosophers that A is wanting. I could have bought him a 1st edition Sherlock Holmes book - but didn't have the spare £1,200 in my purse.

When I returned to the shop, conversation was mostly about Julie - our dear old French lady who is normally there on a Monday.
She is in hospital - but which hospital right now, I wonder?
Poor Julie she has been back and forth.
Leatherhead is a care hospital, while Epsom is a treatment hospital. Leatherhead has been sure that Julie needs treatment.
This afternoon she presumably was taken to Epsom - again. Monika had fitted in a visit to Leatherhead before the ambulance arrived.
Pneumonia is the worry.
Her daughter, in France, phoned us at the shop to try and update us about what is going on.
The outcome may not be good. Monika feels she is in the process of giving up.
We have to accept that this actually might be a good outcome....when an old person feels ready to leave the world, maybe that is the best we could wish for.
We would have sadness of course. Julie is part of our lives.

Maybe it was the tension in the air over a life and death matter that sent me off to clean and tidy our little kitchen, whilst Monika was out visiting.
Maybe it was just that Stephen had bought a new kettle which looked kind of out of place amongst the mess.
I worked hard. I can still smell the bleach!
Then I washed the floor in my own section.

And now, my body aches with all the hard work - a lot of time on my feet today.
Oh and there were customers in and out of the shop too - some buying.

Sunday, February 19, 2012


Some of us win and some us lose.

So, it is not to be a Sussex Cup Final! That was just a crazy dream.
Both our Sussex teams do not feature in the 6th round of the FA Cup. I beg to think that Crawley acquitted themselves rather better than Brighton.
Crawley also acquitted themselves well on the boards this afternoon. It was the final match of the sportshall athletics league. Crawley won the trophies for both the boys and the girls. It was a good afternoon.
This morning I wrote up my purchases. They are now in the car ready for the shop. I feel a re-organisation coming on as I strive to fit everything in.

I am pleased with this lot - including the useful little corner shelf.

Not an antique - far from it.
It is a modern plastic tray, featuring a 1920s advert. Beautiful girl.
It still has its original price sticker on the back. Somebody once paid £23.50 for it.
Now, they can have it for £10.
It is almost time to dish up our dinner - sausages with roast potatoes and roast parsnips and carrots. The sausages are chilli and chocolate.
I shall have a restful evening with Sunday night TV - lay your bets now for the time at which my eyelids close!

Saturday, February 18, 2012


Buying and chatting and a film.

"It's ten past six" I heard in my slumbers.
"I thought you wanted to get up" the voice went on.
Gradually my mind focussed......remembering that the day was Saturday and I wanted to go to Ford.
Off we went, happy that the temperature was almost 20 degrees higher than last Saturday. So why did it feel so cold?
It was the  cutting wind that did it.
I have come home with the normal motley selection of fresh stock. Maybe I'll photograph it tomorrow. I also bought a corner "whatnot" stand for £2 that I will use in the shop.
We also were happy to buy some bits from Tom - an old friend of Bill's from his cycle club days.
Oh, but we were glad to get into the shelter of the car and drive the short distance to Littlehampton.
Breakfast by the river.
It looks grey doesn't it? Rain clouds blowing down from the north.
We had a short walk after our food - first to the lifeboat station. It was cosy in there and we enjoyed a chat with a couple of the volunteers who man the shop.
Then we strode out by the river so that we could at least take a look at the sea.
We didn't want to stop for long.

This afternoon I somehow didn't get around to sorting out my purchases.
I have been talking with Monika today - I had an Email from Julie's (Pilgrims) daughter. The daughter lives in France. She let me know that Julie is in hospital - but didn't seem to have the full story.
Monika has been to see her today and reports fragility and a possible chest infection.
Then I talked with the man from Peacehaven - very pleasant. He said that there is no museum in Peacehaven, but he and some others make displays at the local library.
I have ended the auctions for those documents early and Derek will collect the items this week. He will bring some books that he has on Peacehaven for us to look at.
And then I talked with Bill's sister Lesley. She has health problems. As yet nobody can tell her what is wrong (women's trouble!) and uncertainty is worrying. Her GP fast tracked her through for further investigations. With my experiences behind me I can only say that being looked at and advised my a medical team is better than suffering alone. Good luck, Lesley. Don't forget Bill and I can help when and if you need some help.
This evening we watched a film. It was one of the DVDs that we bought in Thailand. I enjoyed it a lot - but then it did have Johnny Depp in it. It was The Man Who Cried - beautifully shot and very haunting, even if the plot was not very strong.

Friday, February 17, 2012


Electrical failures and family aid and fun.

Electrical failures!
Bill was woken by the alarm clock - not beeping, but one seemingly final death throe bang. It stopped working of course.
But it was not the clock that died it was the freeview box attached to our bedroom TV - and it wasn't even on.
Now, if we want a bedroom TV we will have to get another freeview box or even a new little TV.
Once awake, I came downstairs and switched on the computer. Would there be bids on the Anzac on Sea stuff? More of that in a minute.
I found that my monitor had also decided to give up the ghost. It had been flickering a bit lately.
So, of course, Bill's computer was switched on.
I got myself set up with familiar pages.
And posted the sorry tale of my monitor on facebook.
It wasn't long before Bill's sister rang....would I like Antony's redundant monitor?
Oh thank you, family!
By chance we had arranged to go and see Pam and Antony this afternoon. It was lovely sharing time with our niece and great nephew too.
And now I have Antony's monitor in front of me as I write.
I shall donate some money to the Littlehampton lifeboats tomorrow morning in thanks.
Now, back to Anzac on Sea.
Just like with the last lot of ephemera, I have been contacted by a man from Peacehaven who would like to buy it straight away. He claimed to be interested in local history.
I was not going to be way!
I checked his feedbacks. He has sold nothing on EBay. So all the Peacehaven stuff he has bought (and also Roman history items) are genuinely for him, I guess. Oh come on mother! Don't be so trusting! He might have a contact who he can pass things on to without the benefit of Ebay, and at great profit!
The items have only one watcher right now and I can guess that the watcher is the man who contacted.
I think on this occasion I might withdraw them from sale, on the proviso that we can deliver the bits to him and maybe see if he knows anything about Cairo Stores, which Bill's Aunt and Uncle owned.
It would be a good day out.

When we arrived at Bill's sister's, young Caleb was dozing on his mother's lap.
He didn't seem to be very pleased at being disturbed.

But soon began to be more alert and chat.
Photograph in the background of his great grandparents.

Of course! He is a Thomas the Tank Engine fan. He had been to the Bluebell Railway earlier in the week and bought the lovely James, the Red Engine to add to his collection.

I like this picture of Caleb too - taken by Antony.

I have another picture for you - which just made me laugh.
It is about English Grammar - but is not one that should be used in schools.


Thursday, February 16, 2012


Anzac on Sea

Today I have been investigating Anzac on Sea.
"Where?" you might ask. The name existed for just a year (1916) and then it became Peacehaven.
Does Peacehaven owe its existence to some dodgy dealing? Maybe.
A competition was launched in the Daily Express to name a new development on some scrubby land where the South Downs met the sea at Telscombe Cliffs.
The winner would get a plot of land for a house.
Just the plot. And then it was discovered that the winner would have to pay all the legal fees to get his plot.
And then it was decided that lots of people could lots of legal fees.
Today I have described, for EBay, some Anzac on Sea ephemera.

Look what lovely bungalows you could have built for you on your plot.

Pictures of Peacehaven in the 1920s and in 1980. You can clearly see the grid that was the basis for the development.
Look out! The edge of the town is now much closer to the edge of the cliffs.

Bill visited Peacehaven in his youth. His Aunty Emily and her husband Syd opened a shop there at the end of Cairo Avenue - Cairo Stores.

This is a picture of Bill's cousin, Daphne and her husband Les, outside Cairo Stores.
Look at the advertising.......suggesting that smoking was good for the health!

It was a successful general stores.
But now has become a residential house again. Look at it!!!

I don't think such a house would have been considered in 1916 when it was Anzac on Sea.

Now I wait to see if local historians will be wanting the 5 bits of ephemera on offer.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


Routine day

Routine doesn't sit so well after an exciting day out.
My main tasks were to clear the dining room table and sort out all my sales from the shop last week.
That was done mostly before I went out to get my hair cut.
We did a little shopping this afternoon - a little list had grown. Yes, Alison - your shopping list with pencil is on the fridge door.
Then I had Ebay sales to deal with - back to totting up the lowly amounts of money today.
I am just pleased that the railway books I found before Christmas are selling well.
And guess what ....I have railway books and packing and pens and files all over the dining room table again.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


A fascinating day's work!

I love the enthusiasms of other people.
Today we have been with a man with a strong, strong passion for cricket - and Sussex cricket in particular.
He has been watching cricket since being a very small boy. He began collecting cricket items as he saved his tickets and programmes from the first matches he saw at Hove.
He is now the custodian of a most amazing collection. It is his pride and joy -but so is the Sussex Cricket Club. The club have now provided a big room to establish a museum. My man is a trustee of the developing museum. He reports that the room still needs work and suffers from damp.
There is no way his lifetime's collection can be moved yet a while to a damp home.
At the moment 3 rooms of his house are the museum.
He has books, pictures, ephemera, equipment - thousands and thousands of pieces.
I was totally entranced.
I could have stayed all day, listening to him and photographing so many fascinating items connected with the cricket heroes of the past - and the present.
Pehaps the most fascinating item was the earliest known cricket ball, dating from about 1770.  There were balls before that and games of cricket were played before that - but nothing remains.

That is the ball and a woman's shoe.
The two are very much connected.
The ball was found in the plasterwork of a house in Lewes - along with shoes.
The shoes have been positively dated as being between 1760 and 1770.
Occasionally balls have been concealed in buildings with shoes. It was considered a good luck charm in Sussex to conceal a shoe in a building - to ward off evil spirits.

Cricketers, like every other man, needed a belt to keep trousers up.
These are examples of belts and buckles for every day use (not whilst playing the game).

The village of Hambledon on the south coast  is famed as the birthplace of modern cricket.
But I learned that much cricket was played in the 1700s and 1800s around the village of Firle - preumably led by the Gage Family of Firle Park.  I have ancestors employed by the Gage Family and who played cricket in Firle - don't know about the 1700s, but certainly in the last 100 or so years.
This early poster was for a cricket fair in the nearby village of Chalvington.

Having recently sold some crested china I was fascinated to see some in the shapes of cricket bats and bags.

I hadn't realised before that the crest for the village of Lindfield - not far from us, has a cricketing theme.

We so enjoyed our visit to this lovely couple. The mans' wife doesn't have the cricketing passion, but is very proud of all he has achieved.
He has written many books about Sussex cricket.

So, in many, many ways this has been a memorable Ebay sale. Yes, we delivered some rare items for the collection.
Facsimile copies will be made and sold to benefit museum funds.
And one day the museum itself will be ready to house a life time's passion.

Monday, February 13, 2012


Water, pesky shoplifter, headache and a good book.

I know - we need water.
Well, that goes without saying, but in this part of the world we are facing drought. Our closest reservoir is down to only 30% full. There are problems ahead.
But we didn't need water today did we?
Gloomy rain.
And in addition after the freezing conditions of Saturday, there was a burst pipe in a shed out the back of the shop.
Bill got quite wet investigating it, but somehow cobbled together the leaking pipe.

This morning at the shop was very busy. People everywhere.
Not a good time for security.
I am a very trusting person and assume that I have had almost nothing stolen from me.
But it happened today.
I had a Clarice Cliffe style sugar shaker. Early on I moved it from one shelf to another.
During the afternoon I noticed it had gone.
I had been taking a few photos to mark Pancake Day next Tuesday - the sugar shaker would have been in one of the photos.
I searched and searched; my eyes kept returning to the spot where I had put it.....almost believing that it would suddenly reappear. It is just as well it wasn't a genuine 1930s piece of Clarice - that might have been a big loss to take. I hope the thief believes he has a genuine piece, because he will soon have his greedy hopes dashed.

These things happen. We have to take them in our stride.
I must be feeling bad to utter this strongest of my curses!

I had been yawning all day - maybe tired of course. I should have been suspicious, though. Increased yawning, for me, can be a sign of an impending migraine.
Suddenly my body ached, I felt nauseous and my head throbbed. Fortunately it was almost closing time. Some paracetamol and a lie down have helped. A good night's sleep will soon have me back to normal.

I was pleased that today I found 2 more books by Catherine Alliott. I discovered by chance really - a cheap buy at a boot sale. I have almost finished it.....and so wanted more from this author.
She is brilliant - the story twists and turns within a family framework and she observes life so well and people's mannerisms - and she makes me laugh.

Time for a cuppa and some relaxation and some TV.
Tomorrow we are going to Purley to deliver more items that sold on EBay. I am looking forward to meeting this gentleman.
We may call in on Bill's cousin on the way home.

Sunday, February 12, 2012


Misty murk or sunshine?

I peered through the curtains at a grey slightly ominous looking dawn.
Would it be safer to stay in bed? I wondered.
And the snowflakes began to fall.
But not for long.
We followed through with our plans - maybe the safety of bed was not the issue, but life at home might have been more interesting.
I wandered a bit aimlessly around the collectors' fair. I bought a few bits, which will make a profit.....though not the lovely 1950s vase with a crack in it!
Maybe I was too fixed on finding old ephemera!

So, it was back out into the cold, misty murk.
We drove into the centre of Woking, only to find the car park we have used before is not open.
Bother! Where now?
We ended up in a big multi storey, attached to a Mall.
Not my world at all.
And do you know once in the Mall we couldn't get out! I had to ask advice from somebody about how to escape!
Once out we we made our way to see The Invisible Man once again.
We were too late for breakfast - so had a roast dinner instead.
That was pleasant.
There are TVs on in Wetherspoons - without sound, only text. But I couldn't help noticing that it was wall to wall Whitney Houston. Why?
The world had not suddenly stopped turning.
A pop singer has died.
I just put something on facebook about not being an admirer - and family and friends have rushed to agree with me. I did add that I am always sorry when somebody dies before their time, particularly before they have worked out who they are and what life is truly about.

Then back home through that misty murk - its getting warmer. There is still snow and ice, but slowly, slowly melting.

Now lets think of a world without misty murk.
Three quite wonderful pictures from Jamie.

Phuket, West coat, high season.......and not a tourist in site.
The sheep like tourists don't venture far from Patong.
Jamie says they will take a picnic there next week.
I hope we can all take a picnic there next year.
No murky mist!

Perhaps one of my favourite photographs ever.

Time for a cup of tea and a light snack soon.
I have some books to wrap, which have sold this afternoon.
I must do that before The Midwife comes on TV.

Saturday, February 11, 2012


Mostly Steyning.

Was it only 2 days ago that we had a walk along Steyning High Street?
A lot seems to have happened since then.
Steyning is not a place we have been too much - not quite on the route to anywhere we go to. We must go more often - not least of all, because we have athletics friends who live there; but on Thursday I was not carrying either address or phone number.
There are many timbered houses.

The market hall......except more recent research has revealed that the medieval market hall was not this building, but another further along The High Street.
The founder of The Quakers (George Fox) preached at the old market hall - but it couldn't have actually been this clock tower building.
Lovers of poetry will note the time on the clock......"stands the clock at ten to three, and is there honey still for tea?"
The clock tower stands at the top of a hill. The High Street goes over the hill.

Church street turns off The High Street.
We are now walking down the hill the other side of the clock tower.

The old pump and Pump House.

The Methodist Church and  a blue plaque noting scandal in Steyning.
Charles Parnell was an Irish Nationalist who had pursued Kitty O'Shea. She was a married woman, but her husband refused to divorce her because she was likely to come into money. The thought of the money over ruled her infidelity and the fact that three of her children were almost certainly fathered by Parnell.
Eventually after money matters had been resolved, Kitty was free to marry.
Within 4 months Parnell had a heart attack and died.
Yes, I learn something every day!

Alleyways and old cottages.

One very narrow alleyway led to some old buildings - one housing the tea shop, and then a courtyard of large garden sheds, being used as quirky individual little shops.
The sight of the tea shop, with a table set for tea in the entrance to entice you in,  encouraged us to think of hot cups of tea. We bought cakes from the baker's and made our way home.
It had been a chilly day.

But not as cold as this day.
We awoke to find the temperature at minus 10 degrees. Our back garden faces north and gets no sun at this time of year and the temperature there has not gone above zero all day.
It certainly seemed wise to stay in bed, reading, this morning. Being at Ford might have felt very uncomfortable.
We did walk to the post office in the sunshine. It felt crisp and very fresh.
We still have ice and snow out the back.


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