Sunday, September 30, 2012


Gentle activity.

Tomorrow it will be October - autumn truly has arrived.
I wanted a trip out today - but just a gentle one.
I had seen that there would be a car boot sale at Tulleys Farm today; they choose not to call it a car boot sale.....they hold "pre-loved sales"
We arrived early - my fault. I had read the sign outside the other day and remembered 10 o'clock, but it was due to start an hour later than that.
Never mind, the little cafe, in the barn, was already open and serving up breakfasts.
We just ordered a pot of tea for two. It was a big pot and we had 3 cups of tea each, which we enjoyed with a shared slice of bread pudding.
The car boot sale was small - and many of the couple of dozen stalls were selling children's things.
But we wandered around and met various people we knew and hadn't seen for ages.
One was Kate, who used to be a Rocking Horse dealer with me - over 4 years ago now.
She lives in East Grinstead and I told her of our happy trip on Friday. She knows CJ's the cafe we went to well. Her husband is known there as Number One, because he was their very first customer.
I came home with a few things to make a bit of profit.
Profit is such an abstract concept until it had better happen; I have invested over £200 in the last 3 days on future profits.
It was a pleasant and gentle morning.
This afternoon I wrote some of my new stock up and I have a box full for the shop tomorrow.
This evening our dinner centred on chicken en croute, with a Thai green curry sauce. Frozen food from Aldi. Oh my, that was tasty!
Aldi quality is worth travelling for.
There might have been pictures tonight - but they are still in the camera. I might save them up until the last day of October.
Tulley's Farm make a big thing of Hallowe'en. They have special events throughout the month leading up to the night. There will be a zombie gathering next Saturday. And of course their eyes are on profits and have a vast collection of Hallowe'en things to buy, which looked amazing. Somebody has a really good eye for display. Maybe I will get a pumpkin in.
Finally congratulations to my cousin, A, who has done a walk today in aid of care and research of Alzheimer's Disease. She has raised a goodly amount - and photos show a happy A, brimming with joy and pride.

Saturday, September 29, 2012


This was Saturday.

I do like spending money!
Finding things at a car boot sale that I like and I feel will bring profit to me is very satisfying.
This morning I did a lot of buying at Ford.
Maybe I will do  a few photographs tomorrow.
And was time for breakfast; back to dine amongst the regulars at The George (Littlehampton Wetherspoons).
The same people were there that we had chatted with through last winter......except one. What had happened to Jim?
Poor Jim, a gentle soul, was suffering from dementia. Had it become much more pronounced during the summer? Had he passed on?
His wife was there, looking relaxed.
And she could afford to look relaxed - Jim was being cared for at the local hospice for a week;  just a week. This was giving her some time to sell the caravan that they had used often on the Isle of Wight.
Soon we were walking along by the river - passing the now boarded up Balaton.
I love that river. We had not seen the tide so high before.....would that be a full harvest moon high tide?
Later we both realised how tired we felt. I felt run down, drained of energy. I had been advised by the dentist to take things easy for a couple of days, but of course I have grasped at interesting things to do.
I could do with a solid night's sleep too.
I shall take some pain killers soon and head off for bed. I've got tooth ache! Well, that's what it feels like.
It should settle down soon.

Friday, September 28, 2012


East Grinstead.

Days feel much more positive with challenges and adventures.
The challenge of yesterday is sort of behind me.....the 3 teeth are gone and the gums are not feeling too bad. I have taken paracetamol once today.
Today we opted for a small adventure - that's enough to keep me happy.
We had to do some shopping. Where shall we go?
We chose a town close to us and should be familiar to us. East Grinstead, however, is not really very well known to us.
My brother lived there until his death in 1980 - but visits to my brother were not shopping trips or tourist trips.
We have passed through frequently, but not explored.
There is a lot to look at and we will be back.
And also in its favour, my favourite cheapy supermarket, Aldi, has a store there.
Before shopping we went for our elevenses. Time spent in interesting warm cafes is one of the treats of life that I like to indulge in. Thank you to my sons for teaching me about this pleasure.
So we we went into CJ's - an interesting tapas bar.
Jazz music was playing quietly and we enjoyed croissant and strawberry jam with our hot drinks.
It would be good to return when they have live musicians.

Lizards painted on the old walls.

In some ways it reminded me of the Glastnost Cafe in Phuket Town.

The High Street is lined with beautiful old buildings. Perhaps next time I will learn their names and more of their history.

Not every building retained its old beauty - but still had character.
The bicycle shop has closed.

Bill in The High Street.
It is the longest row of 14th century buildings in the country.

The book shop is in one of the 1500's buildings.
It is full of little rooms, with upstairs selling second hand books.
It also has a small tea room.
We might have elevenses there another time.

The walls around the upstairs windows of the book shop are tree bark.

Hey - people just might start receiving cards from us again.
I have found a shop which sells cards I would be proud to send at reasonable prices.
But today we bought 2 of the train cards to put together in a frame.

We must visit the church. A fellow customer in the book shop told us of the 3 East Grinstead martyrs - put to death for their Catholic faith in the 1500s.

I bought 2 pieces of glass in the Red Cross charity shop.
They will pay for today's mid morning snack and others on days to come.

And then it was off to Aldi to get food in for the next couple of weeks.

Thursday, September 27, 2012


Teeth and Thai fun

It's just beginning to hurt!
My mouth.
It is three and a half hours since I sat in the dentist's chair, with that feeling of life not being quite real.
Maybe that was my nerves or maybe it was the pint of Guinness.
Knowing that I wouldn't be eating much this evening (maybe a cuppa soup), I decided that a good lunch was what I needed.
A good, cheap lunch.
So, off to The Jubilee Oak, the Crawley Wetherspoons.
It is Thursday - curry club day.
I love the sweet potato, chick pea and spinach curry - not too powerful. It comes with rice, naan bread, poppadoms and mango chutney......and a drink of my choice. Today the drink of my choice was Guinness.
It was very good.
Gave me a real lift - I was up for anything!
We popped home to collect Teddy. My Teddy has accompanied me to a number of difficult medical appointments in the last 20 years; it's a wonder he hasn't been squeezed to death.
He sat on my lap and I held his arms - gripping tighter and tighter as the needles went in.
The first two teeth came out with ease - didn't notice their going.
The third one, right at the back had a hooked root and was more awkward.
I saw the three of them - terrible looking specimens. I am better off without them.
And I felt fine.
Still amuses me that the Thai for teeth is "fun".
Now I wait a month to return for impressions of the top of my mouth so that a new, full denture, can be made. Then I  can have the 5 remaining top teeth out - ooh, there will be lots and lots of needles.
The partial denture will not be done for 6 months - giving plenty of time for those bottom gums to heal.
I have rested for the afternoon.....and of course, the pain has set in.
Time for some pain killers.
Tomorrow is another day.
Talking of are the Thai Monks.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012


time to snuggle down.

Hibernation suddenly feels like a good idea.
Summer has gone now and so has my energy.
The rain has been soul destroying - yes, yes....I know, the plant life is enjoying the rain.
And in some parts of the country the rain has been destroying more than just spirits.
Surely the block of flats on the outskirts of Newcastle will tumble into the flood.

I have been at home all day. I have written up all the OS maps I bought and the Picture Post magazines.
One magazine I have saved which features the 1948 Olympics. It would look good framed.

I have made a big casserole of vegetables and beef - we'll have the left overs on Friday.
I enjoyed chopping colourful vegetables.
I feel sure that I won't be eating very much tomorrow night after having 3 teeth out.
I plan to go to Wetherspoons tomorrow lunchtime for a big curry and a pint of Guinness to set me up well for my afternoon appointment.

Now for a cosy evening indoors, fan heater on probably for a while.....and lots of yawning.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012


Getting sorted.

All is well.... so far, no cold has developed.
Life can stay that way.
Today after a brief trip out, we have been gently sorting things.
We got up late - but hadn't made tea and biscuits to have in bed. So, we decided this was a good morning to enjoy a trip to the vampires in the phlobotomy unit.
Our fasting blood tests have been done.
Have I got diabetes? I don't think so. My calcium and vitamin D levels are also being checked.
Has Bill got high cholesterol? We shall see.

I have spent a long while sorting photos from our lovely reunion on Sunday.
That restaurant was not a good place for photos - the light was very subdued.
Then I uploaded them to Flickr - but forgot that if I want them to tell a story (be in chronological order) I should start at the end.
So I had to do it again.
The photos can be found, either on my general page or in a set for just the Sunday pictures.

Feel free to have a look - but if you weren't a Maria Grey girl 50 years ago then you will not know the people.

Bill is also sorting photos - working out what he wants to print from the last 3 months.
I still have that to do - I should limit myself to just my very favourite photos.
I still want to get some photo books printed - but haven't got around to that yet.

We have sorted out shop sales and accounts. Bill has arranged the direct debit for the new rent which we will be paying for the shop. I just have to sort out my extra time - on Saturdays.

BUT - I haven't begun to sort out all the things I bought at Ford last Saturday.
There are Picture Post magazines, a conical jelly mould, a 1950s blanket (yes, I will send you a picture, Peter in Germany), books, kitchenalia etc etc. The bottle of beer is for my shelf in the bedroom - the shelves which house my Olympic collection - a special ale for the 1984 Olympics.
I must start checking on EBay to see what mementos I can get cheap for the 2012 games.

And now I want a cup of tea.

Monday, September 24, 2012



Is this a cold I see before me?!
I didn't have a cold through all of last winter, but with the first wintry days this year it might be trying to take hold.
Have I started the echinacea too late?
Anyway, already feeling happily tired from a very busy weekend, tonight I feel exhausted.
It has been a surprisingly busy day at the shop. I took one look at the torrential rain and assumed people would stay home in the dry. But that was our most busy time.
Yes, people are happily buying all sorts of things......right up until closing time.
In she came at five to five......looked at silver frames.
What would be the best price and do we take credit cards?
We don't.
Oh, sighs and frustrations! This just hadn't been her day it seems. She said she would get money and do one or two other things whilst we sorted out the best price for her.
She did come back - sometimes people don't.
Huffing and puffing and wondering what time M&S shut.
She was fine and we looked after her well......but we were late away. But I always tell customers, when they ask what time we close, that we'll lock up when the last customer leaves.
The shop is looking really good just now - I think the game of musical chairs has almost stopped. Quite a few of us having set up new sections. Moving things about always makes for a fresh approach and a fresh way of seeing things for the customers. Pilgrims Antiques is alive and well.
Now, where is the Lemsip before I have an early night?

Sunday, September 23, 2012


Maria Grey Girls 50 years on.

There will be pictures, of course; but, not this evening.
Special days seem to be specially tiring.
Not like the special days of 50 years ago when we could dance until dawn.
Today the 10 girls of 50 years ago met up as the mature women of today.
I remember that day so well, when a gauche, naive girl of just 18 met the others who would share her life for 3 years.
They all seemed so knowing and aware......maturity tells me that most were feeling just as daunted.
But I doubt that my new room mate felt nervous.....she had lived a bit.
I arrived first with my cobbled together boxes and bags of things I thought might be necessary to live away from home. There was little money at home at that time. I came from a world of left wing politics, getting by, and intellectual pursuits; well, parents craved intellectual pursuits - I had rather turned my back on such things at that stage of life.
In my room - number 4 - I did manage to choose my end of the room, before Helen arrived.
Her huge trunk sat on the floor at the other end. On the top was a huge bouquet of red roses.
Helen swept in, dressed in a beautiful tailored grey suit, very high heels and a cigarette in a long holder. She was almost 2 years older than me.
Wow, she was something from the pictures!
She was good and kind - but backgrounds and life experiences were so very different.
The other girls arrived and we nervously introduced ourselves - usual thing, our names and where we came from.
And that was the beginning.
Fifty years later and the gang of trainee teachers met up as retired teachers.
It was the first time that all 10 of us actually met on the same occasion - there have been other meetings, but one or other was always unable to make it.
There had been 11 of us, originally, and we drank a toast to absent friends -  Maureen had died young.
We and 8 husbands have enjoyed such a special day. The husbands have been part of the clan for most of the 50 years too. They had been boyfriends then - now they are husbands with golden weddings in the not too distant future.
We dined at a French restaurant, not far from our college.
I enjoyed the food and wine very much.
Much more I just enjoyed the joy of the day - talking, laughing, catching up on the latest news - grandchildren, ailments and our hopes for our remaining active years.
Four hours in the restaurant then evolved into tea and scones at Libby's house - who lives close by.
For one short day, the ten of us, became the Canada Girls again.......our student house was called Canada House.
We loved and laughed until it was time for each of us to return to our own worlds.

Saturday, September 22, 2012


Lovely Saturday

Such a lovely day.
We left home not long after sunrise......still chilly at that hour (7 degrees); but we felt sure that we would be enjoying sunshine for the day.
We enjoyed a good time browsing and buying at Ford.
My shopping trolley was full.
Then into Littlehampton - breakfast time.
We sat at "our" table by the window of The Balaton, presumably for the very last time. It was as enjoyable as ever, but we felt the sadness and apprehension in the air.
George (Mr Balaton) was saying that you never know what might happen......"Who knows?" he said "Maybe I'll open up again in the Spring" But maybe that was just the nervousness talking - wondering why he had ever made the decision to close. Maybe as he settles into his next chapter he will be able to leave the old chapter in the past.
We left them a bottle of wine and received hugs from Eleanor, George's daughter.

We took a walk down to the lifeboat station, where Bill bought tea.
On our way back along the river estuary somebody hurried out of the smart looking cafe we once visited with Pete and Jean, calling "Bill, Bill". For a moment we were baffled, not immediately recognising who was calling. It was Brian - one of the Pilgrims Antiques dealers, enjoying a beer or two after being at Ford. Sometimes it can be hard to recognise somebody who seems to be in the wrong place! So we went in the cafe and had a good chat with Brian and Sue. We didn't stop for a drink because we had other plans.
We walked back to the car, along the river.

We walked out along the little pier - more a jetty than  a pier.
Right at the end, beyond the fence was a strange sight.
Make up your own story about this one.

Good, clean shoes - so neatly placed there.
Why? By whom?

It was time to drive westwards to the caravan field near Birdham. It is a registered site - a large field, licensed for just 5 caravans. So it is always quiet.
It is the favourite spot for Bill's sister and her husband (J and R).
We sat in the sun with a first glass of wine until lunch was ready.
It was lovely and we could see why they were there as many weekends as possible.

When the sun was covered by a cloud, it still felt quite chilly.
So we ate inside.
It was such a lovely time. You can't capture chat, laughter, friendliness and closeness with a camera so well.
But here is J, looking happy.

About 12 hours after we left home we were back indoors. My purchases are, of course strewn over the dining room table.
I won't have time to sort them tomorrow.
We are out to lunch again, at a smart French restaurant in Richmond - celebrating the 50th anniversary of the day my crowd of student friends all met up.

Friday, September 21, 2012


Aunty Joyce.

How lovely....we are finding some time to catch up with family; it could inspire me to pick up the pieces of family history again.
Sad - I have forgotten so much that I learned; I shall have to go through all I have written and notes I have made.
And I shall need to beg to be instructed again on things like hyperlinking.
This time if I can get the bug, I might actually pay out to - it might make things easier.
Today we have been with Aunty Joyce - on Bill's maternal side. She married Bill's mother's brother, Ned.
She is now 87 years old and as fit as a fiddle and as bright as a button.
Some years ago now we had arranged to visit and get the life story of Ned and Joyce. But it was that same week that Joyce's grandson was killed in a car crash.
That week was not the right time - and we have not yet picked up the pieces.
I think we will now; especially as Joyce has so recently been sorting out old photos.

The visit was not planned - but we were in the area, so decided to see if Joyce was at home.
This afternoon I had a blood test at the hospital - not the fasting one this time. I decided to wait until Bill get his form for that.
This one is for the urology team at East Surrey, who I see in 10 days time.
Then we went to the cemetary with a few flowers and some secateurs.
Bill arranged flowers and I dead headed marigolds planted by one of Bill's sisters.

Then to Joyce's for a cup of tea and chat - lots of family news to catch up with from that branch of the family.
We got talking about her family history - not strictly part of our line; but I might follow up a few bits for her.
Her grandfather was Samuel  Macey, born in Warnham. He married Alice Holman, born in Chaldon, Surrey.
Lovely afternoon.

She was younger then - probably 84 or 85.

Thursday, September 20, 2012


Cousin Ann

Cousin Ann - such a good, kind person.
Dabbling in family history has brought me closer to many of the family tribe on B's side, probably none more so than Ann.
This afternoon we went to see her.
She must now be the oldest living person on the family tree - the direct family tree anyway.
Sometimes she feels it too.
She is 84.......just about old enough to be my mother. But I don't see her as older generation - we meet as equals. And anyway she is the same generation as us.....such a wide generation in ages. The youngest of her cousins is only 52.
We chatted and shared gossip and views on anything that crops up.
She doesn't really know it.....but she is so wise and intelligent.
So sad that she is alone now, having enjoyed 60 years of life with Gordon.
We drank cups of tea and ate the home made scones which she had baked this morning for us.
We also had a tipple of sloe gin! Mmmmm! So warm and fruity!
Lovely afternoon.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012



It's Wednesday......why do I so often feel I have little to say on a Wednesday?
Just as well I had little to is 'Talk Like a Pirate Day'
Both Bill and I had hair cuts this morning.
Bill has done cleaning housework, whilst I cleared the dining room table. Good not to have things I have bought during the last couple of weeks strewn all over the table.
Now I have 4 boxes of stuff out in the garage to deal with.
My next dental appointment is fixed for next Thursday afternoon. I can probably keep nerves at bay until the day itself.
So, with nothing to say I will add a picture, which amused me.

Goodnight, me hearties!.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012


Back to the medical routine.

Life is returning to the old routine - the one with a succession of medical appointments. I won't dwell on the fact that tomorrow I must ring the dentist and make an appointment for the first extractions.
My doctor said there will be no problems with the alendronic acid. He feels that having my poor quality existing teeth is much more of a problem.
I have 2 forms for blood tests. One I have had for almost a year; I shall need to have one before I see the urology team at east Surrey Hospital on October 1st.
Now I have one for Dr O too - this will check on just about everything, including diabetes.
The latter one is a fasting blood test. Bill will get a form for one of those too; so, a nice little outing for us eh? Blood tests followed by a Wetherspoons breakfast!
We both have appointments for our annual flu jabs.
I still have to find a chiropodist. The podiatrist who is working at the GPs medical centre is only there for one day a month.
Tomorrow we have different appointments - hair cuts.

After seeing the doctor we went to visit family in has been 4 year old O's birthday.
The 2 boys set up a dinosaur battlefield.
What fun!

Monday, September 17, 2012


Sad Dorking day.

I had hoped to bring you a report and pictures of  a celebratory day at Pilgrims.
Though I realise that getting old and weak and closing down a major part of life is not a cause for celebration.
Instead we were greeted at the door of the shop by a couple, waiting with boxes and a pile of newspapers to wrap things.
This was Madame Julie's daughter and son in law. They were over from France to deal with the clearing out from the shop.
Of course it was too daunting emotionally for Julie to be there. Within an hour, the centre of her life was no more - just an empty space.
It was a sad day.
But it was a busy day.
Many people from other countries were in the shop - almost seemed like coach loads of them.
One group were Australian and were on a package tour, staying at various centres round the country. They were enjoying 3 nights at The White Horse in Dorking. They all desperately wanted to buy - but were very conscious of luggage weight limits . Tomorrow they will be off to Germany for a visit to the Schlumpf  motor museum.
Tonight I am tired - very tired! Been asleep already on the sofa.
Here is a picture, taken by Donna, of us yesterday morning in Reigate Priory Park very early in the morning.

Sunday, September 16, 2012


Tour of Britain.

Another great day.
Yet another that I feel sure we'll never get the chance of again.
We have been a small part within the organisation of a top sporting event.
We marshalled crowds at the entrance to Reigate Priory Park where the final stage of The Tour of Britain cycle race began.
It was lots of fun.
Bill and I worked with Donna (timekeeping friend) and John (cyclist and athlete) at the entrance to the park. So we were front line crowd control.
Our job was to direct people, tell them about the route and make sure that nobody without a pass went along the track laid out for officials and cyclists.
Bill and John got moved for a while to guard the VIPs being entertained to drinks and goodies....they didn't get any.
It is a lovely park - we will go back and explore it further.
There were all sorts of activities going on in the park - and thousands of people.
We got a free lunch for our troubles - well a sausage in  ciabatta roll and a drink.
We got home in time to see the last hour of the race live.
The result was a perfect ending. Mark Cavendish won the stage - up the steep cobbled hill which is Guildford High Street and Jonathan Tiernen-Locke won the race - the first British rider to win the Tour of Britain.
I had plenty of time to take photos and these can be found on Flickr. Once again too many to put on a blog.

Saturday, September 15, 2012



Today has been about weddings - not that I have been to a wedding today.
To begin at the beginning........
50 years ago there was a wedding - another that I didn't attend.
Bill did though - well, some of it.
A work colleague asked Bill to drive his bride to Worth Church for their wedding.
So, today is a Golden Wedding and much love and congratulations go to our friends Pete and Jean.
I heard about Bill's part in the proceedings later that evening.
It was the evening of our first official date.
We saw the film Exodus at Crawley cinema.
So, today is our anniversary too. Much love to my special man - we have driven each other mad and kept each other sane in equal measure.
And 50 years later, on this day, our niece, Jo, married her man, Darryl.
Its has been a lovely small family wedding and reports say that it has been a wonderful day.
So, much love and wishes for much future happiness go to them.
And today I have lapped up gossip of a celebrity wedding that took place yesterday.
Some will have heard of Dermot O'Leary - he introduces X Factor does some Radio 2 programmes and various other things.
Yesterday he got married.
Today we worked with Claudia in the shop and her daughter and son in law are best friends with Dermot and his bride. Claudia's daughter was bridesmaid and the son in law was one of the 2 best men.
It was, by our standards, a lavish wedding - but seems to have also been intimate and personal....away from the public eye. They turned down a lot of money offered by Hello/OK magazine to cover their wedding; they knew from experience how the celebrity magazines just take over the day. If the magazine had rights to the day then nobody else was able to take any pictures - not family, not friends.  They wanted their wedding to be for their families and friends. So, good for them.
When we got home I saw a lovely collection of wedding photographs taken at a wedding - just the sort that Hello/OK magazines would have not allowed. Our nephew captured the love, happiness and laughter superbly at a friend's wedding.
And now here is a picture of a couple celebrating 50 years. I don't know them.

I bet they enjoyed the paralympics.
Oh, this time last week we were in that wonderful stadium.

Oh, and the shop was busy and sales were good for both of us.
It was a lovely day.

Friday, September 14, 2012


Our life style guru.

Today Bill was visited by Gary - a lifestyle nurse attached to our surgery.
We seemed to become instant friends!
Lots of talk about collecting things, car boot sales (he goes to Ford), selling things, EBay experiences.
And in between time he was recording details of Bill's physical well being or lack of it.
Bill's blood pressure was very good - admirably controlled by Amlodipene.
He has a slight heart "fluttering". He will probably have to have an ECG test.
His blood sugar level was good too.
I am not sure how it happened - Gary checked my blood sugar levels too. Ouch, ouch, ouch! My sensitive neuropathy suffering finger didn't like it one little bit. But at 4.7 I could be very pleased with the result - certainly wouldn't appear that I need be checked further for diabetes.
Bill will have a cholestoral test.
Later on advice will be given concerning weight and Body Mass Index. He does slot in below the obese level, I think.
So, an interesting hour.
And so good that our doctors provide this service.
I have got more stuff written up - some of it will go to the shop tomorrow. We are doing a day for SK.

This is the Poole Pottery bowl I was researching yesterday.
Seems I got things right.
The date, the artist, the style.....and even the value.
I sent the picture to Mick, who sells Poole in the shop.

Sad that Bradley Wiggins is suffering gut problems....I know the feeling. I had been looking forward to seeing him on Sunday when we marshall the Tour of Britain Cycle Race in Reigate. Ah well, there will be other heroes.

Thursday, September 13, 2012


Work or pleasure.....well, both.

Jo arrived at our house at 7 o'clock and she joined us for a trip to Ford car boot sale.
It was a chilly start to the day, but sunny. And soon it warmed up.
We all bought well this morning.
Then, off we went to Littlehampton.
Only one more breakfast in The Balaton.......unless?
George (Mr Balaton) suggested that if the place doesn't sell during the winter then his sister might run it next summer; and she wouldn't change the menu.
It was a beautiful morning by the river and along the beach.
I spent much of the afternoon researching things I had bought this morning.
I bought a Poole Pottery bowl. It's about time I learned more about Poole. I am pretty sure that I now know the artist who painted this bowl and also its date (1967).
So, I didn't get much written up and ready for sale.
That's something for tomorrow.
By this evening I was finding that all the fresh air and exercise had wearied me and I have fallen asleep on the sofa.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012


I will be having lots of fun removed.

I feel tired tonight and I think the weariness is allowing some sense of shock to rise.
It is far too early to allow negative feelings in, but there you are.
I was with my dentist this morning.
It is time to discuss my teeth and their future.
My own desire at this stage was to have them all out under an anaesthetic.......but that is not an option it seems.
Mr Clinton's plan - good old Bill Clinton, is to deal with things in 2 stages this year.
He wants to remove the 3 remaining teeth at the bottom which can be classed on my left side. I will then have a partial bottom denture.
When I have healed from that, he will take out all the remaining 5 teeth that I have at the top.
I was quite jolly and cheerful as we discussed it.
There is just a little anxiety on both sides, because the drug I take to try and control osteoporosis disturbs the healing process. I must discuss this with my doctor next week. But it is not a drug you can stop and immediately all is back as it was.
Anyway we were able to have a laugh together this morning. Just before I went I was chatting with Jamie and he told me that the Thai for teeth is "fun".
I am not just tired tonight, I am in pain......such a little thing, but so much pain. I have had a corn on my little toe for weeks. Sometimes it causes not more than discomfort and can be ignored. Tonight I am limping and it feels like a shard of glass is twisting in my toe. I have bought various remedies - but the big problem is that I can't really reach my toes.
The time may have come to seek professional help. A private podiatrist is now working at our doctor's surgery.
I guess it is that almost insignificant complaint which is dragging me down this evening - perhaps more than any "fun" problems.
Adds another meaning to the pop song "Girls just want to have fun"
Tonight was our last outdoor timing event of the year.
The club organises a 5,000m race for Crawley and Reigate runners in memory of a very talented athlete connected with both clubs - Ed Prickett. He had just won his heat at the Gateshead track and was expected to win the final the following day. Whilst crossing the road outside the track he was hit by a taxi travelling at almost 100 mph.
Bill and Gerry and I were the officials.
We had a lot to sort out. We kept track of who had lapped whom and I got the numbers down for all the finishers. Bill and Gerry could add times to the numbers.
We were a damn good team!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


My section in Pilgrim Antiques, Dorking.

My work is done - well, the big task for the week has been completed.
My "new" section in the antiques shop is finished and looking good. People who have seen it really approve.
And I love it, of course.
I think Bill thought we would be there for a couple of hours only - but there was far too much chatting, laughing and eating and cups of team to get things done quickly.
It has been such fun.
We were there for almost 5 hours!
Here are some pictures.
I used to have a small section of wall and I used a shelf unit to create and L shaped space. It was really quite cramped and customers were hidden from view whilst they browsed my shelves.
Now I am using almost the entire length of the wall for my shelves. It looks much brighter and more open.

This is the view you see as you come up the 3 steps into the back room.

The picnic set on the trolley stands out.
The picnic set is brand new, never been used. There is a neatly folded linen table cloth in the case.

I bought the trolley last Thursday at Ford, knowing that I would need some pieces to stand in front of the shelves.

This shows my section as seen from the back door of the shop.

Mistress of my world!

I am very happy with what I have created - a mini shop within a shop.

Now I just have to sort out all the stock I bought since the end of July and start selling on EBay again and my "business" world will be back to normal.

Monday, September 10, 2012


All change at Pilgrims.

It's too late to turn back now!
What I have done today is done - whether it is approved of or not.
Today I (and Bill) moved shelves in the shop.
You may recall that I was moving to another section to sell my collectables.
The first shock of the day was finding that the section I was moving to was full......Jo hadn't been able to finish clearing it and others had put things there too. SK ( who runs the shop) hadn't told anybody what was happening.
But then he also hadn't told anybody that he was going away on holiday.
Many things have been left wanting. Bags? Wrapping paper? No evidence of fresh supplies.
And worse - what if something went badly wrong? Where is he? Who is in charge?
So, I felt a bit negative.
Did I really want to move sections?
It involved a lot of work - much of it for Bill. My shelves would need adapting.; electrics would need moving.
Bill has created vaguely reasonable lighting in the existing area. The other end of the room seemed very dark.
No, why change things? I sell well in that area, tucked away at the back of the shop.
Then I decided to work on just a small change.
As I worked a scheme was hatched in my head. Why not take the new section and also keep a good part of the old section?
I couldn't ask SK of course.
But the more I thought of it, the more I wanted it.
And because I wanted it, I organised it.
No time for lunch today!
I organised and worked non stop. I had got that adrenalin rush and wanted to get things close to finished.
I have opened up my half of the room now - yes, I have half the room pretty well.
I am sure SK will like it - if he notices!
And if he notices he must see that I have grabbed more than we negotiated. Common sense tells me that he will need more rent - hopefully not twice as much. If it is twice as much, then I will fill it completely.
I am happy though; it may be that the shop has a limited life span now. I might as well create what I really want for the remaining time. And if the shop stays running, well, that's a bonus.
I can't see me losing money, even with a rent increase. But profits could be down quite dramatically.
But I am in it for pleasure and challenge more than anything else.
There is still some more work to be done - not too much. But we must sort out better lighting at the dark end. Soon it will be winter and no sunlight will flood through the little windows.
I (and probably Bill) will return tomorrow morning.
Jo and I can work on the remaining things we need to do and generally the 4 of us who will be there will enjoy each other's company.

Sunday, September 09, 2012


Yesterday - the Paralympics are slipping away.

Yesterday.........what a day!
The last day of athletics in the stadium - and we were there again.
Wonderful day.

We began our 3rd London jaunt a little away from the Olympic Park.
Wise move - for on that very hot Saturday - the last day of most competition, the world and his wife were in the park.
We got off the tube at Bethnal Green and walked the short distance to Victoria Park - an old park. It was opened to the public in 1845.
We met a pearly king in the station.

And on a hot Saturday lots of people were enjoying the facilities.
We had our picnic in the shade in a small sort of summer house.
Then we walked round the lake and bought a cup of tea, which we enjoyed with the cake from our picnic.

This was part of our view.
We chatted with an older lady who could remember coming to the park with her mother and being taken for a ride on a sort of barge on the lake for sixpence.
Lot's of people were in little boats - at a cost of £10 for half an hour for 4 people.

Times change.

Then we walked along the Hertford Canal. Very peaceful.

We then had a short distance of street walking until we reached The Greenway, which would take us into the Olympic Park.

I will post pictures of the first part of our day, later in the week.

The Paralympics gave us everything - us and all the other 80,000 people.
We had seats in row 6 which were very good.
There were no British medallists but nobody in the stadium seemed to worry about that.
The people who were there seemed to understand that there was more to life than nationalism.
Everybody was applauded and cheered joyfully, no matter what their race, colour or creed or level of disability.
Love was in the air!

Sad to see this time end. I really hope that this summer has inspired people to do sport or do good and to feel warmth to all good people, whatever their nationality.

I took lots of pictures again - too many for a blog.
They are on Flickr.
I have now upgraded my Flickr page.
I does seem to be easy to create a slide show.
I hope you enjoy the pictures and can understand why the event was so important to me.
Some of the pictures are not of a really high standard - we were too far away from most of the action. And I used the big screen in the stadium to show a little more than I could actually do.

For now, I hope you enjoy this picture.

Friday, September 07, 2012


So tired.

No news.
No energy.
When did I last feel this tired?
I have drifted in and out of consciousness as athletics from the Paralympics Stadium continued.
I was awake to see our local paralympian come 4th again. Poor Sophia Warner, she so wanted a medal. Her cerebral palsy means that her running is awkward - jerky, unbalanced.......more so than the 3 ahead of her.
Tomorrow night we will be there - the last night of Olympic athletics in London.
Looking forward to it, of course.
Must get some sleep.

Thursday, September 06, 2012


Green with envy and old folks by the sea side.

I have to admit it, I am green with envy tonight.
I so yearned to be in the Olympic Stadium........from the moment I knew that Jonny Peacock would be running the 100 metre final, for those with prosthetic blades, I yearned to be there.
He won!
So did David Weir.
So did Hannah Hopcroft.
Super noise and atmosphere. Super joy.

But it has been a lovely day for us anyway.
We went to Ford. I was looking for a table for my enlarged area. Pity I let a small kitchen table go - he who hesitates is lost.
I did buy a 60's style teak tea trolley - it will be for sale, and in the meantime will be useful to display things on.
We both bought lots of interesting things.

We breakfasted well - as usual. Just 24 days left for The Balaton.We spent a while talking about what they will be doing next. A couple are hoping to get jobs at Butlins (Bognor). Their gain I would say.
We didn't get our usual table by the window. Boo!
But a lovely couple were there before us.
We got chatting to a very elegant looking older man and his lady. She had been in the Olympic Stadium on Tuesday night - probably not far from us.

Proving that old doesn't have to be boring and lifeless.

The old have taken over Littlehampton - taken it back from all the young summer visitors.

I am sure they are lovely and not at all boring once you get to know them.
But they do look a bit lifeless.

Not so old - but very lifeless!

I call this "Lady in Waiting". She had made a bit of an effort for the friends who joined her, sitting by the river.

The hat adds some character.
He seems to be enjoying life and finding pleasures and humour where he can.

Not really old - in his 50's.
He talked and talked and talked - sort of Alan Bennet like.
He talked about all sorts of people in his family by name - as if we knew who he was talking of.
He added quirky snippets about all their daily lives.

Shopping list or postcards to family and neighbours?
She was glad of a sit down anyway - look, she has undone her sensible shoes.
At least she keeps busy.
He looks kind of this what imagined for my life?

I love getting to know people - either through conversation or through my pictures/

Wednesday, September 05, 2012


What a night.

Words seem paltry tonight.
I need them to describe yesterday evening.
It was amazing, exciting, exilerating, joyful.....all of that and so much more.
I could hardly believe I was there in the stadium at an Olympic Games.
OK - not THE Olympics, but it felt just like it.
The stadium was full, the atmosphere was electric and noisy and, so happy.
The crowd were ready to appreciate everybody's efforts - no thoughts of nationality; we loved them all.
Love was in the air!
And yes, the atmosphere was heightened greatly when David Weir came on the track for 1500 metres. He has won almost everything in his time in his wheel chair, from 100 metres to marathon.
When he came into the stadium everybody was on their feet.
The gun went. The wheels started to fly and arms pumped up and down. David held a sensible position for 3 laps and then powered away. Had he gone too soon? Will he be caught? No - he won the gold medal.
Everybody was smiling and cheering.
I am so thrilled to know that we will be going back - and know just what to expect.

Imagine though, 80,000 people all wanting to pass through Stratford Station at gone 10 o'clock at night.
We were advised to try a different route.
But later we met up with people who went through Stratford and said there was no hassle, no stress.
We just got a train at a quarter to midnight, back home. Home by 1 o'clock.

Yesterday we took many photographs....of course. First we wandered in the Olympic Park. Then at last we could go into the stadium.
There are too many to put here.

Other photos can be found on flickr.

You can imagine that much of the day has been spent with photographs.
We did both have nurse appointments this morning.
The nurse has started me on the process of finding out if I might have some level of diabetes.
And Bill will have a choresterol test and see a lifestyle specialist nurse - health and fitness lifestyle that is.

Monday, September 03, 2012


Gradually organised.

At last I have picked up the reins of my shop life. I can't say that the horse is galloping away with great speed, but gradually I'll get things sorted.
I did almost nothing in August. New stock has not been written up or prepared; accounts have not been kept.
I have spent all evening going through my sales of the last 3 weeks - well, lucky me that I had so many that it took all that time. Though my eyes were also on the paralympics.
My eyes will certainly be on everything in the stadium tomorrow - we'll be there tomorrow evening.

But today has been a shop day.
Jo has been there too, clearing the section that I will take over. I shall begin organising that next Monday - and I envisage that it will take a couple more days after that.

Sunday, September 02, 2012


Happy time at the track

My seat on the timekeepers' steps at the Crawley track will remain empty now for about 6 months.
Today was our last meeting at home - and a very good meeting too.
Eleven teams from all over Sussex, teams of athletes under 13 years old, came together. The smaller clubs didn't expect to win, but they each had winners.
The competition for the trophy was between the bigger clubs and it was a close fought match all the way through. Who would win. I was convinced that the home club, my club, Crawley had done enough. But actually in the very last relay the situation was that if Brighton won that race they would win the match.............and they did.
Well done Brighton - happy winners.
Everybody was happy - glad to have taken part and done their best.
I was happy to have been the chief timekeeper for such a happy meeting - with a happy band of friends, who I am always glad to meet up with.
I shall not actually pack my watch away.
Bill and I have one more timekeeping duty at the track in 10 days. We will be timing a 5,000 metres, held annually after training on a Wednesday in September.
Sometimes it is quite a challenge - with only 3 of us sorting out both the finishing order and each individuals times.
This evening I have given my attention to other athletics - the paralympics.
I have booked our train  tickets to go there on Tuesday and Saturday.

Saturday, September 01, 2012


Today's chatter.

It was hardly more than an hour after I went to sleep that the alarm bell rang.
It had been a bad night; not just one of those things. There was a cause.
Two days ago I ran out of decaff tea bags and so, thinking it would only be for a short while, I made tea using Bill's lifeboat tea. Now I love lifeboatmen - my cousin once removed in particular, but the good strong tea  caused me to have no sleep. Indeed, I felt quite hyper. I read, I did sudoku puzzles, listened to the radio. I was actually yearning for a cup of tea!
Finally I was dozing - and dreaming a very weird dream.
The alarm went off to get us out of bed to go to Ford. We don't seem to have been for a while.
I came back with some interesting things.
I half looked at small furniture - but at that stage I didn't know what might be happening in the shop.
Later, Stephen had made a decision and phoned me. I will be joining in the musical chairs palaver that a number of people are involved in.
I will have a bigger space.
It will be for about a year which is when Pilgrims will have to close to make way for the new developments proposed by the recent purchaser. Probably.
We have watched more cycling and athletics. And bother, you can't see everything and therefore I have not shared in Ellie Simpson, the attractive and lively young woman with dwarfism winning her gold medal in the swimming pool.
Lots of random thoughts fall into my head as these games proceed.
All the competitors are so attractive - beautiful even. I am thinking that understanding the depths to which life can go, turning it all around and finding a sense of purpose creates an inner strength. That inner strength is what is shining through as beauty.
It also comes through as a contentment with who one is.
So when I look at myself in a mirror and acknowledge that the person I see has some beauty and contentment, I realise it comes from my own knowledge of the depths.
I sorted out my flickr page today. There are now 2 ways to view my pictures - choose from the random stream as pictures are posted or use this web address to get you through the subject headings that I have so far used.
Time for bed - must have my wits about for my last chiefdom of the summer track season. I will be chief for the final of the Sussex Under 13s Athletics League. It's a mini Olympics - with a parade of the athletes.

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