Friday, November 30, 2012


The River Wear.

Last week we went to Monkwearmouth - that's the north side of the River Wear. Sunderland is on the south side - well, apart from the Sunderland football stadium (now called The Stadium of Light) which is on the Monwearmouth side.

We travelled on the Metro - quite a distance from the west side of Newcastle.

From the station we had to climb down many, many steps from bridge level down to the river.
There are 2 bridges over the Wear - one for road traffic and one for the Metro.

We would be walking eastwards towards the coast - or as Ashley explained we would be visiting most of the planets of the solar system. Hang on - all will be revealed.

This contraption represents the sun.
From this point all the planets are positioned to scale all the way to the coast.

In no time at all, it seemed, we had passed Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars - all quite close to the sun.
Pluto was still 2 and a half kilometres away.

Shona - what a beautiful dog.
Apparently Shona, in Urdu, means Golden One.
I can't remember the breed of Shona - except that it originates in Holland.

We chatted for quite a while to Shona's owner.

The North East is blessed with councillors who approve of money being spent on art and culture.
I am sure this is wise - people feel more positive if surrounded by things of interest.

So we have this metal tree on a plinth by the river.

And part of the river path has a maze to work your way around - sort of like a shadow of the tree.

Ashley strode back and forth and completed the maze path.

We had passed a large wooden nut, through which you could view the bridges and the tree.
Then we found the matching bolt.
And yes, Bill looks cold, because it was cold.

The Sunderland docks do not seem to be busy these days.

Looking out to sea.
I have been tracking the Reef Despina on the internet. It is now far out in the North Sea servicing the Lincs wind farm.
We didn't walk this far.....not to the coast, not to Pluto.
We stopped at the National Glass centre.

Thursday, November 29, 2012


Afternoon in Newcastle. Chinatown and Baltic 39.

Wednesday afternoon (last week) in Newcastle.

First some general views as we walked from one place to another.

Reflecting in Newcastle.

Who needs an art gallery? Graffiti art.

A couple of side streets.

Gateway to Chinatown, with St. Jame's Park beyond - the home of Newcastle Football Club.

In Chinatown - loads of places to eat or buy ingredients to cook food.

Chinese bun shop. So many interesting things to choose from.
We opted to eat in - needed a sit down for a while.

Look who had 2 buns!

That's my bun. The bun is slightly sweet, it was topped with ham and sweetcorn puree. The white stuff that looks like icing? I don't know....guess it was a sort of icing.
I drank iced lemon remind me of Thailand.

Old woman relaxing in the bun shop.
I presume she follows a Chinese football team.

Our final destination of the day was Baltic 39. This is an offshoot of the major modern art gallery, which we had intended to visit. (Next time?). Baltic 39 is a 4 storey building in a side street and is a centre for art, with studios and workshops. The top floor is used for exhibitions.
When we were there we saw art from the collection of Jim Shaw, an American artist having a major exhibition in the main Baltic Gallery.
He collected a lot of original art, buying in American thrift shops and flea markets.
The fact that he had rescued a painting turned even a very poor piece of work into something interesting. Much of the amateur art was indeed poor - and therefore funny to see it hung in a gallery.
It is not often that one feels quite so free to laugh at the art in an art gallery!
This was my favourite.

It has a quaint naive look to it.
It makes me laugh every time I see it.

This looks to be the work of some tortured mind.

I look forward to finding such original art for myself - I shall be scouring the car boot sale stalls.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012


Wednesday morning. Newcastle. The Laing etc.

This Wednesday has been very different from the last one, but the weather has been much the same.

Last week we were in Newcastle - it was a gloomy damp day, but we had fun.

We left home early and even before we had breakfast we were in a church.

This the Roman Catholic church of St Andrew.

It was dark inside - lit only at the altar and with some candles.

This is the small courtyard just outside the main door to the church.

We crossed over the road to a cafe attached to another church - The Basement Cafe.

We sat on the huge sofas, enjoying toasted ciabattas and tea/coffee as lovely folk, blues music played.
It was a good atmosphere. We stayed some time.

Raining outside. That's St. Andrew's Church across the road.

From there is was a short walk to The Laing Art Gallery (pronounced Layng).

My eye was drawn straight away to a cabinet of Sowerby glass.

Oh wow! What a wonderful 1960's style vase......I thought.
But it is Sowerby glass....and that company had stopped production well before the 1960s.

So, not 1960's....but rather 1880.
I had always assumed Sowerby to have made pressed glass.
But it seems they had a glass blowing workshop from 1870 to 1888 and hired Italian glass blowers.

Sowerby made glass in Gateshead - just over the river.

China designed by Dame Laura Knight  and Clarice Cliff with a circus theme.

 Portraits - late 19th century.

Self portrait 2012.

Visitors (children mainly perhaps) were encouraged to look in a mirror and make a self portrait on a kind of Etch a Sketch board.

Outside was interesting - a paved area which was almost a work of art in itself.

But it was too wet to sit out on the interesting benches to watch the world go by.

Time for a cup of tea in St Andrew's church hall. This is not the St Andrew's we visited before breakfast.
This is a C of E church.
Ashley knew that on Wednesdays they serve tea and cakes for 50p.

More glass. This is actually the clear glass window in the church hall. It was not created to be anything special; in fact is very flawed glass.
Below you can see how the other half of the window is much clearer.
So, that was Wednesday morning. Next time I will share with you the fun of the afternoon.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


Dealing with things

Too late for any photos to be ready.
I am surrounded by parcels and my EBay accounts.
I have been busy wrapping and dealing with the buyers.
I had 26  things selling and 21 of them were bid for - some attracting bids higher than I might have envisaged.
Remember the handkerchiefs - the box with George Best on the lid?
They are now paid for and addressed to be on their way to Norway tomorrow.
The previous bidder failed to make any contact and I relisted.
They didn't sell for as much this time - but that had been just plain silly. I expect there are a number of you who would think that the £26 paid today is also plain silly.
I interrupted my life as an international dealer to accompany Bill for his regular blood test and then we both went to Asda to stock up again. Well, not stock up too much; I am determined to use up lots of things that have been languishing in the freezer.

I will give you a picture today - only of interest to those who knew the Crawley of 50 or 60 years ago.
Photographs and comments about places and people continue to appear on Memories of Crawley at quite a rate.
This picture shows The High Street.

I had completely forgotten that there had been shops next to Barclays Bank.
I am hoping that somebody in the group can recall which shops they were.

Time for a cuppa.

Monday, November 26, 2012



A grey day.....a wet day.
It hasn't been as wet as Newcastle now has it.
But wet enough to cause problems. The railway line between Dorking and Horsham could take 3 weeks to get back to normal after a landslide.

There were more people in the shop than I might have imagined - though sales were poor.

I wrote up all the things that I bought at Tynemouth on Saturday. Those things are now arranged on the shelves. I wonder where they will go next.
Sometimes I wonder if things just pass from one dealer to the next!

We are tired tonight.

Sunday, November 25, 2012



Today is about a journey - one that started and finished with heavy rain.
Oh dear - there has been a lot of rain. People in the southwest of England have suffered most as a result of the rain. But in the north east, too, there is flooding - but mostly in the fields. Some roads have had to be closed, though as a result. The rivers look very full, brown and wild.
But fortunately for us, the rain stopped, the clouds were blown away and we enjoyed sunshine. The low light of a winter's day enhanced the beautiful winter trees, silhouetted against the blue skies.
The miles passed.
We stopped for pots of tea at a service station.
And then on we went - the journey was going well. I calculated we should be home by half past four - still in daylight.
Sadly, no! We were on the M25 after all!
We passed one of the overhead gantries with the message that time to the M3 junction would be just 4 minutes.
More like 54 minutes.
The motorway ground to a complete halt.
It was clear that something had gone badly wrong - police cars, fire engines, ambulances all arrived - not very far in front of us.
The fact that this bad accident was such a short distance ahead was to our advantage; once the police had sorted things out as much as possible, they were able to open one lane (of the 5 available lanes).
It didn't take long for all of us at the front of the queue to pass by, seeing a car on its roof amongst all the blue flashing lights.
By this time it was dark and raining hard. We could see men on their knees, working on the overturned car - presumably there were people inside.
I just felt so sad for everybody. We had been delayed - but at least we would sleep in our bed tonight and be up in the morning to continue with our normal lives.
Maybe dealing with these things is normal life for emergency service workers, but I wouldn't have liked to have been in the dark in torrential rain in awkward positions and having to make life and death decisions.
Just as we got home, another traffic report came on the radio.......the queue we had almost headed had by this time stretched to 10 miles long.

It has been a lovely few days with our Newcastle family.
I do feel quite tempted to go and live there too. I doubt that Bill would feel the same, though.
We have enjoyed a time of history, culture, art, religion and churches......and eating and drinking. (Mostly drinks of the tea variety)
I have a lot of photos to sort out.
But not tomorrow.
Normal life for us means Mondays in Dorking. I shall take in the stuff I bought in Tynemouth yesterday and get it written up and priced and as much as possible can stay there on my shelves.

Saturday, November 24, 2012


Buying at the station.

It was a cold, frosty morning - but the sun was shining.
Ashley came with us to Tynemouth - that's about 12 miles across Newcastle.
Every Saturday morning the station precinct is filled with stalls of all kinds. It is a lovely old station anyway....and exciting with stalls.
I was looking for things to take to the shop of course......and at first found that dealers were wanting more money than I would ask for things.
But gradually I found some things that I am pleased with.
There were stalls of non collectables too - interesting food stalls.
I loved the foods on Ridleys Fish and Game stall - they come from close by in Hexham.
It wasn't suitable for me to buy things, what with the long journey tomorrow......but the fresh game and range of game pies was superb; either would make excellent Christmas meals. I just might order a pie by post.
One of the fresh meats was unusual - squirrel; with the slogan "Save a red and eat a grey"

It turns out Grey Squirrels are really delicious to eat.
Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's River Cottage programme showed how to cook them and how tasty they are. Ridley's have supplied lots of grey squirrels - many to top local restaurants. This is helping to save the hard-pressed reds. 

If anybody would care to look, here is Ridley's web site.

But I am cross with myself for not buying something I would really have liked. OK £15 is a bit more than I would normally spend on a knitted hat, but these were really special. They were cloche 1920's style. Next time we are here, then one will return south with me.

We had actually left home that morning without a cup of tea - the kettle had died.
Yet again our visit has coincided with some household breakdown or disaster  - doesn't seem to matter which son we visit.
We walked, carrying all our purchases into Tynemouth for a much needed drink.
We sat in a converted chapel - converted into a variety of art and knick knack type shops.
Ashley and I had a pot of tea for 2 and a big pot of hot water  - enough for at least 4 cups each.
I then added another bag of purchases to be carried, buying some lovely things from a stall in the chapel.

Back home, the first priority was to go out again - to buy a kettle.
Also Liz wanted to load up with foods for the bird feeders - big sacks of peanuts etc.
We coveted some of the little animals in the pet shop - lovely rabbits and guinea pigs; though Liz felt she would rather have a bearded dragon.

Home to rest a while and later watch Strictly Come Dancing. I had the other half of my Chinese take away to eat up

So, another good day. Poor Ashley is feeling really run down with cold and has done well to keep busy with us.

Tomorrow we face the 330 miles back home again - that's about 6 hours of journey.

Friday, November 23, 2012


Cathedral visit today.

Everybody seems to say it....."Durham is so beautiful and so full of lovely historical buildings"
Well, I can't actually argue with that.
But somehow it is so predictable.
Cathedral, castle, tourists, expensive shops - all the same shops you get anywhere else.
But Newcastle towers above it for character - in my humble opinion.
It has cathedrals too and a castle and all the predictable shops.
But is has more than that - surprises, quirkyness, narrow cobbled streets with shops and workshops providing so many extras.
Newcastle is for the people, in all their random ways.

But today we went to Durham. It was very many years ago that we went there last time.
Perhaps we asked too much of ourselves - a bit tired and A with a streaming head cold.
We visited the cathedral - very old and very lovely. But it is a formal place of worship and a magnet for tourists - doesn't have the intimacy say of the church we visited yesterday in Monkwearmouth.

We were not allowed to take photos of the interior.

From there we wandered - along back street alleyways until we were at the river.
The walk along the River Wear was peaceful.

Time for a little something - most places too pretentious for our needs.

Eventually we sat our weary bodies down in a bustling cafe on the first floor of the indoor market,
where we had more than  little something.
It was friendly.
But we realised we would prefer to be nestling in arm chairs - bed even, at home.
So, here we are.
Don't know what we are eating tonight.  Original plans were for a Chinese meal to celebrate 200 months of marriage for A and L.
How sweet that they should think of such things!
But just maybe we are too lazy to eat and some of us have eaten quite well today already.

Thursday, November 22, 2012



Poor Ashley has a cold.
But it didn't stop him from organising a day out with us.
We had a long Metro journey through Newcastle and south to Sunderland.
From St Peter's station we clamboured down over 150 steps to the River Wear. (pronounced we're).
The tow path begins with a model sun and along its length are marked where the planets would be to scale - you reach Pluto at the ocean.
But we didn't go that far.
We ambled - talking for a while to the owner of Shona, a beautiful dog.
The wind was mighty strong along the river.....and everywhere. Rain was forecast.
Our destination was the Sunderland glass centre - a wonderful modern building.
The story of glass was told and lots of information was given.
There were displays of modern glass too.
We watched somebody making colour twists of glass for hanging on a Christmas tree or in a window.
I bought 2 - not expensive.
Then we walked on the roof with views along the river out to to the sea.
And also views to the complex below......for the roof was glass.
Bit scary!
Time for lunch then...and it was a good one.
We ate at St Peter's Church, situated in Monkwearmouth.
Bill had a meat pie, which the church lady had cooked this morning. Ashley and I had tagliatelle carbonara.
Such good value and warm and friendly.
Then we looked at the church itself. The first building was from 673 - anglo Saxon. It is where The Venerable Bede came to study, aged just 7.
Only a small part of the original building remains and it has been enlarged.

The base of the tower is original and the tower itself was also very early.

We learned a lot from a very sweet woman, Phyl, who showed us round. She took us through the doorway at the base of the tower that Bede himself would have used.

Later we walked back to the bridge over the Wear. Very blowy across the bridge.
It was time to hit the world we don't feel at ease in - a big shopping centre.
I needed to buy food for our evening meal. We have salmon cooking now.
It was really crowded in Sunderland shopping centre! Ouch!

Ashley had a cunning plan for our journey home. The best seats on the Metro are the two front seats beside the driver.
So we got on the very back of the  train going in the wrong direction, which went to the end of the line at South Hylton.
For the return journey. in the direction for home. we were therefore right at the front of the train....and there we sat for 31 stops at stations and over the River Tyne.
By the time we got back the rain had begun and a couple of hours later it is very hard indeed.

Must deal with dinner.
E Minor is not home from school yet, she went off with her friend and phoned from friend's mother's sewing studio.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


A good day ambling in the Newcastle rain.

Fun day - ambling really.
Ambling from cafes to art galleries in the city.
I love this city. It is quirky in many ways.
Bill and I got up later than intended. It was time for E Minor to go to school.  We rushed to get dressed. We all got on the bus together and she got off outside the High School.
We went on into the city centre. We made for the Basement Cafe for breakfast.
Ashley had announced that you could get Mars and bacon paninis in there!
We didn't have one of those, but we did have delicious paninis.
This cafe is attached to a church - a Calvary Chapel....slightly obscure. The cafe was interesting with art work and played good music.
We relaxed for quite a while in comfy sofas.
Next top was The Laing art gallery. I was greeted by a cabinet full of glass and I assumed it to be my passion - 1960s glass.
It dated from 1880 and made by the glass works Sowerby. I didn't know Sowerby made things like it.
The walls were covered in art of all kinds.
There was a gallery of photos by Cecil Beaton of the royal family - Queen mostly. That man is/was truly a master of his art and craft...and the Queen obviously felt very at ease with him.

Well, time then for a drink.
So we walked to another church (actually our 3rd of the day). On Wednesdays this church does tea and cakes in their little church hall at 50p per person. We had a huge pot of tea which provided at least two mug fulls each.
Time then for another art gallery.
We had planned to go to The Baltic - big modern art gallery just over the river. But it was raining and even a 20 minute walk seemed a bit daunting.
So we went to a Baltic art gallery off shoot.
It was on the 4th floor of a building devoted to art students and studios.
The exhibition was odd.
In the main Baltic the work of Jim Shaw is being shown and this exhibition was connected to this modern American artist.
This guy collects art too. It is not normally the art of art galleries, but it is all original art.
He buys original paintings done by talented and less then talented people, which ends up in charity shops and flea markets.
Some of it was so bad it was funny!
And yet because he has taken it seriously and rescued it, we could feel the energy and enthusiasm of the painter. They'll never know how much pleasure they gave us.
And guess what, I can't wait to look for original art on my car boot sale hunts!
Well, after that art gallery it was time for a little  something again.
We were walking through China town.
Ashley took us to what he calls the bun shop. It sells a wide variety of Chinese buns to eat in or take away.
I had a savoury bun. Well, the bun itself is a sweet bun; this one was topped with a sweetcorn cream and bacon and something else.
We also bought one each to take home.
And home was next on the agenda. We got the bus back from the city centre and we were home before youg E.
The kettle went on - yes, time for a little something again!
And I enjoyed my sweet bun with a cuppa - custard, pineapple and peach.
It has been just the sort of day I love.
I didn't know at the start where the day would take me and what I would see or do.
We are tired now (5 o'clock in the afternoon) and Bill is dozing.
Later I will help Ashley with his version of ravioli mark 2. There was a lot of rice left over and I worked out that cashews and pineappple with the spices and other vegetables would make it feel completely different.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012



Well, what a day.
This morning, hurriedly packing up all our needs and getting on the road - the motorway roads....M23, M25, M1, M18, A1M.
It was dull and damp for the entire journey.
I amused myself as I often do on long journeys with sort of word games. I was looking at lorries to see where they came from and hoping to find one or more for each letter of the alphabet. Today I failed on E J V X Y and Z.
Daft to have a favourite - but I do like the company called Knights which are located at Old......they are Knights of Old.
Also jotted down the names of the Eddie Stobart lorries - most must be named after the daughters of the drivers; very modern names, like Kylie Louise. One driver had I am sure, named his lorry after his mother - Ethel May.
The miles slipped by - not the most scenic of routes.
We stopped at a motorway service station for a rest and a bite to eat. This was not the most desirable of services.....and some of them can be pleasant.
We did seomething never done before - we had food from Kentucky Fried Chicken. Poor Bill stood bemused by the choices! I ordered. I had a chicken sizzler fillet burger, and it was pretty damn tasty. I could have done with a knife and fork though - my teeth are not yet up to the job of biting through a crispy covered chicken fillet - had to pull it apart with my fingers! Bill had a Big Daddy burger!
We arrived at Ashley's just about 6 hours after we left home.
We slumped down and enjoyed a cup of tea and a slice of the cake I bought in Waitrose yesterday.
Ashley cooked a meal for us - and that was excellent; he did a well flavoured vegetarian rive dish, which for want of a better word, he calls risotto.
And then we went out.
It was a meeting of the local history society.
Rather like going to the post card club at home, without the postcard dealers.
The title of the talk was Monkey Business at the Abbey.
The speaker was excellent. He is an archaeologist with a passion. He was so human and yet erudite and very, very funny.
He talked about abbeys - mostly ones that didn't survive as even a ruin after Henry VIII  destroyed them But then, as he said, if you have seen one medieval abbey, you have seen them all; they all have the same ground plan.
As I listened my memory was also jumping into action.
I remeber in the 1970s, whilst on holiday in Northumberland going to visit somebody my father had kept in touch with. My Dad was very good at keeping in touch with people.
I felt slightly embarrased for this man was my old English teacher at Ifield Grammar School - Stan Beckensall.
Now I was not a hard worker at school and paid very little attention to my studies.  I did English A Level for want of a better subject and did it very badly. Reading the set books might have helped!
I realised when we visited Mr Beckensall, that although he must have lofed English literature, he must have hated trying to enthuse the likes of me.
In Northumberland he was able to pursue his far greater passion - archaeology; in particular rock art (which is not as trendy as it sounds). He has studied ancient cave art work and written extensively about it. I didn't realise there would be so much to find in the UK - and Northumberland in particular.
One of my friends had kept in touch with him and I thought I had heard from her that he had died.
Not so.

He has just celebrated his 80th birthday.

I don't know if non facebook people can open up that facebook page. I have just written on it and sent best wishes.

So another day of surprises.
Tomorrow remains a mystery - no plans have been settled. But there are lots of things to do and see.

Monday, November 19, 2012


Being in the shop.

Monday - being in the shop day.
Somehow or other I got it into my head to move some shelves - which meant re-arranging things of course.
Sensible really - physical work helps to keep the mind focused and helps to keep the body warm.
I like my section and the customers like it too - they bought from it every day last week. The November accounts will look healthy.
I didn't get round to taking any photos though.
I was too busy talking and eating goodies - soft goodies. I still can't seem to bite on things. I had to discard baby sweetcorn in the chicken casserole - couldn't bite them or chew them.
So the teeth situation is still awkward - wonder if that is how it will be for life. But the hurt has reduced quite a lot.
I called in at the shop 2 doors away from Pilgrims for a while. It is Monika's shop. She has taken on a vast venture, running her own shop - but is happily following a dream. She has made the interior look really good - suddenly I can see the appeal of shabby chic. I am glad she is not too far away from us.
Tonight we came home and packed the car ready for our journey.....well, we have packed Ashley's things. These are the boxes of books, CDs, DVDs etc that he bought at car boot sales on 2 trips to us.
We have yet to pack our own things.
But we don't intend to start our journey early - 10 o'clock will be about right.I am looking forward to being taken to all sorts of interesting places and eating houses with our son in Geordieland. It will be fun having days out with him.
Having missed out on being there for half term week, we will see less of grand daughter than we would like.
We can have cosy evenings at home with her.
And on Saturday I think the intention is to buy her a mobile phone - sensible now that she is journeying to and from school alone. It will be a phone with a camera, but will not be an all singing, all dancing phone that can connect to the world wide web.She has her laptop for that.
Also on Saturday we will go to Tynemouth for the flea market in the lovely Victorian metro station.
We will be back on Sunday evening - all ready for it to be Monday again....a being in the shop day.

Sunday, November 18, 2012


Lots happening.

Lots happening today.
We were up before dawn because we thought we would try a couple of our old hunting grounds again.
It was a clear and bright morning - with quite a nip in the air. The air was very fresh.
And fresh air is almost all we got.
Dorking car boot sale has become too full of stalls selling new tat from warehouses.
The greengrocer stall I can exclude from the tat; it is high quality and people go to the car boot sale to get their week's supply of fruit and veg.
I bought mushrooms.
And that is all we bought.
We drove home via Horley - never a particularly good hunting ground for us. It was packed out with stalls.
Bill actually bought 25 model cars.
I bought 2 give away supplements that came with magazines of the 50s - cookery supplements.
The Young Hostess - with suggestions for gay ideas for teens. I quite fancy the hot tuna bake with fried noodles.
The other is about cooking for all who play and watch sport - oh yes, sure that the active sportsman would like to come home to some tapioca creams!!!
It is not what we had when came home from a sports meeting today.
This afternoon was the first winter fixture of sports hall athletics for Sussex teams of youngsters. Crawley are to be congratulated on the enthusiasm of their manager and others so that a full talented team turn out and win. Lovely to see  the children of Tim in the team......Tim was in the team himself when I managed it 30 years ago.
And in between the morning and afternoon activities we were at the Barn Theatre.
Tickets had been booked for the pantomime (5 from the family going together) and we went to pay for them.
We found that we had more time available than we imagined, so had a glass of wine before going to the athletics.
It was very pleasant chatting to people who were there, just being sociable.
The panto this year is Cinderella - directed by our nephew. We will miss his antics as a pantomime dame, but glad he is enjoying new challenges.

If you live anywhere close to The Barn Theatre, treat yourself to a good laugh in the delightful atmosphere of this venue.
You can't beat a live local society performing for your pleasure.
Many performances are already sold out.
We have opted for Thursday 13th December - Thursdays are the only days with plenty of tickets available.
I think these will go quickly when people realise just how close December is.

Friday, November 16, 2012


town and trains.

What a dull day!
Fog  (not too thick) shrouds the town.
We went into town this morning - used the bus both ways today.
Bumped into some old friends - that was lovely.
We half sorted out a slight problem with our new credit cards - well, we were told how we could sort it out.
I bought some stuff to deal with woodworm - I'll do that when it will feel good to work outside.
Bill got his watch batteries changed at a stall in the market. What a shame that the town has such  a paltry market.
We noticed a few things pointed out on the Memories page. The cinema is still standing - just.
And somebody had seen the very faint remnants of the word PROVISIONS on a wall in Church Walk.
The general feeling is that this was the wall of an old town shop called Kinghams.
It was too faint to photograph today.

I have to confess that the afternoon passed without much work being done.
Never mind.

I took a photograph of the picture I bought yesterday - the decorated locomotive.
It was rather dull indoors and the quality was not very good - but computers can enhance poor pictures quite well.

I must get that tatty label off.
Whoever wrote it didn't copy the name of the loco accurately anyway.
Just to remind you the loco was decorated for a station masters and inspectors excursion from Victoria on the London, Brighton and South Coast railway.
I just noticed - its on a turntable.

Thursday, November 15, 2012


odds and ends of the day.

I had hoped to share with you a photograph of one of the things I bought this morning at Ford. It is a framed photo of a steam locomotive.
I assumed there might be a copy of it somewhere on the internet.
I found one but seem unable to copy it - it is from a book.
I'll try in the morning when I can take it outdoors and photograph it without flash.
Perhaps any railway nerd has already seen a copy anyway.
It shows the steam locomotive Allan Sarle decorated and on an excursion for station masters and inspectors on the London Brighton and South Coast Railway.
The photograph in an attractive frame, is an original taken by photographers Clarke and Clarke of Clapham Junction.
When I saw it I assumed that the dealer would want a lot of money for it.
I was surprised when he asked £10 - and happy when he accepted £8.

I also bought a 1950s coffee table. I didn't notice that the wood underneath has woodworm. I think I should treat it before it goes to the shop.
That's something I have not done before - something new to learn about.

I have one or two pictures from Littlehampton. It looked so different from a week ago.
The tide was very high and the light was dim.
The water was churned up and brown.

This is the River Arun estuary.

I have been quite lazy for the rest of the day. Gentle snooze for a while as a couple on TV were Escaping to the Country.

Much chat on the Memories page.

The local paper has, this week, mentioned a meeting to discuss the proposed development in Brighton Road.
The building that used to be The Imperial Cinema and much much later the home of Gadsdon's garage is to be knocked down.
Somebody said the facade of the building would be retained - hope so.
I posted this lovely postcard of this part of Brighton Road in the 1900s.

In complete contrast we have also been chatting about Ifield Parade.
Chatting with a grand daughter of the couple who owned the village shop - knew the family well.
I even told her that my Mum was a bit worried that he would slice the ham and bacon with a cigarette in his mouth, ash threatening to fall at any moment. She laughed - and of course we all came to no harm.

So who in the UK has been to vote today?
Not me!
It is the first time that I have deliberately chosen not to vote in an election.
This one just seems all wrong.
Why would I want to vote for a politician to lead my local police force?
And that is basically all I know about the candidates - which party they represent.
Of course each one of them says they want to do all sorts of things for the police which will benefit the people.
But who are these people? Why do they want the job really?
And in my county, as in many others, it is a foregone conclusion that candidates belonging to locally favoured parties will win.
I sense that the population as a whole wants nothing to do with this scheme.
Sorry Mr Cameron - you have got it wrong; you are out of touch.
But you, of course, might think differently.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012


work and play

Why does it take me so long?
Ashley claims to be able to describe something for EBay in 3 minutes.
Not the time I have studied the book in order to describe it, many minutes have passed. But I have enjoyed those minutes browsing through books; and almost all of today's books have been about Sussex.
I have 14 ready to be listed at the weekend.
And I shall relist the box of handkerchiefs - the ones with George Best on the box - because the miserable weasel made no attempt to contact or pay.
This evening I asked a simple question on the memories page.
Were you a Siesta or a Mario's person in the late 50s and the 60s?
These were the town's 2 coffeee bars.
Siesta was always a bit up market, run by a very respectable middle aged couple. We called him the colonel, I don't know if he was. It attracted students, beatniks, folk and jazz people. It was the world I sensed I belonged in.
But I loved to slum it in Mario's too. It had a bit of a reputation and attracted the rockers and the like. There was a juke box in there, which I adored. Listening to Elvis (One Night with You, I remember) with a black coffee surrounded by interesting handsome bad boys was a real treat.
I am hoping somebody in the group might have some photos.
And it seems that Derek was one of those boys.
Derek - the grandson of Bill's Great Uncle John. I have been chatting, within the group, with Derek's daughter. She has also done quite a bit of family history. We must talk.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


Todays's teeth tale and today's memories.

I was up in the night for a while.
The denture was bothering me - it does when it moves. So, I yanked it out.
Then I remembered that I had vowed not to leave it out too much because my bottom teeth were gnashing away at the roof of my mouth, just adding to the discomfort.
So, I got up to sort my mouth out and get it (denture) back firmly into place.....with Polygrip.
Then I read for a while.
Today I saw the dentist once again. He says that all is normal - the best treatment is salt and patience, with maybe some whiskey or some such. Alcohol has healing properties to both the wounds and to the soul! Dentist drilled a bit more from the denture.

During the day I have begun to prepare some things for EBay. I have 25 photos done. Tomorrow I will start describing so that they can be listed before we go to Newcastle, next Tuesday. All the items are books or booklets. One has already been reserved as a Christmas brother wants it.

This was taken 60 years ago, in 1952.
I am the girl on the right. I was the youngest of the children performing in the village school show, staged in St Margaret's Hall.
I was 8 years old.
I was tall for my age - just like my grand daughters are today.
Amazingly I can remember the names of all the girls and most of the boys and I know where they lived, too.
On the memories group page somebody was able to pass on a bit of information about Ann, my childhood next door neighbour.
This person is married to a neighbour of Bill's and who I can remember too. His mother was a kindly dinner lady at the village school.
The old town of 60 years ago was like that - somehow everybody seemed to know about everybody else.

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