Monday, July 29, 2013


Friday on the rocks.

Time to catch up on some pictures.
We'll look at last Friday.
We walked near Weir Wood Reservoir.

At the rocks above the reservoir.

Bridge over a stream.

Bridge carrying The Bluebell Railway.

Later we climbed up to the railway to cross over to the other side.

Stile with most of its parts missing.

We knew we were on the footpath - the sign in the middle of the field told us so.

We completed our walk and then drove to West Hoathly for a quick half at The Cat.

Then we had a look at the church.

Saw these jolly plant "pots".

Terraced churchyard - full of graves.
The bottom field looks like a good place to be buried.
Hard for coffin bearers though.

Today has been busy at the shop.
Busy doing what?
It certainly wasn't the window again - that is now firmly back in the grasp of the regular window dresser.
Sales were pretty good - began the day with a flintlock pistol!

No blog tomorrow night. Staying with my brother and looking forward to the company and trips out.

Sunday, July 28, 2013


Sunday - windmills, railways and life.

Busy day that turned out well.
But maybe we made some poor choices early on.
No, let's not go to the Pease Pottage boot sale - big, but boring often.
Let's go to Brighton.
The weather forecast was reasonable and I had dressed accordingly - shorts and no socks.
I soon began to feel chilly at Carden boot sale. Was the sea mist about to swirl in?
It is quite a small sale and attracts what I would call "normal" people. In my world "normal" is the opposite of "dealers"

We bought some clothes; in fact I felt desperate for clothes - something to cover my legs, please!
I found a pair of Marks and Spencers trousers, size 18 - they should have been a bit too big. But I couldn't do them up - for the rest of the morning I was wearing trousers not fully zipped up and not buttoned.
So, second wrong choice.
Next came the third. We were off to the boot sale at Brighton Racecourse. It's on EVERY Sunday......except this one!
The race course was very crowded and was the start and finish of a charity walk.
Bother, bother.
So, off we went to The Marina in Brighton. There is a car boot sale on the top of the multi storey car park every Sunday......lots of dealers there.
Probably all the bargains I might have wanted were long gone. We bought almost nothing.
Next came a good choice - breakfast together in Wetherspoons.
The sun was shining and we sat enjoying the view from our table.
We met one of our oldest friends in there, too.
I took a couple of pictures at the table.

I think that must be the best picture ever of our Clare.
The joy and relaxation of all the changes is apparent.

The joy of painted nails!
As we enjoyed our breakfast we pondered on what to do next - not straight home.
And things picked up! No more errors.
I thought it would be good to stop at the Jack and Jill windmills and enjoy a bit of a walk.
Joy of joys - it was one of the days that windmill Jill was open and working. I have never been there on one of the open days.

Grinding and sifting the wheat and the flour.

The mill wheel is turning.

We bought cake from their little refreshment room. Good choice.
Home made cake for we bought 2 bits each!
Then we drove half a mile down the hill to look at a railway line.

Of course the tunnel is more interesting than the line itself.
Somebody lives in the house over the entrance. Trains, on the London to Brighton line, pass under very frequently.

Then we stopped on the way home at The Victory, pub by the village green at Staplefield.
A half pint in the sunshine with cricket on the green - very good.

This afternoon I watched athletics from the Olympic Stadium.
Today it was the turn of the disabled athletes, watched by a full stadium.
I really wished I was there - having been there for the Paralympics last year.
Those athletes mean a lot to me.

I took a few more pictures - our Clare decided to model, for my benefit, an item of clothing bought yesterday.
Purple tights!
She seemed quite keen that I should capture the image.
Just a sentence of explanation. Our daughter has not always been Clare - indeed has not always been thought of as a daughter at all.
There has been a life time, so far, of torment and depression.
This year the truth has been accepted and the process of making things right has begun. It will take time and be challenging sometimes.

First the exposure was not right and I have fiddled to allow the tights to appear purple.

Secondly, Clare is not wearing skirts out in public yet - well, it has been known.

And despite the more solemn wistful expression, Clare is happy and a joy to be with.......just as she often was in the old life.

I will get the pictures of the last couple of days posted at some point.
I shall be in the shop tomorrow and busy for days after that. Sometime!

Finally - a quick message to a couple fo people who have left comments on Grandma P's Ramblings saying how much they enjoy keeping up with the rambles. Thank you for your kind words. One of you wrote a good while ago. I didn't mean to ignore you.

Saturday, July 27, 2013



Another day with no pictures.
Some were taken and are displayed on my facebook page. They'll arrive here at some point.
Clare and I went to a small car boot sale first thing. We bought some clothes - 20p and item. This included a fine knitted jacket for Clare, originally from Next.
Time to relax then.
But what should we do later?
Much checking on weather forecasts.
We decided not to go to the Edenbridge boot sale - heavy rain forecast. That would keep sellers away.
We stayed in Crawley and went to the Crawley Mela.
Mela is Sanskrit for "gathering".
Crawley put on a multi cultural festival of music, dance, community affairs, stalls, food etc.
We ate Sri Lankan.
We were there for 2 hours before the heavens opened and the wind attempted to lift tents and gazebos.
We got wet through getting back to the car.
Home to watch the athletics from the Olympics Stadium - hoping to catch a glimpse of my friend Donna who was on auxilliary duties.
She has been hob-nobbing with Usain Bolt!
Time for bed now - off to Brighton very early for car boot sales.

Friday, July 26, 2013


Not another late night.

There should be pictures.....but I am not allowing another late night.
I have been in town this morning, buying fruit from the market.
This afternoon we have walked.....a walk that Bill and I began in January on a very cold day when puddles were iced up.
But the mud was still wet and slippery and Bill tumbled into it. We needed to get home.
Our walk began at the rocks above Weir Wood Reservoir.
We continued onwards.
Under the newly extended Bluebell railway, until we turned back on another footpath which took us up the side of an embankment to the railway itself.
All was quiet!
Huh! They wouldn't let me wait for a steam train to puff by.
And of course about 10 minutes later as we walked over a rickety stile we heard one.
Back to the rocks.
Then to West Hoathly for our customary half pints and a walk round the church.
Tomorrow is day one of a bootsale weekend. Clare is looking out for more clothes - maybe E Minor and me will also find some clothes.
Who knows...a car boot sale is an adventure.
I will put pictures on tomorrow.


After dinner walk

It's late.
I thought of leaving this until tomorrow.
After dinner this evening we went for a walk at Slaugham (pronounced Slaffum).
It was lovely.
The lake and the plants were lovely and it was wonderful to be walking with Clare and Grand daughter.
Clare is looking just gorgeous - so slim now, with sparkling eyes.

As ever trying to avoid the camera!

Smaller than a thumbnail.

Dessert in the hedgerows.

Grand daughter's hair.

Still trying to avoid the camera!


Would have gone to bed over an hour ago. But grand daughter stayed up chatting for quite a while and it was important to listen and comment as she talked and to reassure her that I am just fine with all the changes.
She is a young adult now and very easy to chat with.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013



Housework! Quite a lot of it.
It isn't that I feel the need to impress our visitors. Clare may have changed in many ways, but I doubt that she can be impressed by housework having been done. That much doesn't change!
I like things looking clean and tidy and am glad that I may not have to do much whilst we provide a summer holiday.
I have made a preliminary foray into the supermarket for the things that Ecky will eat.......her menu hasn't got any wider or more interesting.
At lunchtime we managed to get the skype camera working  - for some of the time and we have seen and talked with the Thai family.
We will try and get all the family together on skype next week.
Some plans have been made for next week - a trip to Wiltshire and an afternoon at Avebury - the manor and the stones.
One plan that hasn't yet been made is for me to see the dentist. There is something seriously wrong with my man - he has been off work for some weeks now. They told me that the wheels are in motion to get a locum in.
I will miss my dentist completing my dentures for me - but I really look forward to the final set being made ready.
Now I am sitting with dye on my hair....nothing dramatic, no real change; apart from covering the dowdy grey that I have been blessed with.
Clare has gone red - wonder if I should have dared!
Right, I must and sort my hair out now - I want to be back down to watch Who Do You Think You Are?
Tomorrow morning we will go to Ford.....though the met office web site suggests it will be raining hard first thing.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013


Tuesday, day of rest.

They say it rained for about ten minutes during the night.
I didn't notice.
I am happy to say that I slept through it and slept through about 10 hours of time.
I needed that.
And I needed a rest day.
Virtually no work done today.
We went out to lunch......a chance to meet up with a couple of Bill's sisters who have been in and out of the country over the last few weeks.
One got back from France on Sunday and is off to Switzerland on Friday.
I suggested that the town centre pub we "found" last Tuesday would be ideal. Happily they were all pleased with it too.
The food was good and we were well looked after.
We sat and talked about the happenings of this summer for nearly 3 hours.
It gave me a chance to explain about Clare - beyond the basic facts.
Bill and I pottered through the town and caught the bus home - we had walked down.
And that has been it.

I thought that William and Kate looked relaxed and in control as they appeared to the waiting press and onlookers with the baby. What very abnormal circumstances for them.
Yesterday I had a thought about them just moments before the birth was announced. I had hoped that the labour had not been too long and that the baby was already born. I was hoping that the royal couple had decided that they wanted a while with only themselves knowing. Turns out that was how it was.
Now to know the name of a future king......a king that I will not live to see enthroned.
This couple seem determined to be in control whilst also behaving as the royal family and us would expect of them.
Do they have to give the boy a royal name?
Lots of names have been thrown around the facebook postings. Surely King Spencer wouldn't be right?

Another early night for me followed by a day of housework, preparing for the arrival of C and Ecky on Thursday.
The following couple of weeks will be a normal holiday time with trips out, car boot sales, photos etc.
I think C will enjoy a break from the almost constant thoughts of how life will evolve.

Monday, July 22, 2013


Giving my all in the heat of the day.

Mad dog or Englishman?
Well, neither - for I have not been out in the midday sun.
But then neither have I been relaxing in the cool.
The first job of the day was to decide what to do with the white Lloyd Loom type cupboard that I bought yesterday.
With quite a major tweak of the window display I decided that I could fit the cupboard in.
I moved things around and got Bill to lift it into one end of my shop window.
Gradually I had it all looking as I wanted.
Then in walks Iris - my old lady who brings me things; today she brought us home made fresh cream meringues too.
"I wonder if that nice white cupboard would fit into my bedroom" - she has just moved to a new flat.
She asked for me to measure it.
Later she phoned to say she would have it.
Nest week there will have to be another new arrangement in the window.
And we will deliver the cupboard to Iris.

At last time for a cup of tea........and those meringues.
Time, too to sort out the sales of last week.
And time to write up other new items of stock that I took in today.
Keep drinking, Mother!

Steve has been in the shop today today, too. He must be exhausted.
With the outbuildings behind the shop being demolished, we, in the shop, need new "facilities".
Steve was putting in a new sink and draining board by the back counter.
Our present little kitchen will have to be converted into a loo.
Until we get these new facilities, we will have to use a builder's temporary loo for a few weeks, I think.
I advised Steve not to rush.
As long as he can get things "good enough" we will all be happy until he is sure of what he wants to do.

Bill and Steve went out at lunchtime.

By the time Bill got back, heat and cider had him feeling weary.
It was time for him to write up new stock that we had found yesterday.
"I think I'll just take it home he again" he suggested.
I offered to do it for him - just a simple job.
Well, it would have been simple if I hadn't wanted to display things differently!
So, I sorted out his section.

Yes, I really was weary by the time I had finished.
It had all felt fun until I had finished.
Head drooped; I wanted a cool sit down. Thank you Steve for bringing in a fan.

Sunday, July 21, 2013


Sunshine at The Gate

We went to two car boot sales this morning.
The first was pleasant - but I didn't find much to buy.
The other, near Rusper, is one I probably wouldn't bother with again.
Both were unlike the car boot sale at Ford, which is well known for attracting many antiques dealers - so there is always lots to see that might tempt me to buy.
Today's sales attracted people emptying their cupboards and wardrobes - masses of clothes, DVDs, last year's fashionable household goods and so on.
Next week when Clare and our grand daughter arrive there will, no doubt, be more looking at clothes.
But not at Rusper.
The sellers get themselves set up first and all the buyers go in at the same time - which means it is a mad frenzy of people trying to get to the stalls.
Just too crowded.
But I did buy a cupboard at Rusper....a painted white cupboard in the Lloyd Loom style. We left it in the car so that I can get it into the shop straight away.
I'll photograph it there.

The sun was shining well as browsed the stalls.
Time for a drink.
We called in at The Gate on the way home.

We had thought of having a packet of crisps with our half pints.
But saw that toasted sandwiches were available at a good price.
Very glad we changed our minds - probably the best toasted ham and tomato sandwich in the world!

We were not alone in needing drink.
Other customers drank outdoors.

And now for a picture that had my cousins feeling a bit spooked!
I hadn't seen it at first - but yes, the gentleman in the carriage looks like their Dad, my Uncle Bill.

And here is another satisfied customer.

This afternoon there has been dozing - by Bill and me.
I kept half an eye on the golf. Shame there wasn't a British win.
This evening I enjoyed the last stage of Le Tour de France.
Brilliantly staged in the twilight of Paris and the son et lumiere show on the Arc de Triomphe was amazingly impressive.
And - a British winner; well one with British ancestors. Chris Froome, himself was born and raised in Africa.
And there was a British win in the cricket too.

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