Sunday 29 September 2013

Missing in Action

One of the inside stands at Malvern last week.

Apologies for the dearth of postings in the last week, but our eldest daughter T has been here with us, and we have been busy enjoying ourselves - and working hard on tidying and cleaning the house.  This all went swimmingly until the Dyson died.  With a new agent arriving tomorrow to assess the house, a new Dyson had to join the clan and I was mortified to find how poorly the old one had been performing (e.g. hardly at all), so I now have to go over the entire house again with it - having shut doors on rooms I hahd originally deemed "done" . . .

Yesterday was the Fleamarket for us, so we were out for about 12 hours and I feel dire this morning.  Breakfast had a Ibuprofen element to try and control the aching all over . . .  LOVE Fleamarkets, but it takes us 3 days to recover from one at our age!

Right, this won't do.  T is now home and life is staring me in the face again . . .

Monday 23 September 2013

A day out at Malvern Fleamarket

Our eldest daughter arrived back for the week on Saturday.  Yesterday morning, cruel parents that we are, we dragged her out of bed at first sparrow f*rt to drive well over the English border to visit the Malvern Fleamarket.  We had not been before, and she has only been to the local Carmarthen Fleamarket - which is very small compared with Malvern.  

We spent five hours wandering round, and in the end, came away tired out, spent up and still a good few stalls unseen, and there were apparently  not as many stalls outside as there usually are!  Sometimes up to a thousand.  Ye Gods!

I wish I could say that I bought the patchwork above.  Probably 30s.  She wanted £45, and came down to £35, but it was the first row we were walking up and I didn't dare blow all my money so early in the day.  I thought about this LOTS, and philosophically thought if it's meant for me, it'll not go by me.  It was still there after lunch, but then outside folks began packing up and so we had to get a move on as we had only seen perhaps 1/3 of the entire site.  When we had been around, she too had packed up and left . . .  Ah well.

A rather monochrome photo of the spine of the Malvern Hills.  You can just see specks which are people up there walking.  Many MANY years ago I was fit enough to get up there and the views were amazing.  As we were coming in to Little Malvern yesterday, the views were stunning, but I was driving and there was nowhere to stop and capture the scenery.  The showground has the backdrop of  the Malvern Hills and is a beautiful spot.

I loved this beautiful stained glass window (wish it had the light behind it).  It wouldn't suit in our current house, style-wise, and I doubt the price would have suited our pocket either!  Probably £200 worth.

A typical stall.  Lots of these folks do house clearance, and of course, buy stuff from auctions and car boot sales, so you normally get a totally eclectic mix.

A real Man's Stall this one.  I thought Morning's Minion's husband would probably appreciate this display!

This was beautiful and I loved the faces in the design - one at the bottom of the handle, and another (or is it an owl?) just below the central blank.  Probably silver and almost certainly beyond my price range . . .

Another pretty hexagon quilt, but sadly some ofthe silks used in it had perished or were very fragile.

There were all sorts of interesting stalls . . .

Jewellery galore . . .

And some very strange items on some stalls . . .  Doll's Houses and, erm, African figures . . .  

Oh, and a lot of bad taxidermy.  If you don't care for stuffed animals, look away now!  Having been shown a Bad Taxidermy site by my daughter the night before, I am afraid I couldn't resist taking some photos of my own yesterday . . .

A moth-eaten fox who looked like a visit to the dentist and perhaps the optician might be in order . . .  The title for this is "Sausages" as he reminded me of the little rough hairy dog on Esther Rantzen's programme all those years ago who used to "say" that word!

Various examples of the art . . .

A splendid Capercaillie.

A rather leary looking fox strikes a pose . . .

A most curious collection here, inluding a . . . lamb?  Do you think the taxidermist had ever SEEN a lamb in real life?

Hmmm . . .

And what did I buy?

This beautifully depicted cast iron horse, anatomically correct (!) and it reminded me so much of my lovely Arab, Fahly, in a bad mood!  He cost me just £4 . . .

And an early (and new-to-me) design and shape Torquay jug.  £4 again . . .  I came home happy : )

T bought a ring, a 1930s necklace, a French tray-topped 1960s table, and a tie . . .

My husband bought various edged weapons and a HUGE cigar box.  It was solid mahogany and when he asked the price (£5) he was expecting the chap to say £45 or £50.  He nearly ripped his hand off trying to get the money out of his pocket quickly!!! 

So all in all, a really LOVELY day . . .

Friday 20 September 2013

River walk musings and Cats

This was the sunrise earlier this week, and yes, red sky in the morning truly was Shepherd's Warning.  I would have posted it earlier but my computer got a virus and had to go in to be fixed.  Now it is back in action AND I have got myself organized, so I will try to catch up today.

You can tell it is Autumn, as the cats want to be indoors in the warm.  Here is a rare photo of Amber (with Little Whale in the background).  Amber is an OUTSIDE cat.  She has NEVER been indoors on the sofa until this day so of course, I had to record it for posterity.  She has been fed by us for 10 or 12 years now, and used to belong to Next Door's mum, when she was still able to live at home.  When she moved out, the cats gravitated to us.  Old Snowy (father of our much-lamented Snowy, who you may remember), Amber, and Timmy, a tabby with a white bib and paws and the image of our Theo.  Old Snowy and Timmy are no longer with us.  Anyway, Amber will come indoors sometimes and wander about and see if anyone has left any grub, but she never stays long.  For some reason she stayed on the sofa all afternoon and evenin on this occasion.

After washing this foam cushion insert (from the cushion on the Chesterfield which needs repairing), we put it to dry properly over the Hergom.  It was Soon Noticed! - by Banshee.  When she vacated it, Alfie was soon up there.

And here is that miscreant, waiting his opportunity!

Meanwhile Fluff has decided she will be sleeping in Estelle's old spot on the dresser.  She is looking more and more like her mother every day, with those auburn highlights.

Anyway, I am trying to get back into the habit of walking every day again.  My husband and I had a wander down by the river.  Despite the recent rain, the tree brought to us by the river a couple of months ago is still in situ.  Firewood!

As we walked, I mulled over the last week, trying to work out why I had a sudden improvement in my breathing.  Perhaps my immune system had improved?  I am sleeping better, which makes the world of difference and gives me more energy.  The only different thing I can think of is I have stopped taking the antihistamine I have on prescription, and when my nose was streaming with a cold earlier in the week, I took half an Actifed tablet (my old not-on-prescription antihistamine).  I can't quite work out if it was the same day, but half way through Monday evening, my breathing suddenly improved radically and I didn't feel like I was suffocating any longer (from the mucous on my chest).

My husband was walking a bit faster than me, but I was not alone . . .  Igor the One-horned gave me a staring match from his hideaway by the old bothy ruins . . .  I have never seen a sheep with a mutant central horn like this!

The other ram was taking his ease.

By the old mill, the river was dashing over the narrow rock-cut chasm.

And out the other side.

No salmon leaping though . . .

Just past the Mill, it glissades over the pebbles like liquid honey.

Our favourite view, back up the river valley.  26 years ago, almost to the day, we came to view our old wreck of a house (we only viewed it the once!) and the view up here, even though it was raining, greeted us like an old friend.  It still does.

A neighbour has a collection of wonderful old cars just like this one.

He was still watching us on the way back.  With those big ears and wrinkles he reminded me of a Greater Horseshoe Bat - I think he's a Texel in real life though.

Lastly, a treat from me, to me.  Our eldest daughter arrives back home tomorrow for the week, so perhaps we can set to and make this cushion cover.  Watch this space!

Saturday 14 September 2013

Family history research

Photo-wise, this is the nearest I can come to a Yorkshire picture at present - Sheffield is in the West Riding though, not North, where my research centres.

It must be Autumn - or something!  I have had a tidy-up this week and suddenly come across family history research last touched around the Millennium.  It took a bit of effort to get my brain to the right channels, remembering what I was doing (notes and a letter helped) and here I am again, researching my husband's family roots in Yorkshire.  I am currently working on the Ward family of the Malton area, whose daughter fell under the charms of a postman, and was soon "in the family way" as it used to be called and doubtless, at that time (1880) a source of great family shame.  But blood is thicker than water, and the little boy who was born became my husband's grandfather.  I am now trying to locate where he grew up, in the censuses, wondering whether he went to her parents. Or perhaps, as he is noted on his birth certificate with a middle name of Robinson, he was brought up by his grandparents' next door neighbours . . .  I dare say their neighbourliness was perhaps just remembered in a kindly way.

One year, when they were staying in Scarborough, my husband's mother - as a young lass still, could remember being taken on the back of a relative's motorbike to see an old old lady who was sitting in an armchair on a rubber ring.  The old woman looked long and hard at the girl, who we assume, was her husband's grand-daughter (for he had been married and with young children when he overstepped the limits of the marriage vows . . .)

I don't have an Ancestry membership, nor am I likely to at £79 for 6 months!  So yesterday My husband and I went to the Records Office, and opened a can of worms!  We think we have found him, growing up in Malton with family members, where he appears to be listed as their youngest son.  We think we have found his mother marrying in 1893, so there will have been half-siblings for him.  We are just trying to fill in the gaps between him growing up in Malton and then falling in love in Scarborough and following his future wife to Manchester, where she went to set up a Laundry (hah - she was "head-hunted"!!!).

More to follow - as long as I can get my browser to co-operate.  I have had great problems this past week . . .

Monday 9 September 2013

Life returns to normal

After the excitement of Saturday's big Antiques Fair at Builth, Sunday was a bit of a quiet affair.  I was still feeling very tired, and rain prevented us doing a car boot sale, although we did look around the local one, and I came home with an elderly but good English saddle.  As you do!  It cost me all of £6!

I am still trying to get on top of the things which MUST be done before we can call out a new estate agent, but as I have a cold or something, and have been aching and tired, only minimal jobs have been done, but a step has been made in the right direction regarding finding homes for things, and sorting out what can GO!

Here are some bits of material which are STAYING, as I bought them at Builth on Saturday, for £2 for the 4 pieces.  I have wanted to sit down and sew all summer, but life keeps getting in the way.  I seem to be doing all the things now, which didn't get done when I was ill in the spring.  Ah well, sooner or later we will arrive. I have much to be grateful for this summer. including some very positive things for our children.  Sooner or later, someone will fall in love with our house - or at least, I hope so.

A few left-over photos from the weekend.  Here is the view from the car park at Builth - which is girdled with hills.

On the way home . . .

The hills near the Powys border with Carmarthenshire.

Lastly, looping round the Z-bends of the Sugarloaf.

Sunday 8 September 2013

Days out . . . Builth Antiques and Collectors Fair

Yesterday my husband and I spent a long - and tiring - day at Builth Antiques and Collectors Fair.  Hundreds of stalls trading, and you practically need a bicycle to get round!  We walked round and round for about 5 1/2 hours and my legs are complaining today.  It is such a great day out for us though, and of course, it's like a gigantic treasure hunt as we are searching for the things which interest us.

Fierce isn't he?!  The card reads: "A very large Sawankhalok pottery temple naga finial. Thailand, 145h - 15th C, with incised brown decoration over a cream glaze. . . . . . . £350."

I bet my eldest daughter would go for this!  So Flower Power and Psychodelic!

A badger from an earlier cull . . .

A retro corner took me back to my childhood . . .

An interesting corner.

Bits and bobs are on virtually every stall.

I wondered if this was a little goat cart, but they have side shafts, so perhaps this had a human in harness!  Sold, anyway.

Badly foxed, and at £40 I couldn't see getting it down to what I'd have LIKED to pay for it, considering the foxing, but I loved this old print!  First line says "Screwdriver & Reardone's opinions concerning "The Prize", own brother to Lottery on the 1st May 1841.  (Lottery was a famous racehorse who won the Grand national in 1839).

A selection of quilts.

A stable full of rocking horses were in one corner . . .  And there were some . . . hair extensions on sale there too!

A view of the main hall from the balcony.

Above and below - a wonderful display of colourful Carnival glass, which I have a soft spot (but no money or room) for . . .

This stall of kitchenalia is always here and is one of my favourites.  I love to check it out, if I can get near (it's always popular.  Check out the rarer yellow and white striped T & G Green jars . . .

And here's what I bought.  A lovely honey glazed Aller Vale pot (Torquay pottery), dating from about 1910 or so.  You can tell labour was cheap then, as it had four lines of poetry . . .  Later pieces mostly have just a short  saying on them.

The pattern is called "Kerswell Daisy".  There were a couple of missing bits of flaked glaze but that doesn't bother me, as you'll not notice on the shelf, and it came cheap enough.