Monday 30 August 2021

Hands off!!!


Today it was the August Bank Holiday Fleamarket at Malvern, so of course I got up early and went.  Now we live at Builth, it only takes an hour and a half to get there - from our old home we had to get up at 3.30 a.m. as it took twice as long.

Recent Fairs have been dire - so many "Car Boot" type stalls, house clearance rubbish at silly prices.  However, by the time I was 3 stalls down the first line I could see that it was going to be a good one (a mass spotting of 5 or 6 Magpies (for luck) along the way also boded well!)

The first photo gave me the blog caption for today - I imagine they are mock ups for the film industry.  Different . . .

Nearby was this plaster head - a large as life Oliver Hardy I assume.

I loved this jug, but at £65 and with the damaged handle, it stayed on the table.

This was described as a horse collar.  Well, if it was I've never seen one quite like THAT before.  I think the linen-clad bit could have been the lining for a donkey collar, and then someone has added the leather "socks" on it but what the brown leather is meant to be doing I don't know.

I was very good - I have a "thing" about antique spinning wheels - this was French, with beautiful bobbin turning and dated about 1828 I think, but fortunately I was saved from indulgence by the price - £450!   Just a tad rich pricewise . . .

I've been seeing lots of these earthenware steens recently.  I have seen a gigantic one that R had (and which went to a woman who asked him to drill holes in it so she could use it as a planter!)  Silly mare - she had paid top dollar for it, and it wouldn't be frost proof, and drilling holes in it would probably shatter it anyway.  This went the other way and was tiny - about dinner plate size.  I once had a dark brown one this size, which sold well at a Fair.  I wasn't going to part with £40 for this one though.

Anyone for Giant Tennis?

I was tempted to get these for Tam in case they had more value, but at £30 they stayed on the stall and Tam told me they were later than I thought (she knew because of the use of Marcasite around the garnets).

If you are troubled by Grizzly Bears in your neck of the woods, then this trap is the one to help you out!

Ivor from East Germany managed to get through Customs (every item itemised and priced) with this lot and more . . .

One pretty hexagon quilt - these were tiny tiny 50p sized hexxies.

I still have such a soft spot for Over The Top High Victorian China - this tureen was accompanied by a few grubby plates.  When I first started dealing in antiques, these would have been leapt upon . . .

The size of this vase was immense - I wondered if she was going to hide her husband (or her lover!) in it!!  I think the answer was more boring, it was going in a shop.

This was my FIND OF THE DAY  - it is an Anti Lugging bit used on trotting horses - the big rings had the headpiece and one rein attached, and the other rein went on the small ring on the left for getting the horse tightly round corners . . .  A VERY rare beast - I've only seen it in a book illustration and then only once.

I rather fell in love with these unusual transfer-print Victorian vases. There would probably have been three originally but these were the only two left.  I need to do some research on them to find out the maker and exact date.  Update:  if you look closely you will see these are topped with Swans, whose neck and head form the top half of the handle.  They date to around 1850. Tam doesn't care for them - I love 'em!

Above and below - an unusual chest, which came at the right price.  With the top rubbed down and polished, and the interior cleaned and polished it still has useful storage . . .  I don't know quite how to name it - a portable alter is the nearest I can get, and there is a candle box on the right, the central part lifts out for the various accoutrements of Mass/Communion.  It's had a new base on it, but hey, it's different and it will speak to someone . . .

Finally, another good buy - this is a Dale Tiffany blue copper gold adventurine favrile amphora art glass vase. (That's a mouthful!)  American made and worth a good bit more than I paid for it!  It's stock, if we ever do a proper Fair again!  I like art glass and studio pottery.

Anyway, a good day out was had - though I had to crash out on the sofa when we got back and I slept for over an hour.

I hope you all had a good Bank Holiday weekend - what did you get up to?

Thursday 26 August 2021

A gift from a Red Kite and some recipes


I went for a long walk on my own on Tuesday.  Tam's back from her Festival and full of a head cold (don't worry, she tested for Covid and it was negative).  She's been staying in her room anyway, so as not to pass it on to us.  So I set off up the hill, intent on walking the route along the bridleway through the woods which we last walked in February, only this time I'd be walking it in reverse.  I paused for breath on the way up, beneath a Larch tree, and found this beautiful Red Kite (tail?) feather on the ground.  I had a little rucksack on with a drink and a chocolate bar in, so the feather joined them.

I am assuming this is a Golden Bullace.  Just ONE fruit on the hedgerow bush.

Earth Nut/Pig Nut flowering on a bank.

St John's Wort - this one felt like the Square Stemmed variety.

 I think this is Common Catsear.

The very end of the Eppynt range.

Beautiful harebells on the bank at the top of the hill where I sat to rest.

Of course, the reward for climbing steep hills (for over an hour!) are the views from the top.  Enjoy.

The beautiful little church of St David's, where there was a service on Sunday.

This was where we all repaired to after church, for tea and cakes and chat.

Tam has been feeling yuk with her head cold, so yesterday I got busy cooking the evening meals and made this with two big chicken breasts I had.  In fact, after I'd butterflied them, I have enough chicken for another meal tonight.  This will be a regular in our household as it was SO tasty.  I think Velveeta cheese is an American ingredient, so I just grated some (2 oz/60g) Cheddar cheese instead. I put the oven on low and kept the chicken portions moist under the foil "tent" and cooked them right through as I made the rice part.  I used Basmati rice by the way.

I also had an Aged (e.g. forgotten!) Butternut Squash to use up so made Butternut Squash, Chilli and Coconut Milk Soup which she reckoned hit the spot, although with her sore throat, the chillis felt a bit spicier than usual.  We always have Coconut Milk in the store-cupboard as Tam uses it when she makes Chicken curry.

 I did remember to take a photo of it.  I blitzed it to puree the Butternut Squash.  

I even found some Blackberries to pick, just yards from the house down the track to the farm.

Not many, but it's a start.  I'll see what I can find when we are out and about later.

Now I am in the mood for ironing, so I shall take full advantage of it.  I still shake my head over the young lady I know (no relation) who doesn't own an iron.  How on earth must she look after her clothes have been washed and dried then stuffed in black bin bags until she uses them.  She must look like she's slept in them.

Monday 23 August 2021

On a wing and a prayer - and the Smoker's Bow chairs


This one came from Malvern - I use it all the time when I'm at the computer.  It's had a repair in the form of the legs wired in place but it perfectly usable at the moment, and came at the right price, and Keith can easily effect a repair.

This is the chair from the 2nd hand shop locally.  Needs the cane replacing but you can cheat and buy it ready-made up and just needs cutting to size and pinning in place.  Which is what I shall do.  Every single spindle of the top needs glueing back in place.

This is the chair we got via Ebay, from a seller in Ross-on-Wye on a dirt-cheap buy-it-now . . .  Edwardian.

This was taken late afternoon - so as you see, the deep pink is tamed by the lack of light!  The curtains and (below) the Roman blind, look absolutely perfect in there.

Our beautiful home through a screen of Willowherb.

The view across the hill.

We've had a local hatching of Red Admirals - about 6 or 8 of them on the buddleias, plus a couple of Peackocks, Whites etc, one bedraggled Comma (only one I've seen this year) and today the Fritillary was back, but looking faded and one wing a bit tattered.  3 Small Blues as well (great!).

Yesterday was a busy day for us as there was a Militaria Fair in the morning, which ended at 1 p.m., then we dashed back home and I quickly got ready to Go To Church.  I was running late as the dress I wanted to wear needed ironing and it had a full length skirt.  I was meeting up with friends from along the lane, to follow them down, but only noticed, at 2.44 that Chris had texted me to say they were leaving at 2.45 if I wanted to follow.  I grabbed a clutch bag, shoved a lippy and my Ventolin inhaler in it and ran for the door.  Guess what - I forgot my mask and had to borrow one from Chris!

You may imagine my horror when we arrived at the church and we were handed prayer books and hymn books - the former with an impossibly small print.  Where were my specs?  On the kitchen table.  It took me ages to even find the right page in the prayer book, but I had a sporting chance with the hymns as the number was printed larger and I could just manage to see the words, but I didn't know any of the hymns chosen and only one tune was familiar, but I sang low and hoped for the best.  When there was a Collect with Responses I could only mutter as I truly could NOT read it, even when holding the book at arm's length!  Seconds before they announced the number of the last hymn it suddenly struck me that I had also come out without any money, so had nothing for the collection and had to tap Chris on the shoulder and borrow some.  What a fool I am - that's what comes of rushing, although in my defence I am not a church-goer so money wasn't high on my list of things to remember!

There were the most stunning flower arrangements in the church - wish I could have taken a photo.  We did find out that the church is always open though so next time we walk there, we will go in.

We went to the manor house (think it's a manor house - lovely place anyway) and had tea and cakes and I met some more of the neighbours.  Thank goodness I survived to tell the tale - and of course I paid back the money Chris let me have, with a thank you card today.

Saturday 21 August 2021

Morning with Spitfire and Germans . . .

 Despite the weather - the rain had appeared as per the forecast, but fortunately NOT as heavily as predicted - we popped into Hay this morning, to have a look around as a WWII weekend was being held - to celebrate 76 years since the end of WWII (it was to be last year but Covid stopped THAT happening of course.)  We were too early for the events happening later in the day but had a chat with Rob and then braved the mud and wet grass in the field at the bottom of the car park, where everyone was camped out and on display.

The enemy were about by the Cheese Market . . .

The men from the Ministry . . .

A splendid old steam engine - I remember these were used for road-mending when I was growing up in the 1950s and 60s.

Land Girls.

A lovely old car - someone will doubtless tell me what sort if I wait long enough!

The chap below had a very good display of farming equipment which would have been used during the War Years (and before and after).  Had it not been raining I'd have stopped to chat - he had some great photos too.

A Scout Car and an Amphibious Tank.   I think these were from the Tank Museum at Bovington in Dorset - we went there a couple of times when we still lived close by.

An Anderson shelter, which were built sunk down in people's back gardens and saved many lives.

George Formby was of course there!

Watch out, there's Germans about.

The star of the show - a non-flying Spitfire.  Hard to believe that such a tiny plane could have changed the course of the war, but it did.  In the Battle of Britain it held of the Luftwaffe, and but for this success, Hitler would probably have deployed his Operation Sea Lion invasion of Britain.  

I've taken photos of the Smoker's Bows now, so they will appear in my next post.