We are in the throes of cleaning windows, a job that we avoid for large swathes of the year due to the fact that there are many of them and most of them are small leaded 1930’s panes (pains).  When we can no longer make out the garden through a grey filter it is time.

The outsides are always clean, thanks to our window cleaner,  Richard and his merry men and so as we work our way around the revealed sparkling windows are a constant delight and we vow to clean them more often, but we lie!

And I have cleared and cleaned out the utility room, and I have even cleaned the leaded window in there, a very rare happening I can assure you.

Now, if I were a sensible woman I would shift all the heaps of boxes etc. out of the hall and into the utility room but what a shame to sully that lovely empty, clean floor space!  Tomorrow, maybe.

And anyway, I know with the wisdom of years that there is a law which states ‘No empty space shall go un-filled’.  A definite truth.

Closely allied to ‘Slot A into Slot Z’ and this whole house works upon those two principles.  If I have spelt that wrongly sorry, and you know what I mean!

So in a few days all will be back to normal and we shall be picking our way carefully through tottering heaps of things in the Stygian gloom!



Clicking the radio on when I get up and listening to the news whilst making my coffee has become a bit of a habit of late, however I am not sure that it is good for my blood pressure.

Getting all the misery diluted by very few sound bites of good news is not always a good way to start my day.

It tends to make me very shouty.  Compounded this morning by the fact that my gas cooker has blown a fuse, how weird is that?  No hot plate, no ignition, still it could be worse the gas rings do work with the application of a match.

Back in the olden days the lack of a match could cause endless misery and usually entailed nipping next door and borrowing one.  You can keep your cup of sugar, matches are the way forward.

And my life is still a bit chaotic at the moment, what with one thing and another.

Dave is decorating the bathroom.  He is a good man, methodical and puts up well with all our and our house’s little peculiarities but decorating tends to creep all over the house so along with endless boxes and heaps of stuff for the Antique Fairs are now added towels and toothbrushes and dust!

And Aunty Pat in Italy is still threatening to come for a flying visit in December with her daughter and son-in-law and grand daughter.

She has plans to meet an old friend in Carluccio’s Leicester and the family want to go shopping in London for a day or so and she tells  me that the plane times are not very accommodating and that the tiny slot of dates that I have given her  between our three December Antique Fairs and our House sitting for my daughter may not quite fit with what they might plan!

And I just hate Christmas shopping lists but it has to be done,  my family and others are all descending here on Boxing day and hopefully, eventually we shall be able to offer a bit more than a just a cheese sandwich.

And now I am drinking cold coffee, its not fair as the kids all tell me and I agree!

I have a load of shoe boxes and piles of sheet music so I thought (how doomy is that),  as you do (several hours ago),  lets just cover the shoe boxes and they will look lovely and be useful!

I have just read an article about the over use of exclamation marks, but really I feel the one above is  called for – nothing else will convey the anguish and stickiness that I have subjected myself to and still I only have one box covered.

And even that has neatly glued itself to the top of the radiator.

And the kitchen table, floor and sink are all as sticky as me.

It is very depressing.

Years ago when my children/grand children were little we would set about whole days of colouring and sticking and make Christmas Cards and little presents for everyone and all end up feeling very pleased with ourselves.

I fear that you need the enthusiasm of toddlers to carry you forward and the promise of nursery tea to spur you on to the clearing up.

A solitary pensioner just doesn’t cut it.


The Victorians used to worry about the ‘undeserving poor’.

Quite often the ‘Haves’ came to the conclusion that the ‘Have Nots’  deserved all they got, or in their case didn’t get!

I have never gone hungry or homeless which doesn’t mean that I am rich but throughout my life if there has been any spare I have tried to pass some of it on.

I dare say, that over the years not all of this has reach those that I hoped it would but the thought was there.  The intentions were good.

The above was the beginning of the Blog that I started 3 or 4 days ago.  I got interrupted, then later I just couldn’t find the Draft and then I went off the whole thing and was going to delete it when I finally did find it again but it seemed a shame to waste those words!

Any way since then everyone has written almost everything that I might have ended up saying and so……………….’What they said’ or ‘Not what they said’ depending on whatever it was!

Those that know me should be able to guess which box I would metaphorically tick and if you don’t,  feel free to do your own thing.





Kate (Daughter) and I went Supermarket Shopping yesterday.  We don’t live terribly far from each other, half an hour by car but sometimes we don’t manage to get together for a gossip for what seems like forever!

So yesterday was a joy.  As always she was full of enthusiasm and chat, in spite of having a stiff neck that has reduced her to tears a few times this week. We shopped and chatted,  of ships and shoes and politics and children etc.

And she has a new scheme a-brewing.  Each week we both donate to Food Banks, it is good to share, just a few bits and pieces that we add to the trolley as we are going around the shelves.  But a few weeks ago we read about making up Advent boxes, instead of lighting candles each day you put something special/ Chrismassy in a box to be given eventually to the Food Bank.

Of course you have to start a week or so before Advent, otherwise there wouldn’t be time to share out the boxes.  And of course it has to be things that won’t spoil.

When I was little we always had a few special things at Christmas that sat in the pantry and were brought out on Christmas Day.  Biscuits and cakes and tins of toffee and chocolate that we didn’t get year round, perhaps a new set of decorated water glasses for the table along with Christmas Crackers, which were probably paid for a few pennies a week for months before hand.  But it was magic and special to us kids.

And how nice to recreate some of that magic and so that is what we are doing.  And Kate being Kate has pushed the idea on the Internet and is, hopefully getting a few more people interested and the local radio etc.

But you don’t have to join our gang, there are food banks all over the Country who would be pleased with a bit of a Seasonal  boost and so would their customers.

Baked Beans are all very well and good but a little bit of Christmas would be better.  And it doesn’t have to be a whole box of stuff, small amounts grow into big mountains if we all join in.

Come on everybody, join in, make a smile, make several!

How good would that be?


The Antique Fair that we stood at the weekend was nice!

An English Teacher that I knew used to condemn the word ‘nice’.  And I have grown to realise, over the years what she meant.

It was a nice Fair, in a nice venue, run by nice people but for us it wasn’t great or marvellous or any of those other extravagant adjectives.

It was nice, and we did in the end make a small profit but I feel that this probably isn’t really a Fair for us.

It maybe that we aren’t taking the right sort of stock and in our defence we have swapped around what we have taken the last twice but we don’t seem to be ‘pressing the right buttons’ so to speak.

We shall think about it a bit before booking this one again.

Maybe the retro stuff that I have sorted out for a couple of one day Fairs at the beginning of December would suit that venue better.

Who knows? Certainly not us but we shall keep on trying!

I woke at my usual 7-ish, and laid in bed listening to the world waking up.  The first bus pausing at the bus stop across the road, then our neighbour setting off for work.  I can work out what the weather is by him, motor bike if it is going to be nice, otherwise his car.

The school children start to go by just before 8am and then it is time for the little children next door to leave and by then the traffic is quite busy and no more excuses for me to lay- a-bed and coffee calls.

Tomorrow we shall be up and away by 6-ish.  We have to be at Gaydon Motor Museum for 7am to unload all our antiques and set up our stall, so today’s lie in was doubly delightful and to be savoured as much as possible.

And hopefully for the rest of today, I shall make haste slowly gathering my strength for what I hope will be the next two busy days at Field Dogs Antique Fair at The Motor Museum at Gaydon near Banbury.



Nearly finished loading for Field Dogs Fair at Gaydon Motor Museum over the coming weekend.

I know I have been whittling away at it for the last week or more but actually you cannot claim that you are fully loaded until 2 minutes before you set off and even then we have been known to get to the corner of our Road and turn back to pick up whatever we have forgotten.

Or even worse not notice what we have forgotten until we are unloading at the other end and at 7am in the morning staggering around with boxes and tables, one tends to get a bit short-tempered about such things.

We chose to do this Fair near Banbury because it is a nice one and we have done it before, it is almost on our doorstep and with short days and the chance of inclement weather that is a bonus but half of me yearns to be standing Bowman’s Antique and Arts Fair at Harrogate Showground.

It is  much bigger than the Motor Museum Fair and I like the hustle and  bustle of a big Fair but Yorkshire is a long journey from here and we are wimps about the weather etc as we get older.  However we shall stand Harrogate in May when the countryside around there shows promise of Spring and the days are lengthening and somehow that seems to ameliorate any threat of bad weather and bad journeys.



My Other Half has taken the shopping list and gone to do battle with the Supermarket.  He enjoys shopping and reads all the labels and contrasts and compares!  I have to be in the mood for all that stuff and I am not.

The idea was that it would leave me free to do the final sorting for Antique Fair at Gaydon this coming weekend.  I have got everything out and then I discovered that he has taken the car I was going to load!

So I have run out of room, and until I can move ‘slot A into slot B’ so to speak, I am stuck, surrounded by a sea of stuff!

So I am having elevenses, and maybe even twelveses, waiting for the return of the warrior!

Then of course I will have all the groceries to add to the mix.

I’ve gone off it all now!

I still cannot make my camera talk to my computer.  Otherwise I would have posted a photo of my garden looking like a giant bowl of crispy golden cornflakes this morning.

My Other Half remarked a few days ago that the trees were a glorious colour and holding onto their leaves well this year, and ever since then it has been raining golden leaves, so it is all obviously his fault.

Crunching around the grass this morning looking for the Bird water, I was reminded of when we were kids.

Up the lane from our house was a small green.  Thinking about it now there must have been some kind of  vortex over that space in the Autumn and it seemed that every leaf from miles around ended up there. It also attracted all of us kids and for a couple of days we had such fun.

With all those leaves we built castles and had battles, and leaf mountains and  buried each other in them.

It was quite sad when they got too soggy to play with but then we abandoned them and moved on as kids do to the next thing.  Bonfire night I suppose and I expect that is where all those soggy leaves disappeared to, the bonfires!