Where to start?

It has been a chaotic few days, what with one thing and another.  And so now that I am forced to sit as I seem to have clicked my back out, I thought that I would just have a little catch up.

Uncle Robbers, friend Sue, staying with him over Easter had a massive nose bleed and has spent half the week in one of the local Hospitals and we have all rallied around to dog-sit the 3 seven month old Great Dane puppies, who for obvious reasons can’t be left for too long on their own, otherwise they eat the house and generally get into more trouble than a cart load of monkeys.

And we are still on high alert, as she has to go back on Friday and they may have to cauterise it and I shall be sitting the Dogs for as long as it takes and Uncle Robber is working his shifts and running hither and yon,  trying to cope with it all.

Actually working with small children all my life seems to have stood me in good stead.  It turns out that baby Great Danes are very similar, just much bigger and they are very sweet and haven’t got a nasty bone in them.  And providing they don’t converge on mass and knock me over I can cope.

We had a good busy Fair at Peterborough although only a week ago it seems like forever  and we are well into the throes of getting ready for our next big Fair,  Builth Wells, the weekend after next.

And on top of all that Theresa May has called an election and I really can’t fit serious politics in at the moment although my Other Half and I have already started with quite a few heated debates.  I fear that it is only going to get worse before it gets better.

You know when you watch an old married couple on the television ” We have been married for 50 years and never  had a disagreement with each other”,  that isn’t us!


I just don’t know where the days go, before I have really got going they are all used up.  Three or four times I have started a blog, saved it to finish later and never got back to it.

Basically we have been getting ready for Peterborough and Builth Wells and in between as always real life creeps in.

Last Wednesday I had a glorious day in London with Kate.

We wandered along the Thames in the sunshine in Pimlico.  Had a nice pub lunch spent all afternoon at the Tate and saw the Hockney exhibition.  I am saving up for one or two of my favourites!

And after afternoon tea, we went to Tottenham Court Road on the way back to the car and drifted around Daunts Book Shop, if I ever run away, you will find me there, a delight of a shop.

Then we just window shopped for an hour or so, such lovely things and shops,  stopped for a little snack at Brent Cross on the way back to the car and were home for 10pm.

Mind you my feet didn’t stop moaning all of the next day, not used to pounding the pavements. And I didn’t know whether to be insulted or grateful when a young woman on the underground got up and offered me her seat.  (My feet were very grateful).

And in between we have sorted, washed, polished, labelled and packed a very strange assortment of things.

Along with our usual Carnival glass and books, we have pots and Victorian glass and modern glass etc.  And some 1870’s bayonets!

Yes,  you read that right, it is amazing what you find when you buy an old chest full of ephemera.  They were buried under all the layers of old love letters, photo’s, newspapers and magazines.

Along with and this turned out to be even more amazing, an old automatic pistol!  Turns out to be German and dated to 1914-ish and was probably brought back as a souvenir in the first world war.

I thought it was a toy but we took it to a friend who is into guns, and it turned out to be a 10 round automatic pistol, fortunately with no firing pin.  Illegal to own without a certificate to say it was deactivated properly, and it turns out firing pins are not that difficult to get hold of in spite of its age.

So whilst I was tripping the light fantastic with David Hockney in London, my Other Half was filling in myriad forms at the local police station and trying to prove that he wasn’t a  gun runner!

The tide of vintage pots has receded, all  washed, labelled and packed.  Now the kitchen has been taken over by a sea of cigarette cards.

I had forgotten how annoyingly fiddly they are to sort, and there are hundreds of them, although sadly I haven’t found a full set yet but then there are packets and tins that I haven’t opened, who knows what they contain?

And when I have them finally all sorted into neat heaps!  I have to look them up and price them and all the usual antique rules apply – condition, rarity, sets or not, reprints or not. I remember now why I don’t often volunteer to deal in these cards, or stamps, or postcards anymore.  Life is too short.

And now that I have had a moan, I have to admit that I am quite enjoying it.  I quite like turning chaos into order and of course there is always the thought that there might be treasure hidden in there!

And tomorrow I am having the day off and running away to London with daughter Kate.  We are going to see the Hockney Exhibition, preceded by a lovely lunch.

We haven’t decided where to eat yet, we have spent the last few weeks throwing suggestions at each other but it will in the end come down to how hungry we are and where we are near.

I am looking forward to the whole thing and hoping that her menopausal ups and downs are not on a down, if they are we shall be having lunch at our local pub and forgoing Hockney which would be sad but there is always another day.

No excuses today though, back to the cigarette cards.

Top of the Facebook feed every morning is now a weather forecast for my local area, dismal apparently today.

I am not sure why it has started to tell me this, I expect that at some time I have pressed a button, or even not pressed a button.

And on a Sunny day I like knowing and on a rainy one I don’t.

It takes some of the spontaneity out of my usual pessimism.

So instead of drifting around the garden pulling up weed seedlings we shall use this damp day to do a few errands.

For a start fetch more bubble wrap, I have used metres and a there are more pots to collect, not many now apparently but also a chest full of Cigarette Cards and the cupboard that everything was in.

And over the week, in my imagination the cupboard had grown to enormous proportions.  I am just hoping that the two of us can manage it, maybe!

All this ‘wheeler dealering’ has finally forced us to unload from the last Fair and so we have an empty vehicle.  So no more excuses, time to go!

A wasp in the bathroom.

Not as poetical as the first Cuckoo’s call of Spring but hey! Here in the suburban Midlands we settle for what we can get.

The first wasp of 2017, a sign of good weather to come, or just a sting in the tail!

And opening the window to let it out, I now can’t get it shut again and have abluted, is there such a word?  There should be, standing in a cold breeze having a wash is no fun.   And it is not really wasp weather, no sunshine today and I expect he (the wasp) is sorry that he woke so early.

I  have bought a car full of pottery/china, Tea-sets, Dinner Services and odd bits and pieces. Earlier this week I went to value them for a friend who is down sizing and she wanted to know if they were worth anything before she took them to the local charity shop.

I had no intentions of buying but it is now official!  I cannot resist a pretty piece of pottery and am not fit to be let out alone.  However, we agreed a deal and she was happy to be rid  and I was delighted to have them.

And it is a well know Dealer fact, which I had apparently forgotten – a few dusty pots on garage shelves, once they belong to you,  expand to fill every surface of your kitchen, for days.

Mind you they do look lovely now that they are all washed!

And the dangerous thing, although I am being very sensible, is that she has 6000 books to get rid of as well and after all I am a book dealer by trade.  But 6000 books, I truly avoided seriously looking, gave her a few pointers and came home to wash pots.

My Other Half, as daft as me, woke me in the middle of the night to suggest that if we made her an offer for her house, to include the books we could just move ourselves and all of our books into her house and ‘Jobs a Good’un’!

Mulling it over!



I went to the NHS meeting on Monday evening with Kate and Uncle Robber.  My Other Half was laid low with gout, he is better now though, an injection into the knee helped, Ouch!

The meeting was very similar to the January one, better organised though and everyone got to bring up at least one worrying (to themselves) issue.  e.g.  “If I have to ring 111, how will they know what is wrong with me?”  Mind reading probably!

Sadly there were many fewer people there, that is probably why the whole thing seemed to flow better.  Although apparently some of the sandwiches, (paid for by us through the NHS) were not up to scratch!

The plans to improve the local services all hinge on funding – which seems to me like juggling jelly.  To change everything around, bring in more professionals, exchange old buildings for new, improve AE departments,  provide less hospital acute beds but more life long treatment at home supported by all the required services will cost more money than is available or even likely to be in the near future!  And should you need any mental health or social services help, that at the moment is a real problem.  Who knew?

And this is just Leicestershire and their 5 year plan.

Really it is rather sad that there weren’t more members of the public there.  Of the 60 there on Monday a good half were allied to the NHS in some way or other.

And a meeting badly advertised, at 6pm on a Monday evening on a school night is bound to be difficult if not down right impossible for most working men and women (even if they knew it was happening),  to attend especially those with children and so the audience was mostly made up of pensioners and with nothing much on the tele and ‘free’ sandwiches, how could they resist?

It is rumoured that when the final draft plan is published (later this year if I properly understood what they were saying),  if the public aren’t in agreement with it, the Powers that Be,  can say hard luck, too late now  because you’ve all had your chances to speak and most of you didn’t bother.

This is another Blog Post that has been hi-jacked by ‘Automatic Writing’.  I was all set to tell you about all the lovely things that I have bought antique-wise  etc.

And instead I am sitting here with the faint strains of ‘Keep the Red Flag Flying High’ as an ear worm and the ghost of my Mother proudly standing over me.  She always was a bit of an agitator!

Re-reading I realise that it has been a very medical week.

Reading through again!  But if I don’t read my past Blogs through every now and again,  I find that I am getting repetitious, who knew?   It is mostly an old people thing, very noticeable in others, not so much when I am doing it.

And I hesitate to say this but tomorrow is another NHS meeting,  part 2,’ The Revenge’.

No, not really,  but the second part of the meeting that we went to a month or so ago at the local golf club with regards to the NHS plan for the local area.

So ‘free sandwiches,  tea/coffee’ and more blether!

Kate is coming with us this time, she is going to live tweet instead of relying on my few cryptic notes written on the back of a crumpled envelope.  Very wise!

And she has registered us properly this time.  Last time I didn’t realise that one had to register for a public meeting, so we joined a long queue of people who obviously didn’t realise either and filled in a whole load paper work whilst they assured us that we would now be informed about the time and date of the next meeting.

Not yet they haven’t, still they have all day tomorrow, perhaps in the morning!

Registering is a Health and Safety necessity,  apparently, so that they can identify the bodies if one of us oldies runs amok, whilst eating the ‘free’ cheese sarnies that we have paid for over all our working lives and that are now costing us ten guineas an ounce!

No more medical then, except maybe tomorrow?

And today I am rather torn between, doing a bit of gardening or going to an Antique Fair.

The resident Blackbird seems to be quite happy pottering about out there so perhaps I will leave him to it and go off for a bit of a ‘Bus Mans Holiday’.


Uncle Robber has finally received a long awaited letter from the NHS this week.

However, it wasn’t the appointment that he expected but instructions to ring and make one.

Call on week days between 10am and 4pm.  Fine except that no-one was answering the phone when he repeatedly tried and his shift at the moment is 12 noon until 8pm so he left it with me to keep on trying along with a list of his days off.

When I finally got through It took about a quarter of an hour to prove who I was!

Then we moved on to Uncle Robber’ details, name, national health number, address, and then – the straw that finally broke this camels back!  Ethnic origin, why this should be a criteria for making a telephone appointment I really don’t know.

And yes I know that this is a Government requirement on all of their forms but for goodness sake, I was just making him an appointment for physio.

And the National Health number/patient number should tell them all they need to know and when he finally gets there they can ask him themselves, or even see for themselves.

Anyway I asked how far back they wanted me to go?  As I can only vouch for a couple of generations for sure, there was a long silence, so I continued.  As far as I know white, middle aged and slightly overweight due to not being able to exercise much at the moment due to his bad back!

He has an appointment for next week after waiting about 3 months.

I shouldn’t think that knowing his ethnic origin has much to do with anything but it is in the back of my mind that Hitler got all his details about the Jews, starting with the rich and working down to the man in the street, from the bureaucratic files that were kept in Germany at the time.  Just saying!

And why didn’t they just send him an appointment?

Now we await the next letter confirming the somewhat grudgingly given appointment and think about it,  two letters, two lots of postage and someone intermittantly manning the phone,  multiply by all the waiting patients and how much is that costing us through the NHS?





Feeling a bit ‘blue’ this morning.

Probably because I have to go to the opticians again and do that silly ‘periphery test’ that I failed at so badly last week.

And it seems that almost everyone on Facebook hates everyone else.  It is a nasty, sad old world out there.

And the damned NHS! And allied reports etc. Are still almost un-readable for us lesser mortals because they are full of incomprehensible acronyms.  And I would like to a least be able to skim read them without tearing my brain out!

And then there is the news.  Nothing good!.

And I have to go to the Supermarket.  Life is just not fair!

Tomorrow is another day, thank goodness!

You always know things are bad when I break out into a rash of exclamation marks!


Kate’s 10am appointment at the Hospital turned into a day long marathon however it (fingers crossed) seemed to have been, maybe worth while

They listened, asked pertinent questions made a plan of action, that didn’t entail any of the pills, coils, tablets etc, that have been pushed at her and failed over the previous umpety years.

We had to sacrifice lunch, arrange for my Other Half to pick up Oscar from School and sort out food for us and everyone else when we finally fell through the front door at about 5pm but I am not complaining.  We are hopefully a step further along the way.

Basically they have decided to put her hormones on chemical hold for 4 months and have a look at what they are actually doing.  She was warned that it might be unpleasant at times, like having the Menopause all at once in a short few weeks but it may well be worth it and she was just delighted that at last someone had listened and understood.

That morning the Specialist was running 3/4 hour late and very apologetic when we finally saw her,  then we had to fetch the injections from the Pharmacy, a twenty minute brisk walk to the other end of the Hospital and queue for half an hour.

On the way back we bought sandwiches, in place of the lovely lunch that we had promised ourselves and then sat and waited  in the Emergency Gyny Ward for someone qualified to administer the first injection.

And waited,  they were rushed off their feet, short staffed and as it turned out had no cubicles left to put any one in so the waiting room was full of women most of them in pain, some grey faced and some clutching hot water bottles to their bellies.

Sometime later one of the nurses came and explained that when they opened our sealed box the ampoule was smashed and as the box was totally dry it wasn’t broken recently (so it wasn’t them or us) and they had dispatched a student back to the pharmacy to get it exchanged but that it might take some time!

Finally at about 4 o’clock they gave Kate the first injection, it took 2 minutes and some of those poor women were still sitting in the waiting room, waiting when we left.

We felt rather guilty to have taken up the little space and time that we did, even though it has actually taken my daughter coming up to 20 years to get someone to listen to her and take her seriously and not to automatically hand out the Pill and platitudes!

I wonder if the fact that this has been the first time that Kate has ever seen a woman Specialist/Doctor in all those years has anything to do with the fact that they are actually doing something now?

Maybe just me being cynical again!