I feel a bit like a ‘crossing’ place, Uncle Robber and his lady Sue are flying out to America today for a long awaited holiday and my Other Half flies back in on Monday evening from Italy and his visit to his Sister. And I am sitting in the middle with lists of things  I mustn’t forget, to say, to do and to pass on!

And then on Thursday it is off to Stafford to set up for Bowman’s Antique Fair at the Showground.

A vague thought did enter my head that actually I might stand Donnington Antique  Fair, it is on this Monday morning and only half an hour away and then I thought of all the sorting and packing etc.  And decided that there really has to be two of us, then there is a chance that at 6am one of us might be functioning.  Notice I didn’t say awake!

I have enjoyed my week without himself but it is time that he returned.  We are two halves that make a reasonable whole.  We each do the things the other can’t and what is left over we argue about.

It is called Marriage, or in this modern age a Partnership!  Although that always sounds  like a business deal rather than a lifestyle!

How was that for modern parlance?  I have read the books you know!

And anyway I quite miss him.



It is very quiet here with my Other Half away in Italy, and yet to be fair to him he doesn’t do chat, he either talks your head off or is silent, there is no in between.  So it must be me who normally makes all the noise.

He rang me the other morning, apparently he is very chilled, doing very little, sitting in the sun and watching the world go by.  I just knew that was what he would be doing and his sister is cooking all his favourite foods, Tripe and Onions for instance, and tonight his niece is cooking pizza.  He won’t want to come home, and I can’t bear the smell of Tripe cooking, so I shan’t be serving that any time soon.

I went to daughter Kate’s yesterday to make sure that I haven’t just gone deaf!  Not really, I went to drink coffee and chat and whilst I was there her friend Jen (JLO on Facebook) cut my hair for me.

She cuts hair like a dream, mine is curly and heavy and if I don’t get it cut just right can be a nightmare and she cuts it beautifully.  And last year she talked me into letting the grey come through naturally and to stop colouring my hair.  She was so right, I feel much happier with it now.  The trouble with colouring my hair and getting older is that my skin tones have changed and I had to be so careful not to go too dark otherwise it looked so contrived.

I am happier with the grey, and using shampoo for grey/silver hair, I like to think softens the iron colour that I was un-necessarily alarmed by in the first place.  Thanks Jen.

And tonight Uncle Robber and Sue are taking me out for a meal.  They are off to America on Sunday for the lovely holiday that they have been looking forward to for so long, I wish them  Bon Voyage and that it is everything that they have dreamed of.



My Other Half is away visiting his sister in Italy this week.  I hope that he is having a lovely time.

I never thought to send him with the camera, it is really lovely around where she lives in the Abruzzi, and hers is one of those villages perched on the top of hill that always look good to explore.

When she moved there about 35/40 years ago there was still a communal wash house where the women gathered once a week, all very old and traditional but over the years, just like here really, things have changed, mostly for the better.

It is a fair while since I have been, around thirty years ago I suppose, and I remember visiting even more remote villages where the dialect that they spoke was almost a different language to Italian and over the shop doorways, hung on hooks samples of what they sold instead of written signs.  Over the butchers was a sheep’s head dripping blood and covered in flies, and of course that was the one that has always stuck in my memory.

We visited Monte Cassino, spectacular!  A mountain in the middle of a vast flat plain and if you know anything about the 2nd World War and Italy you would immediately understand why the battle there cost so many lives.

And we visited Rome, on a heat filled day.  A fantastic City, so much to see and we were only there for a few hours.  Fantastic sights around every corner, just total overload really, like visiting London for an hour and then moving on.

He is only there for a week, so I don’t expect that he is tearing about sightseeing.  More likely sitting in the Village Square with a cup of coffee, watching the world go by, just as his Dad used to do when he visited.



A bit of a drifty day today.  I am finding it hard to settle to anything.  I am going to blame it on the fact that Autumn is on the doorstep and everything in the garden has that rather overblown look. The trees are rustling in the breeze and an odd leaf keeps spiraling down.  The Squirrels are busy, bustling along the tops of the fences engaged in some errands of great importance and to engaged  even to pause and look at us watching them.

Uncle Robber got the all clear from his Specialist today, Hooray.  His kidney stones are all gone and finally he has managed to organise his Health Insurance for his trip to America.  Good job really, he is off in a fortnight.

As my Other Half flies into Stanstead after his week with his sister Pat, Robert and his lady fly out of Manchester for a fortnight in America.  Very cosmopolitan eh!

Whilst Robert is away I am in charge of his ‘Super Six’ football selections every Saturday.  A big responsibility.  I have to predict the scores of 6 matches and give the minute of the first goal scored in any of those games.  Easy!

It reminds me of my Dad and his football pools.  At about 5pm every Saturday we all had to be as silent as little mice whilst he listened to the Football Scores on the radio and then he would scrunch up his piece of paper and throw it on the fire with a rather resigned look on his face.

Much later in my life I actually met one of the owners of a Football Pools Company, rich on the backs of the likes of my Father.  Still I am not criticising, think of all the optimism and joy if not wealth the Pools then and now the Super Six and its equivalent bring to ordinary folk like us for just a few pennies.



Trying to get back into the ‘domestic’ groove after our long weekend ‘Antique-ing’.

As always it took us all day Monday to get over the 4 days of activity at Builth Wells. but a bonus is,  we are leaving the car loaded, with just a few tweaks and then we are ready for Stafford Showground, Bingley Hall at the end of Sept.

Meanwhile my Other Half is off to Italy for a few days to visit his sister on her mountain top in the Abruzzi.  Not sure that I have spelt that right but he won’t get lost, they are meeting him at the Airport in Pescara.

I am hoping that he has a nice chilled week, without me wittering in his ear all the time.  I am a bad traveller and try to be brave but hates it!  And you know the old saying “Absence makes the heart grow fonder”.  I am relying on that theory.

Every one keeps asking me what I have planned for my week alone.  My answer is lots of reading, eating and sleeping.  Sounds good to me.


We  had a good trading weekend in Builth Wells at the Antique Fair. We sold steadily and made a nice profit, which doesn’t always happen but it must have been our turn,

Some of the Traders took very little and we find that is how the Fairs are at the moment, very un-predictable and patchy.  And we often gain over others because some of our prices are seriously tiny.  ‘Pocket money’ prices especially my stuff, and whereas one has to think carefully these days about frittering serious money, upwards of a Fiver can be a temptation!

Bingley is our next Fair at the end of this month and hopefully with just a bit of tweaking, we can leave the car loaded and save ourselves debating over what to take there.

And another delight of standing Builth is our B&B and John and Bernice,  who it belongs to.  I am mean about sharing this little retreat but as I have already re-book for next year, I feel that I can and should.

A lovely welcome and nice people, comfy rooms, great food and very accommodating in every way.  I could go on waxing lyrical, and I haven’t even mentioned the garden and the chickens and ducks and scenery and the pub in the village and things like the Bog Snorkeling and………….. See!

The address is;  CERDYN VILLA, STATION ROAD, LLANWRTYD WELLS, POWYS.  Telephone number, 01591, 610635.

And did I mention that it has a Railway Station and that it has proper trains that go to places like Cardiff, and is right in the heart of Welsh Wales.  A great place to stay.

My spell-checker really doesn’t like Welsh and some of the alternative words that it comes up with are quite entertaining and I was quite tempted to use some of them, although Llantwrtyd had it rather stumped but I just wanted to say that it is a lovely place.

I hope that you appreciate that I am sharing my ‘Running Away’ place, a place to go when I want to escape from my real everyday world.




I was going to say that we have finally finished loading the car ready to go to Builth Wells but looking around I realise that moment won’t be until we finally slam the door firmly behind us.  And even then we have been known to have to come back for some crucial thing even before we have gotten to the main road!

My Other Half likes to take a leisurely drive to Builth and plans to take all day tomorrow to set up our Stall for the Antique Fair that we are standing  over Saturday and Sunday at the Royal Welsh Showground.

And having said all that about leisure etc.  He has been up and crashing around in that annoyingly quiet way since about 6am this morning and I am rather tetchy about the whole thing.   The third time that he opened and shut the wardrobe door in that quietly loud way, so that the metal catches went ‘PING’ I finally gave up trying to wake up slowly. and two cups of coffee in I am still not speaking to him.  Not that he has noticed yet, no doubt I shall have to tell him!


I put this rather lovely picture on my Facebook page this morning.  This is from a set of prints that were published in Peking in 1955 at the time of Mao.   Apparently only 12 sets were originally printed and hence as one of the original prints this is rather rare.

A feel-good picture, maybe I won’t shout at him after all.






I have just spoken to Aunty Pat in Italy, their weather is very similar to ours at the moment.  Dismal mornings, an odd thunder storm and glorious sunshine, rather randomly!

She is a far more efficient lady than me and has had her washing blowing on the line since 5am.  That is never going to happen here ‘not on my shift’, as they say.

What is the point in retiring if you can’t lay in bed beyond the alarm clock?  Setting it is an automatic action after all those years of children and going to work and the joy is being able to ignore its urgent shriek and turning over to read the odd chapter of whatever, or even just having a doze.  Because you can!

There are a lot of annoying things about being a Pensioner so ‘Carpe Diem’, hopefully that means  ‘seize the day’ and if it doesn’t ignore the Latin and use the English!  Use all the good things and zoom over the bad as much as possible.

I shall book-mark the above for a chapter in my ‘Little book of Pensioners’.  The writing task that I have set myself for next Winter!

Along with finish the Patchwork that I started when Kate (Now in her 40’s) was born and finish my Mother’s embroidery which I promised her I would do if she didn’t have time and clear out my Wardrobe!

And just in case, put a sign on the Wardrobe door which says’ Open with Care’!


Malvern Flea and Car Boot was,  as usual on a Sunny Bank Holiday Monday, enormous and after three and a half hours of steady walking we gave it best and gathering up all our purchases staggered back to the car.

I have known the day when no stall would have been left un-explored but we are showing our age now, slowing down and to be honest not so hungry for bargains!

I bought more maps.  Funny, as in an oddity, but when you have many of a thing, whatever, they just keep turning up and seem too good to reject.  And another truism is that if I am taking maps to Builth Wells, so will everyone else.  So mine will have to be better,  cheaper and more of a bargain than those of anyone else.  I am working on it!

I even found a few more sea charts, these were of the south coast.  I am looking for the west and Ireland now and I can set off to navigate the whole British Isles.  Not really, I have sold some of the original ones and so now I have gaps up the East coast.  Life is never joined up and perfect!

Today, we must start to load up for Builth Wells Antique Fair.  We are setting off on Thursday to unload and set up on Friday and so we only have the next two days, as always last minute merchants!  And we need to time to debate and discuss, a polite way of saying argue, what we should and shouldn’t take and how sensible it is to plan to drive home late on Sunday after trading all day and then packing it all up and loading.

Amongst other things I bought this handfull of I-SPY books yesterday.  The first things that I bought, mostly for nostalgic reasons and then because they fitted into my pocket and weigh next to nothing and I really need to buy less heavy things.  It doesn’t really work out though because then I went on to buy arm-fulls of maps and Victorian books and etc.


So the car springs will still be groaning all the way to Wales and so if the Gods of Antiques are smiling could we please sell lots of heavy!


Silly O’clock and we are off to Malvern Flea and Car Boot today, treasure hunting.  I am not keen, I would just a soon have stayed in bed for another hour or so.

As always when you have to get up early I had a dreadful night and spend vast tracts of it half awake waiting to go to sleep!

I was so tired last night when I went to bed about 10.30ish and then suddenly I was wide awake and all those terrible night thoughts crowded in.  One at a time of course, so when I changed thoughts to shut that one out the next in the queue jumps in.

Got to go now, perhaps I can sleep in the car, and no, I am not driving!