I have not felt that I could blog for while, my head has been full of sad stories and if only half of them are true I am not feeling happy about the ‘Civilized’ world.

And here I find that I can write no more today.

What brings me joy seems trite and what brings me misery is too enormous to comment on.

My daughter tells me ‘to pick my battles’ but today I am overwhelmed!




Saturday and Sunday at the Antique Fair at Stafford Showground were, thank goodness!  Business as usual, buying and selling, rather than Dealers standing around in clumps, being ‘laid back’ and panic-stricken at the same time, which is what happened on Friday.

The Rumour Mill is working over time but the overall whispers seem to be, that most of us will give it another crack and this one will go down in Antique Folklore along with abandoning because of blizzards and the day the Marquee blew down as ‘Just one of those Fairs’!

And we took money and got home at a reasonable time Sunday Evening, which was just as well as we had to unload as soon as we got home, we usually leave it until next day, today!   But my Other Half has gone off to Kent at the crack of dawn this morning to buy a collection of glass and of course needed an empty vehicle.

And it is a good job we took some money, seeing as how he has gone off to spend it anyway.  The lady who rang him was rather vague about ‘how much’, and ‘what she had got’.  For all he knows it may be jam jars and an elephant, not quite but it is a bit like that.  But then he enjoys the hunt and he may well find treasure!

Me, I am drinking coffee and contemplating a little light dusting!

It rained in the night, the first time here for several days and the morning garden smells of English Summer, musky roses, damp earth with a hint of grass.  The knee high bean plants have a few bright orange flowers opening up, if the sun shines through enough to power the little solar bees, they hates the cold and grey as much as I do, they will get on with their buzzing and we shall have beans in a while.

And now that the garden is all one again I can easily wander down and look at how the old vegetable plot is coming on.  Last year we planted it completely with meadow grass seed and it looked terrible most of the time but we have persevered and this year it looks just as I imagined it would, long grasses and flowers blowing in the breeze.  It looks a very small plot now but when it was full of vegetables and needed hoeing all the time it always looked enormous.  Come August we shall strim it and hopefully it will keep coming.  Me and the birds and wildlife quite like it, even the baby squirrels have been chasing through it before taking off for the trees again.

I am sitting here with mixed feelings.  It is day 2 of the Fair at Bingley Hall, Stafford Showground, and I have just waved my Other Half and Grandson off to man the stall for the day.   I have an appointment which I must keep so I am sitting here drinking coffee and enjoying my garden instead of being with them.

I feel rather like ‘a rat deserting a sinking ship’, this first Fair at this venue organised by IACF, is turning out to be more problematic than I had hoped, but we are hanging in there.

The retiring organisers had 40 years worth of experience of running this Fair and although not perfect, nothing ever is, it always looked good when all was set up and felt comfortable and had a busy buzz, all good fairs need a bit of a buzz.

I am always so impressed that within the space of hours an echoing empty space can be transformed into a bustling Fair.  Not without a great deal of effort, on the part of everyone and sadly the new company have not achieved that this time.  They took this Fair venue and its future dates over with only a few weeks to organise this first one and many of the long-standing Dealers had already booked for other Fairs.

So with very few stallholders they decided to go ahead and change everything anyway.  The times for us and the Public, the prices for us and the Public, the set up, the loading and unloading etc.  And so they have ended up with a small pool of stalls in the middle of a vast echoing space and many, sadly many disgruntled customers.

And that is the rub, we shall give it another couple of goes and hope that it improves but will the customers?  And old and established as we are, we can afford to carry the odd couple of Fairs with no profit but not everyone can.

And it would have been lovely, because I am an old-fashioned person, if some one from IACF had come and said ‘Hello’ to us all yesterday when we were standing around waiting for them to tell us what next and let us in.  Just a little thing!




We are loaded ready for the Antique Fair at Bingley Hall, Stafford Showground.  Actually we finished loading yesterday but as always when we are in front of ourselves we have to keep tweaking.

We are nervous, the whole format of the coming Fair has altered now it is being run by IACF, the people who run Newark etc. Everything has changed and we are not good at change.

For a start we can’t unload until 9am Friday morning, Trade and public in at 12 noon, where as before we had Thursday to unload at our stall and set up before trading all day Friday.  I have come to the conclusion that we were spoilt rotten!

I am not saying change is bad, it might well be lovely but I have an inbuilt fear of the unknown.  I like to know what and how things are working out and about this coming Fair I know nothing except that rumours, good and bad are flying around the trade in flocks at the moment

Things will be better when we are there and doing, we never have been good at sitting around waiting, the more time we have the more time we have to forget something and we will!



My garden is all joined up again, now that Jason has come and taken out a panel of the fence that we had made to keep the dogs from straying when they were here.  Thanks Jason.  It is lovely to be able to walk down the garden again.  And doesn’t my grass look well.


And the roses are better now than they were before.  A good trimming is obviously what they needed.


And the Runner beans are liking this weather and having their feet amongst the weeds and Forget me nots.


Amongst the ivy on the fence behind the roses the ‘back garden’ (the ‘front garden’ family are not allow over the boundary) Blackbird family have a nest and  Mr.Blackbird lays down the rules as to who can and cannot enter their territory.  I am allowed because I replenish the bird water and throw them the odd crumbs.

I am enjoying my garden although secretly I am missing my games of football with Fudge but don’t tell anyone.

Apparently I am not going to die of an ABDOMINAL AORTIC ANEURYSM, typed in large because I had to spell it out to myself, hard words.  Yesterday I went by invitation for a scan at the local GP Surgery and I don’t have it!

About three weeks ago I went for a mammogram as part of a survey group who normally wouldn’t be invited to go as they are over the age limit and as far as they can see!  I don’t have breast cancer either.

Several weeks before that I went to some other screening to do with mobility/exercise and old age at the invitation of the local NHS, indirectly I hasten to add before I get shouted down.

These things were all voluntary and by invitation and the giving of information, written and spoken took up far more time than the actual tests themselves. And I will stress here that I didn’t have to go. I went for a million different and obscure, known only to myself reasons and because I am nosey.

Apparently I fall into an age group that have previously been deemed relatively un-important but as we are a growing statistic, the baby bulge pensioners and specifically women, the powers that be are collecting and collating information about us.

And I find it reassuring that I don’t have any of these things even if I haven’t even heard of some of them.  The Aortic Aneurysm for instance, they explained that usually other than sometimes a little back ache there are no noticeable symptoms until you die!

But I find it sad that some one that I know who has struggled with a simple thing. worsening mouth ulcers for over a week and has tried everything and nothing seems to have worked has been told that they need to wait a fortnight for an appointment at the local GP’s, and the only other advice has been to try to catch one of the drop-in centres surgeries, and that turns out to not be as straight forward as one would imagine,  or they could just go to A&E  And in a kind of treadmill effect which ever of these services you choose to use ultimately your GP will get charged for it.  Not many people know that!

And I understand that the money for research comes from a different pot to the money for GP’s and in fact each part of the NHS works from different pots (budgets).  Every house wife worth the name knows about pots and budgets but also about priorities!

I would, now I know what it is,  give up my new found knowledge of Aortic Aneurysms and risk the faint chance that it might appear on my Death Certificate and let some one else have my slot at the GP’s yesterday and my share of the scanner and the two people who administered it and the money that is/was invested in it but I know that it doesn’t work like that. even if I hadn’t chosen to go the money saved wouldn’t have gone to someone in need!

And to add insult to injury they explained yesterday that men are always offered Aortic Scans when they reach 65 years old, although my Other Half tells me that no one offered him one!

And no I wouldn’t refuse a Mammogram even though that service does not have an unblemished record, some things are worth hedging your bets on!

So selfishly I want my cake and eat it and don’t we all,  luckily for me I am reasonably healthy but if me or mine were not and needing help I would fight for it.  And I don’t expect magical cures just care and kindness will do most of the time.

That is what we need to focus on really, such a simple thing, help and caring and sadly it doesn’t always happen.

And here I am ending all my ravelly thoughts although my proof reader, my Other Half and very militant when he remembers to be, wants me to carry on and question why the NHS is as it is?

I have suggested that he writes his own blog!



Yesterday was, for me one of those lovely days to store away to be brought out and looked at on not so lovely days!

I spent it all surrounded by nice people, laughter and good food.

It was of course Tilly’s birthday, and she didn’t have to go to work, which was a bonus all by itself.  Being grown-up sometimes means that ‘boring’ gets in the way of  life, but no she and her boyfriend were home and Jason her Dad managed to be working in Nottingham and home in time for tea.  And Robert and Sue (of the three dogs) managed to get away together and join us as well, and with Oscar and Tallulah and Kate of course, we were a jolly crowd around the table. So many of us indeed that next birthday tea we really could do with another chair!

And in spite of taking me out in the day, Kate managed to make her renown Malteser  Cake.  No matter which way up I spell ‘Malteser the spell-checker doesn’t like it but we do, totally scrummy, ignore the spell checker.

And her taking me out, was my Birthday treat from last February but nice things are worth waiting for!  My treat was an hour with a lady called Anne, who has a room full of tiny bottles full of different colours.  They are beautiful and in their beauty, magical and an hour sitting there gazing at them would do for me but she interprets their energies and helps many people with all sorts of things.  My hour was an indulgence, to sit and talk and bathe in memories.

I have written the above paragraph very carefully some people are against things that they cannot analyse and understand, and I agonized even before writing the word ‘magical’.  I have spent my whole life surrounded by these kind of things and people who live by different rhythms and for better or worse they have made me who I am.

In my family we call this sort of stuff ‘Widdly Whee’ and I thank them.


How sad that the World Cup, football friendlies have seemingly joined the real world of politics and hate!  Argentina have cancelled their match with Israel because of the Jewish/Palestinian troubles and apparently threats to their players.

I am not an innocent, I know that the world of football generally has its own problems with corruption and prejudice, and to be honest what strata of our lives doesn’t in this modern age but I find it so sad that we cannot even play games together without acrimony.

We are supposed to be civilised!  By whose standards I wonder?

I keep coming back to that Star Trek quote – “Civilisation, Jim. But not as we know it”.



The back lawn has had its first mowing, after being re-seeded, top dressed etc.  And is looking good.  My Runner Beans are reaching for the sky and all the little plants that Robert gave me are standing up.  I am pleased with my garden.

And Dave the Decorator is slaving away and the hall is looking good.  I don’t know why it has taken me so long to  have all those ceiling lowering 1930’s black beams painted out.  The rooms look twice as light and airy without their louring/lowering presence.

Enough of the garden and domestic things.

It is Grand Daughter Tilly’s 19th birthday tomorrow, the mind boggles.  How can this be? All those years seem to have zoomed by.

Is it really so long since she was tiny and when we went to the park she so wanted to go home with all the other laughing children.   She has always loved other people and was never shy with them.  Such a long while since we played shops on my veranda and emptied my pantry of little boxes to fill her counters and made Granddad be the customer over and over again all one sunny afternoon.

Just a few of so many lovely memories and now she is such a nice young woman, I think that we will keep her!

Though her birthday always brings a few sad memories for me.  The week that Tilly was born my sister died and the two never got to meet and I think that they would have loved each other.

And tomorrow those of us who can, will share a birthday tea with her and sit around the table and chat and laugh and eat chocolate cake and too much ice-cream and wish her well for another year

Just as it should be.

I can’t work out what the weather is doing.  Even my strip of seaweed and the local shepherd are letting me down.

I seem to have spent all week, opening and shutting windows and putting on and taking off cardigans.

Yesterday I thought I was going to die of heat stroke doing a bit of gardening and today I am really chilly and although we haven’t had any rain the air is full of damp.  And after worrying about whether to peg out the washing or not, I have made an executive decision and pegged it all out and firmly shut the door on it.  So there!

Anyway I rescued a Bee this morning who probably felt the same as me about the grey sky and lack of sunshine. A spoon full of diluted honey and a bit of a lie down and away she flew.  So thank you Bee,  you made me feel very virtuous and kindly towards the world.

And now I have to go, my Other Half needs something photo copying and can’t work the printer – technology you see, I have my uses!