Yet again we were up at ‘silly-o’clock’.  It is 20 past 8 on a Saturday morning and already we have finished all the coffee, the dogs are breakfasted and my Other Half is well on his way to Little Bytham Auction seeking treasure.  Apparently the bits that he is interested in are early Lot numbers and he will be back in a couple of hours, maybe.

Ever since he has recovered from Vertigo he has been zooming about from one place to another viewing Auctions, then going and bidding.  He doesn’t trust telephone bidding, too new fangled for him!  I am fair worn out just watching, glad he is feeling better though.

It is not as if he is short of stock but he enjoys the thrill of the chase and there is always the lure that something rare might be sitting out there undiscovered just waiting for him.

I am still sorting Posters and Newspapers and things and quite happy with what I have got, unless of course I stumble across treasure that everyone else has missed and is just waiting for me!





Lunch was as good ever at the Good Earth   I had a kind of cheesy potato pie with a crispy nutty topping and a choice of several kinds of salad or actually a bit of each and then I had a very wicked lemon syllabub for afters.  Not that I wasn’t full by then but I managed to force it down, who couldn’t love a zingy with lemon, dish of delight.

We had each had something different to suit ourselves and then sat and chatted over coffee. To be truthful I had to sit for a while to ‘let my dinner go down’ as my Mother use to say, after I had made such a pig of myself.

Then we all went our separate ways with lists and errands to run.  High on my list was shoes/boots either or both.  Actually neither in the end, my first shop of choice was closed, hopefully just being refitted and not closed down and so after trying a few others we ended up in Clarks!

A shop full of lovely boots and shoes but they had hardly anything in stock and the reply to any question was ‘but we can order that for you’.  The whole object of looking for shoes in shoe shops is to try them on.  I know that I can order a million, probably a zillion pairs on-line but I wanted to try some on, is that really too much to ask?

We got most of the other things on the list though and then called in at the Cank Street Gallery and had a nice chat,  we know the people quite well by now as we have dealt with them for years.  They are very good at conservation framing which is sometimes necessary for some of our more precious pieces.

The we nipped across the road to the shop that I wrote about yesterday, ‘Harriman’s’ and had a gossip and concluded some very satisfactory business with them and of course managed to fritter a bit of money by the by on some of his beautiful things that I don’t really need but want!

And so after dropping Kate off at her house we threaded our way gratefully home through the rush hour traffic after another full on day.

This being retired lark is very exhausting I find!

!0 minutes more with my coffee and then I must get moving this morning.

We have a full timetable today, Chiropodist first then we are zipping over to Kates to pick her up and take her with us into Leicester to meet my sister for lunch at the Good Earth.

Always a good lunch, good food and sociable company and then this afternoon we have a few errands to run and I have to meet a man about a map, or two.

He runs one of those lovely little shops full of covetable things.  Leather bound note books and lovely kitchen things, beautiful bits of furniture and pictures, framed maps,  greetings cards, baskets and I could go on indefinitely.  For a tiny shop it is absolutely crammed and a greeixat place to browse and fritter a bit of money.

If you are ever in Leicester, drop into Harriman’s it is just round the corner from the Cathedral and the Richard III visitors centre.  All are well worth a visit and there are plenty of places to eat around there too.

Being a bit ancient myself every time I go that way I marvel at how much around there  has changed.  I used to run that way to school every day, late always late and got detention every week.  And Harriman’s shop was a Butchers and across the road a florist and when I first married I often shopped around there.

Right my 10 minutes is long up and now I am running late again.  Nothing really changes does it.

And do you realise that blogging all these memories most days saves my family from having to politely listen to me going on over and over again!



At home when we were little kids and money being tight most things that came new from a shop were rare and a joy and delight to us.

And being the eldest worked in my favour sometimes.   I always got the new pair of Wellies (Wellington boots just in case you don’t know),  my sisters being younger and smaller got the hand-me-downs.

I would strut about in my new boots, whatever the weather until they, always bought a size too big of course,  rubbed blisters on my heels and the novelty had worn off.

This all came to mind because the other day I bought a new hot water bottle.  I am an old-fashioned lady, I like the ritual of filling the bottle and taking it to bed with me, settling it comfortably in the small of my back whilst I fall asleep over my book.  Electric blankets just don’t do it for me.

Anyway, in my dotage I have taken to buying bottles with knitted covers and filling the new one for the first time, the cover made a  crinkle noise and tucked inside was a sheet of instructions on how to use a hot water bottle!

It truly is a strange old world and I sometimes wonder 60 odd years ago,  why we didn’t all just die of stupidity, without all the instructions which come with everything these days.

The last pair of Wellingtons that my Other Half bought came with explicit instructions on how to use them!  Even bed linen comes with pages of dire warnings about how to wash them and what to do with all the wrapping.

And ‘Sell by dates’ and ‘Use by dates’ and having to specifically buy ‘Wonky’ veg sends me into a frenzy, does no-one have any common sense these days.

Years ago I read a Science Fiction story about a long voyage into space, halfway to no-where the computers collapsed and there was much wailing until one little bloke saved the day by showing them how to do hard sums on an abacus!

All you really need is a Thinking Head (a bit like Worzel Gummidge) your own preferably and some common sense, which appears to be in short supply lately!

Unless of course you are making up ‘Flat Pack’ furniture then you are on your own,  in spite of instruction sheets in several languages and good luck with that then!

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A nice easy recipe that I promised I would pass on.  Not quite a tagine but similar.

I cooked mine in the oven slowly and on a low setting (Gas Mk.4/5) for 2/3 hours, checking it about every hour, though it didn’t dry up at all and then did the reducing bit on top of the stove and we all agreed that the almonds that you add at the end would have been better flaked.  I served it with a mixed salad and wraps with a side of spicy potatoes.  It would have been nice with cuscus or rice but apparently in Morocco they usually serve these sort of things with breads, Nans or Pittas or similar.  This easily served 4 and with more sides could be stretched further.img263 (2)

Everyone has bustled off to do important things just leaving me and the dogs to manage by ourselves.

They (the dogs) have breakfasted, rather reluctantly this morning as there were no leftovers from last nights dinner to add to their biscuits and I am waking  up slowly in front of the computer.

We are being very good and quiet so it must be the others that make all the noise and mess!

My Other Half has gone to Stoneleigh to the Monday Antique Fair.  Hopefully he has got the right day, he doesn’t always!   He is celebrating feeling better after his nasty bout of Vertigo and gone seeking treasure.   It is a good job that all the snow and ice has melted away as he was on the road before 7am and intends to be back before lunch time, that is if he doesn’t get talking!

And my son and his lady have gone into town to finalize legal things with Banks and Solicitors to do with the house that they are buying.  Apparently they are having to  prove to all and sundry that they are not buying a lorry load of armaments with their hard-earned money just a semi-detached house in the depths of the Midlands!

And we have all agreed that tonight’s meal is going to be a bag of chips each from the chip shop round the corner.

I have to admit that they are not usually the best chips in the world but piled between 2 slices of white bread, thickly spread with best butter and plenty of tomato sauce for dipping, they will do.

And should anyone ask about diet and food for the heart, I shall delete this post and deny everything!





A very stubborn man, my Other Half!

Since I wrote about him being so poorly with Vertigo he has been steadily improving.  Friday was a good day and he was absolutely determined to go view an Auction on Saturday somewhere down the A5, which he did even though we are not short of stock.  It is the thrill of the hunt these days rather than the need.

Personally I think that he is mad, he was really done in when he got home.  But he won’t buy without seeing (very sensible really)  and the actual sale isn’t until Tuesday so hopefully he will have a bit more stamina by then.  And he won’t leave bids, nor bid over the phone as he likes to be there in person (again sensible).  As I said he is just plain ‘ornery’.

Anyway whilst he was gone it gave me a chance to have a little play with a new recipe book that Uncle Robber had for Christmas called ‘Orange Blossom and Honey,  Magical Moroccan Recipes From The Souks to The Sahara’  by John Gregory-Smith.

I cooked a very reasonable sort of Lamb Tagine ‘M’Hamer Royal Lamb’ which was easy and I had all the ingredients and that very rarely happens and not only that but everyone declared it a success.  Although I am not letting the glory go to my head, today we are having Macaroni Cheese!

Looking out of the window it is gently but steadily snowing, slowly covering up the coating of ice that we had overnight.

I am glad that I don’t have to be anywhere today.

Time for another cup of coffee I think.





My Other Half is proper poorly.  He has Vertigo and can’t move without being sick!

Remember/imagine being so drunk that the room seems to slide and spin and you are constantly sick.  That is Vertigo but without the alcohol.  Something to do with the inner ear and no fun at all.

He is improved today, he can move very slowly in rather a crab like way, and has managed to keep down a slice of toast, up to now!

I wrote the above yesterday and then the day carried me away and I never got back to finish it and so to continue:

He sat in his chair most of the day but even that was rather overdoing things and he went back to bed early evening much worse but we seem to have passed some kind of watershed and this morning he is brighter and demanding porridge!

He looks better too and has managed to get to the bathroom on his own, things are looking up, thank goodness.

So today we will pace ourselves better and hopefully soon he will be able to walk without the ‘Quasimodo’ lurch, fingers crossed!




I am crouched behind my laptop at the moment, trying not to make eye contact with the dogs through the French windows.  They are eating ‘Pigs Ears’ if they see me looking they will want to bring them in and show them to me. apparently they are delicious!

I am having 5 minutes peace with the last cup of coffee out of the pot.  I feel I deserve it, I have already been to the Dentists,  had two fillings and scrubbed the kitchen floor and planned dinner for tonight.

A good job that I checked my calendar before I went to bed.  I had it firmly fixed in my head that my Dentists appointment was on Wednesday which was terribly inconvenient and I did think that I might have to ring them this morning and try to alter it.  As you can imagine I was delighted to find that it was today first thing and am even more delighted that now it is over and done with.

I am hoping for a sit with my book this afternoon, it is very good a Bryant and May ( I know you older people will instantly think boxes of matches, nothing to do with it), Detective series, by Christopher Fowler, this one is called ‘Strange Tide’.  The books are slightly eccentric but usually very compelling reading along the lines of ‘locked room’ mysteries.  You could read them in order, there is a constant thread through them all but it wouldn’t totally spoil it if you didn’t and each one is better than the last but then you generally find that with a series of books.

The characters get more rounded out and the writing slicker.  I always think this about Ian Rankins books.  If you have the time and patience go back and read one of his early books and then one of his latest.  Both will be great but the difference will surprise you.

The dogs have flooded back in, pigs ears a fleeting memory and gone for a nap in their room and I am going for a nap in mine!







It is not Arthur Swallows Fair at Stoneleigh tomorrow (Monday), my Other Half read it ‘upsideways’ and actually it is on the 22nd January.

Thank goodness we found out today.  I would never have forgiven him for getting me out of bed at the crack of morning needlessly.

We all had a better night last night, dogs permitting and I am nearly awake now but not quite raring to go.  More coffee please.

‘Raring’  I haven’t ever written that word before.  I am tempted to put an ‘e’ in but the spellchecker likes it as it is.  I do spell badly and most times not even notice but I can’t do those cryptic messages on my phone.  I have to write proper! But then I can’t always find the punctuation and it all turns into a sort of anagram.  Technology always defeats me in the end.

Jason, technology wizard and thankfully, son-in-law with a penchant for cake, fixed my laptop after my Christmas hiatus, but now I find that I can’t up load pictures from my camera without some kind of password?  Which I have no memory of at all, although I am quite willing to confess that he has probably given it to me and I have instantly forgotten it.

And apparently  (here Jason shakes his head despairingly), I have about 40,000 dead emails which have never totally deleted and that is why my machine runs so slowly.  We are working on getting rid of them.  Up to now he hasn’t figured out how to get rid of them all at once without clearing out everything.

And so if you listen carefully you can hear the slow tired click of the ‘delete for ever’ button when we have nothing better to do.