Monday, 26 September 2011


Why does the time go so slowly when you have to work (at things you don't really like), but rush past at the weekends and holidays?

The highlight of our weekend, after a fairly quiet Saturday was a visit to the Stamford Antique Fair on Sunday.
We've been before, but generally we've seen lots of things that we liked (out of our price range!) but not too many that we really fell for within budget. This time however it was more a case of being selective!!

As you've probably seen if you've visited here before, I do have a penchant for old toys, especially tin ones and it's rare to find any genuine examples now at reasonable prices...there are always of course the exceptions and this one is my most favourite to date......and it works

However I really don't expect to come across many like this now, but on Sunday I was in for a nice surprise. Not quite so mechanical but they do wind up......and move.....

And then these, not tin not mechanical but my how kitsch.....

and there little heads nod....if anyone knows anything about them I would love to know more...

a bit more Noddy.....

And finally a great find in brilliant condition and one that will be investigated by my grandson I have no doubt.......

He really will wonder what 1d and 1/3d is.......

We finished our lovely day with a walk by Rutland Water amazed at how suddenly Autumn seems to have arrived........ and gazing at the spectacular sky....

 before we headed off for tea in a beautiful country pub........

Well off to list a few things on Ebay now, need to make a bit more room as its the Antique and Collectors fair at Peterborough showground next week.....1700 stalls..........oh dear think I might have to find a few more things to list after all................................

Have a good week
Jenny xx

Wednesday, 21 September 2011


Bonne soiree mes amis

I'd better stop there before I really show myself up...

This post is a bit late, but its been rather hectic here for a few weeks and though my poor head is full of things I would like to share with you, finding the time to stop and write them has been more of a problem!

If you take into account helping out with the grandsons for the final weeks of the summer before our eldest started at his first school. Just being there in that first week to help mum get settled into her new routine. Spending a whole week trying to keep the dirt under control while having all the rear windows in the house replaced,  and making up a few orders in between, I think or at least I hope that you will see I do have a bit of an excuse.

Anyhow......the Braderie de Lille.....quite an experience ! 

We travelled down to Kent on the Friday afternoon as our booking on the chunnel was early Saturday morning. The journey was pretty straight forward, if a bit long and it was quite a shock to arrive at our hotel to find none of our rooms ready!
Not to be put off though, although the site of our bright pink hotel nearly did that , we decided to leave the car and make our way into Lille. As anyone who has attended this event will know the whole of Lille is virtually closed to traffic, so public transport or shanks' pony is the only way to travel into the city. Luckily our hotel did have a leaflet printed with the bus and metro details to and from the festival and at least this was a help. We caught the bus to the metro, no problem....however when we went inside the metro it was packed, a huge crowd in front and as we stood a huge crowd followed.
Not being familiar with the system here, or I confess very fluent in the language we were rather nervous of getting in everyone's way so chickened out and set off to walk the rest of the way.
Fortunately we had brought our satnav and were able at least to check we were heading in the right direction and after only about 500 yards we came across the first street of what could only be described as 'car boot' stalls.
Disappointed......not a bit of it... there was a lot of rubbish but a few little gems.......

My first find was the wooden cotton reels. I had been looking at some of these only a few days before, starting at £6 each on Ebay......I picked up these 6 for only 2 Euros.
The beautiful fashion magazines from the 1950s, all nine of them, I got for 3 Euros. Not bad considering the first price quoted was 12!!! They are stunning. Fashion plates, as well as knitting patterns and sewing patterns. I have an idea to scan some of the black and white advertising to print onto fabric for cushions or book covers. I'll let you know how I get on.
The lovely box of Dewhursts thread at the bottom of the picture was not bought in France though, but was a gift from my SIL presented to me as we set off on our journey to add to my sewing room. She is so thoughtful!

We wandered around for what seemed miles, street after street of bric a brac and a great deal of normal market stalls, grabbed something to eat, and finally decided to call it a day...It had been a long one and we still had all of Sunday. We started to head back to the bus station (still too petrified to try the metro....what wimps!) and eventually dozens of wrong turns later, a couple of not very helpful gendarmes and some rather scary dark roads, we found someone who could actually give us the correct directions and by the skin of our teeth we just caught the last bus back to our hotel.

I will skip very quickly over the miniscule room, the shower made for someone much smaller than me ( I'm only 5ft 4in ) that had no ventilation or window, the  strange absence of staff and the fact that this cost us more than our 4 star hotel in Liverpool, because despite that, it was an adventure, and on the Sunday we actually managed to use the bus and the metro like locals and headed towards the river and the 'antiques'.
The only problem here was that just after we arrived back on Saturday night, at about 10.30, there was a cloud burst. Torrential rain fell for some time and it was blowing a gale. Needless to say, those vendors who had relied on the normal beautiful weather and had not erected any kind of shelter found half their stock ruined. We saw beautiful furniture, samplers, paintings etc just spoiled...such a shame.

All in all though we were very glad we went, another thing to tick off our list, and we will certainly return to France again, but perhaps not to this particular event.
By the way the huge pile of black things in the second picture are the moule shells collected outside the restaurants. there is a competition each year to see who makes the biggest mound, hence the railings!
 Well I did say I had lots to relate, though I didn't actually mean in one post so if you have stuck with it...well done.... and so for now.....

A bientot
Jenny xx

Friday, 9 September 2011


Well if you're anything like me the answer to that will usually be yes! But as a food lover I am really concerned about these recent reports of the growing number of cases of obesity in the young,
I know we are supposed to be in a recession and there are loads of families struggling on low incomes but the facts from the 40s and 50s show that even in those days of severe rationing, when many families lost their breadwinners we were one of the fittest and healthiest nations in the world.
The reason being that we had to eat what we grew and processed food with no real nutrition but plenty of bulk was simply not available!
As parents and grandparents we have a responsibility to show our young that healthy home cooked food doesn't need to cost the earth (literally), needn't be bland, doesn't have to take hours to cook and needs no fancy gadgets to prepare. Whats more including children in the preparation can be fun and good training for later in life.

And so I am eagerly awaiting delivery of my copy of  HUNGRY? the innocent recipe book for filling your family with good stuff.

If their smoothies are anything to go by, we are in for a culinary treat,and as a hands on granny I am looking forward to sharing the pleasure with my grandson.
These short videos will give you a taster (pardon the pun) and they certainly have got my attention.
The books RRP is £20 and is now widely available. Check back soon and I will let you know my personal verdict, but if you can't wait to get hold of your own copy I will be pleased to hear what you think.

Veggie burger




Jenny xx