Category Archives: The Strange things

The Art of Barter!!!


Its been a few weeks since my last post, I’m not sure where the time flys to! but trips to the beautiful seaside town of Bude to see the inlaws seem to be taking up many weekends.


I’ve been watching The Roux Scholarship over the past few weeks while Hubby dutifully sits pretending to watch, making lots of oohing and ahhing noises in almost the right places, while simultaneously watching clips of eighties pop on you tube, I’m engrossed in a particular episode of fondue making when hubby pipes up (bearing in mind on this culinary journey we have visited several Michelin starred restaurants) “ooh I’d love you to make some of that! you have surely got one of those fondue gadgets in your office somewhere” (my office being the kitchen according to son and heir)

“No its one of the few things I don’t possess” is my reply, a little flurry of activity on his laptop and Hubby is ready to purchase said item from amazon, I explain that maybe on one of our little jaunts to Bude perhaps we can pop into a few of the charity shops and hunt around to see if there is one lurking from the 1970’s that will be a lot more economical and fun to do (plus it will give us something to do when its tipping it down with rain) so this is hubby’s mission! He’s in and out of the many shops, explaining to the old dears that are volunteering what he is after fluttering his eyelashes, asking if they need any help having a look in the vast mountains of stock hidden in the backs of these shops, let me say he now has a following of lovely old ducks waving at him across the streets of Bude because of this venture! but its unfruitful the holy grail! “Oh well we’ll have to keep our eyes peeled for a little longer there’s no rush”


He is easily consoled in one of the local bars The Beach Hotel


Then again in The Brendan Arms


And finally the poor thing is placated with a heavenly chicken shish kebab from KJ’s!

Although the search is not forgotten.


The in laws have hired a beach hut for the summer on Summerleaze beach, its a fantastic base for them to sit like 2 little Meerkats watching the emmets

The views are spectacular


On one of our many trips around the shops I’ve spotted something I rather like and keep doing the sighing thing when peering in the shop window at my object of desire.

I gently mention to Hubby how luuuuuvly said items are “yes luv” is the reply, but my fortune seems to change on our second spin around the town, we stop outside said shop once again with me drooling over the gorgeousness of said object, “come on” says M-I-L “lets go in, I want to treat you” “Oh no you couldn’t possibly its waaay toooo expensive” is my a little too enthusiastic reply!!


Soooooo we look, which one should I have? I don’t know! I can’t choose! we need a little more time and another spin around the town!!! (I must add Bude has very small quaint interlinked shopping streets) A cup of fruit tea later and the choice is made and is now safely nestling in my in laws guest room!


Oh I know!

I send a photo to my daughter (The shopaholic) her immediate response “Is that for me?” We all laugh and then M-I-L announces “ask her if she would like one for her birthday” a flurry of texts confirms shopaholic would very much like one for her birthday! Oh no which one to have!!! 2 days later yes 2 whole days later shopaholic decides on her choice, the red with the blue spots – perfect!

Meanwhile the Hubby is still in search of the holy grail.

Our week is drawing to an end the weather has turned a bit muggy so we have a wander down to the Bude Canal its beautiful down there, on the way back to the apartment Hubby starts to sing at the top of his voice “look what I can see” M-I-L and myself are used to these outbursts but can only see a few flea market type stalls in the middle of a grassy triangle, he is now marching over to said stalls saying “can you see it can you see it?” We are in hot pursuit, what on earth could this be? Hubby then stops dead and does a funny whispery thing behind his hand whilst pointing at what he has spied, THE HOLY GRAIL!!!!! OMG!! Hubby saunters over, has a little flirt with the two female stall holders whilst M-I-L and I nonchalantly browse the stall with the focus being the holy grail, oh the art of distraction we don’t want to look to interested we want a bargain! its too late Hubby is in there with his “How much for the fondue set?” The two women look a little surprised that this dusty relic from a previous decade is truly looking like it wont have to be carted home! A quick conflab “£2 would that be alright?” I can’t believe my ears but my instincts tell me I should barter them down just a little for my own satisfaction, but before I can open my mouth Hubby produces his wallet rummages around pulls out a fiver and announces “I’ll give you a fiver, how’s that?”  I’m flabbergasted the two women are beside themselves and offer to “gift wrap” it, a bit more cheeky flirting from Hubby and they are going to hang on to it for him while he does a bit more site seeing and shopping!


So with a spring in his step and looking extremely pleased with himself Hubby heads off back up the hill for his pasties with me trying to get my head around his topsy turvey bartering skills!


The Birds!


There’s never a dull moment where my girls are concerned each one seeming to have its own little foible!

Gwalice is a fan of the cats biscuits and will come into the kitchen and raid his bowl with no fear of Monty who will sit sulkily watching from the top of the stairs (I have yet to capture this on camera).

Phoebe well where to start with her, apart from being the instigator of great escapes she will frequently sit on the window ledge watching TV!

Watching TV

But today the Blue Tits from the neighbouring garden fledged! Oh they are so cute 4 little pieces of very noisy fluff who are still shouting to Mum & Dad for food

Peter Paul

They have moved quite far from their nest box and 2 are now sitting outside my lounge window in the wood store, there is one in the tree above and I’m not sure where the other is but he is making himself heard! Hubby, The Son & Heir and myself along with a steady stream of neighbours children have been oohing and ahhing over these 4 little mites all day, I’ve carried the cat down to the bottom of the garden so he doesn’t “interfere” with them carefully watched by Mummy Blue Tit. But then disaster struck! Phoebe! yes Phoebe! as quick as a flash grabs one of the little fellows and is running off down the garden with it! I’m galvanised into action chasing her round with the garden fork closely followed by Hubby and a very bemused Daughter who has just arrived home from work to her mother frantically chasing a chicken round the garden shouting and brandishing the garden fork, Phoebe tries to give me the slip several times and Vinnie is weighing in with his “two penneth” chasing all three of us along with Phoebe around the garden! finally cornered Phoebe parts with her prize and I rescue the poor little mite, it’s not looking good he’s very distressed! After several moments he seems to come round but he is looking very dishevelled.poor mite

I think his wing is broken but can’t be sure, it’s so heart breaking, Hubby is beside himself and thinks he should stay up all night on predator watch! The chooks are now safely ensconced in their run where they are now complaining bitterly!

We are taking it in turns to check on them but as I said they are noisily shouting for food outside the window so all seems well for the moment.

Fingers crossed they survive the night nature seems so cruel.







Why do you have to keep on bringing back all this junk?

This a regular question posed by my long suffering hubby, he’s been a little worried since happening upon ‘The Hoarder next door’ but during the recent relocation of his parents my hoarding/junk addiction reached epic proportions, the thing is I love to upcycle pieces of old furniture but my procrastination on this often results in things just staying as they are which is why poor hubby often just shakes his head and mutters “mad woman” under his breath when I come through the door with the latest find.

Anyway after a little bit of a tussle with him over the relocation of several pieces of M-I-L’s furniture he agreed to load the van and bring said items to their new home.

CHest of drawers


The little Beswick coffee set and the murano were also given to me by the M-I-L

I have plans for each piece and will post as they are finished.

I need to sign off now as I can hear one of my beautiful chickens in the kitchen raiding the cat biscuits!!!!!

Busy Busy Busy!


What a mad few weeks I’ve had since I last had time to sit and write!

The cavorting frogs produced plenty of frogspawn which has now hatched into tiny little tadpoles, I was amazed at the speed this happens.

But the maddest thing that has happened is that hubby and I  popped over to the in laws for our usual weekly visit (obviously this is only usually mad when you take into account that dear old D-I-L is ever so slightly losing his memory) The usual things happen cup of tea, have you eaten? that kind of thing, when M-I-L announces we’re moving to Bude! can you take us at the weekend to have a look at some property? So a trip to the seaside was planned.

We were booked into a sweet little B&B then escorted around several apartments each one having its own charm, but secretly me and the hubby loved the first we viewed. After a few hours of oooing and ahhing over the size of the rooms, the distance from the beach and town etc hubby declared a snooze was in order as he had been up since 5am driven 300 miles then climbed what seemed to be the equivalent of the north face of the Eiger in stairs!

After what only seemed like minutes we were awoken from our slumber by a little tap on the door, its the old folks! “We’ve been and signed the forms and put a deposit down on one of the apartments!” pipes up M-I-L, so that  was that much jumping up and down with excitement and a couple more visits to the apartment (which was of course the very first we viewed) and a date was set for moving the 10th May!

In the weeks that followed 30 years of clutter was packed, recycled, rehomed, thrown out and sold. Moving day came and everything was packed into the lorry and disappearing down the M1 by 9am, followed by hubby myself and the old folk.


Oh the excitement of moving to the seaside!

We were going to hire a beach hut for the summer!

beach huts

It would be wall to wall sunshine!

On arrival in beautiful Bude the weather was doing its worst, but the hail and driving rain would not dampen our spirits!

Stormy weather

Stormy weather

Amazingly by teatime the furniture lorry arrived!

By 8.30pm we were sitting the local Indian Restaurant having left the apartment in a semi unpacked state.

Fast forward to the Bank Holiday weekend and Hubby and I are winging our way down to Cornwall on a visit to the Old Folk.