I haven’t done one of these jolly posts for ages. It was bitterly cold at the market early this morning but busy. I bought the daffs, which will soon be out, some beautiful rhubarb and other veg plus a few bargains.
more spoils )

I’m so glad I went this morning! My first purchase was a charming collection of old greetings cards and postcards. There are seventeen here (my choice out of many available) and the seller wanted 50p each for them but I haggled successfully. Next I bought a new (naturally, what do you take me for?) Bobbi Brown make up brush which was just what I needed.
more bargains )

There weren’t many sellers at the market this morning yet I did better than I have done for ages. I’d hardly started looking round when I found a box of old books and amongst them these by O Douglas. I tried for £2.00 but got them for £3.00. I already have a set of the Nelson Pocket series so they can go. Unforgettable Unforgotten I’ll be keeping as I don’t have it. A new cover needed for that one. I’m sorry to say, in view of my constant complaints about how I have no room for my books, that I’ll also be keeping the Yellow Jacket, simply because I already have two of the novels in the same edition and I like them.
more bargains )
It was very quiet at the market this morning. Also rather dark and damp; I drove there and back with lights on. Apart from food, the only thing I bought was this bag, new, for a fiver. Bargain! And nice for summer.
It was freezing cold at the market on Saturday, as it remained for the rest of the day and Sunday. Apart from fruit and veg, my only purchase was a bundle of old photographs. They’re mostly late nineteenth century and I like the fact that nearly all have the name of a local (to me) photographic studio on the front, sometimes with ornate detail on the back. I buy these to convert them to images for cards. The photo of this young girl is later than the others but I took a fancy to her. She reminds me of Winifred in Ballet Shoes.

Hah, the posts everyone likes because it means looking at other people’s stuff. It was very busy down there this morning; also very cold. No fantastic bargains but I did get more than usual.


Sanctuary Body Lotion (which I love) and an M&S gift set, £1.50
more )

It was absolutely freezing at the market this morning, but see what I bought.
I love the outward facing flower which means you don’t have to turn it up to see its loveliness. It's far too cold to go out and plant it now, so it's living in the porch for the moment.

also )

This photo shows most of yesterday’s non-food purchases at the market. First up, a master class in buying at boot sales.
Me: ‘How much is this?’ (the Monica Dickens book).
Seller: ‘£1.50.’
Me: ‘Too much,’ (puts book back in box).
Seller: ‘50p.’
Me: ‘OK’ (hands over money).

One of my favourite sellers there had what were for him unusual items: three boxes of 45s, all apparently from the sixties. Two blokes (it’s always men) were already looking very carefully through them but I didn’t have the patience. Since the price was ‘three for a pound’ I thought I would just get a few. Amusingly, the giant of a man standing next to me kept handing me records he’d already looked at. ‘Del Shannon?’ ‘Do you like the Everlys?’ When I asked how he could judge my tastes so accurately, he replied, ‘I’m guessing you’re about the same age as I am’! Flattering? Probably not.

The last buy was one I really shouldn’t have made: more knitting patterns. I do not need any more knitting patterns and I have no room for them.
Dark and wet this morning but there were still plenty of sellers. I bought rather a lot. For example

ha ha! )

Rather grandiose, to use Hopkins for a post about knitting but I love the poem. At the market yesterday, I bought a Cath Kidston thread tin, which contained some old Sylko threads. The threads are now in my thread box (an old shoe box), though why I keep them when I do so little sewing, I don’t know. I spent part of the evening sorting out all my knitting accessories to store them together in the tin. Who knew I had so much? Tape measures, sewing needles, cable needles, a crochet hook for picking up dropped stitches, stitch holders, stitch markers, four different row counters, those little rubber things that stop your stitches falling off the ends of the needle, needle gauges …and more. Where did it all come from? The tin is full and now quite heavy. And why do I have more than one of almost everything I need? Before reorganising, I had to rummage in my two knitting bags for what I needed so I hope this is an improvement. Are you a tidy knitter?


I also bought a large bag of yarn. It really is time I started another project.
See also What’s in your sewing box?.
I haven't done one of these posts for a while. The market was heaving this morning. I drove down in murky weather with my lights on and back again in bright sunshine. It would be a beautiful, warm spring day here if the wind were less sharp. Even so I have the greenhouse open, the fleece off, the washing line cleaned for use (it was green) and plan to garden this afternoon.

I bought books today, the first time in ages. One of them was a very good buy for 50p.


An enormous pile of old knitting patterns and booklets. Not that I need any more but I love looking at them and even charity shops charge up to a pound each for them nowadays.


Sanctuary and other nice toiletries. The boxes are a little worn but that doesn't matter.


Plus the usual fruit and veg and I enjoyed some pleasant banter and haggling, so a good trip.
Brass monkeys this morning, but the cold held no fears for me in my fab new fleece lined boots. Lots of sellers, lots of Christmas goodies but I failed to buy any Christmas presents. Here’s some of what I did get.


Plenty of reading matter. As if my TBR pile weren’t already spreading to fill the sitting room.
stuff and tales of a car booter )
In spite of the foul weather, there were plenty of buyers and sellers at the market. Last week, I had to make an informed guess that the filthy, grey objects viewed in semi-darkness were actually lovely blue Whitefriars vases. No need for guesswork today as this one came with a label and was mine for £5.00. I think it needs a second clean-up.


Cheap sparklies, £2.00. I love the bracelet.


Five knitting magazines, £1.00.


Three DVDs for those long, dark evenings when there’s nothing on television and I want to knit.


Stamp album that would only interest me. I saved £10.00 off the sellers’ prices by haggling. You don’t ask, you don’t get.

While on the subject of shopping, let me recommend a product I’ve just bought: Uniqlo cord leggings. They look like trousers but they’re pull-ons (with belt loops), you don’t know you’re wearing them and they’re nice and skinny. And cheap!
One of those ‘I’ll have to take this bag back to the car before I carry on’ days. They happen every now and then. Here’s some of my bargains. First up, I bought some stamps, which I’m *very* pleased with and can’t wait to go through. Next, these two vases, £1.00 each.


They were absolutely filthy but to the experienced eye they said, ‘might be Whitefriars.’ Now that I’ve scrubbed them up, I’m sure that they are.


A stack of knitting patterns, £1.50. From the same seller, some cheap and useful stationery and this Doulton ‘Watteau’ plate for my blue and white shelf, £1.00.


More china: Royal Albert ‘Flower of the Month’ for Christmas. £1.50


And how about this? ‘Free books. Please help yourself.’ So I did.


Plus some other quite ordinary things which were still good buys. Phew!

In other news, our mild spell continues. I have the stable door open and it’s warm enough for gardening. The trouble is, everything is dripping wet, which would make the gardening rather uncomfortable. That’s my excuse, anyway.
Bad news: no books. Plenty of other bargains to be had, though.
A cute little cyclamen for £1.00


A huge bag of baby knitting yarn (there’s more than this),


plus thrown in a couple of stamps for my new card making project. I am definitely not going to get hooked on it!


All the money for those to Help for Heroes.
Circular knitting needles, 50p each. You know what they cost!


Why did I buy an old chocolate box?


Because it has stamp mounts inside. Like the needles, they are usually very expensive to buy.
Even the fruit and veg was extra bargainous. Five avocados for a pound and my friendly greengrocer threw in an aubergine that happened to be lying around. Good job I like them. Came home quite pleased with my booty.
*sighs* I know most people would rather read my accounts of bargain hunting than my carefully thought out book reviews.:-) Here’s what I got today.


This wood and tile tray. It will be useful for over-wintering cuttings indoors.£1.00.


Wedgwood Dickens centenary mug, 1970. My hero! I don’t know why people don’t clean things up before selling; the tray and mug look so much better now I’ve washed them.


Some startlingly orange-red gladioli which I’d never have in the garden. For a pound, they make a nice feature on the hearth.


Craft mags. Why so, you ask? Two or three weeks ago I got a *real* bargain. Some people were selling card making materials. While I was idly looking at them, the chap said, ‘You can have the lot for £4.00.’ What? Part of me was saying, ‘No! You can’t possibly start a new hobby!’ The rest of me said, ‘Leave that lot there for that money?’ The stuff filled two very large bags and weighed a ton. Looking at it later, I estimated well over fifty pounds-worth of goods. I resolved to try making some simple Christmas cards, which is why I’m looking for inspiration. Today I also bought a Robert Goddard book I haven’t read and the usual fruit and veg. Quite satisfactory.

Contrary to weather forecasts of an autumnal feel to the weekend, it’s now heat-wave hot!

Wot, no book reports? I am way behind on these. They’re in my head but it’s so hot where the computer lives and I don’t like writing on the laptop, so they’ll have to wait. I really admire Cornflower and other writers who are maintaining their usual high standards.

The only way to shop at the moment is online or very early in the morning, and I’ve done both. I’ve been looking for ages for a summery bag and then the other day found just the thing in my favourite local independent shop. It’s this one, but blue. ‘Fun, funky and fair trade’ is the company slogan. What I like about this bag is its Tardis-like property; it’s much roomier than it looks. I’ve also been buying at Anthropologie again. When I had an email saying there was a further 20% off sale items, I had another look. I bought a jumper plus a top which I’m wearing right now, and I saved an incredible £115.00 on the original prices, which I would never have paid. Win!

At the market I was pleased to get a nice copy of Clare Balding’s My Animals and other Family for a pound. I’ve been wanting to read it and it has the prettiest endpapers! For a mere 50p I bought The Landscape of Love by Sally Beauman. Pristine copy and when I got it home I found it’s signed. A new author to me; anyone read any of her books?

The plant growers have started selling off stock cheaply. Cosmos are doing brilliantly in the garden this year and I bought a pot of five strong plants. They’re intended to fill an unsightly gap and I’ll probably be planting them at about seven tomorrow morning. As all pots were a pound, I also bought an angel geranium in a large pot, because. Plus the usuals. The fridge now reeks of strawberries and melon, which I’ll probably be living off this weekend.

It’s always feast or famine at the market and today was feast. Drove down in brilliant sunshine to find the place heaving with sellers. I’d hardly been there five minutes when I was carrying a bag back to the car. A lovely Irish lady was surrounded by eager hunters, and no wonder. Early as I was, I just missed out on a box of lovely old haberdashery items, meh. Still, for less than a fiver I bought from her: a vintage crocheted baby blanket; two vintage aprons in sealed bags, two Cornelia James scarves and a useful little bag.


next )
Yesterday I drove to Upton House for the annual book sale. Normally I would have spent some time strolling round the lovely grounds but it was just too cold. The sale isn’t as good as it used to be but I met my friend as usual, which was nice, and picked up a few books.


The good buys are the unprepossessing-looking red volumes. Three books by Richmal Crompton: Family Roundabout, Linden Rise & The Ridleys. Why the people running the sale think that a very ordinary school story by Winifred Norling is worth more than the Cromptons is a mystery but I wasn’t complaining.

This morning at the market, where it was so cold that my legs almost stopped working, I bought the book on top of the pile. Never heard of it but couldn’t resist the dustwrapper. Also six very recent knitting magazines with some good patterns in for socks, mitts etc. As just one of these mags originally cost £9.99, I was well pleased. I also bought some stamps from the man who always makes out he’s giving me a great bargain by saying, ‘as it’s this lady’ before naming his revised price. I like him, he calls me 'Madam'. When I got the stamps home I found they were better than I expected, so they actually were a bargain. Like I need more books, stamps and knitting patterns! But I can’t garden, so must look for indoor entertainment. I was dreading this long weekend and now I have almost too much to do and all of it fun.



January 2017



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