Monday, July 31, 2017


Nice morning over at Frodsham after dropping Archie off at Sainsburys. Marveled at the olde worlde 17th century buildings but only managed to take photos of the electricity sub station on the Sandstone Trail which seemed more relevant somehow?! Not many bargains to be had though Hazel was tempted by the eye glass thingy in Roy's Relics. Roy was very amiable and told me all about his massive record collection and pointed us at the bakers opposite when we asked if he knew any good eateries. It turned out they did a very nice breakfast and sold delicious wholemeal bread ( expensive though at £3.50 a loaf!) Then to Lady Hayes antique emporium for a wander, but their prices have shot up over the years so we didn't buy anything. Home for lunch.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Hazel's Birthday

Hazel's birthday which we celebrated with Tony and Pene, light lunch and ate some of the delicious carrot cake that Archie made. Sadly he had to work but was back in time to go out in the evening for a pub meal at the Golden Pheasant in Plumley. More cake later at Granma's. Time to go on a diet again!

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Whitegate Boot Sale

More bargains from the boot sale this morning at soggy Whitegate. The football ground was only a third full because of the possibility of rain -but the rain held off thankfully. Got 3 DVD's for a £1 from Bob's stall and had a chat to him about the exhibition which he hoped to see tomorrow - but realised later that it doesn't open on a Monday. He supplied some of the rare artifacts that Hazel is displaying. He used to work at the Museum back in the 80's he said before half of it was knocked down. Its a shame they couldn't save the other part as the smaller space doesn't attract that many visitors now the the Lion Salt Works has opened. Also bought cheaply were some ceramic pot stands, large reel of twine, a razor doo-dad thingy, and a trivet. Archie decided not to come as he was working this afternoon and needed his beauty sleep.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Private View

Nice evening of chat with old friends including Tony and Pene Eve and surprise guest Bob Nancollis who was at Manchester College of Art back in the 60's. Nice to see our neighbours Richard, Mark and Eilain turn up too. Archie was working so couldn't be there. Charlie Holt did a good introduction as did the nice lady who's name I forget from the museum. Hazel gave Gina , who organised the show some flowers to thank her for her help. Hazel's Mom and sister Audrey came too which was a surprise as they hardly ever go out in the evenings.

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

Collage & Curiosity Exhibition

Coming soon to the Weaver Hall Museum in Northwich if you are ever passing through during the next three months. Collage work by Charlie Holt ( pictured ) and metalwork/ inventions by Hazel Jones. Also collages on the theme of "museums and collecting" by yours truly. Putting it up next week. Should be fun!

Monday, June 26, 2017

More Birthday Photos

Lovely day out at Anderton Boat Lift with Barb, Dee, Des, Steve and Hazel. A river trip and lunch afterwards in the Salt Barge again as the Stanley Arms was closed for refurbishment. Later went to Granma's for a slap up feed. The next morning we met up again for breakfast at our place so everyone could meet Meriel who was over for a couple of days from Dublin. Sisters and other halves went back to Essex soon after. Such a great weekend!

Friday, June 23, 2017

Early Cinema Memories

"Attached photos of a small village cinema in Pitsea, Essex. that I used to frequent as a child. They had a wonderful Childrens Matinee Club ( you even got a badge!) back in the 50's and 60's. In the B&W photo you see it in its heyday and today its sad new role as a Bingo Hall - the fate of so many old cinema's in the U.K.. ( The one in Northwich is also a Bingo emporium despite being a beautiful old listed building )." "The first film I ever saw was probably elsewhere but here was my first real interactive cinema experience with all those kids screaming and shouting for the heroes and villians and the sound of sweets,bubblegum, sherbet dabs, gob stoppers and fizzy pop being slurped, sucked, gurgled and used as a projectile! The clean up afterwards must have taken an army of usherettes all afternoon to clear the debris of wrappers, boxes and bottles. The wonderful films included all the old favourites- Abbott & Costello, Laurel & Hardy, Wizard of Oz, Roy Rogers, Robin Hood, Pirates, Cowboys and Aliens. Also with a feature film came a weekly serial like Captain Marvel, Batman ( when he was rather chubby and in black and white!) Captain Video and Rocket man. Those Republic serials from the 50's were wonderful and made a big impression at the time as we'd rush home to make our own ray gun from cardboard or a sword from an old bamboo cane etc. a pillow case for a cape and utility belt from Dad's old braces!" --Michael Leigh--

Thursday, June 22, 2017

70th Birthday

Gosh! How did I get to be so old?! Despite this alarming knowledge I did have a very nice day with friends , first at a pub lunch by the Trent & Mersey canal. Al fresco in the beer garden which was very hot and I caught the sun on my arms. Old chums Tony Pene and Trevor turned up which was a nice surprise. Had fish 'n chips and mushy peas swilled down by half of shandy. Prostate doesn't allow me to drink vast quantities anymore. The joys of growing old! Hazel had to drive Archie to work sowhilst she was doing taxi duty we went for a walk along the canal. Later went to Hazel's Mom's and sister nearby for tea and cake and blowing out of candles etc.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Grozone - Transition Get Together

Nice afternoon at Grozone/ Transition Get Together picnic and Jo Cox aligned day. A communal outdoor space/ allotment type set up. Hard to describe - green issues/ ecology/ etc. Local group part of worldwide network of like minded souls trying to change the world by working at grass roots level. Watched a film in a yurt explaining but it was so incredibly hot in there my mind wasn't really taking it all in! Thankfully it was only 5 mins. and interupted by toddler who wandered in. Lots of learning difficulties, Downs syndrome, autism folk there too with their families. Nice to see so many enjoying a day out- pitching in with food ( pizza oven on site ) live band playing on mud patch. Free stuff stalls. We took along some old DVD's and books. Hazel got a an old Lotto game to use the numbers in her exhibition. Lots of T-shirts for rag rugs etc. So much going on around the 2 acre site- some marshmallow burning in the woods, craft stalls, printing, bicycle repair shops ( get a free bike!) and all manner of other stuff too numerous to mention. Also a film on at the local museum afterwards for anybody with energy enough to drag themselves there. Tomorrow it was called- about sustainability etc. That;s me in the funny hat.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Boot Sale - Blakemere

More bargains from the boot sale at Blakemere this morning. Cloudy but the rain held off. Hazel got a nice tin sandwich box, hooks, a circle maker, notebook, box files etc. I got some DVD's including Bring Me The Head Of Alfred Garcia, Went The Day Well. Spindle of assorted blank DVD's CD's, low energy light bulbs and plastic ray gun.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Rainy Walk

Rather soggy walk to the organic farm shop and cafe this lunch time. The rain just got heavier and heavier and I got wetter and wetter. To make things worse the cafe seems to have undergone some sort of transformation and become more meaty and more expensive. The soup of the day was chick pea and butter bean - yuk! So we came home for fakey bacon and scrambled egg sandwich! Which cost us about a quid instead of the £15. More money for Archie's MA fund. Lots of traffic down the lane and some massive 4 by 4's going too fast round those bends. Lucklily we survived and managed to get home with all our limbs intact. I had to change my clothes though as I was soaked to the skin. Hazel cleverly remembered to take a brolly.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

3 Boot sales

Bumper crop of boot sales today with one at Verdin Park, another at Antrobus Village Hall and further bargains at Wincham Primary School. Hazel got most of the bargains which you can see below - brass door plates, a Peter Pan lifter, bean slicer, clamps ( Archie got these ) Rattle Snake Eggs ( tee hee) and lots of plants etc. I didn't get anything despite looking through many boxes of records, books, CD's and DVD's. Hazel gave me a tiny tin train wagon she's found as a consellation prize. Then round to Granma and Audrey's to read the papers and Archie planted a Lupin.

Tuesday, May 09, 2017

Boot Sale In Hartford

It was a sunny morning on Sunday so we headed to Hartford for the boot sale in the college car park. I had a bad cold so wasn't really in a bargain hunting mood. In fact, after one circuit of the stalls I was ready to go home again and curl up in front of the TV and vegetate and drink lemon and honey drinks. Hazel was OK at that time ( but since caught my cold ) and found lots of bargains including some battered toffee and biscuit tins, a silver propelling pencil, lots of plants and other stuff too numerous to remember! Archie was in Scotland looking at Glasgow art school ( much of which is still in a bad way after the terrible fire ) so missed the sale. Hazel wanted to go and visit the bluebell wood again but I really just wanted to go home. There's always next weekend.

Monday, April 24, 2017


Nice walk around the bluebells at Marbury Woods yesterday after a great boot sale at Whitegate. The sun came out which made it extra special as always. We look forward to this time of year so much. The smell of the trees and wild garlic the chirping of the birds and the amusing dogs frolicsome in the nearby stream. Got some bargains at the boot sale too - a sound bar that works quite well for the TV that isn't so good with those bass notes. Hazel got a set of old 30's Handicraft books with some great illustrations. The woman she bought them from (£3) said they were bound for the tip if she didn't sell them. Has she not heard of charity shops?! Also some other bits and bobs and plants of course - a bootful of bootiful plants. Archie got some fixings and screws etc. for his shed.

Thursday, April 06, 2017

Vintage Family Photos

My sitser Barb found some great old family photos in her album this week which Ive had to doctor a bit to make them less faded looking. Loving the one of me with a quiff at Butlins back in the the 50's looking all too much like the grumpy teenager! The others in the back garden in Basildon are great too and bring back some happy memories, when Basildon was more of a village than the sprawling new town it is now.

Monday, April 03, 2017

Boot At Vagrants

Nice day for a trip to Vagrants boot sale on the cricket ground near Crewe this morning. Archie was keen to buy some things to fill the newly emptied shed up. He found some wood glue, hinges, fasteners, screws etc. Hazel found him a tin box to put stuff in. other bargains included a glass lemon squeezer ( we already have one but it's chipped ), a free biscuit tin, fish lures, a free "Exit" sign, candles and a free black slate. Obviously people were desperate to get rid of all this stuff even to the point of giving it away! I didn't find anything , not even free stuff! I did have a good rummage through several boxes of DVD's and CD's but nothing caught my eye - maybe I'm getting more fussy about what I accumulate in my old age? The main field was off limits due to recent rain so the cars were all along one edge of the field where the punters usually go so not much room for parking. First we were waved away at the gate and some confusion as to where to park - the pub opposite seems to have gone and replaced by some bijou dwellings with wrought iron gates - mini stately homes by Wimpy? After turning round in a rather busy side road we managed to get back onto the cricket ground and found a space quite easily. Phew! We came back via Winsford Football Club where another boot sale was supposed to be happening but the little community hut was deserted 'cept only for a man with a sack and pair of tongs who ignored us as we peered into the gloom and realised it was empty.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Mother's Day

Mothering Sunday and first an indoor boot sale at the Memorial Hall. Found a nice big heavy frame for my railway tickets. Painting it black ( now in summer house ). Also a double CD of old Beach Boys stuff "Friends" and "20/20" which came out in the late 60's. Overlooked at the time and contain some nice tracks not heard before. Hazel got a tin photo of a little girl and keyhole cover. Archie found a musty frame. Archie had made a delicious carrot cake with cream cheese topping which we took over to Granma's in the afternoon to have with coffee. hazel and Archie did some gardening - planting some flowers they bought. I read the local paper. News isn't good - banning parking on all roads round Hartford Station - new shopping precinct stays empty - local Tory MP gets away with murder etc. The collage above is my Mum when she was a young woman back in the 40's on her wedding day.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017


Nice to get back to Amsterdam if only for a short weekend. Tried to recreate the photo in the middle of the bench we took 31 years ago. Not quite the same but a nice dutch girl took one for us. Great flea market reached by free ferry from behind Central Station on Saturday - got lots of bargains including a tin house, tin signal, tin rocket for Archie ( who had to stay at home and paint the bathroom floor. ) tin electric bell for dolls house? and numerous other gew-gaws and stuff. Loved every minute of it except the walking and the sore feet!

Saturday, March 04, 2017


Just a few random images from the many photos I took in Berlin last week on a 5 day (four nights) trip with students from MMU. Saw so much great stuff including the Technik Museum , Museum der Dinge ( Museum of Things ) and Berlinisher Gallery to name but a few. So warm we even had waffles and ice cream outside in the sunshine one day! It was snowing in Manchester apparently. Managed to find some nice food places too including a great pizza , celery burger and chips, a Turkish bakery where they sold cream cakes, only one cafe was rubbish so won't mention them! The hostel was OK - very cheap and cheerful - a bit noisy but Hazel told the students next door off and they reduced the noise considerably. Managed to figure out how the Ubahn and Sbahn worked and only got lost twice. Berliners are usually very helpful and speak some English so always found our way eventually. One kind lady went out of her way to lead us up lots of steps to the Ubahn platform we needed. Of the art we enjoyed John Bock's playful junk sculpture/film/installations at the Berlinisher Gallery and Christian Falsnaes videos also in the same place. Good to see again the Twombly's, Beuys and Warhols etc. at the Hamburger Bahnhof, also installation by Adrian Piper.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Indoor Boot

Nice indoor boot this morning at the Memorial Hall - lots of bargains including some old bus tickets, ephemera, dice, Coronation mug, thermometer, box with wiggly bug etc. Then to Boots to get Haze's glasses mended which took ages as they couldn't find the right screw. We waited in the Works where I got some felt tip pens ( 8 for a quid!) and then Quality Save for inner soles. Home now for egg mayo. sarnies. We know how to live

Monday, February 20, 2017


Always a treat to see our old chums Tony and Pene in Alsager. Our last visit was cancelled at the last minute as Pene was ill with a tummy bug but thankfully she is recovered and able to cook a delicious lunch. Tony made the nut roast which was delicious also - with all the trimmings. Apple tart and selection of home made ice creams for "pudding". We had to have a walk afterwards to feel like some of the calories were burnt off! Down the Salt Line nearby for a stroll past many walkers and dogs, cyclists etc. and back again round the lake and over the fly invested field near the local tip. (This bit wasn't the best!) I shouldn't have had the beer for lunch as it made me sleepy. Archie too who was suffering from post driving stress as he bravely drove all the way. Although it's not far ( 15 miles or so ) it felt like a hundred to him! Anyway, slumped on the settee having tea and lemon drizzle cake ( back come the calories!) we watched some old video Tony had found of us back in our courting days of the 80's looking very young and fresh faced - watching the rabbit scamper across the Eve's carpet. Also old film of kinetic scupltures made in Tony's first year at Falmouth art school back in the 60's. Quite a nostalgia fest! Considering a soundbar for our less than adequate TV so Tony checked out the Which guide for best bargains. Looks like Samsung do a cheapish one. Something to consider. Back home my 4.30. Hazel drove.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

February - Boot Sale

I Have been neglecting this blog rather of late. Not enough hours in the day it seems to catch up with all the detritus and details of our daily doings. Not that anyone's interested! Today it was freezing again but not enough so Hazel had to the scrape the car windscreen. The silver cloth cover keeps most of it off , if she remembers to use it. It was the monthly indoor boot at the Memorial Hall which is always fun. Some bargains today included a stack of old reggae records, a measuring device like a big wooden lollipop, some old wooden rulers, a chisel, and some sticky tape that says "Ear Muffs" for some strange reason we haven't found yet? I suppose you could wrap the tape around your head and it would approximate some kind of temporary ear muff - but not very warm or comfortable! We remain baffled but delighted to tape things up and baffle others. Archie got the chisel for two quid and had a long conversation with the friendly man who sold it about it's sharpening. The records seem a bargain at only 50p each and some according to Discogs are worth a lot more. We shall see. Hazel got the wooden lollipop measuring thingy for her summer house - a conversation piece she says. Then to the station to get Archie's ticket to Brighton on Tuesday. Home again for vege sausage sandwiches and burnt onion. Yum!