Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Metal Detecting..

Mia surprised us at Christmas time by stating, when asked what she would like from Father Christmas, that she would like a Metal Detector! She'd never mentioned this before, but we were pleasantly surprised, in that it wasn't the usual novelty piece of plastic from Hawkins Bazaar! (We were also secretly excited at the thought of going metal detecting!).

So hubby did his resarch, and purchased "a good one", suitable for both adults and children, with an LCD screen to show you exactly what it thinks it is detecting, and also included a book on the coins of England & the United Kingdom. Mia was VERY pleased on Christmas morning!

So out we went on the Wednesday after Christmas, or rather I stayed in the warm with Baby Boy and Nanny, whilst Grandpa and Hubby braved the cold and took Mia up the hill. As children do, Mia soon became side-tracked in some imaginery game, whilst Grandpa and hubby were in their element - and soon Grandpa was digging frantically, whilst Hubby was holding on to the beeping Metal Detector, trying to contain his excitement at the fact that the LCD screen was stating "ring"!. Mia's interest was instantly renewed, and the three of them waited in great anticipation for Grandpa to unearth the "ring"...but it wasn't a ring, - it was a teapot lid!! The Metal Detector had simply sensed the circular "ring" shape. Grandpa and hubby were deflated, but Mia was absolutely thrilled! - Oh how easy children are pleased!!

However, on the way home, all three of them cold and in need of tea and hot mince-pies, the MD began to persistently beep again - this time displaying "coin". Hubby and Grandpa were dubious, and certainly didn't dig with the same enthusiasm as with the teapot lid (!)..but it WAS a coin! A very worn, but ever so slightly identifiable 1861 penny!
(image from Google images, the real thing is a lot more worn and harder to photograph)

We were all pleased with this -ok, so it wasn't Bronze Age, or particularly old or worth anything, but to us, it was treasure!

That night, as i was tucking Mia up in bed, I asked her what her favourite part of the day had been..and without any hesitation whatsoever, she gave me a huge smile and replied "finding my teapot lid"!

I realised then, that to Mia, the teapot lid was just as exciting as the coin - more so, in her case, just as I had loved, at her age, to unearth pieces of long ago broken china and pottery. I absolutely loved to visit friends who lived in a beautiful old rectory, purely for the fact that at the bottom of the large garden, was an old rubbish dump. I would spend hours digging up pieces of Asiatic Pheasant and the like, which i would take home and store in a treasure chest style box. There is still part of me today that cannot resist picking up a piece of broken china from the ground, which usually finds it's way home in my pocket, for no other reason other than it being a childhood habit. I am the same with fragments of birds' egg shell - I still cannot leave it on the ground if i find any! As a child i would spend hours hunting for egg shells, and keep them in margerine pots with clingfilm over the top.

Anyway, i'm getting a little side-tracked, it's safe to say that Mia is very similar to me, in that I would probably have been just as thrilled with the teapot lid as she is! I'd just forgotten for a while. So out we went again today, this time Nanny and I wrapped Baby Boy up in his pram and came too - we didn't want to miss anything this time! We watched for a while as Grandpa and Mia plodded along the old "Monks" trail which is adjacent to the current old lane, at the top of one of Nanny & Grandpa's fields. We admired the view:

Grandpa and Mia were so camouflaged in the undergrowth, that only Mia's hat was visible amongst the trees:

We decided to leave them to their fun and took Baby Boy for a nice walk along the lane, and i took some more photos; as we were leaving, Mia shouted that Grandpa was digging up an old plate!

On the way home we met them coming the other way, Mia running towards us holding something up, pleased as punch. It was the "plate"..which had actually turned out to be nothing more than an old rusty enamel washing up bowl! we cannot think how it ended up there, but it was more than a foot down:

This one didn't make it home with us, thankfully. We managed to persuade Mia that it would be much better off staying behind in Nanny's garden and she can make do with a photograph instead, which is now on her shelf of "finds" next to the beloved teapot lid..and the coin, of course!

I'm already looking forward to the next time...i'd love to hear if anyone else has ever been, and what you might have found..? xx

Monday, 6 February 2012

Bargain Hunting with Baby Boy

Bargain Hunting or "Treasure Seeking" as Mia likes to call it, is one of my absolute favourite pastimes! A perfect day for me would be a mooch around charity shops, Antique Centres, Boot Sales or one of the various House Clearance/junk shops we have locally, followed by a cosy pub meal. Despite only being 7 and a half, Mia has well and truly caught the thrifting bug from me (to hubby's utmost dismay! His flat was minimalsit before he met me!) and we have shared a great many wondeful days out "Bargain Hunting/Treasure Seeking" together in the past couple of years. We take ourselves off on the bus early in the morning, and don't make it home until late afternoon - always accompanied by a bargain! These are days I truly value, and are great mum & daughter time - they are something which I REALLY miss at the moment, as since having baby boy last November, we haven't yet had the chance. I'm feeding him myself, and he is a very hungry baby! So he would have to accompany us on every trip - and i'm sure you will agree, junk shops and especially Antique Centres are just not the place for a pram - in fact i very much doubt i would even get mine through the door of one of our local shops - it's an old Church, and is literally crammed! Honestly you would not believe...when i eventually do manage another visit i must take some photos to show you!

Anyway, so back to today..i'm trying to get out & about every afternoon to give Baby Boy the chance for a couple of hours sleep - otherwise he does not sleep - all day long! It's good for him, and gives me a break, so after a couple of snowy days in the house, it was great to be able to wrap up warm and go for a Bargain Hunt! Now as i've said, i'm very limited to where i can actually go with a pram, luckily our local Oxfam is wondeful, probably the most pram-friendly shop in the whole of our small town, and we pop in there every Friday when it's my turn to collect Mia from school. But today i decided to pay a visit to a relatively new little shop, which opened late last year, and has already became a firm favourite of mine. It's called The Emporium, and sells a mixture of antiques, vintage, and also some more modern items, all acquired via house clearance, etc, and their stock is forever changing. Now the best thing about this little gem of a shop is their prices - you can go in with a fiver, buy something beautiful, and still come home with change in your pocket - definitely my kind of shop! Already i have bought a mixture of favourite items such as old books for only £1.00 each!:

Beautiful vintage tins, also £1.00 each, (these make a wonderful and cheaper alternative to gift boxes if i can actually bear to part with any!):

And vintage pictures, pieces of furniture, the list goes on! Today Baby Boy and I had a lovely chat with the lady who runs the shop, a woman after my own heart, who kindly kept an eye on the pram for me while i had a good browse. We came home with:

This lovely 1958 Frears Ltd buiscuit tin - just £1.00! This is in immaculate condition, i've just seen one exactly the same as this go for £15.50 in an online antique shop which wasn't in half as good condition as this one! I haven't yet decided what to keep in it ...maybe some of my craft items, beads, buttons, etc, or perahps to store the pieces of this gorgeous vintage puzzle; also £1.00

Mia and I enjoy a jigsaw - i only ever buy jigsaws and games second-hand, and i think they are all the more fun if they are vintage! We also came away with this one, another £1.00:

This beautiful Foley tea plate for £1.50 - this will look lovely on my dresser:

And this old printers tray - at least i think that's what it is? This was £2.00, and I think it will look perfect in Mia's room, sanded and re-painted and perhaps decorated a little, and used as a shelf for treasures - i've found some great ideas on the web, as a quirky way to display sea shells, feathers, and bits & pieces found on a nature walk such as pieces of birds egg shell (i love this idea and know Mia will too), to ornaments and toy cars - the list goes on & on.

I plan to do a "before & after" post on this very soon, but before i do, if anyone has any more ideas as to how we can decorate or put use to it i'd love to hear them!

So home we went, with some great items, and the best thing was that my purse was only £5.50 lighter! Definitely bargains i think!! I'm starting Baby Boy young - another Bargain Hunter in the making! (my poor, poor husband!, there is no hope i'm afraid!)

Marina x

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Short-lived Snowman!

We were reminded of a scene from "The Snowman" this morning, when the little boy looks out of his bedroom window to see nothing but a melting pile of snow :(

This was poor Mia's experience upon waking, rushing to look out of her window at the the little Snowman that she and the children over the road had find that sadly the thaw had already set in, and he was reduced to slush. Poor Mia,
I can sympathise with's not just the melted snowman, it was the "magic" of yesterday afternoon, and i can still remember that feeling from when i was her age. It was heightened by the fact that it was unexpected, we had started the day as a usual Saturday morning, she and hubby had gone off to the swimming pool and baby boy & I were staying at home in the warm. I'd mentioned on Friday evening that we may possibly have some snow, but as we hadn't had any that morning, Mia had thought nothing of it. However...upon leaving the swimming pool the snow storm had begun - and she arrived home shreaking with excitement, "Mum it's SNOWING!!!"

And it snowed all afternoon - I was starting to believe that by today we would be 6 inches deep in snow, and began to imagine the school being closed, Benj not being able to get in to work, and spending a "snowed in" family day at home on Monday - (we'd had a couple of days like that last year!).

After warming up from the swimming with bacon sarnies and hot cups of tea whilst watching the snow rapidly cover the garden:

Mia came rushing in to the kitchen full of excitement at the fact that the children next door were all out playing in the snow and PLEASE could she go and join them!! This was followed by a frantic rush around the house, digging out all of her woolies, ear muffs, waterproof suit and wellies and dashing outside to play in the snow. That's the feeling that i can remember so well - the anticipation of an afternoon sledging and all of the fun it brought!

They spent the afternoon building the doomed snowman, throwing snowballs and having a lovely time! I took some photos from the bedroom window:

After a good couple of hours, wet and cold, she had disappeared in to her friends' home for pancakes and hot chocolate - oh i was SO jealous! Mia was extremely happy when she came home - "that was the best afternoon ever, Mum", she told me, whilst covering the radiator with wet socks and gloves - which brings home another childhood "post-sledging" memory!

So we had a very content, sleepy girl last night as we settled down to watch a family film before bed:

earlier on in the evening whilst i'd nipped to Tesco (in my wellies!) to buy our Sunday morning pastries, there was talk of a load more snow overnight - which had added to her anticipation of another fun day today...hence "The Snowman" moment first thing this morning! Even the pastries did nothing to lift her mood!(oh look at the face!)

But they certainly did for me!

I hope you all had a lovely (warm!) weekend xx

Thursday, 2 February 2012

Some Favourite (Snowy) Pictures...

Well first of all I must say how touched I have been with all of the wonderful comments i have received from you all on my first two posts! They have truly meant a lot, and each one has brightened my day a a big thank you!!
A couple of you have asked whether the header photo (snowy view) is a local view, and i'm very pleased to say it is - it was taken on Christmas Eve 2010 at my parents home where i grew up, and is just a few miles now from where we live in Mid Wales. We actually entered that photo in the "best view" category at the local village show last year and won 2nd prize!

The photo is one of many taken on that magical Christmas Eve, and i thought that today would be as good as any (especially as a couple of you actually have some snow at the moment!) to share a few more with you, they are definitely some of my most favourite...

The family home is a third of a mile up this lovely lane, and on that Christmas Eve we had to leave our car at the bottom and walk up - luckily we'd brought the sledge to pull up the presents and our contribution towards the Xmas meal; the Christmas pud & box of crackers! When the snow is this bad the residents take it in turns to collect one another's milk and post which are left at the village school at the bottom of the lane. As a child I loved it when it was our turn as i'd get to sledge all the way down!!

We walk past the Church where we were married:

And the final stretch..Mia ploughed ahead here as she was hungry for her Nanny's xmas dinner:

After a lovely lunch Mia made use of the sledge and we all went for a walk along the lane just above the house which is wonderful in all seasons but especially that day! Here are a few photos:

And then back home for tea & mince-pies, But not before a few photos of my mum's coloured Ryeland sheep, ducks and chickens, who appeared not to mind the snow at all, once a path had been dug for the chickens that is!:

It was a very special day and i have really enjoyed creating this post this afternoon, i hope you will enjoy reading it, and who knows..with the cold spell we are having at the moment, we may well have some more snow and i will be able to share yet more snowy pictures x