“Who Won?”

After yesterday’s two posts it seemed fitting to feature a normal lunchtime at home involving 

a salad based meal eaten from a plate placed on our knees in front of our television, watching

Antiques Road Trip which pits two experts in the field travelling together across the UK, each beginning with £200 to spend on items taken to a series of auctions, after each of which accumulative profits or losses are calculated, the winner being the one emerging on the last afternoon with the most money in their kitty.

Today’s “Really” recording featured Stephanie Connell, seen here, and Charlie Ross. Sometimes I sleep through the final stages and wake up to ask Jackie “who won?”

In the rare event that I remain awake for the whole programme we might catch ten minutes or so of the much dumbed down 

Bargain Hunt, in which two pairs, each with a £300 starting sum, have one hour in which to spend their money and take their items to auction. The team that finishes with the most profit or the least loss is the winner and takes home any profit.

Today’s location was Newark Showground, which I often visited when we lived in this historic midlands market town.

Sometimes I even sleep through BBC’s One o’clock News which I like to follow.

Today Ben Brown features the England Women’s rugby squad, who are favourites to win the current world cup.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s succulent sausage casserole, crunchy carrots, creamy mashed potatoes, and tender green beans with which she drank Hoegaarden and I drank more of the Bordeaux.



Today was a wet one. Jackie drove us to Tesco for a shop, and to my bank in New Milton where we discovered it was closed all over the weekend. Progress, I suppose.

This afternoon I scanned more colour negatives from Christmas 1985 at my parents’ home in Rougemont Avenue, Morden.

Mum 12.85

Considering that she had served up one of her trademark dinners, my mother looked remarkably relaxed.

The occasion was the last time the three older siblings were to spend time together.

In the popular antiques programme, ‘Bargain Hunt’, Tim Wonnacott, the presenter, always says “great name” to any contestant who shares his first name. None of them could compete with my Uncle Norman Knight, who, with my Auntie Peggie and cousin Gale, emigrated to Adelaide immediately after WW2.

This was his final visit back to England where he stayed with Mum and Dad. Louisa and Sam, in turn, digitally explored his face. When little ones do this, it can be unnerving at the best of times. It must be rather more so when you are wearing a rug.

My godmother, Auntie Gwen, was the eldest of the eleven children born to Grandma and Grandpa Knight. Gwen has appeared several times in this blog. The story of how she ensured that I survived my infancy, and therefore came to make these photographs, is told in an eponymous post.

Jessica and Louisa 12.85

I suspect that this photograph of Jessica and Louisa features a debate about whether our daughter was ready for a rest. Louisa’s expression glazes over as she avoids her mother’s knowing look.

Although Dad had only two more years to live. He was fit enough to get down on his knees to play an exciting game of hoopla with Sam.

 This evening we dined on Jackie’s golden poached smoked haddock; creamy mashed potatoes; bright orange carrot batons; and glistening dark green spinach fit to swell Popeye’s forearms; followed by lemon meringue cheesecake. We shared a bottle of Marlborough Wairau Cove sauvignon blanc 2015

A Silver Lining

This morning Aaron started work on preparing the stairs and landing for redecoration.

Later, Jackie drove Becky, Ian and me to Molly’s Den.

Becky, who has been undertaking extensive and detailed market research since applying for places for a father and daughter team on ‘Bargain Hunt’, the TV antiques competition programme, had not yet visited our local emporium. We came to see this trip as a training exercise. Contestants have one hour in which to make three purchases which are then sold at auction.

Molly's Den wet floor 1Molly's Den wet floor 2

We have experienced enough rain in the last 72 hours to make parts of the Christchurch/Lymington Road resemble a lake. Molly’s Den suffered considerable leakage through the vast warehouse roof. The staff had spent two and a half hours mopping up the water.

Raindrops on table

Most of the items for sale had been rescued, although the odd raindrops lingered.

Jackie and Owl

Becky and brooch

We managed to cover all areas in our allotted hour, but did not make the required number of purchases. I bought Jackie an owl, and Ian bought Becky a brooch.

Jackie, Becky, and brunches

The presentations took place in Molly’s Pantry. When the two ladies received their brunches before Ian and me, they resolved my dilemma about being unable to photograph all the meals together by hamming up repetitions of their earlier delight.


Ian and I struggled through the plentiful all day brunches of excellent quality. The chef came to our table and apologised that he had run out of vine tomatoes. He needn’t have worried. The first-rate standard of the sausages, bacon, black pudding, baked beans, mushrooms, wedges of buttered toast, and perfectly fried eggs more than made up for it.


Jackie bought another two owls.

Cloud with silver lining

On our drive home we were reminded that every cloud has a silver lining. The rain had desisted and the sky was turning blue.

Close perusal of the pictures of Molly’s Pantry fare will render it unsurprising that neither Ian nor I required an evening meal, and a few samosas sufficed for the women.

Furnishing The Shed

Becky put this on my Facebook page early this morning:

11411850_10153170361428999_594653639751612138_oClever, isn’t she?

We began with a trip to the municipal dump, now upgraded to Efford Recycling Centre. Included in the rubbish we took there was a green plastic table we had bought from there in the first place. The Head Gardener, now she has a shed, has no further use for it. I got quite excited when I thought this might be the first time we would leave the tip without making a purchase. This was not to be, for Jackie spotted a hanging window box and just had to buy it.

Fergusson's van

Off we then drove to Highcliffe, and our old favourite, Fergusson’s, in search of a suitable chest of drawers to double as a work surface and storage for packets of seeds, tools, ties, plant labels, and almost anything else you can think of. Elsa and Boyce produced the very thing, that would probably have got the Bargain Hunt experts very excited. This addictive televised antiques programme involves two pairs of punters shopping in normal retail outlets in the hope of making a profit at auction. We have learned that G-plan, the iconic furniture of the ’50s and ’60s, is in at the moment. The Ercol piece that we found would definitely have been in the money. But we weren’t going to auction, and Dad, Dave Fergusson, accompanied by Elsa, delivered it for us and helped me place it in the shed.

This friendly family firm is to be recommended.

Dave Fergusson delivering chest of drawersErcol chest of drawersShed furnishings


Jackie had already begun to make herself at home.

Dave had first delivered furniture to us last May, when the garden was still a jungle. He and Elsa went on an amazed and delighted tour. He asked for a notification when we open to the public. Here is a selection from what he saw today:

Rose pink

From the bed by the wisteria, this small pink rose has a good view of the new acquisition.

View along kitchen window path

This is the view along the outside of the kitchen window. The rose above lies in the bed at the end.

Dragon's view

Obscured by the planting in the centre background, the dragon stands on a concrete plinth. This is his view through to the urn and beyond.

geraniums and maple

Near the start of the brick path, geraniums and Japanese maple form a pleasing swirl;

Geraniums and grasses

and a different variety of geranium hangs at one end of the Phantom Path.

Petunias on edge of brick path

A concrete building block lifts a pot of pink petunias taking us across another section of the Brick Path.

Pergola path view

We also walked along the Pergola Path. Like any of the others, this view changes daily.

Rose Kent

In the new rose garden, Kent is now in bloom.

Passion FlowerClematis Margaret Hunt

At the far south end of the garden, passion flowers cling to the support arches we erected last year, and clematis Margaret Hunt ascends those Jackie fixed in her new boxes at the start of the back drive.

This evening we dined at Lal Quilla, where we enjoyed the usual ambiance, service, food, and Kingfisher. I chose Purple Tiger and Jackie chose Navrattan Korma. We shared lemon rice and a naan, and both drank Kingfisher.