Saturday, April 08, 2006

bones and stones

LG and I have recently returned from a couple of days visiting my parents.
Our activities included:

Thursday: after lunch, a tour of local charity shops in Uckfield (6). Purchased some curtains (for the fabric) some books, some more books and found a nice GAP shirt for mother. Quick nip into Crowborough before getting back home - 3 charity shops (another 2 closed early). No purchases.

Mum is always glad that I provide her with a good excuse for CS visiting. My father tolerates the habit, but with a slight air of weariness and gentle mockery which means she can never totally relax and take the time she really wants to.

I remember as a child going down to the end of the road with my mum, on a Saturday morning clutching my pocket money, to the junk shop locally known as Fred's (who knows whether or not that was his name?). He only opened on Saturday mornings, and there would be a queue there by 8 am. So you can see, the habit was cultivated in me from an early age. A proper upbringing, I had.

Thursday evening : fairly early bed after a lovely meal. Mum & Dad are of the age now where they are likely to doze off whenever seated for more than about 15 mins. They love watching films, but often nod off intermittently throughout. (Me too these days, which is worrying.) Managed to sleep fairly well, despite the sonorous buzzsaw of my father's snoring vibrating its way through the wall by my head. How my mother sleeps at all I can't imagine. Maybe this is why they doze off during the day so often.

Friday, a bright and blustery day in Eastbourne.

Lovely lunch in a gracious and genteel hotel full of elderly people, I kept expecting Poirot to appear around the corner.
Lunch was followed by a satisifying amount of windswept walking, wave-chasing, scrunching, running, climbing and combing on the beach with LG.

Here are some of the things we found and brought home.

LG was particularly pleased with the fish jaw-bone on the left of the photo, but disappointed to find it was the wrong size for her to be able to wear it. Not that that prevened her from trying. Of course.

I hope she never grows out of our shared delight in finding interesting, smooth, ugly, lovely, odd pebbles and driftwood on the beach. I think not picking up anything on a stony beach is as impossible for me as passing a charity shop without looking inside.

However there are things which take priority, which was proved on Friday afternoon, when I had to forgo about 8 charity shops in Eastbourne when I lost my mother and spent the time searching for her instead. After a brief panic when an ambulance arrived with flashing lights and a crew rushing into Boots (I did run in to check it wasn't her) we met up again, but had no time/will left for charity shopping.

And unfortunately had used up too much time.... we managed to locate a shop LG was keen to visit- "Battle Orders", purveyors of all things pugilistic - swords, armour, all manner of battle equipment and regalia - but by the time we found it (out of town - not a high street shop, this!) it was closed. LG has a passion for medieval weapons and a small but growing collection of swords, axes and other medieval/fantasy weaponry. If only this would motivate her to keep her room sufficiently tidy for them to be displayed, rather than in their usual habitat of lurking hazardously on the floor and/or under the bed.

She coped well with the disappointment. We wandered around the back and peered through the gap between the blind and window ledge - the front windows and door were tantalisingly whitewashed. No doubt we will be returning there in the future. During Opening Hours, that is.

LG then went to bed reading Paddington Bear. She's such a hybrid creature at the moment, part stroppy almost-teenager, part clingy cuddly little girl - anxious, silent, bright, rowdy, morose, chatty, defensive, self-doubting, confident, distant, passionate, lethargic, affectionate, manic, self-possessed, exuberant, unselfconscious. (Her room is still full of cuddly animals, amidst the weaponry and goth accessories). After some bouts of truly adolescent angst and sulkiness, she left her more grown up books to one side last night and took great pleasure in the simple child-like delights of Michael Bond's Paddington.

May she never be too grown up.


Molly Bloom said...

Sounds like you had a really lovely time. I love Eastbourne. My Nan used to live there and I went there a lot. I'm sorry you missed out on some of the charity shops, but sounds like you did see most of them. Great finds on the beach! I can almost smell the sea from here! Most of the other bloggers are on holiday! Did you see Le Chat's cress experiment!!

grumpy old woman said...

Hi Sweetie
Lovely pics, lovely write up.
Thanks for your comment.
The only way round the losing your Mum situation is for her to have a mobile phone.She need never use it normally - a pay as you go without a contract would be ideal - nothing fancy. She can just have it on her for charity shop expeditions etc. Whenever I split up with a shopping partner in any town we know we can locate each other really easily instead of having to make tedious arrangements or spend ages hunting for each other.
I spend so little on my phone - £5 lasts for ages - but it's such a good back up for emergencies and shopping :o}
Glad you had such a good time.
I love Paddington bear .....

euro-trac said...

'Mum & Dad are of the age now where they are likely to doze off whenever seated for more than about 15 mins. They love watching films, but often nod off intermittently throughout...'

Blimey... I've been like that for years!

Donna said...

She'll never be too grown up. It's a funny old time this 'tweenie' stage (horrible term I know) not quite child not quite woman.

I got my love of charity shops, bootsales and jumble sales from my gran who used to take me to jumblies and regularly ran them so I would help her serve, so exciting. I often think when I get a real 'find' that it is her spirit guiding me there. My kids groan when I go to BS and CS but I know one day they will love them as much as me (or else they will have a life-long phobia from which they will never recover!)

So what was the fabric you got then?

Calamity Tat said...

I know what you mean, I have one who is similar (apart from the weapon collection). She runs hot and cold! I will confirm dates with Guy today and get back to you..glad you had a nice weekend away..

Molly Bloom said...

Yes, it has been quite quiet hasn't it? I wonder what RW is doing. I wonder if she has got to that CCTV camera yet. I hope she waves at it!!

When you go to her blog, it is almost like when your kids go away and their bedroom is empty. :(

I hope you are having a nice day. It is sunny here and we're all going across the road to our neighbour's for a cup of tea soon. The beanster has made lots of painted posters for Easter and we're taking one across.

Molly Bloom said...

Cooey? Did I miss you again. We're always doing this!!

Molly Bloom said...

OOh, are you here now. I'll give it a few more mins. Perhaps you'll see your neo-counter pop up. Ooer.

Molly Bloom said...

It's those Keystone Cops again!

Molly Bloom said...

What is the equivalent of whistling on blog? Toot, tooty toot. Etc.

Molly Bloom said...

How many Betty Cress' can you see? A little quiz for Monday morning.

Molly Bloom said...

Take your dig cam on your bike ride and then you can post up some piccies.

Molly Bloom said...

Darn it. Missed you again. Never mind. Have a great day.

She's gone, she's gone,
Perhaps gone on her bike,
Perhaps a sneaky dillo,
Got her, the naughty tyke.

(Actually I don't think dillos have a naughty bone in their bodies.)

Molly Bloom said...

Didn't realise you were over there. I am silly nutter. You have a great day.

Molly Bloom said...


Meg said...

Ah Eastbourne. My parents used to go and stay in a hotel there every year when they were older. And I have just spent the last half an hour unsuccessfully trying to think of the name of the place. It's so annoying when you can almost remember something but not quite. It'll trouble me all day now.

Sounds like you had a good weekend.

I love the sea.

wendy said...

At first glance, I thought all those shells were little dead a shock, I can tell you! (But then it IS monday evening and I AM tired and fuzzy-brained)...

those beach piccies are lovely - wish I could get to the sea.

lettuce said...

Eeewww. Little dead mice! I see what you mean... eeewww.

I have a picture to post later this week and I bet no one will be able to work out what it is.

諶峷頵 said...

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Sox said...

Ah, Crowborough, I remember it well, the cross and the conservative club, where women weren't allowed in the snooker room, but it had the cheapest beer in town!

happy days!