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Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Arundel By Candlelight, Dinner with Good Friends & Nostalgic Trips to Brighton

Good Morning
Arundel Eccentrics Antiques

Tuesday morning after a rather hectic few days.

Victorian Bamboo

My lounge is still full of the 
15  Victorian bamboo tables
 I was 
 finishing work on, throughout Friday.

Just had time to tidy the house a wee bit
 before dinner with 5 old friends.

We have been meeting for years.
Were at school together in Brighton at a convent in Kemp Town.

Many years ago when I living in Worthing
 I ran into one of them on a rare trip
 back to the metropolis that is Brighton.

The girls met for dinner every couple of months.
Took it in turns to host and cook.
"Would I like to join?"

I did..... and the 6 of us have been meeting 6 times a years
for more years than I dare tell you.

Suffice it to say we have 
eaten and drank,
laughed and cried,  
having children,
children growing up,
marital break ups,
entire nurse trainings,
jobs coming and jobs going,
children marrying and having babies themselves.

We visited France and Bruges on day trips,
Edinburgh for long weekends.
Businesses have been started and thrived, occasionally abandoned.

When I was pretty much on the breadline many years back,
they decided amongst themselves
I wouldn't host an evening as they knew I couldn't afford it.

I didn't find out until many years later.
At the end of each meal, out would come the diaries.

Dates made.
" Yes, my turn" they would all say.
" I haven't done one for age, it must be mine next"  

They would all give some excuse why 
it  would be their turn and not mine, no car, no babysitter, .......bless 'em.

We had a great evening on Friday.
My lovely husband cooked for me.

I had wrenched my back lugging furniture.
Yes, yes, incorrectly, I know.
 I good barely move.

So " le chef" cooked an entire roast dinner for us all 
then cleared out of the way just before they all arrived.

I suspect this is where he went. ha ha

The White Hart in Arundel

Brighton Childhood

Talking about Brighton.
Last week I had cause to visit Kemp Town in Brighton.
Rather sadly it was for a funeral.
The service was at St. John The Baptist Church.
My junior school had been next door.
It now looks very sad a dilapidated, 
having closed as a school many years ago.

I'm not sure what it's used for these days.
It's been a homeless shelter, but appears empty now. 

Funny when you look back hey?

When I was 5 this playground looked enormous.
I remember going in that right hand door for the first time.
Weepin' and wailin' I was.

So much so, as I wasn't quite five yet,
they told my Mum to take me home and bring me back next term.
Result or what?
If only other nasty events in life were that easy to escape. ha ha

I had a little wander around Kemp Town as they have some interesting antique shops there these days.

A few interesting Christmas Decorations as well. N'est pas?
Talking of Brighton, here's a little story from my teenage years,
 that I wrote as an exercise  for the  creative writing class I go to, here in Arundel.

I was raised in Woodingdean, just on the outskirts of the town.
Was madly in love with a local Mod.

" 'ere do you want to come an orgy?" asked Ray.

Annie searched his grinning face trying to find some hint as to what an orgy actually was.
And although she found no clue said, "yeah ok," anyway.

It was 1966. She was thirteen and from a sheltered background. 
Her family were strict Catholics. 
Her mother had converted when she married.
 She was more committed to the faith than her father. 
Mum made sure her offspring attended Mass every Sunday and all the religious high days. 
Her father was a policeman and for many years walked the local beat before being promoted to station sergeant. Annie was a day pupil at the local convent school. 
She had passed her eleven plus. 
Wouldn’t have been there else,
but it made her different from the other kids
 on the council estate where she lived. 
She was desperate to fit in.

Ray Blakeney was the love of Annie's life. 
He was a seventeen year old who lived up
 the road and was part of the local gang of mods.   

Ray had two lambrettas. 
The red one he used in the week and the shiny silver one for weekends.  
Both would be heard roaring up and down the road day and night.

There were only three daring things Annie had done to date.

The first was to spend all her bus fare on Brighton Pier one Sunday after she had sung in the choir at Mass. She had to walk all the way home from town.
 It took her three hours and the traditional family roast was finished and cleared away by the time she arrived. Her parents were raging but they calmed down quickly.
 Both relieved to see their daughter was safe. 
There had been a murder in the area only weeks before and parents in the town were edgy.

The second bold thing was to stand for hours at a time on the toilet seat, 
behind the locked bathroom door. She would squint through the gap at the top of the patterned glass window to catch a glimpse of her idol as he hurtled up and down the street.

Thirdly, well, that was the first and only time Ray had kissed her.

Much later she realised why Ray kept his distance. 
He seemed to really like her, but had never asked her out. 
Her age was one factor, her father being the local bobby was another. 
Probably the biggest drawback to any progress was her mother.

One cold February afternoon Annie jumped off the school bus. 
She was delighted when Ray tore up the road on his scooter and screeched to a halt beside her. 
Although wrapped up in his uniform parka, he seemed to be shivering. 

"Can I borrow your scarf?" He asked.
Her heart beat faster.
"Of course you can.”

Annie felt happy as he wound the red felt scarf around his neck.

Her mother's voice bellowed down the street,
"Get that scarf off yer greasy neck, Blakeney"

Ray blushed, Annie blushed and her mother continued her ranting.
It was excruciating for the thirteen year old.
But more than anything she was surprised her heartthrob would go red.

 Ray thrust the scarf back into Annie's hand revved up his red lambretta 
by way of having the last word and roared off. 
She stood in the middle of the road and watched him,
 embarrassed, upset, but hugging and burying her nose into the warm scarf.

The next day she apologised.
"Ah that's ok" he said, "You still coming to the orgy?"
After yesterday’s fracas, she felt she couldn't say no. 
Besides she was intrigued. 
 She still hadn't found out what an orgy was.

Saturday night arrived and she made the excuse of going to see her cousin.
It never occurred to innocent Annie, that an orgy might be anything sexual.

As it turned out it wasn't. 
Well, not much anyway.

It was a group of teenagers crammed into a tiny council flat  front room with the curtains drawn tight.   
Throughout  the  first showing of Lady Chatterley's Lover on the black and white tv set they  munched on packets of crisps, (those ones with the little blue bags of salt inside) 
and rather daringly swigged lemonade from glass bottles.

Ha ha
Well/........what did you 
think it was? 

Arundel By Candlelight.

This year must surely have been the most incredible
Arundel by Candlelight evening.

The town was absolutely packed with revellers.
From 1-7 it just got busier and busier.

We took a stand in Arundel High Street.

With our neighbours.
French Loft .....another  large antiques warehouse.

The lull before the storm.

Everyone was setting up in anticipation of a good day.

Then people started arriving........

and they just kept coming......

Elf and safety...were on hand.

The hot butternut squash pie from The Swan Hotel stand.........mmmmmm was unbelievable .....

Friends offered to look after my stall for a while...bless em
I dashed out to say "hello" and buy a book from 
the book signing  just around the corner.

One of  my chums from the creative writing class has a book out
and I went to show my support.
There was such a long queue though, 
I had to run back to my own stand.

Debbie Burchell

snow machine even

Then as darkness began to fall, the town took on a magical look.....

French Loft Warehouse next door to ours

Thanks to everyone who organised the event.
It was astounding.

After packing everything up
we went with friends to the local Indian Restaurant.
We took the last available table.
Everywhere was bursting at the seams.

This restaurant is glorious. 

Give it a try next time you are in Arundel. 

Sunday Lunch

After running the warehouse on Sunday
we went to our friends for a late lunch/early dinner.

Three couples, friends for many years,
 who meet for Sunday lunch, three times a year.

It was in Arundel,this time,
so a walk away.
We had a wonderful evening.

Julie and Rudi also have an antique warehouse.

Just outside Chichester.

 it's always interesting meeting up with them 

Julie and Rudi live near the sea.
He is Italian and used to be a chef, 
so lunch is a long lingering many course affair. 

When we have lunch over there
we go to the beach afterwards to walk it off a bit.


Nothing quite like meeting up with good friends is there?

Tartan Chest of Drawers

Our lovely friend who is painting our tartan chests will be finishing them off this week.
We source 19th century chests of drawers and either paint and decorate them with decoupage
or we have Amy paint them in tartan.

Is there time to prepare for the festive season I wonder?
Have a great day

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