Stealing from Charity!

No, I didn’t actually steal anything, but I almost feel like I have.  Note the word almost.   I got such amazing bargains that it almost felt like stealing.

I have been working on a beast of a piece of furniture for my dining room and needed a much needed break from it.  So, I did what I usually do on a sunny day when I am not working for money, I hit the charity shops!  It is a form of entertainment for me and I never know if something will jump out at me and ask me to take it home.

Just so you know, I actually don’t really need anything.  I do have an idea to expand a piece of furniture and took some measurements before I went out, just in case I saw something I could use.  I also thought it might be nice to find some interesting artwork.  I am always on the lookout for a lovely painting.  I don’t think you can own too much art.  Charity shops are great places to score some nice paintings or frames.  Sometimes I find nice things that I didn’t even know I wanted!  Anyway, I had two intentions when I went out:  I was looking for a bookcase of sorts and I was looking for artwork.

It didn’t take long before I scored big time on the artwork.  Here is what I got today:


1) I couldn’t believe my eyes when I spied this painting by Nigel Greaves for £20!  The picture frame is worth more than £20!  And the painting is definitely worth more than that.  I should know because I own one of Nigel’s paintings.  I felt sick with excitement and felt like a naughty schoolgirl when I handed over my money.  How this painting came to be in a charity shop I will never know.  Usually, something of this worth gets given away when someone passes away and the relatives don’t like it or don’t know its value.  Although other people’s abstracts are really not my thing unless your name is Kandinsky, I do like this painting and have the perfect spot for it.  I still would have purchased it even if I didn’t like it.  I would just stick it on E-bay otherwise.

2)  This is a postcard of the All Saints Convalescent Hospital in Eastbourne and was sent to someone in London postmarked 1916.  I need to find a frame for it.  I like collecting historical items like this.  This little gem cost £1.50!  I am amazed that it found its way back to Eastbourne!  The building still stands, but it has been turned into very expensive apartments.

3)  I found this chess set for £2.00!  This chess set is nothing special, but it is just the right size and I want to learn how to play again.  I need to find a little box for the pieces.  This was one of those things that I didn’t even know I wanted!

4)  This painting was half price, for £2.00!  It’s a pretty watercolour of ‘Christmas Roses’ by Brian Neylan.  From what I could find on the internet, Brian Neylan was a resident of Eastbourne.  He passed away in 2001.  That was all that I could find out about this man.  This painting was done in 1999.  There is something really lovely and simple about this painting and I was surprised to see it going for a song.  Brian may be gone, but now he won’t be forgotten.

So, I now have a few more pieces to add to my collection.  You never know what you are going to learn about that little gem you take home with you.

What interesting things have you discovered in a charity shop?


A Sunny Day in December!

For the last two weeks I have had the pleasure of driving along the seafront on the way to work.  The reason I say pleasure is that there are no two days alike, so I get to see something different every day!  That certainly makes the drive to work more interesting.  It isn’t practical, or safe, to pull over on the side of the road to take a photo of the frost covered fields, or the beautiful sunrises – but I managed to get out for a walk last Sunday and the weather was glorious!  So, here are some reasons why I love where I live so much.


No post about where I live would be complete without a photo of The Pier.  I love it!  As you can probably see, some other people love it too, because they are doing some work on it!  Look at that wonderful sky, and the flat sea!


What would the seaside be without a few fishing boats to look at?


Or a few lobster pots and fishing nets?


Or the annual Santa Fun Run?


The day might have been a bit nippy, but it was sunny and with no wind!  We finished our walk with a gorgeous sunset and the starlings doing their magic over The Pier. 🙂

Some Highlights of Airbourne 2012!

This year is the first time that I haven’t been an anorak and went to the whole four days of Airbourne 2012.  I had to work!  It was very frustrating listening to the planes roar, but not being able to see them!

However, I did go to the all important day, Saturday!  The weather was superb, although a bit windy, but the show was still pretty amazing.  My youngest son came down the night before and we all spent a really lovely day together.  I had 565 photos to sort through and edit from two days.  I still haven’t gotten through all of them.

Here are the highlights from Saturday. (Not in sequential order!)

Sea King

The show opened with The Sea King.  We watched the Sea King practice the weekend before, so it was like a double bill for us.  Watching a mock rescue can make you appreciate what these guys go through when doing a real one, especially when conditions are not ideal.  This is also our new life boat, The Diamond Jubilee!

Royal Navy Raiders
The Hunter
The Blades! Former Red Arrows Pilots!
The Battle of Britain, Lancaster and Spitfire!
The Lynx
King Air
The Matadors!
Jet Provost
The Vulcan!

The Vulcan was the real star of the show!  It cost over £10 million pounds to restore her for performing this year.  She went so slow, so all could admire her and take photos!  It was amazing!

The Wingwalkers
The Patrouille Reva Team, (they are French) !
RAF Tornado

These guys are very fast.  They are so fast that it is nearly impossible to get both of them in the same shot, which is why the one I did get is blurry.  They are extremely fast.  Did I mention how fast these guys are?

DC Dakota
Flying Red Gnat

Some of you might wonder why a girl like me is ga-ga over planes and airshows.  I have always loved planes.  My father used to take me and my younger brother to Newark Airport, before it got re-developed into an International Airport, to go and watch the planes land and take off.  Before the North Terminal became the North Terminal.  Yup, I am that old!  I love how fast they can go.  I remember, when I was a child, watching a program on TV about Concord.  I lived under the Heathrow flight path for over 20 years and watched Concord fly over my house every night for many years!  It was noisy, but really cool.  I was able to see them lower the wheels!  Although I intensely disliked the constant drone of the planes, I still love planes.  The old ones are amazing.  I can’t believe how much destruction was caused by bombs and planes.  The fact that some pilots survived is incredible considering the average age of a pilot in WW2 was 22 and the average lifespan of a pilot was 4 weeks!

I also love the challenge of capturing a fast-moving object in my camera.  Sometimes I get it, and sometimes I don’t.  What I really love though is that Airbourne takes place on the seafront, it is free, and the weather has generally been really good.  The atmosphere is festive and congenial.  The whole thing is extremely civilised.  It is great to see people gathering together and having a really good time.

I hope you enjoyed the photos.  Maybe next year you can come down and see the show for yourself! 🙂