Thursday, January 28, 2010

Antiques in Petworth

I had been to Petworth House, an incredible collection of artwork, on an outing with Consuelo but today's adventure was all about the antique shops in the village of Petworth. It is not an easy place to get to ..... First, we met at Victoria Station in London to catch the southern rail to Pulborough. We had to sit in the correct car because the train split half-way. Rita had arranged a Taxi/Van to drive 8 of us to the village and she scheduled our pickup for later that afternoon - after the driver made his school runs! The day was cold but perfect for browsing and we enjoyed a bowl of soup and a cup of tea for lunch before returning to purchase the things we could not leave Petworth without.

You know me, I am attracted to small oils, especially ones in beautiful gold frames. This little strawberry caught my attention when I walked in the door but it wasn't until I turned it over and read the inscription on the back that I knew it needed a home. This is what it says on the back;
To Dear Diana (Lady Diana I'm sure!)
Happy Birthday 1988
Love from Lee X

Who do you think gave it away? This could be the start of a great romantic novel!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Saturday on Portobello Road

Always crowded with tourists and locals, shoppers, merchants, entertainers, peddlers, and pickpockets....
a Saturday afternoon on Portobello Road is an adventure!

Anyone need a GREEN fur coat? A wedding dress?

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Take the Challenge

Somehow Rick came across this article written by a pilot who was once an ROTC student at Auburn. The sincerity he writes with and the details he remembers about "The Colonel" brought tears to my eyes. I only wish I could forward this to my Dad - he would be so proud to know that he influenced this young man in such a positive way! So here is the lesson - write a letter to someone in your past who influenced you ....TODAY! Fill it with details that might spark a memory of days forgotten. With your words, paint a picture of a time and place and a life lesson learned. This article did not reach my Dad, but it touched me profoundly! I hope you take the challenge!

Posted in the Warbird Informational Exchange:

I was privileged to meet and get to know Deke as a student at Auburn in the late 80's. He taught a number of courses in aviation and much of the foundation of what I know today about weather, Air Traffic Control, instrument flying, and how an officer and pilot should conduct himself, I attribute to him.

Deke was tall and slim and always wore cowboy boots. He had an easy smile, wavy grey hair and the makings of a handlebar moustache that always made me think he could have been a 50's film star. In addition, there are few pilots left who could tell a story like Deke. As he related this flight or that, his hands would fly about and his silver USAF pilot wings bracelet would jingle and jangle to emphasize the tale. Most of us begged to hear more U-2 stories, as he was in the cadre of pilots who flew with Gary Powers and Rudolph Anderson (lost over Cuba in '62). No matter the dire outcome, he was always able to weave humility and humor into the story. I have since read some of these stories repeated in "50 Years of the U-2" by Chris Pocock, but I will never forget the times I heard them first hand.

As an Auburn senior, I had a few hours of elective time to complete and I was told to report to Deke to learn what I could do to earn the hours. (As an aside, no student ever called him Deke. Despite his easy-going nature, he always said, feel free to call me by my first name ... "Colonel!".) Hoping that I'd be in Air Force pilot training the next year, I asked him if would teach me about instrument flying. His reply was, "No, I won't teach you instruments - you will teach ME instruments". He handed me a few texts and had me devise a multi-week syllabus where I would research a topic and present a lesson to him, one-on-one. Of course, once I was finished talking, Deke would take over and the lesson would really begin.

After I left Auburn, I never saw Deke again. I'd occasionally bump into someone who'd seen him and heard that he'd retired to the beach near Pensacola. One day I was saddened to hear that he'd suffered a fall and was paralyzed. A number of times I said that I'd go look him up to visit and thank him for all his help and encouragement. I sincerely regret that I never made the trip.

We joked during one of my instrument sessions about his legal title of "Aviation Expert" ... as he had been recently asked to appear as a consultant in a court case. I played along and asked for his autograph -- the only paper handy was the cardstock "this hat belongs to" label inside my USAF cadet wheel cap. I slid it out and, on the back, he inscribed "Col Robert E. "Deke" Hall, USAF ret.; Aviation Expert". I will treasure it always.

Blue skies, Deke! You will be missed.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Sailing back to Boston?

NOT IN THIS........

But these were the only boats we could afford at the London Boat Show. I have been to Boat Shows before and I am telling you, I have never seen "boats" this big. I guess we do live in one of the wealthiest cities in the world, and we do live on the same island as James, James Bond but .......

We don't often venture out to Canary Wharf but it was a rainy Saturday adventure with friends. The place was packed with all ages dreaming to be boat owners.

Liked the name of this one, "Tickled Pink" but still think "Fish and Chips" fits our little Bristol Skiff perfectly!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Stoke on Trent - Trip 4

It's January and time for our trip to "The Potteries". Our 7 AM departure was a bit frosty and menacing but once we boarded the correct bus, we were on our way to Aynsley China, Burleigh, Leeds (Hartley Green), Portmeirion, Royal Dalton, Waterford, and the factory shop I was most looking forward to, Emma Bridgewater.

Emma Bridgewater Pottery's Toast & Marmalade line of dinnerware is a classic based on traditional English farmhouse designs with enduring sayings such as "Happiness is a cup of coffee & a really good book & a piece of cake." Just as colorful are the polka dot pattern and the Union Jack - a celebration of the fact that all the pottery is made in their own factory in Stoke on Trent.

Some of these pictures are of the "good deals" we left behind...
But once the trolley is full it is time to hit the road and pop the cork.
What do you think that is in those Dixie Cups?

As always I have to post a shot of my purchases. I must say the £10 Clam Shell from Hartley Green was coveted by some of my fellow shoppers! Won't it be perfect in the "River House"?

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Can you guess?

Look closely......

It's always an adventure to go to the loo!