Monday, 31 October 2011

What a week ....

What a busy week it was last week .... I am a registered childminder for my sins and as it was half term my house was rather noisy and hectic.  Of course Halloween was the theme with spooky decorations adorning the room, pumpkin carving, crafting, some of our favourite films including Hocus Pocus, orange playdough to model with and ending the week with a visit to a local discovery centre whose theme was ...... you guessed it Halloween!  

Stockwood Park in Luton .... gorgeous autumn colours and you can just about see a fluffy tailed creature foraging in the leaves at the base of the tree.

For the past 12 months I have just been doing my before/after school care for two reasons ..... one being the demands of the powers that be which imposes so many requirements for under fives that the paperwork involved totally detracts from actually caring for the children.  The second reason is that I am just getting too long in the tooth and 10 hour days really took it out of me last week.  Yes 10 hours, as the first family arrive just before 8.00 am and don't depart until just after 6.00 pm

So you can imagine I was really looking forward to the weekend with Saturday all to myself and I could hear another auction calling me.  An early start was necessary as there was only an hours viewing before the auction started at 9.30.  It is a lovely drive meandering through the three counties of Herts, Beds and Bucks, the sun was rising and I had an old favourite reggae/blue beat CD playing full blast as I tootled along.  My early teens just caught the end of the skinhead era and the start of the smoothies .... no not a fruit based drink ..... smart Trevira suits, shiny loafer shoes, Ben Sherman Shirts and Crombie coats and the backing track to this era was Toots & the Maytals, Desmond Dekker, Harry J Allstars, Bob & Marcia, Prince Buster et al.

through the Chiltern Hills past Whipsnade Zoo and in the distance a glimpse of the famous chalk lion on the hillside ..... carved during WW2 as a warning to the enemy that this was a zoo and shouldn't be bombed.

On to Ivinghoe with the beacon on my left as I drove by ...... we did climb this years ago but it is very steep and I couldn't manage it these days!

A little but further on is Pitstone windmill standing quite alone in the middle of a field

Over the Grand Union Canal at Bulbourne and into Tring

Despite marking off loads of juicy lots in the catalogue I came away empty handed.  In contrast to last week's bargains the bidding here was getting out of hand with mixed boxes of china/glass going for £30/40 plus commission and one lady seemed to be buying everything up single handed.  Bidding starts here at £8 so with commission of £1.44 to add onto that you are talking almost a tenner a lot at least ..... a couple of years ago I could get box loads for around £10/15 and being the ever conscious skinflint I gave up bidding and came home.  Time to find some smaller lesser known auctions methinks!

I did manage to grab an extra hours sleep on Sunday after the clock change and I'd promised Ellie I would take her car booting.  She is getting a dab hand at this now and digs around for her favourite Roald Dahl and Jacqueline Wilson books then stings me for a Caramel Cream Frappucino in Starbucks!  We have a new Poundland in Hitchin and we are both addicted already ..... she is the stationery queen .... a girl can never have too many pads and pencils in her opinion.  We made a quick visit to Letchworth and on the way home saw three of these little chaps on the grass verges .... black squirrels are quite a common sight in Letchworth and I have seen some in the churchyard in Hitchin.

Back to school today so some serious crafting to be done for the rest of this week .... watch this space!


  1. Thanks, I really enjoyed reading your post, incidentally I never knew there were black squirrels xx

  2. Lala, I so enjoyed reading this post. It brought back some childhood memories of travelling from North Devon to Luton, when we would pass through Tring and Ivinghoe (which I always thought then should be Ivanhoe!) and trips to Dunstable Downs to watch gliders (hope that memory is correct) and of course trips to Whipsnade Zoo.

    What a fantastic photo of the black squirrel ...

  3. Used to think the same thing of Ivinghoe/Ivanhoe ..... the gliding club is still there and they were floating above me as I drove. Can only take credit for the Stockwood photos ..... others were from t'internet. I can multi task but drive/bop to the music/take photos .... daren't try that one ;-)

  4. Those 10 hour days sound like hard work no wonder you were ready for the weekend.We haven't been to an auction for ages because like you we have struggled to find any real bargains. The black squirrel is lovely, I have never seen one before. See you soon.
    Ann x

  5. Great post! I love seeing that chalk lion when I'm on the train to London. It was a long time 'til I found out about the zoo. And now I know a bit more info, so thank you!
    I noticed the prices in my fave Totnes CS had skyrocketed since my last visit-so they didn't get any of our pennies. (Pennies? Ha, pounds, more like!).
    I have never been to an auction...don't trust myself to be honest!
    Great music choices. That black squirrel is too cute!
    Z xx

  6. I've never even knew there was such thing as a black squirrel!

    My sis in law is a child minder, always sounds hard work. She prefers when they are babies, she says easier to look after.

  7. I am crazy about nature and here i can see so many beautiful picture of nature.Its with autumn beauty.I like your sharing.

  8. I didn't know that about the lion & I've never heard of or seen a black squirrel or been to an auction !
    Red tape & paperwork is spoiling so much of getting on with out lives these days & adds a lot of stress too.