Sunday, 7 September 2014

Auction action.

Another week, another item on my Fifty List. This week I decided to go to an auction.

We have lived in our current house for 16 years now, there is an auction house 5 minutes walk away - and I have never been! I have been to a viewing day once or twice but never to an actual auction. An advert in our local free paper informed me that there would be a general furniture and household items sale, so off I went. 
It wasn't at all as I expected; it was really rather highbrow and intimidating. I was hoping for a cheap and cheerful sale of rickety second hand furniture and what I actually got was a high tech, eye-wateringly expensive antiques auction. In order to bid, you had to register - I didn't, as I was too afraid that I might scratch my nose and inadvertently buy something. I sat on the end of a row (for a speedy getaway), trying to look as if I belonged there and it wasn't my first time (I'm sure I fooled nobody!). There were a few people bidding in the room, but mostly bids were made either online or via telephone. What surprised me most was the amount of money spent and the items it was spent on. There were some really lovely pieces of antique furniture - desks and the like - and they were going for a few hundred pounds or so (more than I would spend, but you could tell that they were worth it). The things which raised the most money though, were little bits of frippery - wall sconces, statuettes, lamps etc. They went for thousands - at one point, the bids were going up by £500 a time; I was agog! It was all rather exciting, if a little scary. I lasted for about an hour and then snuck out in between lots. I'm not sure if that particular auction house only does such high end sales, or if they do have the occasional cheap and cheerful one that I was after. I need to do a bit more research if I'm ever to go back.

Other happies this week include:

Plum and Apple Jam. Unlike my elderberry jelly, this stuff actual set!

A trip to the Island Farm Donkey Sanctuary:

I'd seen an advert for this place when E was doing her archaeological dig in the Summer, so we decided to go for a visit. Opened in 1983, they rescue donkeys from horse and donkey sales and there are currently over 120 living there, ranging in age from a few months old to about 45 (Donkeys can live until about 50 -who knew?!). They have a few sheep, goats and the like too.

Percy the pot bellied pig, who loved being scratched behind the ears:

Billy, the deaf goat, who took a shine to E and rested his chin on her knee whilst we were sitting on a bench in the shade.

Swallows that live in the barn used to house the donkeys at night:

On the last day of the holidays, E and I went into town to visit the library and pop into our local museum which has just reopened following refurbishment. I forgot to take photos of the museum, but remembered to take some of our pub lunch by the canal: nachos with guacamole, salsa and sour cream - yum!

Finally, a trip to Bath to see a friend. We pottered round the shops and city centre:

Had lunch in 'The Eastern Eye' Indian restaurant. I was so hungry, I forgot to take photos of the food, which was delicious.

.... and rounded off the day with a pot of tea and some Turkish rose and pistachio cake!

That's all for this week. E went back to school on Thursday and L is currently doing some work experience in Hong Kong, so it's just Hamish and me at the moment and the house seems rather quiet. Enjoy the week, whatever you have planned.
Toodle Pip for now. x


  1. Oh nachos, delicious, I could eat them right now. The jam looks excellent as well. I used to live right round the corner from an auction room, but I never went either. I'm off to Bath tomorrow I think, it's one of my favourite places. I hope you have a good week. CJ xx

  2. Wow, that Turkish rose and pistachio cake looks really good. I've never been to a real auction, but I'd love to go, I bet it's interesting.