Thursday, 3 March 2016

Thursday.


Last week, whilst pottering around the Norfolk coast, we stopped off at the one 'real' antique shop in Holt, and purchased (among a few other bits - pewter, brass, treen, etc.) the above, lidless, blue and white tea pot. It was Chinese, and dated from the reign of the Emperor Qianlong, who reigned there from 1736 to 1795. It was lidless, so not expensive.  I asked Ann what she wanted it for, it being rather outside our usual sort of antique item, and she said "to put flowers in".  Often, when she does this (i.e. puts flowers in something not designed for this purpose) it works very well, visually that is; and looking at the above picture, I'm sure you'll agree that this is so in this case.


This afternoon, we motored over to Stowmarket to view an auction sale, and on the way there we stopped and took the above photograph of a very small thatched cottage that has just had the roof ridge rethatched - looks well, doesn't it ?  One of the things in Saturday's auction is a vast 'gentleman's ordinary' penny-farthing bicycle. I've always had a yen to ride one of these, and despite the auctioneer's cordial invitation to 'try it' decided that I'd left it tooooo late. The leap from the 'step' to the saddle was just too much. The auctioneer, who is less than half my age (and an old aquaintance) told me he felt just the same, and has yet to summon up the courage to 'have a go on it'. Oh well 'Faint heart never yet won fair lady' -- although with all my daughters, grand daughters and great granddaughters, I don't really need any more 'fair ladies' - or, come to think of it, penny farthing bicycles.

16 comments:

Rog said...

Teapot looks good! I love the shops in Holt but had no idea that the antique shop sold bras. Is it the place with the large frontage?
A picture of you on a penny farthing would make my life complete!

Crowbard said...

Two charming photos Mike. Well done Ann, The Emperor Qianlong himself (known as Ch'ien-lung when I was a lad) would have been delighted with your arrangement. He was the sixth emperor of the Manchu-led Qing (Ch'ing) dynasty, and the fourth Qing emperor to rule over China proper. Born: September 25, 1711, Beijing, China Died: February 7, 1799, Beijing, China. He had at least 16 spouses and 18 children ~ but as far as I know he only had two parents like everyone else.
P.S. Stay away from penny-farthings (0.520833p recurring) Mike, you can't even get the right change for half-a-crown these days (30.5p)

Rog said...

Ah! I see you have corrected the typo which now makes my juvenile schoolboy joke even less funny!

DILLIGAF said...

Love the teapot!!!!

Mike and Ann said...

Hell Rog. Surprised you spotted it. I hit the button to publish it, then read through it, spotted the booboo (very apt, come to think of it) and corrected it. You must have spotted it during the two minutes or so that it was on screen-quick work. I'd better confess, I suppose, that what I'd put was bras instead of brass (as antique shop stock).

Mike and Ann said...

P.s. That should have started 'Hello Rog' - this sort of thing seems to be catching.

Roger said...

I thought "Hell Rog" probably more appropriate...

Mike and Ann said...

Hell Rog! G'Day Rog. All very Colonial. Now, if it were 'Oy Rog', or 'I say, you Sir, Rog' I think that would be a great deal more natural, usual, or just plain us, don't you, Rog?

Mike and Ann said...

Hello Neil, Forde-Innes, Dilligaff. Good to hear from you. Trust all's well with you and yours in the Capital/Metropolis ? Must have a look at this Dilligaff, and catch up on your news.
Warm Regards, Mike.

Crowbard said...

Got muddled there trying to decimalise from old currency; half-a-crown would be 12.5p it just doesn't sound enough, half-a-crown used to buy two and a half pints of ale now it wouldn't buy a box of matches, you'd need another shilling.

Mike and Ann said...

No, no, Crowbard. Your maths are still muddled. In my late teens, a decent ale could be had for tenpence (real bronze pennies) a pint. Half a crown consisted of two shillings and sixpence, or to put it another way, thirty pennies. Therefore, half a crown then would buy you (or rather me - you were too young then)three pints of aforesaid decent(ish) ale. Oh mores - oh tempora (or something like that).

Crowbard said...

I agree you sampled the amber nectar much earlier than I. But you are incorrect about my maths still being muddled as I was speaking of my own youthful experience which alas limited me to half a pint a week or a big plate of chips and tomato sauce in that tiny eatery in the passage not far from the cinema, remind me, you and Roy and I dined there together once at least.

Mike and Ann said...

Hello Crowbard. There were two cinema's in town :- The Empire, and the Hippodrome, both in Hill Street. There had been another one at the end of Norfolk Street (I have a feeling that it might have been lost in the War). In Norfolk Street was a fish restaurant called Boyal's, which used to amuse us as the fish in fish restaurants was usually fried rather than Boyalled.

Hang on, though, the memory is starting to creak into life - in Church Street (?) just off Hill Street, and near the Hippodrome, was a small fried fish shop, with the back room used as a restaurant; can't remember the name of it, but it could well be the one you are thinking of. It was, I think, fairly basic and a bit of a dump, but clean and not bad value for money.

Crowbard said...

I think there was a large equestrian military painting on the 1st floor of Boyall's fish restaurant, charge of the Light Brigade or similar.
But the restaurant I had in mind was the small one near the Cinema furthest from the Nene, very pleasant lady seemed kindly disposed to hungry young lads.

Mike and Ann said...

Yes, you are quite right about the painting. It was a large victorian oleograph of Rosa Bonheur's 'The Horse Fair', completed in 1857.

The cinema furthest from the Nene is the Empire theatre. On the same side of the road as the Empire was a dive, a coffee shop, the Blue Spot, much frequented by Teddy Boys and other low forms of pond life. The leading Ted later became Sarah's father-in-law, Michael, and in due course he also became a Rural Dean in the C.of E. I don't think this can be the place you mean. Ann says the health food shop/upstairs coffee shop now called Hardy's and almost opposite the Empire, could be the place. Strange coincidence if so, in that the lady you speak of could have been the wife of Stumpy Morgan who taught us (or in my case tried to teach us) chemistry. She owned the place, together with, I think, Shawl's Bakery on the Market Place. Hope this helps, but I feel that we're shooting all round the target.

Crowbard said...

Yep, still shooting though, I think there was a foot-path off Hill Street on one side of the Empire (perhaps not immediately beside it but running parallel to its sides) and the eatery I'm thinking of was on the left as you went along the path away from Hill Street. The take-away counter faced the door, turn right at the counter and the eatery was in front of you and went from front to the back of the building. The Kitchen and stores were behind counter taking up about a quarter of the ground-floor. (But I could be entirely mistaken). All this walking around Wisbech in my head has just reminded me of Ghost Alley, a far less sinister place than Scrimshire's passage.