I can’t actually recall the last time it rained (although I know it was heavy as the watermarks in our bedroom became a great deal more alarming!) and the swallows are swooping and chirping to each other as the sun finally heads down. There’s a bit of a breeze -it is Aberdeenshire after all- but pop up a windbreak and all is well! We were given some rhubarb by the farmer’s wife (apparently it is growing wild at some secret location along the Dee) which I made into rhubarb fool with lots of home made custard and whipped cream. I had intended to photograph the fool sitting prettily in its wine glasses but, alas; we scoffed it before I had the chance. The tangy rhubarb and creamy custard kicked off the spring season very nicely.
Also in the cottage life department: the holz hausen woodpile, now struck from the ‘to do’ list emphatically by Oli. I think it looks great and the wood in it is seasoning much more rapidly than usual:
The logs on top are bark side up to form a sort of rain hat!
We had thought about going away camping this weekend, but the thought of sleeping on the ground when 34 weeks pregnant put me off rather. Plus it would mean missing the annual Banchory Scout jumble sale, which the tiny neon signs pounded into a grass verge assured me would be THE BEST EVER.
I had been forewarned that there would be queue, and so we arrived a good 20 minutes before opening at 10am to assure ourselves of a good chance at the best bargains. Quite the schoolgirl error. There had apparently been people there since 7am and the queue of patient bargain hunters clutching their reusable grocery bags snaked back about 70 metres past the caravan park and tennis courts. Bemused caravanners gave us all querulous glances as they strolled out for papers and ice creams and I must admit I felt ridiculous waiting for a jumble sale! But we were not disappointed. I cannot vouch for it being THE BEST EVER Scout sale, as it was my first one, but it was by far and away THE BEST EVER jumble sale I have ever been to.
I (stupidly) go to these events with a mental list of what I want or need and of course am always let down. The beauty of the second hand bargain is finding something you weren’t expecting but really need, or really love. We wanted a standard lamp for Solomon’s room and a Stokke Tripp Trapp high chair for baby number 2. Sol has one that belonged to my mother in law and they really are fantastic as they can be adjusted to suit the baby right up until adulthood. A bit too good in honesty, as if you have a second child you need to fork out the £139 for another one.
We paid our £1 entrance fee and immediately spotted a standard lamp for which we paid £4. I was feeling very pleased and smug and think it looks lovely by the big armchair in his reading corner. It definitely needs a new shade but the current one isn’t too terrible:
Aside from feeling smug at the lamp purchase I was also feeling utterly overwhelmed at the whole scene: packed with people furiously and busily browsing the outside stacks of furniture, bicycles, garden equipment, sports goods, and toys, we were informed of a one-way system inside the hall to prevent overcrowding. Small boys in yellow t shirts and scarves scampered about getting high on sweeties and vowing they were ‘definitely not going to have another bacon sandwich until 11 o’clock.’ A charming scout leader told us they made £13,000 last year. It. Was. Mental.
Then we turned a corner round some wardrobes and brass double bedsteads and came face to face with a Stokke Tripp Trapp. Missing one of its platforms and in need of a good clean, we bought it as quickly as was seemly for £3. Unbelievable!
This was followed by a bevelled edge fan mirror for £5 and some carving skis in good condition for -after much discussion- £10. They are no longer made but Oli looked them up online and found them for £300 new. It was too crazy in the main hall -one-way system gone utterly to pot- to really get a look-in at the clothes, linen or bric-a-brac. I just kept thinking ‘Antiques Roadshow! I bought it at a jumble sale for 50p! I didn’t know they were diamonds!’ but alas all the jostling and bumping was giving me braxton hicks contractions and Oli and Sol looked terrified at the general melee. We called it a day and retired to the sunny garden of some friends to regale them with tales of our bargains and drink beer and barbecue in the sunshine. Can’t wait for next year- Oli says he is going to save up!
Speaking of Oli it is his birthday today- as I type he is patiently returning a hysterical toddler to bed time and time again but a big slice of cake and a cup of tea await. Happy Birthday my love!