Friday, 11 March 2011

There are bargains to be had...

This morning I woke to snow...and lots of it.

Ok, so it was expected but I didn't quite think that there would be tons of the stuff, there was so much that we thought that perhaps the schools would shut. To make my morning more exciting, when I carefully drove home my poor knackered old car managed to skid while turning a corner. No biggie, I'm used to driving in horrible conditions, but when your car decides it wants try a 360 spin onto the opposite side of the road when the car coming towards you decides not to slow down...well lets just say it's a shock to the system! Don't they know how to slow down in snow??. But hey ho, my driving skills would have delighted the Top Gear team as I controlled the skid and resumed my onward journey with nary a finger to the offending oncoming traffic.

As you'll all be aware by now, the news that greeted me when I popped on the radio was somewhat more earth shattering. As I sat glued to the screen of my computer the bbc news streamed through images of a devastated Japan and I thought that perhaps I shouldn't update this blog in quite the frivolous way I had intended. Then I saw footage of the people of that great nation just carrying on as usual and thought, "hell, why not?". So here is the post I'd planned ....ladies and gentlebeans I give you the cheery world of bargains (subtitled How to spend less than a tenner and have pretty things to look at)

Last week a rare occurence happened in Caithness...there was a car boot sale. We do have them every now and then, and being honest for the most part they are just jumble sales with not a car nor a boot to be seen. Tat in all shapes and sizes is there for the taking, usually not being taken by me. However, there has been a tat shaped gap in my life since the local auctions shut down a few years ago, so with darling daughter in tow I decided to make a day of it. First to the car booty, then for lunch (Houstons in Wick do a mean mince pie and chips), then a quick wander around the charity shops in the vast metropolis of Wick.

First off the car boot sale (when exactly did people stop calling them jumble sales?). As I walked around the hall there were stalls selling, lets be honest, total rubbish. But the first stall had some pretty shiny things on it. I saw a ring (as did d. dtr) but walked on nevertheless. The mother-in-law chose this time to phone me from a PROPER shop offering to entice me with a new hoover...but I dodged that one admirably. Anyway, after buying a book dated 1799 for less than a fiver I went back to the first stall...and found a ring, a bit grubby looking but chunky and sparkly. I bought it along with a crystal bracelet that needs a new clasp. This my dears is the ring...

Ok, its not a great photo but it is quite heavy and is copper coloured. I have no idea what its made of, it may even be copper, but for some strange reason this one doesn't turn my finger green...usually I only have to look at cheap jewellery for my fingers to turn a lovely zombie green colour. A snip at 20p...yes twenty whole pence! Bargain. (If you're wondering the bracelet cost me the princely sum of 50p). It's very pretty on...I'd show you a picture but my gnarled old fingers would put you off your coffee.

So, happy with cheap purchases, we stopped for a very unhealthy lunch and a mooch around the tat shops. I was actually quite shocked by the prices in the charity shops...genuine pieces of pottery tat at antique shop prices. No thanks, I'll go to an antique shop.

BUT.....I did bag a second bargain of the day....

Pretty isnt it? I've been after a martini glass for ages, but I wanted to find "The One". This is it..I don't think its old, but the gold is in perfect condition and the glass has a nice weight to it. Not bad for 10p. read right...ten of the queen's pennies.

So I managed to have a fab day out with the ever suffering daughter and my purchases cost me the grand old sum of £4-80. I'd put up a picture of the book but you'd probably die of boredom! The lunch...well that's another thing altogether, but sometimes you just HAVE to have lunch out.

As a parting shot, to show that sometimes I do pay more for things, I managed to buy this about a month ago...

It's a tiny little cameo...the orange stone is a real stone (goodness knows what stone...carnelian perhaps?) and the black stone may just be jet. I know nothing about this brooch though, it's tiny, the pin and chain appear to be gold but the metal of the main thing is strange. I've looked at it under my eyeglass and it looks as though someone has tested the bottom corner as it's slightly me it looks like coated silver, perhaps silver gilt? It does have age to it, but could probably be dated anytime from late Victorian onwards. However I honestly dont care what its made of and how old it is, it's really pretty. And cost me £6. Yes, I splashed out on this one!

And now I'm going to stop boring you with inane twaddle... there's a cheap 1920's cocktail ring on ebay!


  1. I love the ring AND the glass AND the cameo.

    Nice haul lovely - glad you're okay after your snow/driving incident x

  2. Ooh, I love bargains like that - well done you :)

  3. thanks you two :D
    I dont very often nab bargains...up here there are few to be had. The ring is really pretty and I shall now try to make the perfect martini :)

    Didnt get the cocktail ring though...ended up not being my side of cheap!