Saturday, 14 February 2009


Today we went to an auction. There is an auction barn (literally an old barn) about 3 minutes from our house; we were told about it way back when we took the newcomers bus tour; they have an auction every Saturday, and we have never been until today.
For those who don't know me well, this may not sound like a big deal. But when we lived in Texas we had developed quite a *thing* for going to auctions. There was the local twice-monthly, the seasonal weekly, and all the special event auctions. Consignment, police impound, store liquidation... We were there. We got to know the auctioneers and the customers by name, and they knew us and our children. And then we moved, and we stopped going to auctions. I'm kind of hoping we haven't started a new regular habit, but it *was* a lot of fun.

The auction starts at 10; we arrived at 9:30 for the viewing. Bob and I went in to scope it out; we walked all around and wrote down some items we were interested in, and then Bob walked me back to the car. We decided, since it was cold in the barn, and there were no chairs, to come up with a game plan.
(Am I the only one who hates to make a list with less than three items? I'm still trying to think of a third reason!)
I was to take the children to a playground for awhile, and then come back and check on Bob. When we started the car, the low fuel light came on, so I decided to get gas first. Onto the base for gas, and then to the playground. I had my camera with me and took about 100 pictures of the children. They had lots of fun. After at least an hour I herded them back to the van. We stopped by Burger King for 12 plain cheeseburgers. The order-taker asked 3 times if I really wanted 12. Then back to the barn, where I left the children to eat and watch a movie in the van while I took Bob his burgers. He was doing well, but his feet were cold, and it would be awhile longer.
So I took the children to the house and we just hung out for about an hour and then went back again. I haven't mentioned yet the mud. The driveway in and out of the auction site is dirt (no gravel) and with the recent snows, it is really gooey sloppy mud. So every time in and out we got more mud on the car, on my shoes (and once again I'm looking for a third muddy item!). Every time I worried more about getting stuck in the mud. Bob was freezing, and the auction didn't have much longer to go, so I stayed with him (the children, again, watching movies in the van). I was surprised (having watched British auctions on TV) to find the auctioneer pretty personable, making comments about some of the items and their descriptions.
It was finally over about 2:00. Their credit card machine was down, so we went into the village to get money from an ATM (or Hole in the Wall as they are called here). The first one didn't "recognize" my card. The second one took a moment to "deal with" my request, and then gave me the money. So we went BACK to the barn, paid, collected the small items, took them home. Unloaded the van, folded the seats down, and Bob went back again. I stayed outside with the children, tidying up and watching them play.

So, what did we buy?

A sundial with a French inscription, dated 1805
A Book of Common Prayer (church of England), dated 1745
flower pots
bicycle for Naysha
bicycle for Cedwryck
Dremel tool
Dremel tool accessory set
two chests of drawers and a mirror (came all together, for 3 GBP!)
And... drumroll, please... a solid oak dining table. I am very pleased with it, and the price we paid for it. No chairs. There were some chairs I considered, but they went a little high.

Aunty JC, you better send me your list - I saw a couple of doggy things there. The only thing with a Scottie on it was a whiskey advertising pitcher.

When we finally got all home we put the babies to bed and sat around warming up and falling asleep. I got going at 4pm to make omelets (no, not the fruity ones) and coffee cake for dinner. Yumm.
The children are always wanting our main course to be a surprise for someone. Yesterday, as Bob was sitting down at the table he "guessed" what the meal was going to be and Cedwryck started crying that the surprise was ruined. So today when someone mentioned a surprise, I stuck with it. No one knows what we had for dinner; it is still a surprise. We had surprise yellow stuff and surprise crumbly stuff. It tasted good; that's what matters. :-) (Now I'm wishing I was a good writer so that I could make that part as funny as it was in real life. Oh well.)

Now my fingers are sore and you know what we did today. Fair trade?


Anonymous said...

Wow! chests and mirror for 3GBP! and a sundial! Do you know that I like sundials? :) And an oak table -quite a haul!

I worked outside Friday -- beautiful day, about 70 degrees F. Then Sat. it barely got past 40 plus damp and rainy. Hope your garden does well.

Anonymous said...

How exciting you were able to go to the auction and wow, all you got...wonderful! My first guess on the pitcher is - Blackie and Whitie (Scotties) advertising scotch whiskey, made in England. Very common unless it happened to be an old one, then not so common here. I love good auctions. I'll work on the list.jc

MamaOlive said...

Mom, I didn't know you were into sundials. I like them, too. The chests are a little run down, but it can't be worse than those plastic things we were considering for $45. The table is nice.
Wow, I haven't seen 70 (outside) for months. Lots of damp and rainy, though. ;-)

JC, I didn't look at the pitcher too closely since we're generally not whiskey-type people. :-D You are probably right.