23 February 2014


We have spent the last two weeks in frantic activity, turning out everything and turning our house into the show home that the agent wanted to see when the photos were taken for the website.  That's what you have to do to sell a house in the UK these days.


The kitchen before.

To say this has been blooming hard work is the understatement of the year.

(So far.)

kitchen after The kitchen after.

Our garage is full of the excess contents of the house that littered all the surfaces such as the kitchen worktops, bathroom and other furniture.  That’s after we had filled my dad’s garage and spare room with as much excess as we could get into the space available.

We do have an awful lot of stuff.  It’s tempting to just scoop it all up and take it to the charity shop or tip.  In reality, it represents so many chapters of our lives so far that we are painstakingly sifting through each cupboard and each drawer to inspect the contents and decide properly what we want to keep, what we can do without and what we can throw away.

It’s not easy.

We are in limbo, playing the waiting game.  We can’t move forward now until the house is sold and the money is in the bank.  This is not easy for a Sagittarian, whose main accomplishments do not include being patient.

Have a good week !!

7 February 2014



How many stamps come through your letterbox these days?  Not many I think.  Most of today’s post is franked and parcels usually have printed stickers on them. 


We both collected stamps as children, encouraged to do so by parents and attending stamp clubs at school.  I wonder how many children collect stamps these days.  Not many, I would guess.

About twenty years ago we were clearing out the loft and found our old stamp albums.  There was at the time a stamp shop in town so we went to have a word with the owner and find out if the stamps might be worth anything.  Instead we came out with a set of brand new albums and started to build a proper grown-up collection.

We haven’t collected seriously for a while now, largely because we have acquired all the easy ones and the gaps in our albums are too expensive to fill.


One of the things that makes a stamp worth collecting is the postmark.  The most sought after stamps often have something called a “circular date stamp” or CDS.  A stamp with wavy lines on it is still collectable, but much less desirable.

So how many stamps plop through your letterbox with a CDS on them?  Very, very few I think.  So it’s worthwhile saving them and, if you’re not interesting in stamp collecting yourself, pass them on to someone that is or give them to charity.  Charities love them. 


A nice stamp, now worthless because of the creases.

It is however, very important how you save them, preferably leaving them on a nice margin of paper so they can be removed carefully.  Above all, don’t just rip them off the envelope.  A damaged stamp, even if quite rare, is uncollectable and therefore worthless.


When I buy a stamp to post something, I try to be careful how I stick it on the envelope, and like to think that one day, this stamp might end up being a prized item in somebody’s stamp collection!

I was reminded of our long forgotten pastime the other day, when we moved our stamp albums and all the paraphernalia that goes with them ~ in the process of trying to make our house look like a show home. 

stamps4 About an evening’s worth of sorters.

I had almost forgotten my large box of “sorters”, something to settle down with on a cold winter’s evening when there’s nothing on the telly.  All of them have been given to me by people who have saved them from their letters and parcels.  I will sort them, keep some and pass the good ones on to charity ~ most charities accept them very gratefully and will have an address on their website showing where to send them.

So the next time you get a nice stamp through your letterbox, save it, don’t bin it ~ someone somewhere might just be very pleased to own it !!