Friday, 6 June 2014

Frivolous Friday: An English Obsession . . . Antique Roadshows

One of the most fascinating things about moving to a new country is learning the foibles and idiosyncrasies of one's hosts. And trust me, the English have plenty of those. But one of the quaintest I've discovered is the obsession with antique fairs, roadshows and TV programmes about antique roadshows and fairs. 

Now, in all truth, I never watch TV – it cuts into valuable reading/blogging/writing time – but I admit to being a little captivated by the box when we first arrived in the UK. (In my defence, it was winter . . .) 

So imagine my surprise when I discovered that just about every channel had at least one antique-hunting-buying-selling programme. I was enthralled for a time. 

The kids rolled their eyes every time they walked into the lounge to see me – the mother they thought they knew – watching yet another couple of bargain hunters scratching through piles of junk at an antique flea market.

Then our very own antique flea market came to town and Andrew and I couldn't resist a visit. 

Elbowing pasts at least two camera crews filming eagle-eyed bargain hunters sporting t-shirts displaying the TV programme they represented, we carved a path through miles and miles and miles (did I mention it was miles?) of bric-a-brac. 

After the first hall I was satiated. I've never seen so many tin boxes, kitsch porcelains, glitzy costume jewelry and child-worn toys under one roof. And this was just the start.

Andrew had to keep reorientating me as we left one hall and stumbled to the next. I was like one of those whales who loses its sonar and ends up beached in the shallows. I kept wanting to go back the way I came . . . I swear, every thing just looked the same and my senses were jangling.

The visit did serve one useful purpose, though . . . it cured my obsession for antique auctioneering programmes on TV. With nothing left to watch, I now do what I was designed to do – read. So much more satisfying.

Who would actually pay good money for this stuff?

Coffin brasses?
Yup. The seller assure me they'd never actually been used . . . 

Who still collects printer's trays?
Or thimbles?
The final word in kitch?

Happy weekend all from a gloriously sunny Lincolnshire. Long may the sunshine last!


P.S. Comments always appreciated. 
P.P.S They stop me feeling as if I'm writing into the great void. . . 

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