Doddington Hall and the Antiques Road Trip

At around 18:00 every evening, my husband comes home from work and takes off for the council pool with the children. Come rain, come shine. No weather bothers them, as long as they get to be in water. I do NOT go swim at that hour! The sun no longer is out to heat up the pool water, nor does it shine so hard that I am perspiring. I stay home, unless it is a Saturday and we go in the middle of the day. Which is something D. does not like, since he does not want anyone else in the exercise lane of the pool, and T. prefers going late when hardly anyone is in the pool for the same reason plus there is fewer children for our children to get in to fights with. Because all children at the pool fight over big “toys” in the pool, to sit on, jump from etc. And some children, just like at the playground, seem to go there just to find someone to pick a fight with. That is why, I do not go alone with the children earlier in the day, when it would have been nice to cool off. Because T. speaks English with the children, the retards of this village, avoid him. They are NOT going to try to talk English to him. Nor will they ball him out for having awful children, in Swedish, since they assume he will not understand anyway. But me. That is another matter. I speak Swedish with the children, so they come and bite my head off with a worse than better than thou attitude. So much one would want them napalmed on the spot!!! The things, especially mothers in their 40s, have screamed at me! They go to the pool in fancy hairdos and make up and show how good parents they are since they scream at me. They of course have to prove themselves to be such since they always work night and day. At the pool the chance to prove themselves suddenly opens up, when their sweet angels get in to brawls. What has happened to people in Sweden? What makes people think that social rules no longer apply? Or is it this age group, who feels that they by age are now beyond social rules and can do as they please? Age gives privileges? They even stand up and defend their big fat teenagers against that wild 10-year-old boy or the wild 7-year-old. Telling their awful mother who should have known better than bringing such children to the pool, one thing and another. The more they rail in to me, the better they feel about themselves!!!

No, I stay home, so that those cows can give my family dirty looks, but nothing more. And I have discovered a fun TV program to watch while they are gone. The Antique Road Trip, where two antique experts or even auctioneers, travel around Britain in vintage cars, buying antiques. They start each week with a new couple and they each have 200 pounds to spend. They stop in little villages and towns, on a stretch of country, in one of the shires. It seems like they are allowed to make as many or as few purchases as they like. And boy do they haggle over the prices. I could never do something like that. Today this woman wanted 225 pounds for a sugar shaker in silver filigree with a blue glass inside of it. (Sorry, difficult to describe things.) Charlie something, haggled and walked out with having paid 70 pounds for it! At the end of the program, they arrive at an auction house and they sell all their items there. Sometimes at a loss, sometimes they earn lots. And that is where the competition comes in, to see who has won that episode, and at the end of the week, you have a final winner.

I like the program because you get to see some of the most amazing items. And I always sit wondering why people go to auctions, when they could have gone to the antique markets or shops, and bought the items, much cheaper. Like the man who walked away having paid 80 pounds for a 1918 Trench Watch with a spring that did not work, when the expert Paul had bought it for 11 pounds! His fellow competitor, Tom, made some bad purchases though. He always fell for jewelry which he paid an arm and a leg for, and then women or men, walked off with them for 10-20 pounds. THEN it was better buying the jewelry at auction than in the shops!!!

imageToday, the antiques bought were not the most interesting items on the show though, but the Elizabethan country house Doddington Hall. Beautiful house which has always been in private ownership, the show said. The current owner, showed the older Charlie competitor around, and she showed the most amazing catalogue an ancestor had made. He loved buying tea cups, it seemed, and every time he bought a new one for his collection, he painted it in this sort of diary, always on the left sides, and wrote the details of the purchase on the right side of the spread. Just beautiful artwork! Funnier to have than the actual cups, in my view! Unfortunately, I can’t find any pictures at all, from what she showed Charlie. Sad that they have not put it up on the internet.

She then took him to a funny room the family had always called the forgotten room. Things they did not know what to do with, things they did not need anymore but did not want to throw away. He loved the room and so did I! She took out the funniest looking vacuum cleaner which must have been the first on the market. It looked like one of those things you pump up an air mattress with! Charlie laughed and so did I, because it would have been a nightmare even to vacuum one room with one of those things. What a pity I can’t find a photo of that either! And she showed a pair of Victorian or Edwardian roller skates. Think, that they even dared to get on one of those things! Scarier than being on ice skates, and you tied them on your feet. No picture I found on the internet matched what she showed and she assured him, that she had never tried them, since she was sure they would kill her.

I have no idea if they let you see all those funny and quirky items, they showed on the TV-program, if you go for a visit, but if they do, it sure would be a funny place to visit. I actually went in on their home page and it seems to be a quite large enterprise. A big garden, which looked just lovely on the photos, and a nice shop selling all sort of foods, clothes and interior design things. I know what I would have looked for: A copy of that catalogue with the hand painted teacups on every other page!  One of these days, maybe when the boys are older and wiser, I would like to go on a road trip to Britain and drive around and see all the fantastic gardens and country houses, I have dreamt of visiting and have on a mental wish list. Like Vita Sackville-West’s white garden in Kent in full bloom, and …

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2 responses to “Doddington Hall and the Antiques Road Trip

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