Well, this week is THE week of Cheltenham's year with the Cheltenham Festival taking place from Tuesday to Friday. Everyone remotely interested in horse racing has their eye on the sporting pages of the newspapers, and the really serious punters flock to Cheltenham on Monday, booking all the rooms in all the hotels and B&Bs until Saturday ... and all the prices are doubled.
Me? Well I decided I needed to attend a Textiles Auction in Cheltenham and tried to book overnight accommodation for Pauley and me so that I could take my time looking through all the Lots yesterday, we could have an evening away from home and treat it as a holiday, and then I could spend several happy hours in the saleroom today. Unbelievably there was a cancellation at one B&B and it was at that point (doh!) that I realised it was Cheltenham Festival Week. We were offered a room which was going to cost us 3 figures. But bless him ... Pauley said 'book it'. So I did. We rarely have holidays, so we decided we'd work on favourite uncle's maxim of one night away is equal to one week's holiday, 2 nights away equals a fortnight and so on ... So, we had a week's holiday yesterday and today, and had a great time!
Our B&B was taken over by the racing fraternity - 2 from Yorkshire, one from Blackpool, one from Darlington, one from Somerset and a few others who we didn't get to speak to. Last evening we sat in the sitting room/(honesty) bar with an amazing group of men gearing themselves up for a great week's racing. They couldn't believe we had gone to Cheltenham for anything other than the racing, but at least I was able to tell them that I once worked for the Clerk of the Course of Nottingham Racecourse. And we were able to throw in the odd comment about Arkle, Desert Orchid, and some jockeys' and trainers' names. Despite being quite inebriated after an evening 'on the town', they were charming ... and hilarious ... and we stayed up listening to their views on the going, racing form and the likely winners until nearly 1.00 am. We certainly crammed a week into last night, visiting all the above places through listening to their dialects. I became 'bonny lass' which made me smile, and Pauley was even 'bonny lad' once or twice. One of them was referred to as 'big man' and occasionally a Christian name was thrown in. I have to say that last evening was the best part of the 'holiday'.
I was successful on half a dozen Lots today, but missed out on several that I was keen on because prices went too high. There was a lot of vintage costume for sale and I saw a couple of dealers I knew. The early part of the sale consisted of the most amazing collection of WMF silver and glass art nouveau candlesticks, table centres, pin trays, inkwells, vases, coffee sets, claret jugs and so on. I have never seen so many pieces together and they were superb. I just wish I had a bottomless money pit to buy, buy, buy. Sadly, I don't, and so I just watched with envy as bids rolled in and items sold.
So, after a very blowy journey down the M5 this afternoon, we're back home and the sitting room floor is once again littered with doylies, lace, napkins and all things vintage. I'll hopefully take some photos of the sweetheart pincushion and the pincushion shell box tomorrow once I've had a good night's sleep and my energy is restored!!