Monday, September 7

Holiday Weekend Flea Market Mishmash

Here in the U.S. it's the last day of a 3-day holiday called "Labor Day Weekend". Originally Labor Day was set aside to give working Americans a national day off from laboring, but over time it's evolved into a long weekend and summer's last hurrah. Most of my neighbors have gone off to nearby lakes for one last round of water skiing or sunburn, or to family reunions in local parks.

Not being a water sportster and having no reunion to attend, I took a vacation from posting to catch up on reading (Vincent Starrett's The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes), download book writing software (yWriter), and hit a few yard sales.

Alas, several boot sales offered nothing I couldn't live without, but Goodwill was a goldmine. Ever since Antiques Roadshow taught us what looks like junk may not be junk, I always check GW's art section for hidden treasure.

Most days, the prints and "paintings" on offer really are junk, so I was pleasantly surprised Saturday to find half a dozen framed prints I simply had to have. Plus a framed reproduction of the unknown girl in Rembrandt's "Girl At A Window 1645". That's her at the beginning of the post...the section in my copy, that is.

The entire painting from Dulwich Picture Gallery's website:

Trust me, if my copy is the least bit true to the original, these photos don't do her justice. The colors are more vibrant, more Titian; her expression is much more intense. Something in her eyes at once draws you and makes it hard to look away, perhaps the reason "Girl" is one of the Dulwich's most popular paintings.

But if you visit the Dulwich in the next twelve months, don't plan to see "Girl". She left the gallery on the 3rd September for a year-long tour:
- 23 Sep 2009 > 31 January 2010: Tate Britain, London
- 9 March 2010 > 30 May 2010: Frick Collection, New York
- 21 June 2010 > 19 Sep 2010: Museo del Prado, Madrid

Denis Lipman of England Rents, Rants & Raves has published his first book called A Yank Back To England: A Prodigal Tourist Returns.

The "plot": Englishman goes to America, acquires an American wife, brings her back to England to introduce her to the wonders of the country of his birth.

If the book is as funny as Denis's posts on ERR&R, it should be an instant bestseller! More about the book here.

When not writing blogs and books and playing tour guide, Denis dabbles in gourmet cooking.

His Peppery Cold Watercress Soup sounds heavenly on a hot day. I wasn't aware watercress was good for anything but crustless sandwiches at tea time. Nor would I think of diced pears as a garnish, but Denis did, and the result looks quite tasty, doesn't it?

Frances (Mrs. Prodigal Tourist) has her own blog, btw, called A Slide of Life which features photos from her travels with and without Mr. PT.

The church at left is from her post about a trip to Klagenfurt, Austria.

On the subject of books and traveling, many thanks to Here Be Dragons for reminding us of books that travel. was the inspiration of Ron Hornbaker and wife Kaori back in 2001. The idea is simple: attach a BookCrossing label inside a book you no longer care for, register the book at BC's website, then leave the book in a public place to be picked up by a stranger, who hopefully will log the location at BC before passing it on in the same manner. Or, as in the case of Here Be Dragon's friend, mailing the book to another bookcrosser. Either way, you can then track the book's travels.

Like people, some books never leave the town in which they were "born" (purchased), others travel thousands of miles. Years ago, I purchased a used book that had a BookCrossing label, and am now embarrassed to admit that I gave it away without recording its location at BookCrossing.

Registration is free, as is recording your location when you come into possession of a BC-registered book. However, labels from BC to affix to books you're passing on are not free, but can be purchased in packs. Still, all in all, a wonderful idea and eco-friendly!

Still hoping someone can identify the building behind these men...

Taken somewhere in England in 1944-45.
The two fellows at left were American airmen stationed
at Old Buckenham Airfield, near Attleborough, Norfolk.

And last but not least, for Agatha Christie fans,
a few trips aboard the Orient Express.

Have a great week!

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willow said...

I always stop at garage sales and pop into the Goodwill store hoping I will someday find that Antiques Roadshow treasure. Often I pick up a little something that pleases me, just because.

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pinkpackrat said...

congratulations on your new artwork-- flea markets are the best. Also, thanks for reminding me about Book Crossing-- love this post all the way around:-)

Maria Berg said...

Interesting, my husband is doing some thning that he is changing book with other pepole.
You have a look if you want, MB

The Prodigal Tourist said...

Thank you so much for the kind words about our blogs and my book! Really appreciate it--and so pleased you enjoy the posts! Did you try the soup? We're thinking holiday cooking now... (We like your thoughts about the bestseller...fingers crossed, thanks much!)