Wales Antiques

This blog will from time to time complement my Wales Antiques Web Site and its printed companion. The guide is a developing listing of general suppliers of antiques and collectables in Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire, Carmarthenshire, Powys and beyond; it now including auctions and in the future specialist heritage related attractions. Over 23 years it has become an essential resource for anyone with an interest in buying and selling antiques and collectables in West Wales and Beyond. If you would like to know more visit the site here.

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  • The Root of Wild Madder: Chasing the History, Mystery and Lore of the Persian Carpet

    The Root of Wild Madder: Chasing the History, Mystery and Lore of the Persian Carpet by Brian Murphy

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    Moonraker by Ian Fleming

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Call the Doctorow I’m Going Crazy

Here’s a draft from 2011 that never made it to the blog…

If anyone were to take notice of my Now Reading Widget (you will find it in the left sidebar if you ARE interested) they might think I’ve stopped reading books. While not presently  up-to-date  it was my way of recording, for my own benefit, what books I had been reading.

Well the news is I haven’t stopped reading books; my ink-on-pulp consumption has slowed to a crawl it’s true (Patti Smith’s Just Kids being the only one since May that I can recall) however my e-reading has rocketed.

As someone with a relationship-denting number of books I would never have bet on me becoming an e-reader of books. Newspapers yes. Since acquiring a smart phone (no, not an iPhone) I’ve been taking the daily papers by phone with my morning cuppa since early in the year. The free (key word here) AG Newspapers app has been delivering all the UK and World dailies in one handy package since February. I can remember buying a newspaper 2 or 3 times this year.

So I’m an e-reader. Next stop the Aldiko eBook app, again, free. In this case I’m thinking is there anything worth downloading that’s free? Well yes there is.

In a matter of moments I am downloading the works of John Buchan, Conan Doyle, the Greek Philosophers and amazingly the complete works of H P Lovecraft. After I work my way through the Lovecraft ouvre, it’s RL Stevenson, Will Catha (check out Death Comes to the Archbishop), Ayn Rand, bales of 50′s science fiction, Meade Faulkner, Ambrose Bierce, Jack London et al.

Bookshops can be fun and secondhand bookshops even funner but books that once furnished a room now threaten to fill the room.

So what happened? Simply put, I’ve been enjoying the company of a small hand-held device (insert lewd joke here).

You wouldnt expect a ‘phone to change your habits that much would you but it has.

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Making Coffee the Harry Palmer Way

While stumbling about the internet looking for info on the magnificently retro Russell Hobbs brushed stainless steel coffee percolator, I found the  the Harry Palmer Movie site.
I’d had it in mind that Deighton had give is then un-named anti-hero some fancy-dan device for brewing his coffee. I was nearly right. It seems that the executive producer had put together a product placement deal to promote the Insta-Brewer, a rather nasty looking cafetiere and it features rather prominently in The Ipcress File.

So apart from learning that Deighton taught Caine how to crack an egg I learnt that my vintage Russell Hobbs Model 3008 looks cooler than an Insta-Brewer. And it makes damn fine coffee.

8eb541e50b7c38c36029d991aaa9b672 Making Coffee the Harry Palmer Way

The Longest Crawl Christmas Promotion

As far as I’m aware I appear in three books pseudonymously. In Mr Ian Marchant’s The Longest Crawl and Parallel Lines: Or, Journeys on the Railway of Dreams I appear under my ‘punk’ name, as photographer Perry Venus (a not very funny spoonerism) and in Real Aberystwyth I get to be the even less imaginative ‘Steve’.

For the Longest Crawl we were privileged to be guided around Lampeter’s Pubs by the then Mayor, Mr Hag Harris; and although this is not a picture of himself it does remind me of a rather jolly evening.

f7aee0394fc428035fe8cef93532e744 The Longest Crawl Christmas Promotion

Mythologised, if not immortalised, in print, and now digitalised by Whole Story Audio Books on the CD reading of The Longest Crawl.

As their Press Release so succinctly puts it;

Whole Story Audio Books – publishers of unabridged audio books – are offering The Longest Crawl for under £20 as part of their special Christmas promotion. Visit for details.
84721c6b786d927e47554bda762a6a22 The Longest Crawl Christmas Promotion

b9d76f0b639c9decafcbdb1c3528eb1b The Longest Crawl Christmas Promotion6668e11e618a8f64dbe543f4936dabab The Longest Crawl Christmas Promotion418a2532df3ed31d15fa10a874f40059 The Longest Crawl Christmas Promotion

Monique Roffey: Reviews

I’ve no idea what happened to Monique Roffey’s  Not the Booker Prize nomination; after the Guardian-style man-bags at ten paces hoo-haa there in the summer I daren’t go back.*

That aside The White Woman on the Green Bicycle has gathered some excellent reviews and I recently updated her web pages with some choice quotes from them, so if you are inclined you can go and see what people are saying here.

bc9187ad9fd89590271f4fb109db101f Monique Roffey: Reviews

*Well I have had a peek now and she got a very creditable 30 nominations but sadly not enough for the final six.

Photo: Niall Griffiths and the Druid's Inn Goginan

Most weeks I vow to organise my photo archive. And most weeks I abjure that vow. But while engaged in the preliminaries I usually come across images I’ve made that excite me still.

This one from 2006 works very well as a photograph. It’s a black and white conversion from a RAW file and it captures something of a moment. The image depicts two writers; in the foreground Niall Griffiths and in the mirror Ian Marchant who was interviewing Niall in his favourite Mid Wales boozer, the Druids Inn , at Goginan, Ceredigion.

I like particularly the soft diffused evening light through the window.

2570132961b70f0305706515ea01a070 Photo: Niall Griffiths and the Druids Inn Goginan

I include a link here to Niall’s excellent non-fiction book Real Aberystwyth; the pub, though not the photograph, is featured therein.

418a2532df3ed31d15fa10a874f40059 Photo: Niall Griffiths and the Druids Inn Goginan

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