Saturday 21 December 2019

Finding Bottles, Nearly Getting Stuck, and Being Told Off

I spent part of yesterday afternoon visiting the foreshore again. I went back to a place I went last week that Andy and I always used to go to, as it is easy to get down there. Last week when I went I found some good things so thought I would try again. It had rained all morning and then stopped by the time I was there. It was beautiful light and there was lots of lovely mud!

 I think this is lino.
 No idea what this is but it looks like a grin.
I am pretty careful where I tread and test it out before committing my weight, but every so often, from one step to the next, it can be firm mud, then really deep.
 Just to the right of this picture was like that. On the left, on the path, there was a little security office, or something of that sort. There was a man up there, on his phone, watching me. I went after an interesting looking thing, and my foot sank quite far, and it took a moment to regain my balance and pull it out of the mud. As I walked back up to the pebbly part of the shore, he said, in a strong Russian ( I think!) accent, "It is very dangerous what you are doing." I said it was alright, and he then said, "If you get stuck in the mud, there is no one to help you. I advise that you go back up there and leave." I said something placatory and headed back where I was going anyway. I found it a bit aggravating to be told off, but I suppose he was right. I couldn't be bothered to explain that I am actually quite a careful person and took care of where to step etc. He was only trying to be helpful. I did the same thing further up the beach but luckily he didn't see me! I think the worst that would have happened on both occasions would have been that I lost my welly and got a very muddy foot. The danger I am more concerned about is that I slip over and fall on something sharp. There are a lot of pieces of metal sticking out of the mud, so I am very careful around those. 

 Someone had enough of their flat screen T.V.!
 I love seeing anchors on the shore.
 Abandoned shoe!
By the time I was about to leave, the weather had changed again. It got really dark and then absolutely tipped it down! I was already very muddy, and then I got completely soaked. I quite enjoyed being on the beach in heavy rain. It was very dramatic. The lights of the Thames Barrier are twinkling in the distance.
Last week I found, amongst other things, a complete stoneware mustard pot, a milk bottle, and an enamel tobacco sign. Yesterday I found a complete stoneware bottle, another milk bottle, and some lovely pieces of pottery. I will put photos of them on at some point.

And finally, another anchor buried in the shingle. 

Friday 6 December 2019

Insulting Brick and a Room on the Beach

I had time for a quick visit to the foreshore today, in between taking stuff to the charity shop, removing the old silicone from the bath and doing other necessary but not fun stuff. In the charity shop, I saw the lovely Luna the cat, and she even sat on my lap for a five minute cuddle. She is 22 and a very sweet girl!

 I found a pair of hooks, near each other so probably from the same thing. I left them there. I can't bring home any more big stuff as there is no more room.
 Under this structure felt like a secret room. The old wooden supports are beautifully weathered.
 Looking back towards Greenwich. 
 I found a dinosaur stone. 
  Then the insulting brick.
 Which was just a smashed up version of this one. 
 The dinosaurs were getting bigger, so I thought I had better leave!
 Its a bit hard to see, but there is a red sailed barge going past. 
 I also found a piece of flint that I am sure has been worked. I don't want to get too excited, as I am probably wrong.

Football, Shopping and Where Trolleys go to Retire

Sounds glamorous doesn't it?!
On Wednesday I had planned to go to Sainsbury's after school. I had my purse and keys in my school bag and had parked the car near school at lunchtime. In the afternoon, I was asked if I could go with the girl's football team after school until 5.30 as they didn't have anyone else and all the other teachers were at a staff meeting. I was just the extra adult required for health and safety reasons. The team has been coached by one of the teaching assistants at school. She is also called Sarah, and is very nice. I didn't realise that she has a P.E. degree, and has been coaching the football teams. She is really good at it. I was so impressed with her, and the team. I had a lovely time! Luckily I had some left over coffee in my flask, and a few chocolate biscuits, which kept me going. The girls played two matches with a half hour break in between. The first was a 0-0 draw, and the second a 3-0 win. The sunset was beautiful.
 It took place at a sports ground about 25 minute's walk from school. (Uphill at a very fast pace!) There were about six schools there. It was the first meeting of the year. Once it got dark, it was freezing! I have not been that cold for a long time. Fun though.
 So, yesterday I had to go to Sainsbury's instead, as it was too late when I got home on Wednesday. I got there, got my trolley, went in and chose some bananas. Then I suddenly thought I had better check I had my purse, as it had been in my school bag the day before. It was not in my bag, so I had to go all the way home and back again. I was wandering round and had nearly finished. I picked up a Quiche for dinner as it is easy with salad. I put it in the trolley and moved on. As I was walking towards the salad section, a man came walked up to me and said, "Excuse me, you have got my trolley." I have never done that before! I think I blame tiredness!
This trolley on the foreshore has seen the last of its shopping trips, and now has a big swim twice a day in the Thames, sun or fog bathing the rest of the time.

Sunday 1 December 2019

Yesterday's Finds

The celery vase has become friends with the piece of fake celery I found when I started mudlarking. They are happy together. 
 Not sure what this is. It is brass and has cogs. I think it is some kind of lock.

 Same goes for this. It is very thin copper which makes me think it is not plumbing related. (It is just copper pipe-I asked on Instagram. The more interesting answer was the Tin Man's finger! Oh well.) 
This bottle bottom is huge and beautiful. It has a bubble or two in the glass, one of which you can feel.
 I was glad that whoever manufactured these decided to let people know their purpose. 
 I found the piece of red clay pipe and the large bowl yesterday. The other pipe pieces are also from Rotherhithe on other visits.
The strange brick thing. 

Saturday 30 November 2019

Mudlarking Morning

I went to Rotherhithe this morning and it was just beautiful. There was lifting fog, with bright sunshine and it was freezing cold. I have been to this part of the foreshore a few times now, and have found a lot of small pieces of tin glazed pottery, also called Delft ware, lots of pipe stems, some very long. I found a really good piece of stem, embossed with the name of the maker, and I have found a few bowls. Quite a lot of shoe soles, and good driftwood. I looked at the map last night before I went, and there is a lot more of the foreshore to explore than I had realised. It is on a convex curve of the river and there are a good number of stairs. The first part of the beach near Surrey Docks farm is always quite busy with other mudlarkers and people just enjoying it. This morning I planned to walk around the corner that Andy and I reached a few weeks ago and see what was there. There is a clipper dock and once you are past that,  the shore becomes sandy and looks just like a seaside beach. There was nobody on that part and it was lovely. The combination of the cold and the sun was so invigorating. It was me and the gulls, with the occasional clipper or Thames rib boat passing by at great speed. As I walked on, the beach became increasingly covered in bricks. I found an interesting piece of what I think is a brick, but huge, with mica sparkling in it and lines impressed in almost a pattern. I have no idea how old it is but it is interesting. I decided to walk a little further and then go back to some nearer stairs and walk back to the car on the road, as by then my bag was pretty heavy! I still had time to go back down the other end and have a further look around. On the way to the steps, I found a lovely pipe bowl with a little stem. I will put some pictures of my finds tomorrow. I also picked up a brass object, with lots of little cogs inside, but quite rusty so I am not sure what that is either! In the bricky area I saw a piece of glass sticking out of the mud. I had a little dig and pulled out what I thought was a pressed glass vase. When I had washed it at home, I discovered the tiny word 'celery' impressed at the top-a celery vase! Usually, I just pick things up from the surface. But I have dug a few things out of the mud. The vase today, a nearly complete Chinese porcelain Batavia ware bowl, a pipe with some stem, and  a lovely bottle. None of them massively old, but it is very exciting to pull something out of the mud itself!