Thursday, December 20, 2012


One tiny corner of the Feira da Ladra, Lisbon
A recent trip to Lisbon took me up into the beautiful and crumbling Alfama district to the Thieves' Market - Feira da Ladra. The market is vast - hundreds of people gather to sell trinkets, clothes, rubbish, antiques and collectibles from cloths on the ground and from stalls. It takes hours to get around and there are bargains galore.

This is my personal haul:

Paperweight (€5), Buddha (€3), two tiny ceramic figures (€1)
I also got this silverplated WMF art deco ashtray for €1. The figa (pendant) on it is a Brazilian good luck charm which I had tried to get in Brazil in August and failed. Very happy to find one in Lisbon which my husband bought for me - aw!

WMF marking on back of ashtray
My daughter (age 3) bought a china Snow White doll for €2 at the market and a cute red handbag for the same price. My husband bought me a Christmas present so I have yet to see what it is. All in all, a fun and successful trawl. I have one regret: I didn't buy three tiny ceramic mermaids I saw. I had shopper confusion/fatigue by then. Bummer :(

Lisbon is a great shopping city. The main stores are reasonably priced (compared to Ireland) and they have some interiors gems such as Area. I drooled my way around this shop - would love to go back. I will, no doubt.

Friday, November 16, 2012


I stayed in Portlaoise last weekend. Our B&B was a lovely Georgian house and this teacup was one of a pair left for us to have our tea in. Pretty or what? It's from Aynsley.

We visited a magnificent antiques place - The Storeyard - I've never been anywhere quite like it. It's a big warehouse but it is sectioned off in themes (jewelry, ceramics, furniture etc.) and lots of the merchandise is laid out in passages and rooms. Totally fab. It even has its own café, Tynan's, that serves great meals and scrummy cakes. The place was a revelation to me - the highlight of my trip to Portlaoise.

I bought a goat skull for €25, which my Da mounted on a plaque for me. Love it.

Then he gave me these antlers which he had and they now live on my mantelpiece:

Here are some more pics to give a flavour of The Storeyard:

A Tynan's bun
What I really want...
Angel font

A beautiful version of The Three Graces

Saturday, October 20, 2012


A journalist in The Irish Times was lamenting last week that there are no bargains to be found in charity shops anymore. That may be so in parts of Dublin, but here in the Midlands there are still outrageous bargains to be found. I present today's finds, totalling €1.50, from two separate charity shops:
Owl trivet - 50 cent

Jar - 50 cent
Hand-knitted baby cardi for my daughter's favourite bunny, Patch - 50 cent

Thursday, July 12, 2012


It's not every day a friend gifts you a painting...

Empty Café - Pat Jourdan
...or your husband brings home purple flowers...

...thank you, both.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


Another monster bargain from my very favourite local charity shop. An EPNS dish from Elkington, Mason and Company for 50 cent. Dating from 1853. I had fun looking up the hallmarks on this excellent site: Silver Collection.