the adventures continue–these involve a wildebeest

The last couple of days have been a blast. We departed the ICCA hotel, and headed towards London Victoria Station, as this would be a good locale for the next few days.

Before we changed hotels (still located in the Marylebone area) we had discovered Blandford Street; a couple of blocks which had several restaurants worth trying. And, we did get to eat at three of them. Of the three, my personal favorite was "M", where I had decided to try the Wildebeest filet for dinner. It arrived, and I was NOT disappointed. YUM!

Please, all vegetarian members avert your eyes

Yesterday we hopped on a train to meet up with CB and Deborah. Their house is charming, their gardens lovely, and the corkscrews were plentiful. Interestingly, as the cases of corkscrews came out, I saw several that used to be in my collection. Oh, the ones that got away.

Lunch was at a local pub–walking distance from their place

This was followed by a trip to Alf’s house, followed by a brisk walk to the shore, and fish and chips!

Today we are off on a walking adventure–more later!

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Gala, Corkscrew Sales, the end of the meetings, and the Henshall plaque.

Last night the ICCA’ers started the morning at the London Eye, which was followed by lunch at Champagne Charlie’s. After a brief bus ride, we were back at the hotel and preparations for the auction/buy and sell were fast and furious. I managed to sell 6 of the 7 items that I brought for the sale, and I actually bought something!

Following the auction, we had the annual AGM. This was followed by a quick costume change (we didn’t actually wear costumes) as we were heading for a boat ride on the Thames where we would have the ICCA punch (this is always prepared by a member designated the previous year in a punch bowl decorated with corkscrews). This year it was Pimm’s, Champagne, and a little bit of fruit, it was quite yummy.

The punch was followed by dinner, dancing, and a return back to the hotel (which was followed by several of us ending up in the bar).

And, so the meeting is officially over. We will stay in London for the next week or so, and hopefully we will manage to pick up a corkscrew or two. It has been a great time with lots of old friends, and some new ones as well.

We have given up the search for the camera, and will go pick up another one. So…perhaps, there will be pictures soon–although they won’t be of the meeting itself.

On another corkscrew note, it seems the Reverend Henshall continues to make news…
check it out!

and the adventures continue (still without a camera)

The ICCA adventures continued yesterday; Windsor Castle, Salisbury Cathedral*, Stonehenge, and dinner at the Hind’s Head in Bray. A long day filled with laughter, a few corkscrews, and a joke or two.

*While we were supposed to be boarding the coach for the next stop, I spotted an antique shop on the corner and headed over quickly–followed by another ICCA’er. I did keep an eye on the bus to make sure they weren’t ready to leave, and darted inside. I made a quick scan of the cases, while my partner in crime asked for corkscrews at the desk. The clerk explained that she didn’t know of any, but I did see a small perfume. Nothing exciting, the small corkscrew was left behind, as we hightailed it back to the bus.

This morning starts with a trip to the London Eye, lunch at Champagne Charlies, and then the meeting begins. The AGM, Buy and Sell, and Auction; who knows what will turn up?

Still no camera…

slight delay in pictures being added

okay… so somewhere between the CCCC AGM and arriving at our new hotel, my camera has gone missing. We have called the various possible locations where it could have been left, but to no avail. Perhaps someone at the meeting picked it up unknowingly–thinking it was theirs.

Until the camera is retrieved/found/or another one is purchased, it suffices to say that the meetings thus far have been pretty awesome. Last night the food was excellent, the conversation entertaining, and we were introduced to the newest members of the ICCA.

This morning, the lovely and I are heading out for a run before getting ready for today’s events.

On a side note, my computer seems to be fine logging on to wireless, and I can receive email, but for some reason it will not let me send an email out. It is just odd!

More news as it happens, and pictures eventually (maybe).

CCCC AGM –and the ICCA Begins

The CCCC (Canadian Corkscrew Collectors Club) Annual meeting was a blast; great corkscrew conversations and unbelievable corkscrews to purchase (and trade). It was a wonderful time to reunite with old friends–and meet for the first time a couple of longtime e-corkscrewers.

During the buy and sell, I sold many, and bought none. I don’t know how that happened, but I am sure I will make up for it this coming week. Prior to the buy and sell, the lovely and I hit Portabello Road (with several other attendees) and there were countless pieces to purchase. I passed on a Twigg hidden underneath a table (with a high price) but did pick up a Lund rack with bone handle. Also, there were some little things; figural elephant, carriage key roundlet, etc.

But, back to the buy and sell at the meeting. If there was a rare corkscrew that you wanted, there was one available. Signed Henshalls, royal clubs, rare German mechanicals, Robert Jones’, Thomason variants… it was like being a kid in a candy store. Of course, knowing that the Ellis auction was coming up, there were even more corkscrews to purchase!!!

At the members auction, I did pick up a couple of nice things–pictures later. And, at the Ellis auction, I bid, and bid, and bid, and still didn’t win. Note to self; you need to have an increased corkscrew budget!

Dinner that night was at the RAF club, and a fabulous time was had by all.

The following morning was the AGM where appropriate kudos were given to the hosts, a brief overview was given regarding the Boston 2010 meeting, and the locale (Cologne, Germany) was decided upon for 2011.

Of all the events over the weekend, one of the most touching was the Mavis Watney awards. Mavis awarded each recipient (authors of corkscrew books) a medal which was very nice, but hearing some of the reactions and quiet side conversations about the late Bernard Watney really said much about his impact on the various collector/authors in attendance.

Last night we moved to our new hotel–which is fabulous btw–and, the ICCA events begin. Pictures will be added later (corkscrews and otherwise).

founder’s supper

The lovely and I arrived in London yesterday morning, and after training it into the city, walked a couple of miles to our hotel with suitcases and backpack in tow. We made it to the hotel, and after dropping our bags there, went for a walk around the Marleybone area–adjacent to the hotel. It is an area that we hadn’t spent time in before, and we made note of the various restaurants that we would like to try later in the week.

A short while later, our room was ready at the hotel, as was the box of corkscrews I had previously sent. I was somewhat relieved that they had made it unscathed. At this point we had already run into several meeting attendees in the lobby, we said our hellos, and then ran off to find lunch.

We decided to grabs some snacks, and take a break back in our hotel room

After lunch, and some more meandering around, we started to get ready for the founder’s supper–no, not the founders of the CCCC, but the official Corkscrewteers Founder’s Supper. With food and drink (a bottle of Grange) supplied by Chris and Deborah, Peter, Sue and I made our way over to the house, and a good time was had by all. The conversation flowed, the food was fabulous, and the wines were wonderful.

After dinner, Peter dropped us off at the train station, and we headed back to the hotel.

Tonight is the reception for the CCCC meeting, and there are many people already hitting the bar and discussing tomorrow’s adventure to Portabello, the buy and sell, and the corkscrew auctions to follow.

News and Photos following each event; stay tuned.

Converse, Port Clyde, and packing up for London

As the story goes, 8 years ago, while we were living in Chicago, there was an estate sale not too far from our house. I headed over after running a couple of errands and perused what was available for sale. Having not found anything corkscrew related, I headed to the basement. Some misc tools, a couple of full tool boxes, and a lawn mower–on my way out, I decided to look at the tool boxes themselves, and what should I find, but a perfectly mint 1899 converse patent cork puller. At that time, it was the first one I had ever had.

I walked over to the person manning the door, to ask him how much for the prongs, to which he responded (with a whisper) just put it in your pocket and "have a good day." Free!!! Who doesn’t like free antique corkscrews???

And, I still have that Converse, although I have had many others since then–some with advertising. But, there is one version of the Converse I have wanted for some time; the Sterling handled one. Well, as luck (and a healthy snipe) would have it, I have finally acquired one. It won’t arrive until we get back from London, but it will be a nice little homecoming gift just waiting in the p.o. box.

The last few blogless days were spent in Port Clyde with our friends.




We spent most of the time on their boat, and even headed off to a small island where we made lobster and crab rolls

(and consumed beer and wine). That was followed by a dinner of lobster fra diavolo!

And, in a few hours the lovely and I head down to Boston for a day before we head to the airport for London. Corkscrews will be the theme of the next week or so, and probably even for the second week we are there. See you all there!

the countdown to the CCCC/ICCA meeting begins!!!

It is only 4 days before we arrive in London (5 days before the meetings commence). Corkscrews have been sent, appropriate attire is being packed, and today we are off to the mainland to visit with some friends. And, from what I have been told they have the perfect agenda set for this afternoon–sauv. blanc and lobster and spending most of the day on the boat…

On a corkscrew note, I missed out on the registered crane perfume corkscrew. I did place a fairly substantial snipe, but apparently it wasn’t substantial enough.

I wasn’t even the underbidder. I was the underbidder to the underbidder. Now, I will have Petey to sell me his!!!

more island happenings–and a corkscrew even

last night was "art’s night" on Vinalhaven, and Main street was bustling. one of the highlights was that Robert Indiana opened up his space and allowed people to see some of his work.

This was followed by visits to other artists on the island. Then we headed up to the ARC for espresso beer (yes, it really exists) and some more presentations on creativity and artists’ works.

Definitely a cool evening. On a corkscrew note, there has been an arrival–a signed Murphy Button!