Tuesday, March 28, 2006


Ok, more details from my holidays are due I guess. Yesterday I described how I felt somewhat humbled by Stone Henge, which is something I hadn't expected and something which I'm glad of experiencing.

Now this wasn't my first visit to Winchester, I have been before for a weekend trip around 18 months ago now. Whilst there, for Lisa's wedding celebration, I found in a toy shop a beautiful mobile which hangs from my ceiling as we speak. I had every intention of looking in the same shop this time around to see if they had another mobile in, which I may or may not have had. I am sort of autistic in that way. If I know a shop has sold mobiles before then I've got to look in again, even if I suspect that the chances of them having another is slim.

Anyway, with that in mind, I set off to Winchester, and this time last week I was just about getting ready to start my exploration of the fair county of Hampshire. I had an idea in which direction I would travel, but no idea of what sort of agenda I would have. My first port of call set me off on a goose chase, that would in a way last a whole week. I found the quaint village of Alresford. Having past the shops I found a parking slot and walked back to look around. Being a village it had near enough everything within a few shops. It also had a couple of gift shops, and in a way it was here where things started. Having entered a shop, just to look around, noticed a couple of children's mobiles hung up, not the type I collect, but that didn't prevent me from asking if they had any of the type that I collect.

This conversation would lead me to drive around villages and towns on the first day looking for mobiles. I know that my trip wasn't about this, but on the first full day of my holiday, most of my shopping involved looking for mobiles. I did look for other things and in general, but the priority turned into mobiles. I didn't find any on my travels and as I was exceptionally tired I drove back to Lisa's place, before walking into Winchester itself for a brief look around. To no avail, the toy shop didn't have any mobiles that I wanted, and so the walk back up the hill to Lisa's house was longer than I wanted it to be....

The next day was the day that I visited Stone Henge, but as you are aware I visited Sailsbury before I drove down to the Henge. Another town that I knew of, but had never visited before that visit. In many ways it reminds me of Chester, in that it has a very old feeling about the buildings in and around the town centre. It is of course has a catherdal, which gives it that twinning sort of effect for me with Chester. I don't exactly know the history of Sailsbury in terms of the Roman's, but the two towns as they are now are in many ways very, very similar. So during my meanerings around the shops and the allyways, I found a few shops to look in and a few not too. Quaint as it may be, Sailsbury, like Chester and most other towns now have the same old shops, with the local businesses having the freedom to sell what they want, few and far between. That reduces the thrill of going to new towns for me, as the whole country is now much the same of the same.

Still I found a shop which sold cards, and lo and behold mobiles. Flensted
, they may be, but mobiles all the same. I have nothing against Flensted, infact I like them a lot, but I do like the capsun shell mobiles that I've got. Anyway, I wasn't sure which of the mobiles they had on display that I wanted, and plus I wanted to continue my look around the town. I left with the promise to go back, anyway further along I found another shop, which also sold mobiles. I was almost in heaven, though the mobiles this time weren't appealing enough for me to buy them, I'd found 4 shops within 100 yards of each other that sold mobiles. On completing my tour of the town, and nearing the end of my stay in the city, I went back to the original shop, and concentrated on trying to decide which mobile to buy.

I can only imagine it looked very odd, as I stood looking at two mobiles first in confusion and then in perfect awe. I got entranced by the mobiles and lost fact that I was trying to contemplate which to purchase. After the shop assistant asked me which, I had to take a step back. She had realised that all I was doing was looking and she set about the task of making me choose. What she did next though was foolish, she brought out some other mobiles they had in the back, which weren't on display. You know what, just as I'd sort of narrowed down the choice from 5 to 2, she brought out a further 3 designs to consider. This was now becoming harder by the second. If you look on the Flensted site I linked to before, look in the gallery, and find the Juggler, and you'll see which one I bought.

The next day I pointed my car in a different direction and went to Alton, a town not too far away from Winchester, but one which appears on lots of road signs around the county, so one to visit I felt. I arrived, parked up and looked around the shops. One small road of shops and that was it, nothing special or so I thought. I found a small side street with some shops on, and so I walked up to see if they had anything interesting to look at. A card shop had a huge soft caterpiller hung over an arch in the shop. I knew it was an educational toy, so I walked in to see what it was. It was beautiful, but something in the corner of my eye caught my attention, two brightly coloured mobiles. One of butterflies and the other fish! They looked very similar to the dragon fly mobile I purchased in Winchester the last time I was down, but wow I had to buy one of them. I wanted both, but in hindsight I'm glad I didn't.

The fish was purchased only on the basis that although I've got Whales and Dolphins, the butterflies looked very similar to the dragon flies and the fish was completely different. With those purchased, my hunting senses turned off. Two mobiles was more than I expected. On placing them in my collection, I now realise that the next purchases will see me bring down some of the older mobiles, as my flat won't take any more mobiles, it's too small. Of course if I get a huge pay rise at work, and can afford a new place, then all my mobiles can stay up.... For now though the mobile collection might have to be maintained at the collection it is and no new additions. I say that, but knowing me, if I see something really nice, I'll have to buy it.

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