Thursday, May 24, 2012

Lured away to the Antiques Roadshow

"So then laddie, what have you brought along to show me..?" I'll swear Fiona Bruce looks sterner in real life than she does on the telly. 

I feel a little uneasy, having reached the front of the queue. Behind me are people with real works of art, antiques and medals won in the trenches of the First World War.

I have brought a box of lures along to show Fiona, after having a sort through my collection.

"Um, they're some of my pike lures," I mumble, as the cameramen close in on the box with the broken lid I got in the New Year sale at Homebase in King's Lynn, reduced from £9.99 to £1.99 with double Nectar Points not to be used in conjunction with any other offer.

"Och, quite a collection," says Fiona, lifting out a rare yellow perch-pattern ShadRap. "That has'nae seen much action, has it. Hardly a tooth mark on it. And these spoon fellas with the rusty hooks - I must say they'd be worth more if you looked after them. Oh my, what's this - a Jointed Rapala in firetiger..? Very last season, I'm afraid.

"Thanks for coming along today. I'm sure these would be worth something in the right hands, but I've had my researchers take a wee look at you and I'm afraid they say you're nay lure angler. Tenner the lot on eBay if you're lucky. Next..."

"MWAARP, MWAARP, MWAARP, MWAARP. Good morning Malcolm, it's 9AM," barks the alarm clock I borrowed from Malcolm.

It all comes back to me as I rub my eyes and drag myself out of bed. Today is the day the Antiques Roadshow comes to RAF Marham, in Norfolk. I have taken the day off, to take the wife along.

An hour later, we're through security. We stash the car by a sign saying Runway In Use, No Parking before we join the long queues of people bringing stuff for Fiona and her panel of experts to pore over.

There are people with paintings, people with carrier bags full of crockery and people with family heirlooms large and small. The crew of a Tornado jet are explaining the finer points of its multi-faceted armed reconnaissance capabilities, ready to be unleashed on the next middle eastern dictator who makes the price of petrol go up, to a bus-load of pensioners.

"How come they can park here," asks the wife, unimpressed by the 800mph warplane's bristling array of weaponry. "They must have got here early, before the queues," I shrug.

As we near the hangars we spy Fiona Bruce, waxing lyrical about some exciting find. A few rows back in the queue, a man waits clutching what looks suspiciously like a lure box - bought in the New Year sale at Homebase in King's Lynn with double Nectar Points not to be used in conjunction with any other offer.

"I bet she's going to go through those and say they're all pants," I say to the wife, as Fiona looks up and throws a brief, knowing glance in our direction.

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