125,000,000 Results….. in 0.17 seconds

That title would seem to contradict the defintion of this week’s subject in the LBC remit :


A quest is a long and difficult search for something.

Mind you, that quick search doesn’t help me one little bit as I still have to go on  a QUEST to find something to write about….

Perhaps the most famous and enduring quest in Western European Literature and Legend is that for the Holy Grail.

The Grail was said to be the cup of the Last Supper and at the Crucifixion to have received blood flowing from Christ’s side. It was brought to Britain by Joseph of Arimathea, where it has lain hidden for centuries. The search for the Grail became the principal quest of the knights of King Arthur.

It was believed to be kept in a mysterious castle surrounded by  wasteland and guarded by the Fisher King.  The Fisher King suffered from a wound that would not heal. His recovery and the renewal of the blighted lands depended upon the successful completion of the quest.

By finding the Grail, the  questing knight was assured of  self knowledge and complete fulfilment.

The magical properties attributed to the Holy Grail have been traced to the magic vessels of Celtic myth that satisfied the tastes and needs of all who ate and drank from them.

It occurs to me that we all have our own quest for self knowledge, understanding and fulfilment. How many, I wonder. achieve their goal? How many actually realise what their goal is and understand that they are on a quest? Would we recognise the end of our quest? And if we do, what then?

No doubt there are other, smaller, quests in our lives. One of mine is a quest for knowledge. It doesn’t matter how useless that knowledge is I love to find it, possess it, own it and then share it.

Another quest is for a bargain. Not the sort of bargain that is found when “Red Label shopping” at the end of the day in the supermarket nor the kind that Lady Magpie seeks in the charity shops which draw her like a moth to a flame. Rather, I like the bargain that just appears. Perhaps in a junk shop, like the breast drill I bought for a  fiver along with a one inch cold chisel. The drill now hangs in the workshop de -rusted and re-painted and working perfectly and the chisel has paid for itself several times over I should think. Or in an Antique shop like the Vienna Regulator clock for which I paid £75  and now has to be insured for £1,000 or the several violins and other instruments that I have purchased from time to time and some of which I have been able to sell for a fine profit.

Youngest Magpie plays a violin made by a Mr Williter of Crouch End and that is actually irreplaceable as we don’t think he made any more. Lady Magpie owns a nice instrument made by William Geary of London in 1929. Geary was a well known luthier and maker of bows. Then there is the concertina that needed new bellows and was tentatively valued at £600 when repaired. I sold it for £175 un-repaired…a goodly profit shared with my agent, youngest sister magpie…

Which brings me to today’s find , in a charity shop as it happens. We were “questing” for  next years Christmas cards and there it sat… one horribly abused violin, in a “coffin” case.

The case is not worth anything… well maybe it can be restored but is it worth it?

Doesn’t it look lovely and shiny? Some idiot has varnished it all over after having tried to clean it up…they even varnished the finger board.

Is that a sound post crack? Maybe it is..which means it has no commercial value but someone can use it to learn on… the back sounds quite good when tapped. But look near where the neck joins the body. It seems to be a wax seal….

Why put a seal on it? That’s part of the next Quest.

This is my small contribution to this week’s Loose Bloggers Consortium set of posts on the topic of Quest.The other members of the consortium are:Ashok, Conrad, Gaelikaa, Helen, JudyMaria, Ramana , Anu ,  &   Ginger Haag .

Please visit them for greater enlightenment…I just hope I have remembered  them all.


9 Responses to “125,000,000 Results….. in 0.17 seconds”

  1. Grannymar Says:

    I wonder if those tools were the ones I donated to Charity several years ago? They were supposed to go to Africa!

  2. Conrad Says:

    Magpie, your quest reminds me of the need for a “Magnificent Obsession” in one’s life. It is not the arrival, but the continual passionate journey that redeems it!

  3. Maria Says:

    I have a feeling of contentment in fulfilling my 34 years of teaching. I think that I have completed my life’s work. Not sure if that is the same as a quest, but I do believe in many opportunites for questing in one’s life and I am looking forward to many more (obviously not as long as my teaching career) but perhaps as exciting.

    I love to go antiquing and finding bargains. We have yard sales here usually on Fridays. People put out on their front lawns, things that they want to sell and others come and buy them. In a small town like ours, it becomes a time to visit with neighbors and friends.

  4. Judy Harper Says:

    I imagine going antiquing is like doing genealogy. Finding the past in unexpected places! Finding treasures like my hundred year old photo of my great grandfather and grandmother! It’s the quest that is the enjoyment with the finds becoming the icing on the cake!

  5. Ursula Says:

    I shall be blown, Magpie. Conrad, just this once, took the words out of my mouth: The beauty of a quest is the journey, rarely the arrival.

    Lady Magpie might be able to teach me a thing or two. I give to charity shops but I don’t go there to buy: Not since I was told by one of their assistants, some years ago, that they have cottoned on to ebay and sell their most valuable stuff there. Which, of course, is good for them but not exactly an incentive for the passer-by to rummage through their shelves just on the off chance that you might find a first edition of George Bernard Shaw’s musings (which incidentally I did via, yes, ebay).

    My own quest and you might be able to help me there: Should you ever – on your travails round antique shops – come across a wooden plan chest (as were used by architects) please do let me know. It might be my salvation as I am drowning in paper. Thanks.


  6. Rummuser Says:

    Fantastic post Magpie and since I am late here, I am commentless as I would simply repeat what some others have said. Congratulations.

  7. Magpie11 Says:

    Thanks for your comments everyone.

    Maria…I’m just beginning to relish my years as a teacher…I was conned into going onto Face book and find that many ex pupils want to be “friends”. We have developed the habit of putting unwanted bits that poeple might use or recycle out on our wall to be taken…not antiques or collectables though.

    GM…no, those tools were from the East End of London.

    Conrad et al… The journey is often the thing… something about travelling in hope springs (or ambles perhaps ) into mind. Genealogy is a journey…I’m stuck at John Mills born c. 1761 Gt Yarmouth among other brick walls. Lady magpie is distantly related to Edward III and Charlemagne. She is better than me at the game..making copious notes and going further back and sideways..whilst I just love the research..the journey if you like…or solving the problem.

    Oxfam (and probably other large NGOs) have turned Charity shops into a major business… they put a record that I wanted on Yahoo Auctions several years ago… I “won” the auction but never received the goods.
    We have a little Charity Shop locally and they get a lot of our contributions and we buy the occasional thing from them..

    As for Plan chests…try schools which are closing down as a first stop. Real quality examples woulsd be quite expensive.

  8. gaelikaa Says:

    Sometimes you don’t have to buy one. Someone I knew in Dublin got a skip outside their house to throw out all their old rubbish. All the neighbours put their rubbish in as well. Then they started looking at the rubbish other people left, and took it away and refurbished it – one person’s piece of rubbish is someone else’s find. Isn’t it strange?

  9. Helen Says:

    Ooh, can’t believe I missed this post! I seemed to have lost you somewhere and I’m glad you are found once again. Now, I need to refresh as the pictures are invisible or maybe my husband has changed the settings so that shiny things don’t catch my eye….. ;O)

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