The bright winter sun is shining as we step into the Three Wise Monkeys, the vintage Emporium next to Osprey.  A musty air fills the space as we wander into the first room arranged with tall glass cabinets and Victorian bookcases. The shelves are packed with mostly seventies paraphernalia, from old puzzles still in their original boxes, to tall piles of worn paperbacks from The Wombles of Wimbledon to Peter and Jane Ladybird books.

I’m especially drawn to a Dr. Who jigsaw puzzle with a photo on the box of Peter Davidson as the Doctor pointing a laser gun directly at a menacing Dalek. I love it and think it would be perfect for my eleven year-old nephew who enjoys puzzles, and would evoke a sense of nostalgia in my brother.

Upstairs we meander through more rooms displaying a wonderful variety of curiosities from old paper packets of sewing patterns to colourful Vintage Dr. Martens. My daughter rummages around in the vintage clothing section; she loves the scarves and fiddles with some elaborate brooches. Meanwhile, I pick up a toy cash register so similar to the one I had as a child.

It’s the weirdest thing ever seeing a child of the digital era stepping through time and playing in fascination with an old dusty Gramophone. It seems pretty alien and my daughter asks me how it works as she winds the lever. I watch her touch it in fascination as she mumbles, “It’s so mechanical!”

Predictably, I’m drawn to a selection of old manual typewriters. I must admit I’m old enough to have typed my first poems on such typewriters in my early teens. I remember the rhythmic tapping sound of the keys and the imprint every letter made onto the blank page. Then the satisfaction I felt pulling the paper off the roller as another poem was completed, perfect and neat.

I’m suddenly transported back to the leafy London streets of my childhood when I spot an old pair of roller skates from the mid-seventies; two pieces of red leather are tied together with white laces to fit around your shoes on a metal base. I can see myself now running after my big sister and her friend Esther who whizz by me on their roller skates, older and so much cooler, leaving little sis behind.

We head downstairs passed the tea room and outside to find my husband sitting in the sun on a bench beside several pewter pots filled with daffodils, an arrangement of copper bed warmers and a large barrel filled with garden tools. It’s been a peaceful way to unwind on a Sunday afternoon and we look forward to popping back in March and bringing one or two of my antiquarian books for them to have a look at on their ‘Antiques Roadshow’ valuation day.