Tuesday, 31 August 2010
Monday, 30 August 2010
Saturday, 28 August 2010
After scrabble club this afternoon, galloped home, changed into me scruff, and both of us went out looking for ripe sloes. Picked about two and a half pounds. Shall need about six pounds to make usual quantity of sloe gin, so will wait a fortnight for more to ripen. Picked a few blackberries, just enough to colour a blackberry and apple pie; again should be more in a week or so. We also found a nice hop bine which Ann has draped artistically around the set of shelves over the dining table to dry, as above.
Nine now, and have got to clean a pair of boots ready for the morning, so will wish you all Good Night.
On way to farm shop called in at Semer Church. It's down a grass drove, off a back lane, so nowhere near a main road. The above photo is of a large ancient horse chestnut (conker) tree in the churchyard. As you can see the lower third of the tree's leaves are brown and curling. And this is in late August, not in October. We have noticed a great many horse chestnut trees in this condition - and some much worse. These appear to be sick trees. If anyone knows what is causing this problem, and what can be done about it, I'd be grateful for the information.
Busy day yesterday. Motored up to Southwold, and went to 'Quality Antique Fair' at St. Felix School. Met up with friends Jonathan and Jo and pottered round fair for over an hour. Took Jo, instead of flowers, a couple of neolithic flint 'birding points' to add to her collection of very early artifacts. At the fair we found that stuff was generally very expensive but we managed to buy - Jonathan a treen snuff box- and I a brass snuff box (to keep, I think) and a pair of eighteenth century brass candlesticks (as stock). Met up with -and caught up with the news of- a good many old friends; a very pleasant morning. Then the four of us went into Southwold where Jonathan had booked a table for lunch at a small, but very good, restaurant. Excellent lunch - cod and chips for three of us, and Jonathan had Suffolk ham, egg and chips. Only Jo and I had pudding - she had a delightful looking confection (of which I didn't catch the name, but it appeared to consist of ice cream, bananas and some sort of sauce -have just asked Ann and she says it was a Banofee Pie- mem. sounds unlikely but she's probably right - will check later), and I, being a traditionalist had spotted dick and custard (don't know if you have that overseas Lori, but it's a sort of boiled pudding with dried fruit and some spice in it). Then round to Jonathan and Jo's for quick cuppa and to see their new garden room/office - garden appeared much larger than I remember it- clever planning, I suppose.
On our way home called in at Halesworth on our friends (of very long standing) Mike and Patty Pearson - took Pat a bunch of Dhalias I'd bought at a cottage garden. Good to see them and exchange family news. Above photo is of Ann, Mike and Patty taken on their front drive just before we left. Got home just after 6 p.m. which left time for a quick cuppa then out to see a film called Australia at our cinema club. Would thoroughly recommend the film which we both enjoyed. Got home at just after 10.30 p.m. Gosh Lori, it's quite tiring being social butterflies; may have to hibernate (if that's what butterflies do) soon,but felt we'd had a good day off.
P.s. Have just rechecked banoffee pie with Ann, and was told it consists of bananas, cream and toffee sauce. Sounds (and looked) good; if a little rich.
Wednesday, 25 August 2010
I know I've shown photoes of this scene before -last winter with snow on it, but it's worth seeing in different seasons. The Deanery Tower (to the left) was built in 1495, and the Deanery (to the right of the Tower) was finally added in 1832. St. Mary's, to the right is mainly of 14th century date with an earlier tower. We went to early service there at 7.30 a.m., followed by a quick breakfast, and took the above picture when leaving. Went and had coffee with friends who are 'downsizing' and needed advice on redundant antique stuff, mostly quite nice (which is a pleasant change - often have to tell people that their swans are geese- but not this morning). Advised them on best auctioneer to use. Spent rest of day pottering in workshop. Went well. Just had dinner - sausage casserole followed by apple and blueberry pie with custard. Played a game of scrabble. Got to tidy up in workshop, then bed I think. Been a long day. Goodnight All.
Tuesday, 24 August 2010
On Monday Ann drove over to her mother's, stayed over at her brother Tim's, then drove home early this evening. The above is your blogger's Monday evening meal as prepared by himself. It is, perhaps, a fairly typical bloke's meal when left to himself. It consists of cold roast chicken, a bubble and squeak of fried potatoes and red peppers, a dash of Branston pickle- and a book for company (not very civilised !). Prepared much the same meal for Ann when she got back this evening, except I didn't need a book at table. Two handed game of scrabble after dinner. Ann scored a seven letter word early in the game, and it took me the rest of the game to catch up. Got a quick job to do in the workshop now, then it's time for bed. So - Goodnight all.
Monday, 23 August 2010
Hanging baskets and runner beans. Put the beans in a different place than usual, and they've not done as well this year, but everyone tells me that it's not been a good year for beans, and they look well where they are, so I think I'll try them there again next year. And anyway, we've had half a dozen baits off them, and a few more to come.
Sunday, 22 August 2010
Parent goldfinch keeping an eye on two of her brood (on roof of scruffy garden shed). The parents, who have been frequent visitors all summer, are now rearing three youngsters. They paid a family visit this morning but I was unable to get a shot of them until late this afternoon.
Saturday, 21 August 2010
Above photo is of Ann and her middle brother David, taken on Brighton sea front yesterday evening after leaving Cousin Sid. Both Ann and David love the sea and we had a good walk along the front, before deciding that we needed coffee before setting off on the homeward journey. We found a rather handsome place - The Regency Restaurant- on the Seafront, and despite the time - just after seven- they agreed to serve us coffee- most restaurants prefer diners at that hour. We did in fact expand our order to coffee for all and spotted Richard pudding (I quote the menu -generally speaking we're becoming a mealy mouthed bunch) with custard for Ann, apple pie with ice cream for David, and I had a look at the cheese board (had Stilton, Cheddar , and Brie, cheese- all excellent- with biscuits). We then set off on our homeward Journey, got to David's at a little after ten p.m., and we arrived home about half past midnight. It had been a very full day, which we originally saw as a duty, but which turned into a pleasure trip. We think we covered just over four hundred miles all told, Ann doing most of the driving because she prefers it, but both David and I took our turns.
I wish you all a very Good Night .
Yesterday, Friday, we set out at nine in the morning and drove over to Stotfold to pick up Ann's middle brother David, then drove down to Brighton, to visit Ann's mother's cousin's husband Sid. The relationship sounds a bit distant, but in fact Sid has been doing most of Gran's shopping for her, and generally keeping an eye on her for us. About a week or ten days ago Sid, who was staying with his grandson in Brighton, and has been in pain for some months had to have his right leg removed below the knee. Gran, who felt that the journey might be too much for her (she is, after all, in her hundred and second year) said that if the three of us would go and see Sid, she would like to pay for the petrol for the journey, and that this would give her a feeling of having a part in the expedition. We arrived at Sid's grandson's bungalow, on the outskirts of Brighton, at the appointed time of 2.30 p.m. Sid was looking remarkably fit for a man of his age- he celebrated his 93rd birthday in hospital- and who'd just had a major op. He had prepared a sandwich, cake and tea meal to welcome us. He was in a wheeled chair, which he navigated about the room by kicking with his remaining leg. He was in very good spirits and expressed his gratitude for our making the journey to visit him, but Ann explained that we felt that we 'owed him' for all his kindness and care of Gran over the years. Gran and his late wife, Mary, were first cousins and looked very alike. We stayed with Sid until nearly six, when his grandson's partner was expected home. They sound a nice pair of youngsters. Next part of blog in a minute.
Wednesday, 18 August 2010
Took the above snapshot just outside Lavenham. The treed hill to the left of the cottage is claimed to be the high point of Suffolk. The problem with that is that there are four other claimants to being 'the highest point in Suffolk' ; they are :- just outside Newmarket, Rede, Stradishall, and Depden. All five claim a height of about 128 metres above sea level, which isn't all that high anyway, so I really don't know why they bother.
Ann's talking about scrambled egg on toast for supper, so I'd better go up and investigate. Good Night All.
See what I mean?
Drove over to Lavenham to have lunch with friends John and Margaret. Took Margaret a bunch of gladioli. Had excellent lunch- gammon with parsley sauce, potatoes, carrots, and runner beans, all grown by John I think, bar the gammon (and possibly the parsley sauce, although I think he grew the parsley to make it). This was followed by an apple and plum tart, then locally grown figs roasted with maple syrup and chopped walnuts. We then had a cheese board and coffee. John then showed me a flintlock pistol which is giving problems (he is a retired antique dealer). We took the lock apart, using (literally) kitchen table surgery, whilst the ladies withdrew to the withdrawing room. For want of a mainspring cramp I have brought the lock home with me to try and fix it.
John has always had an interest in armour, mail armour in particular, and is at present deeply involved in making a piece of Japanese chain mail (tautology there, I'm afraid). This is of particular interest as the pattern of Japanese mail is different from ours, smaller links, and in this case, small bars as well. All this took a while, in fact we rather lost track of time, until Margaret came in with a tray of tea just after four. We left at around five, feeling we'd had a nice day off.
Up just after six this morning in order to attend early service - we were both reading a lesson. Breakfast after the service, then walked round to Barber's shop on the market place, which was closed (8.50 a.m.) but promised to open at 9a.m. Could see Church clock from where I was waiting (see above photo), and waited there till five past nine. Got fed up with waiting so walked through to High Street and went into rival barber's shop, where (for the second time in my life) had my hair cut by a woman. First time was in 1959, when a local barber employed (as a gimick I think) a woman barber. Both times given a very neat hair cut, although this morning's was rather shorter than I had expected. See next photograph.
Tuesday, 17 August 2010
View of our town from the top of the hill we rode up.
Now I really must record the highlights of the two handed game of scrabble we played after dinner. For the first third of the game we were neck and neck. Then I began to draw away, so that two thirds through the game Ann said "I can't hope to catch up now". Then almost at the end of the game Ann put down in consecutive goes TWO seven letter words, BOTH onto triple word scores. Her last three scores were 77 points, 99 points, and 29 points. The final score was Ann -389 points, Mike 305 points. It was a cracking good game. Good night all.
Spent most of today in the workshop and forge, although at about eleven a.m. friends David and Felicity called to pick up a packet of photoes (of their children and grandson) they had inadvertantly left behind them on Friday afternoon when they had tea with us. It was a nice convenient time for us to knock off for a while and have coffee and a chat with them.
Late this afternoon we decided that in view of the fine mild weather today (after some days of a North East wind and a good deal of rain) we would award ourselves a cycle ride and did so. We rode out of town and up a nearby hill to take photoes for the blog.
Monday, 16 August 2010
Spent most of today in workshop. Last Wednesday mentioned a Black Forest wall clock I was working on (illustrated above). Completed (I do most sincerely hope) work on the strike this morning. It's been up, going, and behaving itself all day. Worked on a tinder box, and tidied up a couple of early brass candlesticks this afternoon/early evening. Fairly successful day. Goodnight all.
Sunday, 15 August 2010
Been a fairly busy weekend. Cafe Church on Friday morning. Had coffee and croissants and met a good many of our friends there. On Friday afternoon our ex Dean and his wife (David and Felicity) came to tea, as did Sylvia H., a mutual friend, to whom we owed a tea. We really gave the tea party to help welcome a comparitive newcomer to town- Robert; but he had to cry off. He is not a well man and really wasn't up to it. He sent a note on Wednesday to say that he might not be able to make it, and confirmed that fact on the 'phone around midday on Friday. It was a good tea party, and lovely to catch up on all David and Felicity's news. They left just after six p.m., and I ran Sylvia home (she lives about a mile away at the top of the hill).
Yesterday we motored about four miles out of town to attend a grandfather clock on which I'd rebuilt the pendulum a few weeks ago and which needed a little regulation. We made a detour on the way home to go to our favourite farm shop (which also boasts one of our favourite coffee shops) and on the way stopped to take the above snap. Scrabble club yesterday afternoon. Three games on our table, all of which Hilary (who was on top form) won. At this morning's service both Ann and I were in the choir, which we all felt was in good voice for once. Stopped for coffee afterwards and met new people in town; I was coffeeing and talking to Oliver, who is six, but a very grown up six, and he told me he'd been sitting with his grandparents, who are new to the town, during the service. He then insisted that I should come and meet his grandfather, and proceeded to introduce us very correctly. Didn't really hear Grandpa's name, but found we had a good deal in common. Unfortunately was called away by two of our church ladies to confirm which stall I would be helping out on at the Deanery Fete in a fortnight's time. I called Ann in and it was eventually decided that I'd be in charge of the till at the tea tent, rather than be helping on the book stall. I rather liked the idea of the book stall, but Ann put her foot down regarding me hauling boxes of books about (which I wasn't really looking forward to), so in the end the decision chimed in with my own inclinations, and anyway, working at the tea tent always ensures a good supply of refreshments during the afternoon (do I hear a murmur of "Greedy old man" ?). The success of the Deanery Fete always depends on the weather, so fingers crossed for sun in a fortnight's time.
Ann's just called down to tell me she's going up for a quick zizz, so I think I'll join her.
Thursday, 12 August 2010
At 4.25 pm today we had a cloudburst, and thunderstorm, followed a hailstorm with thunder and lightning. In five minutes the street was ankle deep in rainwater (as per photie)- in early-mid August I'll trouble you!!!!!!! My late father once advised me never to trust English weather - or English weather forecasters; and how right he was.