Sunday, 23 April 2017


Snapshot of  junior granddaughter  strolling  on  Felixstowe beach last Thursday.

Snapshot of her older  sister  working (and  I do mean WORKING) in our  garden during their week with us. It turns out that this  particular granddaughter has  a  gift  for gardening, and she  spent an  afternoon sorting out the tangled roots of sweet peas and morning glory, then planting  them  out and watering them  in. How well they do will, I think, depends on a complete  absence of late  frosts. We had a frost earlier in the week, so must hope that was the last. If all goes according to plan they (the girls that is, and Ruth, are planning  to return to us  for a week  in July, when  senior sister's efforts  should be bearing  flowers.   Be interesting to see.

Saturday, 22 April 2017

Saturday 2.

I mentioned  the photographed 'Green Man' in our garden a day or  so ago.  We  were given  it by friends (husband and wife) who make garden ornaments. Ruth and  her  girls liked it . So did we, except that during the  last day  or two  he seems to have developed the  habit of  wearing a sprig of apple blossom behind his left ear, and I cannot approve  of such unmanly extravagances.


Polstead Hall -  a view from the churchyard. Taken on Wednesday (I think).

Ruth took  this  one in Felixstowe on Thursday.

Yesterday  was a very busy day. We set out  about 7.30 a.m. and drove by minor roads to the airport where we deposited Ruth and  the Girls to fly  home (Sweden).  We then drove on to Cambridge, where we went to McKay's hardware and tool shop. I bought some silver soldering wire, etc., then went on to their metal ware department where I purchased some mild steel plate and brass plate for  the  workshop..
Then on to Regent Street, in Cambridge where we'd been invited, by our son,  to an eighteenth birthday party at an Italian Restaurant .  The birthday girl, Tia, is our son Jonathan's  step daughter . It was an interesting meal. I didn't know quite what to drink (as there was a chance that I might  have to drive at least   part of the way home). Jonathan suggested I have what he'd just ordered for himself, a salt caramel milkshake; he likes the stuff and thought I probably would too (I had me doubts about this but it turned out he was right) and I enjoyed it immensely.  It is drunk through a large bored straw, to protect the whiskers I presume. It was like having a delicious liquid pudding at the wrong end of the meal.  

After lunch we drove on to Stowmarket, so that  I could view an auction sale that comes up today (Saturday).  Then drove home, had a quick cuppa and changed for the evening, as we had an invitation for the viewing of the coming week's Art Exhibition in Saint  Mary's Church, an annual social occasion. Thoroughly  enjoyed it, but we were  both  wilting a bit by chucking-out time (9.30)

As I said at the start of this blog entry,  yesterday was a very busy day - I'm finding it heavy work being retired!

Friday, 21 April 2017


Ruth's shadow and a  stick man dancing on the sand-
                                    Hand in hand.

At Felixstowe.

Wednesday, 19 April 2017


Second daughter  Ruth and  her two girls have been staying  with us over the Easter week. We picked them up at the  airport last Friday. Traffic was very heavy and  we took the 'pretty  way' home. As we approached  the village of  Cavendish  I told them that the village green at Cavendish was reckoned the  prettiest  scene in East Anglia. They loved  the above view!  but when I asked them if they agreed it was the prettiest view we'd shown them, they discussed the relative merits of Cavendish, Kersey, and  Lavenham, then came to the conclusion the Cavendish was 'one of  the prettiest' views they'd seen in England, and that judging between these villages was quite impossible. A case, I'd suppose of 'comparisons being  odious'; and, I think, a  wise decision.


When we got home, they all spotted the above 'Green man' which had been given to us; and all rather liked it with the espaliered branches of the Egremont Russett apple tree framing it. The tree is in full  flower (the  first time it has been since I planted it five or six years ago).

Tuesday, 18 April 2017


Since 'retiring' I've made two sheet silver  'clock hand'  pendants. I   thought  photos of the different stages of manufacture might  be  interesting.  First of all find a decent sized piece of sheet silver (such as may be found  kicking around the  workshop in  any reasonably well  stocked home).

Then draw out the pattern wanted on paper, and stick it to the sheet silver using white 'office' glue.

Then drill holes in the 'clock hand'. The one  above had seven holes drilled in it. Then using a 'jewellers or piecing' saw, saw out the areas where there are to be holes in the pendant.

Then soak the paper from the pendant, engrave any area that needs the detail enhancing,  file up the clock hand, and  polish  the whole  thing.   The one  illustrated took a day to make.  It is  three and a half inches long and one and a half  inches across. It is the tenth one I've made over about forty years and I hope the intended recipient will like it, and will  not read this blog as it  might spoil  the  surprise.

Monday, 17 April 2017


Reference the  below pictures, I took them late one evening about ten days  ago. I am again experimenting  with putting photos on my blog with the assistance of Ruth, who (together with her daughters) is staying  with us over Easter.  As I was saying - about ten days ago I went  out late  one  evening (as  is my wont) to check the car; and as I went through our back  garden gate  onto  the car park, I kicked, in  the  dark, something  about  the size of  a  small , half inflated football,  and  sent it slithering  about  half way across  our car park (about  three  yards away). I then trotted back to the house and got a torch and my camera, and found the subject of the photies, which was a large, traditionally minded hedgehog, who on being kicked across a car park, had curled up into a ball and was now uncurling himself to await events. When uncurled he was a good foot long, or even fifteen inches or so! When I shone  the torch on him he recurled himself into a ball. I then called Ann to come  and have a look  at him and took the  above   photos  in the meantime. Ann came out armed with a wooden snow  shovel  and   the  yard besom.  She'd also  bought a cereal bowl with an egg broken into  it. We then managed to get him into a safe place on the side of the car park  with the snow shovel and besom, and left him with the bowl of egg beside him. The following morning he had gone, but had not fancied, or   touched the egg.  Does anyone know what hedgehogs do like to eat, in case of  his reappearance? Traditionally  this  should  be a bowl  of  milk, but all the hedgehogologists tell me that milk  isn't good  for hedgehogs.

I  must  say that I found it reassuring to see a large hedgehog about the place as they've  become very scarce of late years.

I Suggest that the above two photos be embiggened,  and that you  then read the above blog entry for full details.

Friday, 31 March 2017


Been a  lovely spring day, and  at about five o'clock this afternoon we decided to go for a walk down to the river and back. The top two photos show the area where a large watermill stood over our  river (the Brett) until it burned down in (I think) the early nineteen seventies.

The top  two photos  show  the  remaining  arrangements to supply   river water to the  old mill.

The above photo shows what is claimed to be the oldest bridge, still used for its original purpose, in England. Not too  sure  about that, but it is a very old bridge, and it is still used for heavy and agricultural traffic to cross the Brett.   The thing I never understand is that  the bridge is built on a long curve. You'd think that a short straight crossing would be the easiest thing to build and use, but  I suppose there must be a reason for the curve. Any (sensible please) suggestions as to why it's built on a curve would be welcome.

Think I'm about  to  be called upstairs to supper (you must remember that your blogger slaves away  for your enlightenment in the depths of a large,  old Inn, originally, cellar.

Good Night  all.

Thursday, 30 March 2017


On Sunday morning we took photographs of each other  with  daughter Kerry who  was spending the  weekend with us. The one Ann took with Kerry and I worked alright so  I published it. However  the  one I took of Ann and Kerry vanished into the  bowels of  my blogger's photographic records and refused to come  to heel.  However it eventually reappeared (no rhyme or   reason given), I was able  to recapture it and herewith publish it. I don't think I shall ever be able to make sense of this machine. I was marginally better at the Windows seven I had for the first ten years of computer usage, but this one, a Windows Ten seems to make  no sense at all.   I used a computer regularly in the mid 1970s, it was a fairly simple memory bank, and being  a reasonably  simple creature meself I got on quite well with it. Oh for the days of reasonable simple creatures I could get on reasonably well  with....... (sigh!) 

Wednesday, 29 March 2017


On Monday of this week we discovered (as reported) Gedding Church. In the South wall of this church is the above photographed early Norman window. Although it's been repaired and  restored over the centuries it's still  a  pretty  little survival of   a twelfth century window.   Can't think  why I didn't  include it  at  the time? 

Sunday, 26 March 2017


Our daughter Kerry, see photo above, has  just spent the weekend with us. Came on Friday evening, went back after morning service today  (Sunday).  Very pleasant (and relaxed) weekend.

Friday, 24 March 2017


Above photo shows back of  our home  after I've got out and  re-erected last year's  bamboo  trellis work. Plan to train up it this years sweet peas and Morning Glory, both of  which put out a very good display  last year.

On the way home earlier this week we stopped and took above photo in village a few miles  from  here. It shows daffs  on the village  green, surrounding  what's left of  the village pump (I think).

P.s. Note the two Tudor brick chimneys at top of first photo.

Wednesday, 22 March 2017


We took these  two photographs  on Monday morning  before setting off for Ely. This morning I'm in the middle of a  pig of a  job  I'm doing  for a neighbour on  his rather nice long case clock. It looks and sounds easy enough - the  hand beating seconds and its  arbour has come apart. Sounds easy BUT.... it has been mended (soft soldered) twice already, so I am fast coming to the conclusion that the easier way to do  the job might well  be to make a complete new arbour  for the  seconds  hand to ride on.  Whilst making up my mind about the job I've knocked  off for a few minutes to do a quick blog entry whilst I calm down and make my mind up.  Back to the workbench now - I'll report back on progress re the clock later today.

P.s. before anyone else reminds me - yes, I know I'm  supposed  to be retired, but it's  a neighbour, asking  me to do a  simple  little  job (tee- hee).

Monday, 20 March 2017


Motored over to Ely  this  morning for a sibling lunch with  Ann's  three brothers and their partners.
Lunched at the Fire Engine house -  the meal  was  as good as ever- in  one sense rather better, in that when the time  came to deal with  the bill, Michael, David and Tim refused to let me pay our quarter on the grounds  that it was Ann's birthday (her 77th !!!!!)  later in the week, and  this was their joint birthday present to her- very  civil of them and much appreciated. After lunch we  set out from Ely at  about 3.30 p.m.

Turned off the  A14 this  side of Bury Saint Edmund's and  came home by the back roads and lanes.  Somewhere near the  village of  Drinkstone  (strange name for a village- must look it up) We saw an early (well, 18th century, anyway) post windmill,

and, about 100 to a 150 yards from the post mill, a rather rarer (but slightly later)

smock mill. Why they should have been built so near to each other, I don't know  so can't  say -   but interesting.

A few miles further we came across Saint Mary's Church Gedding, which dates from the  12 century. It's a pretty little  church, with some 15th century pews inside. It's  a  bit of  a job to find this church, but it's well  worth  the effort. 

Fom the Churchyard can be seen, about half a mile or so away, the below photographed, Gedding  Hall.  It was built around the middle of the 1400s.   

As I  believe I may have said before - full  of surprises, Suffolk.

Friday, 17 March 2017


We have had hellebores (Christmas Roses) in bloom in the garden since the middle of December. Last Wednesday we gave a small dinner party for three friends and Ann wanted to make a floral table centre using flowers from the garden. The problem  with hellebore is that they are modest flowers which hang their heads humbly so that  the faces cannot be seen. Ann gets over this by cutting  off the flowers leaving about a third of an inch of stalk, and then floating the  flowers (face up) in a bowl, see the two illustrations. The flowers can be arranged on the surface of the water (they'll float). They will  last like this  for three or four days, and make really  attractive and unusual table decorations, as I think  you'll agree. 

P.s. The glass bowl shown is about six inches in diameter.

Thursday, 16 March 2017


This morning we motored over to Bury St. Edmund's, as the  car needed seeing to (one minor problem righting and a service). Took  the  car to the garage, then one of the  mechanics drove us into the  town centre, dropped us off near the Angel Hotel, and arranged to pick us up at two pip  emma. This gave us four hours (more or less) to explore a lovely old town, take some photographs, do a little shopping, then have lunch.  The photo above shows Moyse's  Hall on the Market Place, and is, as far as I know (and Churches aside), the only Norman building in Suffolk. It's now  used as a museum (with an entrance fee of FOUR pounds, which rather shocked me).

The building, above centre,  is The Nutshell,  which was known for many years as the smallest pub in Great Britain. I think a building somewhere in the West Country now  holds  this title (after a good deal of work with a tape measure, and long  discussions,  I should imagine).

The above building is a non-conformist Church of  some description (sorry, I forget exactly which sort). It was raised in the  time of Queen Ann (1702 - 1714) I think, and is a very pleasing  building (easy on the  eye, I mean).

The building above is a campanile (a bell tower), which is of pure Norman  work. We thoroughly enjoyed our morning. Bury is a lovely  town. In the year 630 A.D. Sigeberht, the King  of  East  Anglia, founded a monastery here. Some centuries after that a good deal of plotting and arguing about the form of Magna Carta took place in Bury Saint Edmund's, so that although it's now considered a country Market Town, in its day it's been deeply involved in English history.

P.s. As you can see from the photies, this morning was a fine, sunny one, and walking round Bury in the mid- March  sun was a great pleasure.


Above picture shows yesterday's 'mystery object' with the door open. It is, of course, an English spice chest. It is of oak, with wrought iron hinges, etc.    It was made in England, circa 1680. It is at present in daily use by the senior medical adviser (Ann), as a medicine store. Thank you Crowbard and Rog. Between you  I think you got all the relevant points. Well done.  

Wednesday, 15 March 2017


                                                   Mystery Object.

Haven't had one  of these for a while, mystery object that is. What is the above? When was it made, where, and for  what purpose (quite a specific one).   Eggs should  give a  fair idea of size. They are ordinary, standard, chickens' eggs.    Good guessing. You'll probably all know, anyway.

Saturday, 11 March 2017


Took  a few snapshots of  corners of   the  garden this morning. Much as in previous years.  I  hope that  our resident goldfinches are thinking  of breeding  again this year. They give every indication of being in the mood for raising another family. Most  years  they raise a brood of four or five youngsters.

Above photo shows  our quince tree climbing all over our older garden shed. We put the  tree in four years or so ago, and although it has loads of flowers and small fruit, so far the fruit have always been shed long before they are of a useable size.  We'd both like to make quince jelly later in the year, but we've been unable to do so as yet.

We have a good many flowers in bloom in the garden, looking very spring - like.

Scrabble club is now  to be  held in Hilary's house every Saturday afternoon. We both  went there this afternoon, but  played at different tables (three players at each table). I won the  first two games at our table, but Doris, who tells me she will be ninety- seven a little later this year, won the third game. All three were good, close, well fought games.

Friday, 10 March 2017


This afternoon we motored over to Sudbury to do what Ann calls 'a big shop'. We came home a different way to our usual, and a  back road out of a small village (off the beaten track) awarded us with-  not another  village, but an even smaller hamlet. It had about a dozen small  cottages in it.

All  were of ancient date; most had been repaired, or restored at various dates, and all were quite charming.

It's what we most love about Suffolk (and remember that we are, by origin, Norfolk people) - that  if you can take a small back road out of a little  known village, you will  often find yourself in an  early settlement that you   had  no idea was there - and usually  with delightful discoveries to  be made.

Like, say, for instance, the above.

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Murals on the wall of Broughton Church in Buckinghamshire.

Monday, 6 March 2017


The three  photographs shown here are all  of  old parts of  Wells  next the sea taken the week before last, and all show windows onto the street which have obviously been built as  shop windows, and are now  windows in the fronts of domestic residences (homes). They are all of  late eighteenth century through to early/mid nineteenth century appearance. This would  appear to indicate that Wells next the sea was (at the  period mentioned) a much busier market town than it is now. A small fishing   village would be a more apt description of the town now.


This last weekend we drove down to Hampshire to attend a meeting of  the  Early Metalware Society. We stopped over on Saturday and Sunday nights  at youngest daughter, Liz's  home; slept  there, and drove home this morning.  Good, informative (and rather tiring) weekend.