Tuesday, 9 May 2017


The above  two  photographs are rather fuller ones of yesterdayday's 'Mystery object', which were taken from a rather different angle. It is, of  course, an English coaching blunderbuss with a spring bayonet along the top of the barrel. It was made by J.Wright, of  Weymouth, circa 1790 to 1810. I've  always liked the engraving round the muzzle, Fly or Dye; in that, if you're close enough  to  read it, then you've  already lost the  choice it gives .

Monday, 8 May 2017


                                            Mystery Object.

                                  What is it? Where was it made? And When?

Saturday, 6 May 2017


The garden is beginning to  look quite festive with  the aquilegia (or Granny's nightcaps, or granny's bonnets as we call them  in Suffolk and Norfolk) now  bursting into bloom.  They are  of  all  sorts  of  colours and quite a variety of shapes.

Having  developed the top picture I found that there was a bumble bee in the bottom right of the picture, so I enlarged him  for  the above  picture. He was very active and  industrious.

We also seem to have quite a collection of bonsai (or potentially  bonsai) trees taking up the space on the garden tea table. They are not 'bought' trees, but raised from tiny seedlings  we've found.  The  yew  tree at the back has taken me around ten years to raise. Mostly they  are native trees, so they live outside all  year round.  I  must find  somewhere permanent (preferably  at eye  level, more or less)  for them. Shelves on a fence or wall ?

Suggestions would be welcome (remembering  that it  is  a very  small garden).

Friday, 5 May 2017


On Thursday we motored over to a small  village a few miles away   to look at a 'Banjo' barometer which needed work - so much so that the visit turned out to be somewhere between a complete washout and a dead loss. However we  made a detour on the  way home (as is our wont - in this case  won't go straight home) and  went to look  at a village church in Little  Waldingfield. This  is  one of those strange places - common enough in Suffolk- where Little waldingfield is now a much larger village than Great Waldingfield.    I  should  perhaps explain that the top picture is of three early buildings which appear to constitute a small, early, industrial estate. The one to  the right of  centre obviously having  started out as a  roadside forge.

The next three pictures are of Little Waldingfield Church, and its contents. The Church is a beautifully proportioned, mainly 14th/15th century (?) building.  The font is probably of  much the same date, and although the figures on it have been ( literally) defaced during the Civil War, the font can quite clearly be seen to have been a lovely piece of work in its day. The oak chest in the fourth  picture is a very fine piece of work, also dating from the 14th/15th  century, and English. 

I know I've said this, or something  like it, a good many times before, but I'm still amazed at the number of village churches we have in East Anglia,  all  of them  with a good number of  interesting,  or indeed fascinating, contents.

Good Night All.

Thursday, 4 May 2017


Photographs of cottages and  farmhouses by the roadside, taken through the car windscreen whilst motoring home from Stowmarket yesterday. One of them managed to get its photie took twice, though.

Wednesday, 3 May 2017


                             Mystery Object.

The  above object (in the  antique trade, anyway) is known  by a certain name.  Can you     give me that  name, and  when and where the object was made ?


Been a busy day. Drove over to  Long  Melford this  morning and went to the monthly  antique fair (as customers this time). Successful  visit.  Motored home via Stowmarket (where I had to collect a blunderbuss) and also via a downpour (much needed). When home had a nap (also much needed) and have been pottering around the workshop since.

Ready for a more solid and elongated nap now - so Goodnight All.


Sunday, 30 April 2017


Two more  shots of  'corners of  the  garden'.

The  above  photograph is of a tulip in  a raised bed of tulips  in the centre of the garden. It's a lovely vibrant red colour, but if you enlarge it, you'll  see that the spikey  edges of the petals make it look rather like one of those insect eating mini man trap type flowers.  It's the same colour  as the rest of  the tulips  in this  area, and I can only think  that  the last time we purchased a bag of  tulips this one slipped  in to the bag and the flower  bed. Does anyone know  of this type of tulip and what it's called?

Tuesday, 25 April 2017


The top  photo is of half a celtic strapwork stone   set in the round tower of Aldham  Church. The other half of the same stone is  in the inside south wall  of the church.

A small part  of  our garden, now  looking  quite colourful. The enclosed box hedge surrounded area at the top  of  the photo  contains most of Ann's herb garden, although  the terra cotta tubs at the front of  the picture also contain herbs, the herb garden being pretty full. They get used a good deal. On 10th June the garden will be again  opened as part of the Highdale  hidden gardens display.  We'd no real  intention of  opening it again this year, but seem to  have been over ruled. Hilary has volunteered to help  again, so,  providing  the  weather's decent, it could be quite fun.

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, depend 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.