Sunday, 30 December 2007


Been experimenting with photographs on blog today. The one below was taken last Sunday, and shows son Jonathan, son-in-law Mikey, and back view of grandson Guy. Today went to morning service. I sang in choir for the first time in ten days , due to lingering nasally cold - not quite shaken off even now. Ann was server. Maureen gave sermon and almost immediately afterwards had heavy nosebleed (always been subject to them). This was dealt with so efficiently (and discreetly) that no one in congregation was aware it had happened. After lunch went to look at a bicycle that Ann had seen advertised for sale on local noticeboard. Ann, Lasse, Tuva, and self went to inspect cycle. Ann looked at it and quite liked it, I rode it, Lasse checked it for mechanical faults, and Tuva pronounced on its 'coolness' (qualified approval). So I purchase it (£40), and rode it home. I hope, and think, I shall enjoy having a bike again. This evening played scrabble. Good game. Good night. God bless you.
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Taken last Sunday and showing three of the granddaughters who have just raided the dressing up box.
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Great Gran.

Not a very good photie of Great Gran, but thought I must include one. This was taken on Christmas morning.
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Photograph of Swedish granddaughters with cake they decorated. Cake made and iced by Ann. I told them I wanted a Christmas theme and first rate quality professional decoration, and this is what they came up with. Pretty good, what ? May blog some more later.
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Friday, 28 December 2007


Pleasant day. Late morning we all went for a walk along the river, fed the ducks, watched a young fisherman, went to a park with swings and what appeared to be a junior assault course. Walked home through the town, and in my case sat in my chair to catch up on the news, and awoke an hour later with the newspaper on the floor, my specs on the end of my nose, and a cup of (completely cold) tea on the stool beside me - very kindly supplied by Ann who didn't like to wake me -even kinder. We ate at 3p.m.- Ruth and Lasse had been out to the new Indian restaurant and bought back a takeaway meal. Lasse knows about Indian food and this was excellent - all the ingredients (or ingreediments as Ruth used to call them when younger) tasted fresh, and there were some very subtle blends of taste. About 6 p.m. we had a cup of tea and a mince pie (with some of the brandy butter left over from Christmas day. Took the photo of three generations in the kitchen about an hour ago (from left to right Ruth, Freja and Ann). The two girls are now in bed, and all's quiet and all's well. Goodnight and God bless you all.

Wednesday, 26 December 2007

Boxing Day.

Jonathan set off back to Wolverhampton after breakfast. After lunch Ann and I took Gran to Ingham, where we met Ann's brother Tim, and transferred Gran and her luggage to Tim's car, for him to take her the rest of the way home. Should have mentioned that Tuva has been poorly all day - tummy upset (which I was inclined to blame on Christmas fare but both Ann and Ruth said that she had eaten very little on Christmas day) and a sore throat. She has slept most of today (probably the best thing for her) and seems rather better now. Cold collation and hot mashed potatoes for supper. I always say that the best part of Christmas for me (cullinarily speaking) is foraging for cold leftovers on Boxing Day. Am now sitting in my study (?) blogging. Ruth (obliging wench) has just allowed me to take her photograph (see above) despite her habitual dislike of this process. Off to bed now. Goodnight all.

Tuesday, 25 December 2007

Christmas Day.

At 7.10 this morning Ann woke me (with a cup of tea, bless her) to say that the two Swedish granddaughters wanted to open their Christmas stockings. "They're very welcome to carry on with it" says I, all grandfatherly. "No" says Ann, "They want you to be there". So then I donned a dressing gown and joined the festivities. Great fun it was, too; although it got slower and slower because the oldest one is turning into a reader, and started off reading the comics and books as they came out of her stocking; and by the time I took this photo she had started to read the old sheets of newspaper that the presents were wrapped in. She explained that the sheet of newspaper she is reading in the photo above contained an episode of the Simpsons that she had missed. Not familiar with the cartoon she mentioned though I have heard of it, and anyway understood just how she felt. After we had all emptied our stockings (Father Christmas had been his usual generous self- all useful stuff) we had breakfast - pork pie, toas, tea, and a russet apple. See first photo - partially laid breakfast table. Then to Church for Christmas morning Family Eucharist. Home for light lunch, Queen's Speech later, and Christmas Dinner about 6p.m. - Roast pork, etc. followed by Christmas pudding, aflame with scotch- very impressive blue flames in dark- with brandy butter - son Jonathan and I have been perfecting the flaming pudding routine for some years now - with son in law Lasses help, as effective as ever. Then short, brisk walk, home, cup of tea - made by Lasse- and just beginning to think about early night. Perhaps not - can hear piano being played in hall above me, so perhaps some music first. Goodnight all.

Monday, 24 December 2007

Still Christmas Eve.

Here is a photograph Ann took yesterday of the blogger surrounded by assorted grandchildren. I was showing them old black and white photoes from the album. This in turn started because two of them had dragged old frocks from the dressing up box and donned them and I then showed them old pictures of their Granny wearing the same frocks about forty years ago. Children love looking at an old image of a baby or toddler and saying "is that really my Mummy ?" and showing great disbelief that their matronly Mum was once a tiny tot. Yesterday, Sarah, Ruth, Kerry, and Jonathan showed up with the above illustrated offspring, and a great time was had by all, certainly by their grandparents and Great Gran. I am once again attempting to learn the art of illustrating this blog with photoes, and will make the most of Ruth's stay. Must go and see about my share of filling the Christmas stockings. Good night all.

Monday, Christmas Eve.

This morning I gave the two Swedish grandchildren the task of decorating the Christmas cake (a task I usually do myself- or at least with the aid of whatever grandchildren are available, but presided over by Grandpa). However this year these two were available and of an age to be left to get on with it, so I provided the materials, and did, and this is the result, which for an eight year old and a ten year old, is pretty good I think. The father Christmas figure was made in coloured icing by the two of them, and applied when complete, so that the figure appears on the cake in low relief. will publish this and come back later.

Thursday, 20 December 2007


Yesterday was a long day. Got up, went to early service where I read the Old Testament lesson. Isaiah 39, which concerned King Hezekiah who (just on the evidence in this chapter) must have been the silliest king recorded in the whole of the Old Testament. Brief breakfast in the Deanery, then drove over to Wisbech, saw Elizabeth our accountant, who returned the books, then on to Gran's who is spending Christmas with us, and bought her home, stopping at Downham Market at the Castle, where we had tea and Biccies with Mick and Erica. Considering she is now in her 100th year on God's earth (as she would put it) Gran coped very well with the two hour drive. This morning I was putting in some time in my workshop before breakfast when our good friend Terry Turk 'phoned. With the possible exception of our accountant Elizabeth, Terry talks faster and better than anyone I know. I think both of them live in their own time scale which moves faster than that of the rest of us, and I invariable come off the 'phone to either of them feeling stimulated, rejuvenated, and moving much faster than before. Will say no more because I've just remembered that Terry reads my blog, and I would not wish to embarass her (Heh Heh !!! - American expression- don't know what it means !!) Spent the rest of this morning in my workshop trying to sort out a small but recalcitrant timepiece alarm. Think I'm winning. This afternoon Ann and I went into town (Gran declined, saying she wanted a quiet day to recuperated from yesterday) to do a bit of shopping. Looked round the new shop opened by Adnam's of Southwold - Kitchens and Cellars I think it's called. Rather disappointed. Don't think it will take off. Still, you never know. Choir practice this evening for Sunday's Carol Service. Don't feel we're nearly ready for it. Also feel that Terry's influence has not yet rubbed off - the way I'm writing feels just as if I'm talking too fast (SEE TERRY- you're a bad influence on me!!!) Good night all - God bless you.

Sunday, 16 December 2007

Still Sunday.

P.P.S. Sorry, didn't make it clear :- Chief Medical Advisor :- Ann.


Fairly good, hectic, week. On wednesday early service (7.30 am) followed by breakfast in the Deanery kitchen. Wednesday afternoon telephone bidding at auction. Got seven lots (including one on commission for a friend). Wednesday evening shared meal at the Cleavers' , with a Christmas theme; our contribution was a 'Christmas leftovers pie'; very good it was too - turkey, ham, stuffing, and cranberries, under a pastry crust. Could be served hot or cold- rather like a Christmassy game pie. On Thursday found I was developing horrible nasally cold. Took it to choir practice, but managed to sing. On Friday had to go to London to collect the auction lots I'd purchased on Wednesday. Went up by train. Day went fairly smoothly. Left home just after 9a.m. and we were home by 4p.m. complete with goodies. Also found good record and music shop on upper floor of Liverpool Street Station, and was able to purchase young Pawan what I hope will be a suitable small Christmas present - a C.D. of Spanish guitar music- assured by very helpful young assistant that it is 'fast and relaxing - cool'. Couldn't make much of this but girl seemed to know what she was talking about. Pawan is keen guitar player, and very good so his mother (!) informs me. Fourteen year old boys very difficult to buy for so hopes he likes it. His sister much easier - book of instructions on origami (?) Japanese paper folding, and she's good with her hands. On Saturday morning sang Christmas carols in the high street. About twenty of us (mainly from different Church Choirs) accompanied by Salvation Army Brass band. Thoroughly enjoyed it but got very cold. Woke up this morning to find cold rather worse, so on my chief medical advisor's advice spent day indoors catching up on backlog of work. Shortly about to try the efficacy of a hot toddy, a hot bottle and bed. Goodnight all.

P.S. Recipe for above hot toddy : equal measures of scotch and water, good squeeze of lemon and a little honey all boiled up together, well stirred as it simmers, and the fumes well inhaled. This to be drunk when suffering from a cold. If I'm honest it doesn't really help the cold much, but it does help me feel a bit more cheerful about it . Warm regards to all, Mike.

Friday, 7 December 2007


Been hard at work all week (as far as I can remember). Still, one major job I had promised to have ready by Christmas looks as if it will be done in time. Due to the fortnight we had to spend in Milton Keynes I really began to think I should have to 'phone and make my excuses. Liz Allport stayed overnight on Tuesday so she could go to the Wednesday Long Melford antique fair. Liz is never any trouble and invariably pulls her weight - the ideal houseguest.Sue and David gave all three of us dinner on Tuesday evening - very good it was too- one of David's really very subtle curries. Their dog Coco is off colour - she's had teeth trouble- she's as welcoming as ever but really seems to have lost her 'bounce'. Liz bought fairly well at Long Melford, and we had a very satisfactory day. It's a unique little antique fair, the only one about which I've ever been able to use the word 'consistent'. Ann was out from midday till four pm helping with a local club that puts on a good hot lunch for elderly folk. They served eighty four lunches - roast beef as a main course, pudding and coffee, and charged £3 a head. It is deservedly popular of course with the elderly. The odd thing is that if you worked out the average age of the organisers, helpers, and servers, you would probably find it rather higher than that of the recipients ! Must knock off and go to bed. Goodnight and God bless you.

Sunday, 2 December 2007

Sunday- At Home.

My apologies for not having blogged for a while. The blog I'm about to write - but possibly not publish- is not my usual blog recording the latest scrabble session or with whom we've been out to tea. On Friday the 16th of November we got home from visting friends in Sandy (about fifteen miles from our oldest Daughter Sarah's home - note the irony !) at about 5 pm. At about 7pm. the 'phone rang. It was Sarah's father - in -law Frank. "Where have you been ? I've been trying to ring you all day," he said to Ann. "We've been to Sandy. What's the matter, Frank ?" says Ann. Then he told her that Sarah was seriously ill in hospital. Meningitis was suspected. She was on a life support machine. Mikey (her husband ) was with her. She had been delirious, and was now heavily sedated. Frank and Jane (Mikey's parents) were looking after the children. He offered us a bed for the night, but said he could see no point in going over that night, and suggested we tell the family, and go over the next morning, and they would put us up. Not a good night's sleep for either of us. I kept seeing her as a baby (she was a joyous babe - whenever we took her out in the pram she would smile at everyone - and everyone would stop to return the compliment). The following morning we made our way across to Milton Keynes, and went straight to Frank and Jane's. They were waiting for news from Mikey who had spent the night in hospital beside Sarah's bed. The children were very subdued, and were in fact being quite unnaturally good. We went on to the hospital to relieve Mikey (who had had no sleep) and sat beside Sarah who was still very deeply sedated. She had had a lumbar puncture to determine whether she had meningitis. At 8.30 pm. Mikey came back and relieved us, and we went back to Frank and Janes, where Jane had prepared a delicious light meal (which was wasted on us as I can remember very little of it, and tasted probably less), after which we soon went off to bed. The Following morning (Sunday) we tried to keep the children amused with card games. At 11 am. Frank and I were reading the papers when the 'phone rang. Jane answered it and then came through and said "That was Mikey. He says Sarah has been talking to him". It was, I think, the best news I had ever heard in my life. Frank and I sat there gulping and trying to keep stiff upper lips. Jane and Ann were clinging to each other (as ladies may). Young Lucy (ten) broke the tension by bellowing her (at the moment) favourite word :- "HALLELUJAH !!!!!!!!" . I'm going to shorten the whole thing now. Sarah had had bacterial meningitis. To try and keep things as normal as possible for the children (school, etc.) we (Ann and I, that is) took them home to Sarah and Mikey's on Sunday evening and stayed on. Sarah came home the following Sunday, and we eventually returned home on Friday last, 30th November. I'm sorry to have foisted all this onto any readers in such bald detail. It does, however, confirm my opinion, based on experience, that the really nasty events hit you out of a clear blue sky. Love to all, Mike and Ann.

Tuesday, 13 November 2007

Still Tuesday (A long day)

Went to a village antique fair early in October, I think, and purchased four items, of which this is one. Sold it since then. Rather wish we hadn't.
Here is a picture of Ann relaxing by our first fire of the autumn.


Here is a photo of the doll I repaired for a friend about a month ago. Hope this works.

Sunday, 11 November 2007


Been a busy week both socially and work wise. Been replacing (not sure that's the right word) all the black lettering and figures on the dial of an eight day, painted dial (obviously) long case clock. I'd love to know what the original dial painters used for their black paint, probably I think, a mixture of soot and gum arabic. The point is that it fades in sunlight, sometimes completely, but if a lamp is shone on at an oblique angle, what has been there is usually visible as a shiny surface just proud of the dial surface. This has to be replaced, in my case with Indian ink and a mapping pen; and in this case, with roman numerals to the main dial, but also with arabic numerals to the second dial, and with italic arabic numerals to the date dial. Then the maker's name was done in a rather elegant script, and the place name in florid regency gothic lettering, surrounded by curlicues and 'flecking' to balance sizewise with the maker's name above it, then the outer rings of ink had to be replace to mark the chapter ring. I must stress that all of this has to go on over exactly what was on the dial originally, so there is no question of 'fakery'. I must admit that I prefer restoring brass clock dials, partly because they're,in general, earlier, and I do like earlier clocks, and partly because they're easier to do. Socially it's been much as usual, although as St. Mary's Church choir were singing at a wedding yesterday (Saturday)afternoon , it meant I couldn't go to my usual scrabble club, but Hilary (also in the church choir) took pity on me, and asked us to a scrabble tea after the wedding. Incidentally met the wedding party after service this morning, it turned out they were from Norfolk and knew the Eglintons. Continuing on the social side, on Friday evening we went to a 'supper party' as they're now usually called (although a five course meal for eight of us seems rather excessive for a supper. I think 'dinner party' is a more accurate, if dated, description, and much fairer to our hostess). A very pleasant, relaxed evening was had by all. Conversation never flagged, and as we all had our own fields of speciality, and all knew each other fairly well, it covered a very wide range of subjects, and flew past much too quickly. One of the subjects we covered early was a rather sad one. An old friend of ours, a large bay gelding who lived in a field near us with a small grey pony, who had died a few weeks ago, decided to jump the old brick wall which divides his field from the road, crashed through the top courses of the wall, landed badly, and broke his neck. I don't think he was that old, about fifteen, I would guess. But he had been very lonely of late. Sad, what? I don't think I'm either a sentimentalist or one of those people who apply human emotions to animals (anthropomorphists ??) but he had been acting rathe oddly of late (rolling his eyes, and laying his ears back for no apparent reason) and it did seem possible that his loneliness for his old field companion had turned his brain possibly. On which sad note I must retire and go to bed. Good night, all.

Saturday, 3 November 2007


Got home from oldest daughter's about noon today, where we have been babysitting their four youngsters, Sarah having been in for surgery. We went there on Tuesday last. We both thoroughly enjoyed it but obviously came home a little fatigued. I've been playing nine mens' morris most evenings with the grandchildren and really having to exert meself to win about one game in three. On Wednesday evening (31st October- Halloween) lots of groups of children came 'trick or treating'. All were known to the grandchildren, and most were accompanied by their parents. All of them were dressed as witches or strange creatures of the night. One young gentleman (dressed- very appropriately as it turned out- as a little devil) after I'd payed tribute, and very possibly being misled by my whiskers, asked me confidentially if I was dressed as Albert Einstein. "No," I said "This is really me," and tugged at my beard to prove it. I realised almost immediately that what I aught to have replied was "No, I really am Albert Einstein." I don't think he'd have known. All the grandchildren burst into peals of hysterical laughter and galloped off to tell their father and Granny about this (in their view) incredibly funny and totally understandable case of mistaken identity. I spent the rest of Halloween having to speak in a German accent for their amusement. ( Havink in a Cherman accent for zeir amusment to shpik)., and being addressed a Herr Einstein. Children !!!!!!!!!!!!! Almost tempts one to shave. In the daytime we combed the very few remaining antique shops, but to very little effect, only two items. Still, got loads of work to be getting on with between now and Christmas. and one major job probably just after Christmas. This afternoon to scrabble club at U.R.C. Room, where three excellent games were played (lost first one- won next two). Going to knock off now and clean black shoes ready for Gran's ninety ninth birthday party tomorrow. Gran=mother -in -law.Goodnight all.

Sunday, 28 October 2007

sunday evening.

Just got back from four days in Norfolk, Langley School, up near Loddon. Interesting, enjoyable, and fairly productive long weekend. Saturday evening had dinner in Norwich with friends Derek and Cath; fellow guests Terry and Diana. Most enjoyable. We have decided that we are both far too fatigued to go into details of weekend now, and are going to bed instead. Goodnight All.

Tuesday, 23 October 2007


The piano tuner is here- nice bloke, much my vintage. I can hear him working on the piano in the hall - I'm downstairs in the cellar- he has finished tuning it and is now putting it through its paces, scraps of music, tunes and old songs- Joe is enjoying himself and so am I. I must nip up and pay him (and thank him). He always tunes it well before Christmas. All done, now to blog business. Last week we nipped down to Cornwall. Well actually we took five days over it (there and back) rather than nipping. The A.G.M. of the antique Metalware Society was held at Cothele on Friday, and as (among other delights) Anthony North (ex V.& A.)was giving a talk on the armoury there, we decided to treat ourselves. We did a good deal of exploring (and stock buying) while we were down there. As our daughter Sarah and family were holidaying in North Devon from Saturday onwards, on Sunday when we returned, we made a detour and spent an hour with them on our way home. Ann drove all the way (me being engaged in navigating) for a grand total of 375 miles!!! It was a lovely break. As we've a very busy weekend coming up I've been working hard since we got home. Before closing though, on Sunday 14th October, I made mention of a victorian wooden doll I'd repaired. Well the Monday before we went off to Cornwall we dropped it in to its owner, who was as pleased as punch with the repairs, and told us the full history of the doll. It had been given her by her grandmother, who had been given it by.............. etc.etc., and has in fact been in the same family since new (circa 1850), and had suffered the expected ravages of being played with by many generations of children. The owner was overjoyed to have her back complete, and I was pleased to have done a good job. Like the village blacksmith - something attempted, something done, had earned a night's repose- to misquote slightly. Goodnight all.

Sunday, 14 October 2007


Scrabble very civilised I'm afraid, but even so a very enjoyable afternoon/early evening. Hilary won two games, I won the last one, but Hilary said that was because she knew her duty as a guest and let me win (making a virtue of a necessity I call that - but I didn't say so because I know my duty as a host). Goodnight.


With reference to previous blog - poppy head bench end- nothing to do with actual poppy heads. We have just anglicised (this really means improved on) the original French word poupe(with a grave accent over the 'e' but my machine, being English, isn't fitted with foreign accents) head , meaning doll's head, but to my mind they look as if they originated as stylised acanthus heads. Talking of doll's heads- for the last day or so I've been working on a mid Victorian jointed wooden doll for a friend. It had both lower legs missing, one arm missing, and both shoulder joints broken- all these being the sort of jobs that can be done when there is twenty minutes to spare between bigger jobs. Finished her off yesterday evening and I think Diana will be pleased with the result. Problem is -it's not the sort of job one can charge for- being completely ouside my usual sort of work. Did much the same sort of thing last week with a family portrait - a Regency oil painting in dreadful condition - the old canvas splitting in all directions. I scrounged a piece of nice solid old linen from Gran, and backed the canvas with it using a water soluble glue so that the whole thing could be reversed at some future date if need be, then touched in the front over the joins. Young Patrick had even kept the few missing pieces of canvas. It was rather jigsaw puzzle work, and although not quite an invisible mend, the repairs weren't easy to see and it was a lot more stable than it had been in years. I learned a lot from doing it. The nice thing is that the young gentleman to whom it belongs has just had a son (well his wife did the heavy work but you know what I mean) and I think there's strong family likeness running through the old portrait, Patrick and his son.
Socially been a nice busy week, and as we're giving a scrabble tea this afternoon I'd better go up and help Ann get ready for it. May add more later if scrabble exciting enough to justify a further entry. Regards, Mike.

Sunday, 7 October 2007


I seem to be getting very lazy about blogging, for which my apologies. Part of the problem is that life here goes on much the same, and if we've had a meal with friends or a good scrabble session I find myself thinking that I put down something very similar last week (and the week before) and this must be very boring for my readers (if any). But life is repetative- and seasonal- and providing we like what we're doing (and I usually do) I've no quarrel with that. Feel I'm maundering on a bit now so will carry on with what I've done today. Got up early (for a Sunday) and motored over to Copdock where two antique fairs were being held. Just inside the door of the first fair I purchased an English fifteenth century carved oak poppy head from a bench end. Not particularly valuable, but rare. Carried on and bought four more items. Not a bad haul. Then motored back in time for a quick choir practice before the morning service. Home, lunch, quick post prandial nap, then changed into me scruff to do some work. Changed back into semi respectable clobber for evensong (although Ann had something to say about the state of my moleskins and old weskit - promised to retire them both- at least as far as church is concerned).Needn't have worried as we were the congregation. I read the Old Testament lesson and Ann read the Gospel. Congratulated David the Dean on first grandchild. Home, supper, spot of computering and bed. Goodnight all.

Thursday, 27 September 2007

Thursday - will now start blogging again.

First of all - my apologies for the long delay in blogging. A fortnight ago today Ann and I went off to Leicester to attend a 'handfasting' in the family. From there we motored down to Milton Keynes and stayed over with Sarah and Mikey for a couple of nights. It was great to see them and the grandchildren. On Saturday we had a very pleasant lunch with Frank and Jane, Mikey's parents. A thoroughly enjoyable weekend. Then on Monday we motored down to Devon, where Ann's middle brother David had taken a flat in Sidmouth - the ground floor of a regency house with a lovely wide sea view. Sidmouth is a compact little town with pre war ideas and great self confidence. Took lots of photos and when I can get the hang of this *&+%*+£$"* digital camera again I will post some on the blog, but at the moment it is sulking. Anyway, we spent three most enjoyable days there and finally returned home last Friday. Since then have been working hard, and occasionally wasting time trying to make sense of the camera/computer relationship and failing dismally. Will get Craig to come round and exert pressure on it to behave. Weather getting colder. Choir practice this evening. Must go and do some more work now. Will say this for the computor :- it does make me feel like leaving it alone while I go and get on with things I do know how to do.

Monday, 10 September 2007

Even more Monday.

This is Ann walking up churchyard path to church in (yes, you've guessed it) Monks Eleigh. Just practising - Mike.

More Monday.

Same village as previous blog - Monks Eleigh- loved the hearty little black car. Think I've finally got the idea of putting photies on blog. Visiting friend All P went through it with me this morning - fingers crossed I've got it right. Our old friends Barbara and Alan are about to go off on their annual winter migration to southern Europe, so they motored across to see us for our yearly get together. They came in their mobile home which they parked in our friend Margaret B.'s large garden overnight. We spent yesterday afternoon wandering round Hadleigh's annual street fair, then home for supper at which Margaret joined us - Yanson's delight for main course- layers of sliced potato, sliced onion, anchovy fillets, cream, then baked in oven until nice and brown on top - swedish dish and delicious. Margaret took them back to her's in her car - they slept in their mobile home, and I picked them up again at 8a.m. this morning. Breakfast, after which I went into surgery for a blood test, returned and got Alan to teach me (again) to put 'photies on blog. Then one good game of scrabble - Ann played a cracking game - putting a seven letter word across a triple word score and winning easily. Alan and Barbara then set off for Essex to visit Alan's father, who is 93, before their winter pilgrimage. This afternoon we went and picked seven and a half pound of sloes for this winter's sloe gin. After this years wet summer the sloes are blue, ripe, but not very big - don't know good the gin will be - we'll se -or rather we'll taste. Ann's just called down that cup of tea is available so will close.


/this is very pretty locl village, Monks Eleigh. Good pub there, Good grub therein. Thoroughly recommend it. Back later.

Thursday, 6 September 2007


Went into town first thing this morning to bank, and to purchase a decent pot plant etc. Then at 11 a.m. in car and drove over to Frinton, where we went to an at home to celebrate the sixtieth wedding anniversary of our good friends John and Ann C.-T. Took them a card and the pot plant- left these on the front door step and then wandered round to the garden to join the party. Champagne and nibbles. Their two daughters had put the party on, and THEIR daughters served the food. Sons in law served drinks - champagne or Buck's fizz. Grandson took photographs. Lovely family do covering several generations. Family and friends altogether about 60 of us. Thoroughly enjoyed it and felt very privileged to be with them. Hadn't seen the daughters for some years - good to see them again - all the granddaughters seemed very grown up - one a policewoman now - had a nice chat with her. On leaving, Ann and my Ann got their diaries together for us to go over there for supper, sometime in October (I think). Slept in car most of way home, and, if I'm honest, for an hour thereafter (effects of three or four glasses of champagne I fear.) Choir practice this evening - went well, we both felt thoroughly on song for once - further effects of champagne maybe -will try that idea over on Ann. Home and sausage casserole for supper. Nursery comfort food and very nice too. Goodnight all.

Saturday, 1 September 2007


Today was the Deanery Fete day. Ann was helping in the kitchen so went off into town at around 9.30 am. Hilary and I were running the raffle stall so I went in at 11.30 am. the fete started at 12 Noon in the Deanery garden. The raffle stall was very busy indeed. We ran out of raffle books quite early but went on using a pad of a thousand cloakroom tickets. Someone then handed in a dozen or so unsold raffle books, but half an hour later we had sold all these so went back to using the cloakroom tickets. There were all the usual attractions except no coconut shies and no Punch and Judy show. The dog show was larger and better than ever. All the stalls seemed very busy, and Ann told me that the refreshment tent sold a hundred and seventy three ploughman's lunches. The raffle was drawn at 4p.m. and I eventually found that I had won a river trip for two along the Orwell to Harwich next summer. Look forward to it. We walked home a bit after 5p.m. both feeling thoroughly and pleasantly tired. A good busy day. I wish you all a good, quiet, night.

Tuesday, 28 August 2007


Had friends in for coffee this morning. In order of arrival :- Sue and David, Daphne our near neighbour (husband Peter couldn't come - he still works three days a week) and Terry, whose clock I delivered and set up about ten days ago. Strike not reliable (as I rather expected) but it has been stopping. This surprises me but we are going over to have a look at it tomorrow afternoon, so hope I can spot what's wrong and induce it to behave better. Coffee morning went well. Conversation general until nearly midday when I found I had been giving a lecture which started with ember tongs, and went on to tinder boxes, both manual and mechanical, and ended with John Walker's invention of 'friction lights' in 1827. Must guard against tendency to ramble and stick to topics of more general interest. Surprised Ann didn't rein me in. Worked in workshop most of afternoon and completed restoration of copper tinder box, thoughts of which may have triggered this morning's pontification. Cleaned shoes and boots this evening, which should keep me looking respectable for the coming week. Pottering in garden this evening and spotted buds on Morning Glory (Ipomia) , Heavenly Blue variety, so with luck should have a nice display well before the first frosts finish them off. Been such a wet and cold summer that I really thought they would come to nothing. Nearly bedtime and an early start tomorrow, so goodnight all.

Saturday, 25 August 2007

more saturday

This is a Ferdinand Pichard rose we put into our garden earlier this year. It is very like the old Rosa Mundi, and the scent is superb. We put half a dozen rose bushes in and this one is the best. Will put some more of these on the blog when I've become more familiar with using the camera.


Today our good friend Craig showed us how to add photies to the blog and the resulting picture is of your friend the blogger in his cellar. Still under tuition so will add more later.

Monday, 20 August 2007


Last thursday I finally got my new shed, that I intend using as a forge, delivered. This morning I finally got around to nailing up the fire resistant boarding around the forge area. This seemed a sensible business precaution when setting up a forge (however small) in a wooden potting shed. Later finished off edging tiny pond for frogspawn (and eventually tadpoles, and hopefully, frogs) next spring. This afternoon we drove over to Polstead and went for a walk. Stood beside the large pool from which the village is supposed to take its name (originally Poolstead) and watched two young anglers (10 to 12 year olds I should think) land a large carp. When weighed, it turned the scales at seven pounds. They had quite a fight landing it, and then an almost equally tough fight putting it back in the pool. Nice youngsters. Walked across meadowland where we have found mushrooms in the past but none today. Still we heard an owl hooting and also saw a green woodpecker that we had heard 'yaffling' earlier. Most enjoyable afternoon. Home about five thirty. Spent evening pottering on computer. I think in modern parlance that should be pottering on the 'pooter. Nearly time for bed now. Goodnight.

Saturday, 18 August 2007

saturday continued.

Scrabble went well. No fireworks, but the four of us played four games and won a game each. Very satisfactory, as was the tea Ann put on. Agreed to all meet at Doris's for next scrabble next week. Good night.


Been a nice hectic week this last one. So much so that I can't remember much of it. Still, let's try. On monday (I think) took Terry's little thirty hour wall clock back and reinstalled it. Bit bothered about the strike. Very unusual arrangement to it, and some evidence of it having been altered early on. Still, having installed it we had tea and cake and waited for it to strike five, which it did perfectly, so hope I've solved the problem. On Wednesday ran Gran back as far as Ely. Ann dropped me off at Tricia's where I reroped her grandfather (clock that is). It's a lovely primitive old country gentleman. Good to see them both again. Then on to the Fire Engine House where David had booked lunch for the nine of us. Three of us ordered poigeon and bacon casserole, and rather to our surprise got a complete wood pigeon each. When I make a pigeon casserole (or pie) I usually use just the breast meat in chunks; so to make a casserole with whole pigeons- well it must have been quite a casserole! The Fire Engine house does rather pride itself on using local produce. Very good meal in family company. After the meal transferred Gran's luggage to Time and Sue's car and found that I'd left her small suitcase behind. Apologised to Gran for this and she said :- "Never mind, dear. I'm not bothered. I've got a wardrobe full at home." Nice, sporting way to take my booboo. She's a gentlewoman, is my Ma-in-law. Yesterday (Friday) Ann and I motored, with Sue and David up to high Norfolk to have lunch with Liz Allport and see her new cottage. Semi retirement seems to suit her well. Only semi as I think she'll always be an antique dealer. The cottage is a lovely flint built home set in a georgeous small garden (but bigger than ours). The garden is my ideal in that it is a cottage garden set in an old orchard. Behind the house surprisingly are some very mature oak trees. The cottage is much roomier inside than it appears from the outside. We were all very favourably impressed with her new home. For lunch Liz gave us a superb lasagne with garlic bread and a green salad, followed by raspberries with a meringue and cream. She then produced a cheese board with home made bread, after which we withdrew to the withdrawing room for coffee. While we were coffeeing Liz showed us some of her new stock including one piece she wasn't sure about and wanted my opinion on. It turned out to be a very nice piece of Indo/Persian koftgari work, which I purchased from her just before we left. Altogether a lovely day out. Must knock off now as we are giving a scrabble tea this afternoon. May add more later depending on the ferocity of the scrabble.

Friday, 10 August 2007

Even more Friday.

Hello again Ruth and Tribe. Having reread my last blog I see that I've left out the point ot the story. Which is that (as Pa used to say when telling the story) "She picked off a long line of lillies as neat as you please with an air rifle, cutting each one off about a foot above the ground." I hope that makes it clear. Great Gran sends her love to you all, as do Mummy and I. Love Pa.

Some more Friday.

Hi Roo, this time this blog is in answer to your query regarding your Great Gran's shooting escapade circa 1926?or 7. She says it occurred when she was 18 or 19. She was upstairs in Pa's bedroom where she was allowed to be because he was poorly at the time. Pa's bedroom was at the end of the back landing on the left. The room that Mummy and I had as our bedroom until you turned it into an upstairs sitting room when we were out one weekend. It is also the room (oddly enough) where I shot a hole in the wall beside the door using a long snaphaunce locked barbary musket in 1963, but that's another story. Great Gran says that she used an air rifle from the window. She says that the gravel drive was below the window as it is now, but that a pathway went from the far isde of the drive to the summer house or folly in the park. To the right of this path ran the line of lillies. They went from the edge of the gravel drive to a point level with the right hand end of the pond. Some of the same lillies were still at the end of the pond when we went back there in 1977. They were the type known as (I think) crown royal lillies. That would give a range of about ten yards (from the window to the far side of the drive) to about thirty yards or so to a point level with the right hand end of the pond. Great Gran also says "I thing Grandpa Will must have been annoyed, but he didn't say anything, I don't know why". I think I do. If I'd been Grandpa Will, and had seen such an exhibition of sharpshooting as that, I'd have kept me trap shut. At least until I'd seen Gran put the rifle down.


Yesterday Ann motored across to Wisbech to pick up her mother who is to spend a few days with us. Gran (who will be 99 on the 5th of November)coped with the two hour car journey very well. In fact when she'd been here half an hour she accepted my invitation to come down and have a look at my cellar (I shall have to learn to call it the undercroft - 'cellar' doesnt do it justice), Gran was very impressed with it. This morning our good friend Jenny arrived here at 11.30 am, and after showing her our new home the four of us piled into her car and she drove us to the Swan at Monk's Eleigh where we had lunch. An excellent lunch it was too. I had a duck's leg (I think it must have been an Aylebury duck) on a bed of red cabage. Ann had halibut on samphire, Gran had plaice in a parmesan sauce, and Jenny (who had had a starter) had a bowl of fresh shrimps. All had been cooked on the premises while we waited, and all (we all agreed) was excellent. Then home, coffee in the garden, and Jenny set off home. She loved our new home, and indeed it was lovely to see her. I don't know how she copes. She has a very sick husband to nurse, combined with a high powered job (and a business partner who is less than fully sympathetic). Yet she still manages to be (as Gran remarked when she'd left) a ray of sunshine. Must stop now. May add more later.

Sunday, 5 August 2007

Sunday, Day of Rest ?????

Went in to church early for choir practice. Did several jobs before choir practice, e.g. prepared hymn boards, hung them up, wound vestry clock, etc. Then to choir practice where choir master/organist was in vile mood because several members were late ( I think they may have been late because of their fear that choirmaster might be in vile mood). He spent the practice muttering malevolently at choir, and as I am deaf I have the privilege of bellowing "EH?" at him so he ups the decibels of malevolent muttering so we can hear what he's muttering and I wish I hadn't bothered. Eventually he mutters,inaudibly, that he supposes it could have been worse, and I remark (audibly I hope) that this is high praise indeed chaps. We then go and get robed up, and so to service, during which we perform creditably, and choirmaster is said to be quite pleased. Don't know the truth of this report as choirmaster certainly doesn't confirm it.

Saturday, 4 August 2007


This morning Ann was taking the car into town to do a bit of shopping so I rode in with her. Bought some statice as Ann wants some for vase in hallway, (don't know how to pronounce that- should it be statiss or statichee ?), then returned books to library and took two more out. Then walked home. After lunch went to play scrabble with near neighbour. Took her a small bunch of statiche (had bought Ann two large bunches), which pleased her. Four of us, Doris(our host), Joyce, Ann and meself. Two very good games, then tea, then two more scrabbles. Doris won first three games, then Joyce won the fourth. Pleasant afternoon. After supper Ruth 'phoned from Sweden. She has had two of her sisters and their families to stay with her this summer (not at the same time) and said how well the visits went. Her youngsters had enjoyed their cousins staying, too. I find it very satisfying that all my grandchildren are growing up knowing their cousins and putting together some very colourful childhood memories. They have been walking in the forests, swimming in the lakes, catching fish (and cooking and eating them), and building a sand castle (their is a lake near Ruth with a sandy beach). They all want to go back to Sweden next summer and stay with their Aunt, Uncle and cousins again. When Lizzie said she wasn't sure that she could afford this her three offered to go without any Christmas presents this year if the resulting money saved could be put towards a return visit to Sweden !!!!! Ruth and I also talked about blogging, and I wanted to go into why I keep this blog with a view of getting comments on why we blog, but I find that I really must go to bed now, so will pu it off to a future blog (perhaps). Goodnight all.

Thursday, 2 August 2007

Hoorrah for Craig, the computer tamer.

Further to my entry of July the 31st regarding a light heavyweight contest between my recalcitrant Hindi spouting computer, and local champion Craig the computer tamer, I am glad to report that it was a foregone conclusion, as Craig won by a knockout in the opening seconds of the first round. The computer was heard later whimpering quietly to itself; promising to stick solidly to a nice English script, and never again to show off by by breaking out into indecipherable Hindi script. A triumph for traditionalism, I think.

Tuesday, 31 July 2007

This मचिने.

This machine has been playing me up lately. It has suddenly (and for no reason that I can work out) developed a predilection for writing in Hindi. I say that I don't know why this has occurred, but I strongly suspect that the cause is an attack of pure swank on the machine's part. Could it be, you may think, that the machine just got bored with my mundane English, and developed a desire to show me what it could do ? Well, you may be right, but in that case, why didn't it go for something a bit less exotic ? French maybe, or latin (giving us a sporting chance of understanding in part). But Hindi !!!! No, as I said before, pure swank. This has been going on for some days now, so I have been unable to give details of everyday life in Suffolk. The details of why, at an at home last Saturday, I found myself declaiming, with another poetry enthusiast, the tragedy of The little one eyed idol to the North of Khatmandu, are now lost to posterity, or why later the same evening, by popular request, I was obliged to give details of the Ramsbottom family's adventure usually refered to as Albert and the Lion. All lost because this machine refused to record things in a sensible English script. I think I've sorted it to some extent, but anyway, on Thursday my good friend Craig (our local computer tamer) is going to come in and give it what for, and generally make it behave. Well, that's geiven it fair warning! SO THERE!!!

Thursday, 26 July 2007


Yesterday got home in the late afternoon and found a message from Hilary on the recording machine to say that she had a spare ticket for Trevor Pinnock's European Brandenberg Ensemble playing chunks of Bach's Brandenburg Concerto in St. Mary's. Ann happily accepted the spare ticket, and I trotted off down to the Church and was fortunate enough to be able to purchase a ticket for one of the last half dozen seats still available. It was an incredible evening. I haven't words to begin to do it justice. Can't think why it wasn't better advertised. It was part of the Suffolk Villages Festival this summer. The church was full so perhaps it was as well it wasn't better advertised. When there's music like that available part of me regrets my deafness more than ever and part of me thanks God that I've enough hearing left to be still able to appreciate such music. I'm becoming fulsome, so will move on to today and say that Sue and David dropped in for coffee this morning, it was lovely to see them. Choir practise this evening. It went well, and we also discussed the cut and colour of proposed new cassocks, being presented by Sylvia Willis-Betts in memory of her late husband Frank. Very generous of her, she's a lovely person. Must get off to bed now. Got a busy day tomorrow. Goodnight all.

Monday, 23 July 2007

monday again

Today we drove over to Bury St. Edmund's and met up with David and Jo about midday. Adjourned to the cathedral refectory and had (as usual there) very good lunch. Jo and I had lamb casserole, Ann and David had, repectively, salmon and gammon. Pud :- two rhubarb and ginger crumbles, and two apple pies. All with custard, of course. After a fairly lingered over lunch, the ladies went off to trawl the charity shops, and David and I returned to the cars to transfer a strimmer from their boot to ours. We are to deliver it to cousin (or niece - whichever way you look at it) Becky on our way home - small detour involved. After transfer of strimmer I take David to St. Mary's to look at George Graham clock, and Mary Tudor's grave. Strange to think an English Princess/Queen of France is buried in a small Suffolk town. Still the church is fit for a Queen. Walked back to the Angel Hotel and order pot of tea for two in the lounge while we wait for our wives to arrive, which they do almost immediately, so we change the order to pot of tea for four and biscuits. Chat and imbibe tea until about four o'clock when we decide that we really must go and deliver strimmer to Becky, so reluctantly break up tea party and set out. Stop on way at an allotment to buy small bunch of flowers for Becky. At Becky and Matthew's we are greeted by five year old Megan who instantly enquires if I have brought red handkerchief with me. Am impressed by her memory and produce large red snuff hanky, and proceed , under close scrutiny from Megan and Jacob (aged eight) to turn it into mouse/rat/rabbit. then make it jump and run up my arm. Megan, as usual, very impressed by this. When it jumps off my shoulder and I ask Megan to retrieve it for me, she approaches it very cautiously, and after making quite sure that it is now showing no sign of junmping up and running off, she eventually (and bravely), picks it up and (holding it very firmly) returns it to me. Jacob (being a rather sophisticated eight) watches all this very carefully, but eventually appears rather impressed. Performance repeated until arrival of tea and scones, when mouse/rat/rabbit's head and tail are pulled simultaneously and it turns itself back into snuff handkerchief. This magic taught me fity odd years ago by another Suffolk man, my great uncle Maurice Young, who would have been gratified by its continuing popularity. Children, thank God, don't change. Becky has inherited her Aunt Ann's magic touch with scones, which are excellent. Lovely day, but not the weather, which tiddled down on the way home. Good night.

Sunday, 15 July 2007

Russ and Leah.

Russ and Leah payed us a long promised visit. Russ knows all about putting photos on computer, ao I have taken advantage of his knowlege (and good nature ) to put a couple of pics on my blog.


Hi, Ru here is a picture of the tile I mentioned a week or so ago. Courtesy of your cousin Russ :-

Thursday, 12 July 2007

Thursday - Day Out.

At 10 am picked up friends Sue and Terry at Sue's, and motored up to Snape, where two antique fairs are being held. Went first to Graham Turner's fair in the village Hall, as the Snape Maltings fair didn't open till Noon. Pottered round the fair; didn't buy anything, but met, and nattered to, several old friends. Then on to the Maltings fair, which we got to about three minutes before opening. Rather to my surprise Ann, Terry and Sue declined to join me in the opening charge, and went to the tea tent instead (the slackers). Spent a very pleasant hour or so wandering round the fair, until Ann sought me out and dragged me off to the tea tent for and admittedly much needed (and very refreshing) cheese sandwich and a glass of milk. We were soon joined by Terry and Sue, and then by old friends Ros and George Harrington, who we had rather lost touch with. It was great to pick up the threads again. George told the story of a summer a few years, when they came to visit us with their son Piers (then about 9 or 10). I let hin fire a wheel lock pistol and then a flintlock dueller. Back at school a few weeks later Piers was set the usual essay on 'What I did in the summer holidays', and Piers got an awful lot of kudos from his schoolmates by putting:- 'I did some shooting in Suffolk'. The boy should go far. We then drove to Orford, watched some children and parents on the Quay crabbing, then adjourned to a Tea shop, where Sue treated us to tea and cakes. Explored Sudbourne Church, which we enjoyed despite its extensive Victorianisation (even I liked it). On to Terry's for promised tea and chocolate stodge cake (excellent, but couldn't finish mine, and was presented with it to take home- felt like child going home from birthday party with piece of unexpected birthday cake). On to Sue's, and home in time for choir practice, which went well. Mushroom ommelette (that word never looks right, however spelled) . Stepped out to post letters. Back home and bed. More or less perfect day.

Friday, 6 July 2007

More Friday.

To Terry' s. Tea, then a game called Superscrabble. Takes about three times as long as normal scrabble. This game very well fought. Towards the end Terry and I were neck and neck, with Ann in third place. Honesty compels me to confess that Terry eventually won by several lengths. Well, honesty and the fact that Terry reads this blog. Good night all.


Clock reinstalled in vestry. Going well. Last major repair to clock in 1895, when maker's grandson fitted new fusee chain. Whilst in town, went to market place and bought two bunches of flowers, one for Ann, and one for Terry, with whom we're about to have tea and scrabble. More later perhaps, if scrabble exciting.

Wednesday, 4 July 2007

Ref. 25th June.

With reference to my blog entry of 25th June I mentioned that John Rye had dropped the Vestry clock on me (will rephrase that - had delivered the vestry clock to our kitchen table), I am glad to record that kitchen table surgery successful, and clock has been ticking away happily and keeping reasonably good time for some days. Just shows what a little T.L.C. and firmness can do to clocks.

Tuesday, 3 July 2007


Had a lovely day today. Our good friend Eileen took three of us (Ann, myself, and our mutual friend Heather) out to lunch at the Shepherd and Dog, a very good little hostelry a few miles the far side of Stowmarket to thank the two ladies for their help when Eileen was convalescent a few weeks ago. I'm not sure why I was asked along, but did not query this and tagged along very gratefully. We stopped off in Stowmarket for Eileen and Ann to call into a local jewellery shop as they both had items of jewellery that was in need of care and attention and the shop has a reputation for supplying this. While we were in Stowmarket a cloudburst was taking place, and the same conditions prevailed all the time we were out interspersed with the od bright sunny spell. These were however always surrounded by threatening and dramatic clouds of the sort that Mr. Noah must have got used to immediately before his major work was launched. Had a soooper lunch and on the way home stopped off to explore Hitcham Church, because Eileen and Heather had recently been to a lecture on John Stevens Henlow, who had tutored Charles Darwin at Cambridge, and later been ordained rector at Hitcham. It is a lovely church surrounded by trees, and we stood outside the church porch admiring the flint flushwork in the sunlight whilst the thunder growled around us and a pair of swallows who had nested in the high porch dared us and the weather in order to feed their brood. Eventually the thunder won, and we went inside the church and explored, until the weather brightened up enough for us to dash to the car, and we drove home through alternate bright sunshine and gloomily dramatic stormclouds. It was a lovely few hours break in the middle of the day. Hard at work since then getting ready for Long Melford tomorrow. Good night.

Monday, 2 July 2007

Next Monday, or Monday, 2nd July, 2007.

Went to London today to pick up the one item I'd purchased in last Tuesday's auction. Went down by Car. Ours to Lizzie's in just under two hours. Lizzie has Irish friend, Catherine staying with her. Hadn't seen her for over twenty years since she spent a weekend with us at Welney House. She really hadn't changed much, and she was kind enough to say that neither had we !!! In fact we all perjured ourselve's thoroughly on each other's behalf. We took them out to lunch ( as we thought) at a nearby Greek restaurant. I had a kleftico which turned out to be a lamb shank, rich and delicious and some red wine which complemented it perfectly ; only when I went to pay the bill, I was told that Catherine had already done so. She was quite adamant about the matter, so I thanked her kindly and accepted this departure from tradition. In fact, thinking about it I find I quite like some of the modern ways of life (like the senior bloke of the party being 'tret' occasionally). Lizzie then ran us round to Olympia, and I payed for my item, picked it up, then negotiated for one of the unsold items, and purchased that too. Took a taxi back to Lizzie's, and drove home. Took much longer than going, owing to delays on the M25. Going to bed now. Goodnight.

Monday, 25 June 2007


Yesterday, Sunday, went to London. Set out at 9.15am, Ann drove; A12, M25, A1, North circular, then to Lizzie's (youngest daughter), just off Chiswick High Street. Sandwich lunch, then Lizzie ran grandson Matthew(now nearly 14) and I round to Olympia where we viewed Sotheby's arms and armour sale. Saw Thomas Delmar, and was able to thank him for freebie catalogues. Matt (bless him) carried briefcase, and found me the lot numbers in catalogue, usually well before I asked for them. Afternoon thoroughly enjoyed by both of us. Left a few (thoroughly optimistic) bids on so fingers crossed. Sale is on Tuesday but can't get to it as I've an appointment at cardiology unit at Ipswich. Wanted to change appointment in order to go to auction sale, but Ann, Sarah, and Lizzie heavily agin this course of action (no sense of priority some people). When we were ready to return Matt used mobile 'phone to Lizzie, who picked us up a few minutes later and we returned to Lizzies, where we had a very pleasant supper with them, and were home by about 8.30. Lovely day out. Today in workshop most of morning then changed for lunch and into lip reading class at 1.30pm. Last class of year. Took in a box of Ann's apricot flapjack. Somebody else had brought a cake, John Bloomfield a bottle, and we made rather a party of it. Jill (our instructor) had devized various lipreading quizzes which were fun, so it was a very instructive, as well as pleasant, afternoon. As it was a showery afternoon Ann picked me up in the car, and said that John Rye had called and left the vestry clock (a vast and dusty, early Victorian English fusee timepiece by a local maker) on our kitchen table for me to have a look at, with a view to having it going again. That will keep me going for a day or two. Still, good to feel busy. Goodnight all.

Friday, 22 June 2007


Work went well in workshop this morning. I'd been avoiding starting a job for a week or so because I couldn't see what the problem was. Got started on job, almost immediately spotted problem, and (rather to my surprise) remedied it first go. I think. No recurrence after ten hours. Time will tell. Got changed. Had lunch. One or two jobs to do in town, then off to see friend Terry (Theresa) who wants to thin out goods and chattels in her remote cottage in Suffolk countryside, and needed advice. Also had repaired lock and found key to her antique writing box and had to whack and screw lock back into place. Went well. Advice given. Accepted graciously(though I expect she will have 'listened very nicely, then gone out and done precisely - what she pleased'). After which we wandered round Terry's large, and very well kept, garden for a while, and had tea with her. As we were about to come away Terry said 'there's something else I want you to look at' and took us upstairs. She had laid out about a dozen items that she had already decided to part with, and wanted us to choose one of them 'as a small thank you present for all your help'. As she was quite insistant on the point we eventually chose a thick pottery tile that I thought was Persian , but Terry told me was Indian. It is about nine inches square, has a narrow blue border, and a white background with blue and turquoise flowers on. Terry used it as a teapot stand, and we've both always liked it. Very kind of her. After we left we took a pretty route home, and eventually found ourselves at Lindsey Church, which we explored. Pretty little building with all the once carved oak worn and scrubbed to a sort of silvery grey/ off white. Lindsey is a small parish with a few farms and cottages. It has a Church, and St. James' chapel, but no real village. Yet it was once an important enough wool growing area to have a woollen cloth (linsey) named after it. Suffolk is a lovely area (and I speak as a Norfolk man); it has no dramatic scenery, small hills, and many very pretty villages that know they were once market towns, and behave as if they still are. We never tire of exploring it, and it can still give us pleasant surprises. Drove home via Kersey (another village with a cloth named after it). Had last night's casserole hotted up for supper. Don't know why anything of the stew family always tastes even better the next day, but they always do and so did this one. Good night.

Thursday, 21 June 2007

midsummer day.

Spent an hour or so in the workshop this morning, then changed for an early lunch and off to St.Mary's for a lunchtime concert at 1.10 pm. given by our organist, and choirmistress. Michael started off by giving us an Australian Christmas suite by Robert Ampt. This he explained, wasn't as peculiar as it sounded (although actually the music did sound peculiar - but that's only my opinion) because although he was playing Christmas music at midsummer, in Australia Christmas IS at midsummer. Wasn't too certain about this piece of reasoning, but we sat through the organ recital, then Margaret sang - lots of lovely traditional stuff- O Waley, Waley, The foggy dew (this has to be sung at Suffolk concerts - I've sung it myself often- because it's a Suffolk folk song), then Drink to me only, a Cradle song, Purcell's Hark the echoing air, and others. Lovely stuff, and very well sung. Then they gave us a Piano and organ arrangement of Handel's organ concerto, which also went down well. The whole thing overran by about fifteen minutes but nobody minded that. After that we walked back with Hilary to her home, and had two good games of scrabble with her followed by a cup of tea and cherry scones. Got home about five- a very pleasant afternoon. Hilary wants to publish John's autobiography (her late husband) but some of his family isn't too keen. Can't think why not. He always told a good story. She dumped it on my lap before going off to make tea. Had a necessarily very quick flip through it and some lovely stuff in it. It brought dear old John's story telling gifts vividly back to life, and I can't think why his family are agin it being published. After supper took a short walk. Lovely midsummer evening. People out walking. Young lads along the river fishing, probably after pike I think. Home and soon to bed. Goodnight.

Sunday, 10 June 2007


Been a good week generally. Went to an 85th birthday party at our local coffee bar on Monday morning. Great fun. Coral ( the birthday girl) is a very bright old lady, a botanical illustrator and a keen cross word puzzler. We found we knew most of the other guests. The invitation was for coffee and nibbles, 10.30 to 12 noon. The nibbles were of such good quality (and quantity, plus a birthday cake) that when the birthday party broke up at about 1.30 pm. we decided that in fact we had had a pretty good lunch. Afternoon not so good, because I went to dentist to fix a broken, but complete, tooth. He pinned it back in situ but said if, or rather when, it went again, he would have to crown it. On Wednesday attended antique fair at Long Melford. Collected a small oak chest Ann had bought from Thor Schotte a few days previously. Thursday a musical day. Lunchtime concert in Church given by our town orchestra, very good stuff, and well played. Then in the evening we motored across to Newmarket, had supper at six pm with the Littlejohns, then the four of us went on to Swaffham Bullbeck to see a performance of H.M.S. Pinafore in a barn. Quite up to their usual very high standards, and the scenery was so good that it would have been easy to imagine it was sung on the maindeck of a man of war. Orchestra, if anything, even better than usual. Took the Littlejohns back to Newmarket where Sandy pressed us 'to come in and join them in a drop of something'. Regretfully declined on the grounds that it had already been a very long day, and anyway one of us would have to drive home. Altogether a very enjoyable evening. Got home just after 11 pm. Slept well. Saturday David finished off our new garden (pro tem- more to be done when potting shed is ready for instalation). He stayed on nearly two hours longer than usual, wouldn't take anything extra for it, so I gave him a bottle of home made sloe gin. Scrabble as usual in afternoon. This afternoon 19 'hidden gardens' in our town were thrown open to the public for the benefit of the church. Managed to walk round about half of them. All lovely; some I'd never susected the existence of; ranging from tiny (some even smaller than ours) to a couple of acres or so. Picked up lots of ideas for our new garden. Mild evening so had supper in the garden. And so to bed.

Friday, 1 June 2007


When we got home yesterday evening found there were two cards on the doormat telling me I had parcels awaiting collection at the postal sorting office. I always find the thought of parcels exciting (childhood memories of Christmas, birthdays, etc., I suppose), so immediately after breakfast (first things first, chaps), I went into town to collect parcels. Parked car just round corner from sorting office. Yes, I know I should have walked into town, I usually do, but reasoned that I did not know how big these two parcels would be to carry home. My reasoning was proved correct as it happened because there were not two parcels awaiting me, but three, all of a fair size. I found that by piling parcels in left hand and holding them down with my chin, stick in right hand, I could make fair progress until nearly back to car park when I spotted a twenty pence piece on pavement in front of me. "Ah! Michael's lucky day" I hear you murmur. Well, no actually as the next few minutes were quite eventful. I hooked my stick over my left wrist to free up my right hand to gather in unexpected riches, and by bending knees lowered myself pavementward. As I reached the twenty pence piece my stick reached the ground, unhooked itself and fell off. "I'll get it," said total but helpful stranger (much my vintage but altogether bendier) and did so. He handed me the stick. I retained my presence of mind I'm glad to say and pocketed the twenty pence piece thus freeing up my right hand and enabling me to repossess the stick. Where I went wrong at this point was to raise my chin from the top parcel in order to thank helpful stranger for his assistance, as this caused top parcel to fall to the pavement whence it bounced into the road, hotly pursued by self and still helpful stranger, this in turn causing majority of our High Street traffic to brake sharply in efforts to avoid bouncing parcel, helpful stranger and self. Glad to report their efforts (and ours) eventually totally successful. When we regained pavement helpful stranger, myself, and first two motorists (coming from different directions) were helpless with laughter, and(this is the moral of the story ):- I was still twenty pence ahead of the game. Goodnight.

Thursday, 31 May 2007

Thursday evening.

Have had not time for bloggery lately as we spent the weekend in Norfolk (business). Very pleasant and reaonably successful. Got home on Monday evening. Tuesday morning (after a visit to the bank, and one or two jobs in town) back in the car and drove down to Sussex. Took us two hours (Ann drove). Lewes first, then on to Bosham. On Wednesday we awarded ourselves a day off, and the rain tiddled down. It can be quite fun being slightly deaf. About mid mornng Ann, knowing I don't do days off asked how I was enjoying it. I thanked her politely and said I was enduring my day off quite well. I was too; we both were. The rain was more or less horizontal, we both wore hooded raincoats, and it was great fun splashing through the puddles exploring Chichester. Today, after breakfast, we called on an old friend (by appointment ) in Chichester and had coffee with her. It was great to see Sheilah again and pick up the threads. She has a thoroughly wacky sense of humour. Then on to Singleton to meet another old friend, Jim, who does a little buying on my behalf in the Sussex area. We had lunch together in the Singleton pub, which is thoroughly unspoiled. Had roast southdown lamb, followed by treacle sponge pudding and custard. Delicious. Then a quick look round Singleton church (Saxon tower) and eventually drove home. Took us nearly five hours this time, due to radworks on M25. Good to be home, and looking forward to catching up on some work. Goodnight all, as Sergeant Dixon used to say.

Wednesday, 23 May 2007

Wednesday yet again.

Got up and went to early morning service (7.30 am), then drove to Bury St. Edmunds because our new car (two years old now) was one of a batch to be recalled to check something doubtful in its private insides ( to be technical). It passed with flying colours and was given a clean bill of health. Then on to see Great Gran, who is still a little depressed about her cousin Mary's and her auntie Joan's deaths. Took her out for a fish and chip lunch which we all enjoyed (nice fresh cod)and was very reasonable. Called in to see Mick and Erica on our way. Mick had been over to Grandma Jack's funeral but returned while we were there. Too many deaths in this but all three were around or well over ninety. That generation thinning out rapidly, I'm afraid. I had a great admiration for the Victorians (and Edwardians), I wish my generation were as certain of anything as they were of EVERYTHING. Had tea and cake with M & E then drove home, arriving at about 7.30 pm. Scrambled egg on toast, and so to bed.

Friday, 18 May 2007

Friday ( I think)

Spent this nmorning in workshop quite successfully. Then out to coffeeshop for light lunch, at table in open air behind shop as a lovely day. Halfway through our lunch young lady at next table, with her back to Ann, started choking (tears running down her cheeks, etc.) "Shall I thump your back ?" says Ann. The woman was beyond speaking but nodded heartily. With that Ann fetched her a wallop between her shoulder blades that would have had Rocky Marciano reeling against the ropes and begging to end the fight. Well it did the trick and dislodged whatever the obstruction had been; but if given the choice, and if she had answered honestly, I think the young lady might have prefered instant oblivion. Still she had the grace (when recovered somewhat) to thank Ann for her intervention. I suppose I should have warned her. We then motored over to Coggeshall, where we went clothes shopping, and I bought a navy blazer (Gurteen), and a blouse for Ann. Had tea at the White Horse, collected a copper warming pan and drove home. Had a lovely supper with our good friends Sue and David, just back from Sardinia. David had made supper (a jazzed up shepherd's pie), not sure how you jazz up a shepherd but it worked well (delicious) . Had a good potter round their garden ; they have an incredible collection of Granny's nightcaps (aquilegia), I think David said 169 different sorts, but must check this as it seems as incredible as the collection was (probably my hearing at fault again). Listened to a conversation between our Dean and one of the churchwardens the other morning about headlice, couldn't make much of it as they'd started off talking about the public address system in the church. Checcked with Ann later, and it turned out that they'd been talking about head mikes. On which note goodnight and God bless you.

Thursday, 17 May 2007


Spent last weekend with Carl and Jude. Very pleasant and relaxing. Thought Carl looked better than last time, which is at least six months ago. Whilst there called on old acqaintance John, and was able to do a little business. On the Monday we all went to a very good garden centre, and the ladies bought. The car on the return journey looked like a motorised Burnham Wood on its way to Dunsinane (not sure if I've got my quote right. On Tuesday took pretty route to Peterborough and renewed my passport. Called on Kerry on way home and saw Laura and Tom. Good to see them. Rest of this week have been hard at it in my workshop. Got lots done. Today being Ascension Day, this evening had a sung Eucharist, and those of us who are fit enough climbed to the top of the tower to sing the opening hymn in the fresh air (tradition). The air was very fresh as it was raining slightly, but it was very bracing. All seven of us (counting the Dean) had to really let rip to make enough volume in the open air. We all enjoyed it (the choir I mean, and I hope, our hearers. Ann was a server, so did not climb the tower. Now feeling what a cockney friend of mine would call 'thoroughly cream crackered' (work it out then) so will knock off and retire. Goodnight all.

Saturday, 12 May 2007


Spent this morning pottering. Finished off small jobs. Started off other small jobs. Drank tea with gardener, filled in password renewal form. Earlier in the week we had invitation from near neighbours to 'join them for a glass of wine at 12.30 pm'. Felt this was very civil of them but not sure how long to stay. Went. Met other neighbours. After nearly hour and a half of very pleasant chat made our excuses and I dashed off to scrabble club. Hope we got the timing right. At scrabble club shared table with Arthur (who is, if anything, rather deafer than I am. So conversation, between play, consisted of alternate bellowings, and even louder "Ehs?". Rather wearing, I should imagine for third member of party, elderly lady, stylish ex- cockney ). When scrabble club started three or four years ago, I was chatting to said elderly lady, who had walked very fair distance to club, and said "don't you drive ?"
She laughed heartily, and said "Do I drive ? You should have seen some of the things I drove in the last war". It turned out that from 1939 onwards she regularly drove everything from tank transporters to Rolls - Royces packed with top brass. It just shows that it's unwise to make assumptions about anybody. I digress. Back to this afternoon. I won the first two scrabbles, then towards the end of the third game Brenda (the tank transporter lady) who had been lagging behind the two blokes, suddenly hit a brilliant patch, and then went out on a seven letter word onto a triple word score, and won by just over fifty points . It's a great game scrabble, and keeps the grey matter turning over nicely. Ann just called downstairs that dinner is imminent. Evening meal over. Very nice, too. Then Ann washed and I dried. And so to bed, as Mr. Pepys said. Bet he wished the blog had been invented in his day.

Friday, 11 May 2007

Thursday, 10 May 2007


Got up this morning and dressed scruffily because I intended spending day in workshop. Was reminded at breakfast that I had to nip into town to have passport photo taken for new passport. Several jobs about house that needed doing (in one case redoing) so got stuck in, then just before lunch went and made myself respectable, and after lunch walked into town and had passport photograph taken at chemists. Later sent off parcel to U.S.A. Not as expensive as I'd anticipated. Hope it gets there safely. Must try and email putative recipients and tell them it's on way. 8.24 p.m. Just been to choir practice, Organist away, Choirmistress called away to family crisis, so Bob took over as organist and oliver, youngest choir member (13 I think) took over as conductor. What looked like turning into a fiasco turned into a pleasant and satisfying evening. Goodnight all.


Got up early for early service (7.30 am) followed by frugal breakfast in church (fresh bread, butter and honey, or jams - a good choice of - much of it home made, tea or coffee) and much chatter. Chatter not as pointless as it seems. Much parish business is settled at this sort of do. Later in morning,11.30 am meet up at Brent Eleigh with David and Felicity; the four of us then go to pick up Teddy, elderly friend (even more elderlier that the rest of us) who has recently moved into a rest home here. Teddy pleased to show us round his new home, small bed/sitting room with French windows opening onto a glorious sweep of lawn surrounded by mature trees. After admiring it awhile and helping Teddy a bit with the Telegraph crossword, we take him with us into Lavenham and treat him to lunch at the Angel on Lavenham Market Place. Four of the five of us have the rabbit stew with orange and herb (herb was specified but can't remember it afterwards which was a shame as the stew was delicious and wouldn't mind trying to copy it). In the evening we had a 'shared' meal with Margaret Bottle. Six of us and everyone brings something. We do this once a month, no collusion before hand and it always works out as a well balanced meal. Very pleasant evening. Altogether a very pleasant day. Worked hard in afternoon, and that too very satisfying. Goodnight.

Tuesday, 8 May 2007


Had to go to surgery this morning; blood test to determine if thyroxin level is still alright. Good lady who took blood threw a very gifted needle, hardly felt it ; probably keeps her hand in by playing darts regularly. Met up with Ann in local coffee shop, where we met several aquaintance. Bit of a salon that place, or do I mean saloon ? What I really mean is that it's a popular meeting place for chatting, socialising, doing crossworsd puzzles, etc. I'm told it's about to change hands again. Hope they don't lose the flavour. Met our new neighbour this afternoon, he seems a pleasant enough youngster (well, about 30 I should think). Got a good deal of work done today. Ann finished bedrooms, stairs and hall today. After David repaired upstairs sash windows last week place has been gritty. Place feels civilised again now. Goodnight.

Monday, 7 May 2007


Bank holiday, rained most of last night and this morning. Garden needs it. One half of garden divided into two further parts with potential box hedging; these two parts being a herb garden and a rose garden. Loads to do yet though. Nice quiet day, spent most of it in workshop, got on very well. Learned by 'phone that our friend Hilary has just got home from having a new knee joint put in. Had a rough trip. Got M.R.S.A. post op. Sounds a beastly business. Hope all goes well now. Going to knock off now and have two last pills of the day; and so to bed.


Bank holiday, rained most of last night and this morning. Garden needs it. One half of garden divided into two further parts with potential box hedging; these two parts being a herb garden and a rose garden. Loads to do yet though. Nice quiet day, spent most of it in workshop, got on very well. Learned by 'phone that our friend Hilary has just got home from having a new knee joint put in. Had a rough trip. Got M.R.S.A. post op. Sounds a beastly business. Hope all goes well now. Going to knock off now and have two last pills of the day; and so to bed.

Sunday, 6 May 2007


At 2pm had time for one game of scrabble with my usual three opponents. Modesty of course forbids me to tell who won, but I avenged last weeks crushing defeat. Then on to this year's last session of stewarding at the art exhibition. Usually as dead as several dodos on the last day but a very busy afternoon which flew past. I was on the door selling catalogues and Felicity, the Dean's wife had printed a quiz for me to hand out to children, the questions all concerning the pictures, the idea being to give the little dears something interesting to keep them quiet. Counter productive. One enterprising young gentleman's first question was ;- "what's the prize?" Thinking on my feet I came back with "There isn't a prize because entry to this quiz is free" This slight non-sequitor seemed to satisfy him pro tem, but he was back ten minutes later to complain that he couldn't find the answer to some of the questions. As I wasn't too busy at the time I took him off to point out the more obvious answers. Had gone about two steps when I spotted Felicity and seeing the obvious solution to the problem, introduced him to 'the lady who set this clever quiz' and left them to it. I just hope Felicity could remember the answers.
Today, Sunday. Morning service . Both of us choired. Ann set off earlier than I to help a friend of ours , who has just had a knee job done, get dressed. After service popped into Eileen's to wind clock. Behaving better. Clock not me. After lunch to Deanery Lodge, where gardens were open in aid of Red Cross. Very pleasant afternoon. Lovely gardens sweeping down to river. Met up with Janet and Ozzy Simpson, who are both gardening afficiendoes (that plural doesn't look right- not sure the word is either but it sounds good so will leave it in) and were able to tell us the names of everything. Ann has just called down to say "supper in five." so had better knock off. Good night.

Friday, 4 May 2007


Most peculiar day. Went into local hospital at first light (well, 8.30 am if you want to be pedantic) for an exploratory op which should remain anonymous, but in these lax and easy going days I don't suppose I shall shock anyone much by stating it was a colonoscopy. Had to prepare for it yesterday afternoon by imbibing THREE litres of noxious rat poison, which in REAL liquid measure is over half a gallon. This is why there was no entry in my blog yesterday, because as my tonsils were awash with the stuff, whenever I started to move towards the consol I found myself swaying from side to side and making sploshing noises. Back to this morning. The chap in charge of the op told me that he was going to 'slightly sedate' me as the op could be a bit painful. I do remember him injecting the back of my hand and then a nurse was trying to wake me up from the deepest sleep I can recall. I only agreed to resurface on her promising me cups of tea and biccies if I would sit up for them (remember that by this time I had been fasting for about 20 hours). Before the op they had said I could watch it on the monitor. I don't much like anyone inspecting my private insides, but if it's going to be done I think I've a right to a ringside seat if you see what I mean, but I'd slept soundly through the whole performance. Most disappointing. Still, they told us afterwards that I was completely clear -'nothing sinister' was the phrase. So then I took Ann off to the canteen and restored the average intake to some extent. Complete waste of a morning. Slept this afternoon, can't think why. Done a little work this evening. Still a bit tired, so good night all.

Wednesday, 2 May 2007


Busy day today. Can't think of much to say. So I'll just put down what I can remember of the dustbin day song : - The dustbins up and down our street are stood so neat and all replete with household items obsolete on dustbin day in the morning.
The dustmen are a toughish crew, don't have a clue on what to do, and some of them get smelly too, on dustbin day in the morning.
They spill the rubbish; cardboard scrunch; and then a bunch of bottles crunch, and eat the broken glass for lunch, on dustbin day in the morning. There was a lot more but can't remember it. Crowbards has very kindly written another verse in one of yesterday's comments. Don't know why our brains waste their time in making up silly verse, but I think a lot of us find ourselves doing it. Can anyone think of a reason ? It seems pointless especially as I suspect most of us forget it all within a matter of hours. Just as well considering the quality of the above dotty doggerel. Good night all.

Tuesday, 1 May 2007


Today is dustbin day in our street in our town. And as our street is a narrow twisting one, and our town a thoroughly medieval one with many jettied buildings overhanging these narrow twisting streets, life becomes very hectic at rush hour on dustbin day. As the first verse of a song on the subject goes :- "The dustbins up and down our street- are stood so neat- and all replete -with household items obsolete - on dustbin day in the morning" . Never heard of it ? Not surprised. It's one I wrote myself and I've never sung it except to my immediate family who are fairly tolerant as far as the old man's concerned. Usually. It can be sung to the tune of "I saw three ships" and I can't remeber why I introduced the subject. Yes I can, I was rambling on about dustbin day in rush hour, And today started busy and continued busy as I have spent it getting ready for Long Melford tomorrow. Which means a very early start in the morning, so I intended to apologise for a very short entry in today's blog. But casting an eye over it I find I needn't. What I do need though IS TO GO TO BED. Now. Goodnight.

Monday, 30 April 2007


Forgot to mention best part of yesterday (sunday). When we came out of Layham Church at about 7.30, it was a 'deep blue evenin' , the sun had just gone down, but sunlight just showing on the treetops and hillsides, birds still singing and swallows swooping over the meadows, and the smell of a late spring Suffolk evening; lovely,restful, ending to a hectic but very pleasant day.

Monday. David Northover turned up at 8am with the repaired sash windows and replacement windowsills for the two front bedroom windows and started work. Ann went of at 9a.m. to visit Great Gran. At 10.30 Leigh Alstone dropped in to look at some early metalwork, so I called David down and we had tea/coffee (+ fruitcake +a very pleasant chat) in the cellar/undercroft/vaults. David and Leigh know each other as one is a restorer of early buildings and the other an architectural historian. Susan Zippell then 'phoned and purchased tinder lighter,as we had ascertained postal rates and insurance for its transport to the states and she had agreed them. This made me rather late for lipreading class this afternoon. Hate being late so made abject apologies and was forgiven very prettily by Jill. Ann has just 'phoned to say she is on her way home having just called on Mick and Erica. Erica not well. 6.30 pm. Ann home. All well.

Sunday, 29 April 2007


Heavy day as far as I can remember. Walked to church. Ann had asthma attack so did not sing in choir. I did. Last hymn 'Oh for a thousand tongues to sing' with good base part to chorus. Enjoyed it. Lunch, then back to Church stewarding art exhibish 3 to 5 pm, then service at Layham Church 6. 30 pm. Doesn't sound much written down . Had forgotten:- called in on Eileen Huntsman 5.15 p.m. to look at sick grandfather clock. Got it going but fear it will need kitchen table surgery to restore it to full health. So much for 'day of rest'. Good night.

Saturday, 28 April 2007


Fairly exciting day. Gardener comes at 8a.m. on Saturdays. Remarkable bloke. About the same vintage as I am. Designs garden, obtains materials, and, shortly, does all the donkey work, doesn't waste time (except perhaps in chatting to me whilst we drink vast quantities of tea). When he first came to us Ann asked how he liked his tea and (after a little thought) he said "White, and more or less continuous". We laughed politely, but as it turned out he was teling approximately the truth. Don't grudge it to him a bit because (a) he really puts his back into it between cuppas, and (b) it means that I get rather more cups of tea than is usual. Oh, and in his spare time he writes childrens' stories. Had to knock off just after mid day and get changed, eat lunch , and be at scrabble club by about ten to two. One game only because I had to be at the art exhibition before three to steward (on the door this time). I had made my excuses for leaving early to the three ladies with whom I usually play scrabble, and they reciprocated this courtesy by wiping the floor with me. Good close game, but this doesn't alter the fact that although Michael used up his tiles first, when the counting up was done he had come in fourth. Then shot over to the church where I spent the next four hours selling tickets, giving out catalogues, and explaining that there were so many mistakes in the catalogue that there was a free addenda sheet to go with it. Mostly they took this in fairly good part until it was discovered that many of the errors had to do with pricing and that some prices were rather more than had been stated in the catalogue. Then more explaining had to be done. Home, supper, and now bed looms invitingly. Good hectic day. God bless you.

Friday, 27 April 2007


Cold morning. Friends Terry and Diana came to lunch - soup (celery, leek and chicken- homemade) smoked salmon with salad and home made bread, then coffee with some of Ann's apricot flapjack (all simple stuff but absolutely delicious). Pottering on the computer this afternoon. Found myself falling asleep over the keyboard, so went upstairs, arranged myself horizontally, and slept for an hour. Awoke to a lovely sunny afternoon, and resumed pottering till six, when we ate (early for us because we've been invited to the preview of the Art exhibition which we'll be occasionally stewarding during the coming week) . Whenever I use the computer now, it bloops occasionally and announces that Matt has signed in. I think this is a legacy of granddaughter Georgie's stay when she used the computer for purposes of 'revision', and has somehow I suppose left her brother Matthew hooked up to it. I don't really mind, as after announcing Matt's presence the image fades after a few seconds. It's rather like having him here as he usually enters a room where I'm working, says "Hi Pa" and then fades away again seconds later. Must close and go and look at some art. Mem: leave chequebook at home this year.

Thursday, 26 April 2007


Bloke who is making our new gate called in at 9am with unfinished gate to show us. Seemed very proud of it. Understandably because it's nice. Reminds me of awful schoolboy joke popular when I was awful schoolboy:- If you accused a chap of stealing your gate would he take offence? Well I warned you it was awful. Then our good friends Sue and David dropped in for coffee. Then this afternoon my barber called, cut my hair, stayed for coffee, and had long chat about values of collectables (not at all the same subject as collection of valuables, I'm afraid) . This evening choir practice. This blog seems to be becoming a diary. Boring. Would at this point liven it up by inserting some deep and profound thoughts if I knew any. Must learn to use this digital camera thingy, then I can improve matters by taking and inserting some pictures into the machinery. Still, waffling quite well at present. Did quite a lot of work today between socialising. Goodnight all.

Wednesday, 25 April 2007


Today, being wednesday, we went to early service (7.30 am), followed by a frugal breakfast in church. About eight of us. After that went on to surgery where my doctor talked a load of #~@'' to me about losing weight and taking far more excercise. Except when he's talking medicine my doctor is a thoroughly good chap (but in my opinion a rotten doctor). Fancy talking about such things as dieting and excercise when there's a lady present (especially when the lady is my wife with her ears flapping). After that we went on to our coffee shop for coffee and sticky buns, so there !!!! Well that's what I went there for. I wasn't allowed any buns, and Ann restricted herself to coffee and a croisant (with jam). I watched this display with a very marked silence. Then home to work -- went well. Now it's evening and we're off for what's left of an early night. Good night dear readers (if any).

Tuesday, 24 April 2007

The "Other" Half

This is me, in our half done new garden.