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.