Friday, 30 October 2009
Tuesday, 27 October 2009
On the opposite side of the lane to the Tudor cottage in the last entry is this modern cottage. Took this snap partly to continue the theme of autumn colouring, and partly to demonstrate how well the old and the new can blend. Must go and do some work now. Cheers.
I was asked at the weekend (which was a very busy one) if I would call in and look at the above clock which has been behaving temperamentally of late. The clock was made in Wales, Cardigan, in about 1850. Called round this morning, took the clock apart to some extent, and did the obvious things to it - ably assisted by the man of the house, who seemed to have a real feeling for the mechanics of clocks. When I left the clock was ticking away hopefully. Think all's now well. It's very satisfying sorting out a sick clock.
Monday, 26 October 2009
Autumn colours taken from a back bedroom window.
I spent this morning adjusting the lock on a flintlock musket that wasn't functioning well. After treatment it was doing its duty perfectly, chucking a fat spark right into the middle of the pan. The owner was very pleased. Although I know he doesn't intend using it, it's always nice to have things in good working order. After lunch we motored over to our small plant nursery in the next village to buy winter pansies for the hanging baskets. They don't really flower well in winter, but usually give a lovely show in spring. I've been intending to put in one more fan trained fruit tree and found what I wanted there. I don't buy them fan trained, but buy the correct sized tree and prune and fan train it in situ. The small tree I found is a fig tree - a 'Brown Turkey Fig'. It's the right size, and more or less the right shape, and I have a gap on the south facing wall of the garden, which should suit it. The nurseryman advised me to dig a deep hole for it, and to put in a bed of rubble to contain the roots. On the way home called in on a friend who has been unwell. He's a keen gardener, and gave me the same advice as the nurseryman. He also gave me (which was more to the point and very good of him) enough rubble (old brick and stone) to do the job - later in the week, though, I think, if the weather holds good.
Time for bed now - goodnight all.
Friday, 23 October 2009
And finally, I do like a town where you can see the countryside from the town centre. I took this a few minutes ago, looking across the river valley, from our street, a hundred yards from here. Rus in urbe, as they taught us in school (although urbe in rus, would I think be more correct here).
Wednesday, 21 October 2009
Rather a sad post-script to today's blog. Just as I'd finished the previous blog our young neighbour, Matthew, called in to tell us that his cat, Ping, had been run over. She was a small, bright, year old, tabby. Almost every morning she would call round about coffee time (if Matt was out at his work,as he usually was), come into the kitchen and scrounge a piece of cheese, which she loved. She never stayed more than ten minutes or so, but she was a cheerful little creature, and we shall miss her.
Photograph of a pleasant little building on our High Street. The upper windows are mostly leaded. There is a modest amount of pargetting (i.e. moulded, painted plasterwork in low relief) on the front, and a nice early clock dial. The clock movement is still there, behind the dial, but it has not worked for many years. Inside the estate agent's shop are several original wall paintings. They date from the 16th century, and are biblical scenes, with the figures in 16th century dress. The building has been there for between four and five centuries, and hasn't changed much.
We got up early this morning and went to early service. Since then I've been pottering in the workshop, interrupted by a quick walk into town to visit the library. At about 5p.m. Brenda and Warren, very old friends of ours popped in. Warren has told me in the past that I shouldn't use the phrase 'very old friends' of them, but should say 'friends of long standing'. Gave them tea and cake (Ann's apricot flapjack, and her lemon drizzle cake -this last a bit of an experiment - but a very successful one). Ann tells me supper will be in about five minutes, so must knock off now. More later perhaps.
Monday, 19 October 2009
Photo' of a corner of our garden with a few roses trying hard to carry on blooming. When I walk past them I find myself humming that old song :- "'Tis the last rose of summer left blooming alone.....". Ann motored over to Gran's late this afternoon. Couldn't go earlier as she had a committee meeting to attend. She'll stay over at her brother's, so she can spend all day tomorrow with Gran.
Been doing an interesting job this evening - making and engraving some replacement ivory inlays that are missing. I harvested some ivory keys from an otherwise derelict piano a good many years ago, and I'm still using them. I'll also need some thicker pieces of ivory, for which I'm hoping to cannibalise some old dominoes I've been hoarding. A good restorer never wastes anything. Must knock off now and get meself a bite of supper - then bed, I think. Goodnight All.
Sunday, 18 October 2009
Spent this weekend in the midlands, visiting my younger brother and his wife. Drove over there on Friday, got back this afternoon. On Saturday morning went to see (and do business with) an old friend. Took the above photo of my brother on Saturday evening; he is seated in front of a vast pot plant, which does nothing for his appearance or dignity, but he knows of my intention of publishing it, and doesn't seem to mind. Been a long day, bedtime now. Goodnight all.
Thursday, 15 October 2009
This is a photograph of a tablet in East Bergholt Church which reads more like late 19th century America that early 18th century England. It commemorates Mr John Mattinson :- "He was eleven years the beloved School Master of this town and then unfortunately shott. The 23rd November, 1723."
Thinking about it, East Bergholt doesn't sound a very healthy place to live :- collapsing Church towers, shott schoolmasters, and killer bells. Don't know why we think of Suffolk as a nice peaceful place. Must knock off now. Got to clean me boots ready for choir practice.
After lunch we motored over to East Bergholt to buy a few things to cheer the garden up in winter, and called in at the church. After the collapse of the church tower, the bell cage (see photo) was built as a temporary measure in 1531, and houses the heaviest five bell peal in the country. It has been in use ever since, except that about ten years ago, there was a mishap, and one of the bells killed a ringer. The bell cage was then closed for a few years whilst a few changes were made for safety, and it is now again in action, the bells being rung every Sunday morning and on special occasions.
This is a snapshot of our kitchen/dining area yesterday evening. It is set up in preparation for a shared meal before a discussion group we were hosting. We can seat eight at a squash round our table, but since eleven people turned up, we adjourned to the drawing room to eat. Everyone brings something along, and it usually works out well. Ann had baked about fifteen jacket potatoes. Val bought along a big crock of chille con carne. Various salads and cold meats were bought, and Ann Smith bought (a very large) one of her (locally) renowned trifles. We provided a selection of cheeses, biscuits and bread, plus wine. A very good meal was enjoyed by all.
Tuesday, 13 October 2009
Been pottering in the workshop all day, making (or heavily restoring) a pendulum for a long case (grandfather) clock, which is now ticking away nicely.
Just had supper, snake in the grass (our invention - see entry for July 17th and above photograph). Cumberland sausages are perfect for this dish........
Sunday, 11 October 2009
Hostelry in our High Street. Said to be a good 'un.
Been a busy weekend. Yesterday we motored over to Wisbech to see Gran. Had lunch with Gran in her flat. She said she really didn't feel up to eating out. Bit worrying as she normally thoroughly enjoys going out for a meal. She seemed cheerful enough though, and enjoyed our visit. Her mind is very sharp, and she has a very good long term memory (especially for poetry - which she loves). We left about 4p.m. and motored to Littleport, calling in on Ann's eldest brother, Mick. He was widowed last May, and enjoys company, although he says he doesn't want to go out for it. Generally speaking though, he's coping very well with his bereavement. Left him at about 7p.m. and got home well before 9p.m.
Today, at 10.30 a.m., we held our Harvest Festival Service. Sang all the usual harvest hymns. Good service, followed by a shared lunch, to which Ann could not stay, as she was taking our friend Terry to lunch with the Suffolk Poetry Society. The shared lunch to which I stayed was excellent. Helped with the washing up afterwards, then was invited to a game of scrabble at Hilary's. Hilary got a seven letter word, and eventually got out first, and won by about six points (we both had just over three hundred) so a very close, well fought game. Then walked home, nicely in time to get tea ready for Ann and Terry when they returned. Terry's poem 'The Road to Sevagram' had won a commendation, which I should have been very proud of, but Terry seemed rather disappointed. Ann had bought home a catalogue of the afternoon's poems and some of them seemed very peculiar. One in particular looked as if the 'poet' had loaded a blunderbuss with unassociated words and then fired it at the page. I know it's quaintly old fashioned, but I do like poetry to rhyme and scan. Sorry, Terry (I know you sometimes read my blog).
I occasionally jot down verses meself (not poetry and usually about the grandchildren) :-
Freja when Three and Dressing Herself.
Miss Tuppenny Strawberry Horner- Larsson
sometimes forgets all her buttons to fasten.
Such messes just stresses
how decidedly lopsidedly she dresses.
Well, I warned you it wasn't poetry, but it's about my mark.
Thursday, 8 October 2009
The bank in our town. It was originally Gurney's Bank, and featured in the evidence given at our local famous murder case (Maria Martin - the Red Barn murder in 1827, I think) when the murderer changed a five pound note there before fleeing to London. It's a handsome late Georgian Building. Choir practice now, and I must go and collect our senior choir member. Ann normally does this, but she's taken a friend to the spitting and snitching exhibition in the Alexander Palace in London. Knitting and stitching I should say. More later perhaps, cheers, Mike.