Sunday, 29 April 2012


 This blog record starts last Friday, when we went in the morning to Cafe Church. Above is a snapshot of Renee, who is head waiter, chef, and pot boy at Cafe Church. We then drove a few miles into the countryside and had lunch with our good friends John and Margaret. Margeret gave us a very fine pork and apple casserole followed by lemon meringue pie, a cheeseboard, then coffee.

Then back in the car and motored across to Leicestershire to spend the weekend with my younger brother Carl, and his wife Judy.

Above is a snapshot of Carl and Judy in their newly decorated kitchen. We spent a very relaxed weekend, overeating (it is impossible to do otherwise when faced with Judy's catering), lounging about, visiting Judy's mother Olive, who makes (and dispenses generous portions of) a very fine lemon drizzle cake with coffee.
After lunch today, we drove home, and I took the following snapshots through the car window en route.

On the way home we called in at a wayside antique fair and purchased a few items. Then did the same by an antique centre in a barn and repeated the process.
Cottages on a village green.
Another cottage on the same green.
Beamed houses in Lavenham.
House a few miles from home.

Being called upstairs to grumble eggs. Goodnight all.

Thursday, 26 April 2012


Hello Maggie. Ref your comment on yesterday's blog, here is another photo I took of the gravestone that interests you. The symbols along the top of the stone are an hour glass, a skull, and crossed bones, all emblems of time and mortality. The stone has sunk into the ground so that the date is not apparent, but on the style of the lettering (the use of the long 's' in refteth, hufband, et cetera) it appears to date from the early to mid eighteenth century - circa 1730 to 1760 I should think.  You have to remember that even apart from sinking into the ground, a couple of centuries or so of sea air will have affected the detail.
   Some of the best preserved headstones I know are in your area and are made from Swithland slate with the details still sharp and clear. From memory there's one in Melton Churchyard (drive north along the Belgrave Road for a mile or so, and it's on your left) that dates from 1689, and the lettering on it is beautifully clear still. There is also, in one of the Leicester museums, a grandfather clock with a well cut dial of Swithland slate made by Thomas Kellam in 1732, who is believed to have worked at Grimston near Melton Mowbray.

Been rabbitting on a bit, but find it interesting - Warm regards, Big bruv.

Wednesday, 25 April 2012


Been a long day. Up early and to St. Mary's for early service. Ann was Deaconing and I read the first lesson (for Crowbard's information - he takes a brotherly interest in these thing- it was the last six verses of the 15th chapter of the Acts of the Apostles- it struck me whilst reading it that the late Saint Paul could be an argumentative beggar at times). Quick brekky in  church - tea, bread, butter and an odd mixture of honey and lemon curd - long story, with which I won't bore you, then to a house in town where I'd to look at some clocks, two not going, and two going well, all nice clocks. Agreed to restore the long case clock (by a Lincolnshire maker, Shaw of Gosberton) after we get back from our trip to Sweden later in the year. Quite looking forward to getting my hooks on the clock. Home, sandwich lunch, then a quick zizz for both of us. Later in the afternoon our Dean called (at Ann's request) and stayed about an hour chatting about a couple of potential Church problems (NO, not us). I think we all three felt we'd cleared the air a bit.

Took the above Photie earlier in the month in Southwold Churchyard. It shows Sarah and her younger cocker spaniel, Mango, who was getting rather excited; as of course any young dog would do at finding itself in an ancient, well stocked boneyard and not being allowed to dig.

Goodnight all.

Monday, 23 April 2012


Been a pleasant day. Spent it in me scruff pottering round doing odd jobs in the workshop. During a brief sunny period summoned outside by Ann to look at a plant in the sink garden (the one in the above photie).
It appears to be a white campion (not too sure, though), pink centres to the flowers (worth embiggening the above picture) and if anyone knows the name of the plant, please let me know.

Splashes of colour in the garden now; splashes of occasional rain too, today, and
 in a sudden squall, three of  the above red tulips were broken, so Ann, in the next sunny interval, cut them off short, and made the below flower arrangement of them.

Got a fairly early start ack emma (having ears tested - once again) at Bury St. Edmund's hospital.
So- Goodnight all.

Friday, 20 April 2012


After finishing our viewing of Bonham's sale on Tuesday morning, we grabbed a quick coffee at the little Greek restaurant in Knightsbridge, opposite Bonham's, then got on a 'bus and went out to Covent Garden -Ann's choice of relaxation and entertainment, and, as it turned out, a very good one.  In the very centre of Covent Garden you find yourself looking down into a courtyard, full of tables and chairs and served by a restaurant at one end of it. Various young musicians entertain the passers by. In the snapshot below is a young singer (the lady in the dark blue knitted hat) who had, I think, one of the most powerful voices I've heard. We eventually bought a video tape of her singing, which she very kindly signed for us. We then seated ourselves at one of the restaurant tables and listened to a  string quartet (music students I should think). We had lunch, and listened to another lady singer. Then, we had more coffee, and the string quartet returned and played Offenbach's Orpheus in the Underworld (the Can Can music), whilst, at the same time dancing a slightly toned down version of the Can Can. We  then did a little light (and rather daft) shopping round the market and decided it was time to be making our way back to Lizzie's. We took 'buses back to Hammersmith, and decided we'd try and find a walk along the Thames to Chiswick.

We achieved this eventually. It was a good step, but with conveniently placed benches every so often.

 Above shows your blogger 'leaning on a lampost..........'  with the Thames to the left of the photo.

Snapshot of a handsome, wisteria draped house, looking out over the Thames, and below, from the same spot, looking the opposite way, is a view of the Thames.

The below snapshot, of another very fine old house, is also looking south over the river, and I think we were  now in Chiswick.

And finally, just to the East of Chiswich High Street, is one of the most cheekily name 'restaurants' in London, I should think. Even more so as, although it calls itself the Ritz 'Restaurant', it appears to be what my grandchildren would call a  ' greasy spoon cafe' rather than a restaurant .  As Ann said "If we lived in Chiswick, we could afford to have tea at the Ritz every day". Quite agreed but pointed out that the drawback to this idea is that we can't afford to live in Chiswich.

On Wednesday we went to the auction and managed to purchase four lots. In the evening Beth produced a quite superb vegetable bake, together with some roast Cumberland sausages for supper; followed by ice cream.
On Thursday we packed our bags in the morning, and then took the children out to lunch at midday in a pub near the river called the Black Lion. I asked Matt where we could eat in the area and he recommended the Black Lion, adding 'But it's a bit expensive Pa'  (in fact it wasn't particularly expensive, and the food was very good ).  Following up this line of thought possibly, Matthew, who is now working, insisted on buying the drinks, and, as he was so obviously pleased to be able to, I let him.  The children really are growing up very nicely, thank The Lord.    Eventually took the underground back to Liverpool Street Station, and arrived home at just after five o'clock.   Been a thoroughly satisfying few days away.

Thursday, 19 April 2012


 Going to have to precis this week- it's been eventful. As youngest daughter (who lives in London) together with her oldest daughter, Georgia,  is on the high seas in a ship called the Balmoral (I think) retracing the voyage of the Titanic, and as her two younger children, Matthew (19) and Beth (17) are home alone (well, there are two of them, but you know what I mean) we decided that we'd spend a few days in London with them. This would also allow me to view and attend Bonham's Arms and Armour auction. On Monday we caught the morning train at Manningtree Railway Station and arrived at Liverpool Street Station at about ten thirty a.m.
Then caught a 'bus to (or rather towards) Leicester Square and took above photo of St. Paul's Cathedral form the top deck thereof.

 Took above photo of 'The Norfolk Hero' after getting off the  same 'bus at Trafalgar Square. We'd arranged to have lunch with Ann's nephew William who has (among other interests) a wine bar (The Cork and Bottle) in  Leicester Square,  and as we'd just over an hour to spare, we wandered into Saint Martin in the Fields Church. Here we struck very lucky indeed for various musicians were rehearsing for a concert in the afternoon, and for nearly an hour we sat in a pew and listened to various scraps of music, and the occasional complete recital of a piece of music. Lovely. Below is a snapshot of the organ there.

Met up with William and had excellent lunch. Then another 'bus and a walk  to Knightsbridge, where we viewed most of  Wednesday's Auction. Then tube to somewhere near Chiswick High Street, where Beth and Matthew were busy preparing the evening meal. The really nice thing about our stay was that, although we'd gone prepared to look after the grandchildren, they'd had quite the opposite idea and did all the necessary cooking, although Beth did eventually allow Grannie Annie to assist with the preparation of Wednesday evening's meal. It just proves that if children and grandchildren are kept long enough they do come in useful.

On Tuesday morning we nipped back to Bonham's and completed our viewing, then (again by 'bus - and should stress that provincial senior citizens'  'bus passes are accepted without question in our Capital) out to Cambridge Circus and a short walk to Covent Garden Market. Above is a glimpse down a back alley somewhere near Covent Garden.

From almost  the same spot I took the above photo of a very beautiful and complicated sun dial. I think I'm going to have to complete this record of our visit to London tomorrow.
 But first- a memory of a former visit to the same area of  London. In the summer of 1963 we stayed in the Strand Palace Hotel - Ann's parents had stayed there before the war and recommended it as a good  hotel. We'd booked 'a nice quiet room at the back of the hotel' - I quote the booking clerk at the desk. It turned out that our room backed onto Covent Garden Market, which was then the major London fruit, vegetable, and flower market. The trouble was that the market (and a very noisy one it was too) started business outside our bedroom window at about three in the morning. After half an hour or so of deliveries by lorries, iron tyred market carts going over the cobbles, and the cries of costermongers extolling their wares, we got fed up, got up, walked round to the market and bought a huge bunch of flowers (very reasonably) to take to the aunt with whom we'd arranged to stay that evening in the midlands, and hit the road a good deal earlier than we'd originally intended.

More tomorrow (D.V.)    
Goodnight all.

Sunday, 15 April 2012


Last Tuesday we went (by 'bus- courtesy of our senior citizens'  bus passes) into Ipswich to do a little shopping. I took ALL the above photos in one shop in the middle of Ipswich.  It is called the Ancient House, and is now the showroom and shop for a Firm called Lakeland Plastics. Remarkably well preserved 16th century house. Nice to think it's still in use.    Goodnight All.

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Wednesday 2.

Sorry about that. To continue - Got home. Found Ann feeling better and getting up. Had breakfast, our usual porridge and an apple (pear in Ann's case) Then loaded toolbox and clock re-roping kit into car and drove to friend's home about fifteen miles away. Did necessary work to above photoed lantern clock on their landing. It is a good lantern clock by an Essex maker and was made in 1710 ( the bottom plate of the movement has been used by the original maker as an engraving practice plate and has the date engraved twice, his name (which is also well engraved on the dial) and the date 1710 in different scripts, also some stylised flowers). Left it in good working order again and had lunch with Penny and Hugh, our hosts/friends. We had kedgeree, salad,  accompanied by a bottle of a dryish white wine, and then a cheese board with the coffee. Then back to work, and respliced the rope on a good Suffolk made thirty hour oak  longcase clock. Left at about three thirty with both clocks ticking (and striking) away confidently.  Came home via Lavenham, feeling tired, but  satisfied that a good day's work had been done- always a pleasant feeling.  Goodnight all.

Wednesday 1.

Ann's asthma not good this morning, so left her in bed and went to early service. Walking into town found my way was blocked by Police tapes and three Police officers. Noticed one wall of Lloyd's bank was smashed in with a large J.C.B. abandoned in the road, realised that the large hole in the brickwork was where Lloyd's cash point used to be.Young lady policeman directed me to walk round the long way to Church. This organised raid on a bank had happened in the small hours in a small Suffolk market town. Bit too close to home!!!!! After early service didn't stay to breakfast, and when I'd walked home found Ann a good deal better and just getting up. Asthma problem hasn't returned today I'm glad to say. Just lost a picture. More in a minute.

Monday, 9 April 2012


To continue yesterday's blog, after Libby Jeans's baptismal service in Terrington Saint John's Church yesterday, refreshments were served, also in the church. Above photo shows the younger generation of the family tucking into the refreshments. Ann's brother Tim is Libby's grandfather and the Churchwarden here.


The above snapshot shows Libby Jean being given her refreshments by her maternal Grannie, being watched admiringly by an Auntie, a great Aunt, and a Great Grannie.

We left these scenes of revelry at about a quarter to six, and drove home via Upwell, pausing to take the above and below photos of Upwell Church. We didn't go in, but it has (in my opinion) the second best Angel Roof in England. The best one is a few miles away in Saint Wendreda's Church at March in Cambridgeshire.

We then drove on to Welney, where we stopped in the churchyard for Ann to plant some Lilies-of-the-Valley on her mother's grave. They were her favourite flowers. We got home just after half past eight o'clock.  It had been a long but very satisfying day.
Good Night all.

Sunday, 8 April 2012


This morning, for a change (and also because we had to fit a lot into the day), we split our resources. Ann stayed at home (also because, being Easter Sunday we knew the Church would be full of lilies, which invariably  trigger Ann's asthma)   and cooked lunch, whilst I took the car, drove to the top of town, and picked up one of our choir members who is unable to walk to Church. Drove back to Church and sung in choir. After service drove Sylvia home. Then home, had lunch (roast chicken) then, pausing only for Ann to take snapshot of your blogger, back into car and drove up to North Norfolk (Terrington Saint John Church, to be exact) where our newest great niece Libby Jean was to be baptised.
Also, just before setting out, felt compelled to take below photo of Ann's best hat on top of fruit bowl, from which green apples appear to be peeping out. Photo wasn't posed, but seemed to me to have a slightly sinister quality - don't quite know why.

Below photo taken by Ann in Terrington St. John Church, and shows great niece Libby with her parents. Should perhaps explain that Libby is Ann's youngest brother Tim's eldest daughter's second child - All clear?

Think I'll have to do this episode of blog in installments. Therefore more tomorrow.

 Goodnight all.

Friday, 6 April 2012


Herewith, as promised, photograph of Southwold Jack shown the right way up. I've been talking to Nea (second daughter) and she has been telling me of ways to  control the computer and make it behave.
 Back to Southwold Jack. If you enlarge the photo you should be able to see that he is a correctly turned out man-at-arms of the late 15th century. He is red-eyed and unshaven because he has been up all night striking the hours on the clock bell. He is the kind of fresh faced young countryman you can still frequently see in our area. He is mounted high up on the west wall inside Southwold Church.

Took the above photo at about noon yesterday at Southwold looking north.

Spent most of today cleaning a pair of five foot gilded oak candlesticks (gesso work) from St. Mary's Church, at the request of the Dean. They were covered in generations of dust and wax drippings. Been hard work, but they look better now.

Good night all.

Thursday, 5 April 2012


This morning we motored up the coast to Southwold, to  meet eldest offspring Sarah, her husband Mikey, and their two youngest children, Lucy and Guy. Parked (with luck) and difficulty, Southwold being chocker - i.e. chock/choke full, Lori; then walked to small restaurant, Coasters,  passing on the way above small cottage with cat asleep in sunshine. Lovely day with east wind with just that touch of North in it that makes our east coast so 'bracing'.  Met up at restaurant as planned and had excellent lunch, for which Sarah and Mikey insisted on paying, bless them. 

Then walked to Market place, where Lucy had seen a basket stall, and where she purchased a basket she'd  seen earlier and liked. I'm sorry that the next photos aren't in the right order, or, in the next photo, even in the right position. This is largely because it's fairly late, I've had a lovely (but heavy) day, and seem unable to make this machine behave.   Still, I'm fairly certain that you'll be able to sort out what I'm trying to say. Walked to church (last photo) to show the descendants (the youngsters that is) Southwold Jack (below photo). He is a very well preserved 'clock Jack', built around the year 1480 to strike the hours on the church clock bell, from which he became detached  some centuries ago, but is now allowed to strike the bell to announce the beginning of services. Explained all this to family when the Church attendant (ver elderly, but very bright lady) who approached us at the end of my lecture, agreed with all of it and made my day by asking if I'd like to pull the rope and make him strike, which task I, of course, sprang to. She then asked Guy if he'd like to do the same, which he did assisted by his father. I've known, and admired Southwold Jack for sixty years or so, and never seen him perform, let alone making him strike!!!!!  Tomorrow, when I'm feeling a bit more inventive, I'll try and make him stand upright.

You'll be wondering, no doubt, what the below picture of an early victorian bowl is doing in a blog about a day out in Southwold? The answer is, of course,  not much, except that on our way home we turned off onto the back lanes, went through Yoxford, where Ann spotted the bowl in an antique shop we know, and fell for it. So I bought it for her as a memento of a lovely day out.
                                         Goodnight All.

P.S. Above photo shows back view of oldest daughter Sarah, and her family walking towards Southwold Church.

Wednesday, 4 April 2012


Been a good, busy day today, having spent a good deal of it (after a very early start) at an antique fair in Long Melford.
Further to yesterday's thoughts on free range sausages I wish to register my doubts about the frequently used   term 'organic vegetables'. The word organic is totally unnecessary in conjunction with the word 'vegetables'. All vegetables are organic, however grown.  Whoever heard of an inorganic vegetable???? It seems to me to be bordering on tautology............thinks: 'not really strong enough words. Oh yes, I know ............. SO THERE!!!!!

I am aware of what people (think they) mean when they use the term 'organic'; but I would be interested to hear the views of people who disagree with me (or even anyone who agrees with me, if any such there be). As I said recently to a friend:-  'I seem to be turning into a  Victor Meldrew these days',   and that would never do.

P.S. Both the above photos were taken a few days ago in Bury St. Edmund's.

Good night.

Tuesday, 3 April 2012


Yesterday (I must interrupt meself here to say that I started out - nearly five years ago now- to keep this blog as a sort of journal, and now I seem to be permanently a day or so in arrear).
As I was saying, yesterday I was about to walk into town to do various odd jobs, and as I was leaving I called out to Ann "Is there anything I can get you from town?"  "Yes" she said "bring me four sausages please."     Well, that sounds a fairly easy commission, you'd think; well within your blogger's capability. Well it was, in a sense. But when I'd completed the odd jobs, and finally stepped into the butcher's shop and ordered four sausages as requested, I found it wasn't at all simple because there were choices to be made. Did I want Lincolnshire sausages, Cumberland sausages, spicy sausages - or - something called (honestly) free range sausages. I had to visualise these latter, and I came up with an internal picture of a flower- sprinkled spring- time meadow, with pink, chubby, youthful sausages gambolling freely in it. I mean how else could you visualise a 'free range sausage'. I think the butcher had to speak to me twice before I shook meself awake and decided that the safest choice of sausage, because I know  we both like them, were the Cumberland sausages.  Sorry, I'm waffling on here. The point of this reminiscence is- that the above photographed sausages are half the Cumberland sausages I'd purchased earlier. They were, as always, delicious. But I think we really will, next week possibly, have to sample the free range ones and see if we can taste the difference.

Good night all.