Saturday, 31 October 2015


Dear Nea. This is to wish you a very happy (and significant) birthday. Four days ago in South Devon four Henshaws - Mikey, Sarah, Lucy, and Guy, and one Horner (your venerable father - meself) assembled on a beach to write you out a large and congratulatory greeting card. My job was to stand atop a bluff, overhanging the beach below, and to bellow directions at the four Workers (well within my skills still), whilst the others worked hard at writing our message in the sand.

 The above photo shows the task nearly completed, and the below shot shows three of the  workers congratulating themselves on having completed the task.

The below shot shows Guy and Lucy, a little later the same morning demonstrating some other of this remarkable family's equally remarkable skills.

The last picture above, shows our message to you again; and I wish to repeat that we ( your family here in England) all wish you many happy returns of this your birthday - have a good and happy one, Darling.
              Love from all your family.

Tuesday, 20 October 2015


Had to motor over to Sudbury today (several birds with one  stone visit), had to have running repairs done on the hearing aids, then visit my tailor to purchase a tie or so and eventually a cravat as well. It was a lovely sunny day, and I've been meaning to take a few photoes of the fine autumn colours we're enjoying  this autumn. We found, though, that the best colours were in and around Highdale itself (see above photo of the Deanery and the churchyard).

Close up of the Deanery looking its best.

Also the flower baskets on the Guildhall are still showing colour.

Driving out of town  the trees are colouring up.

As they are along the bypass (above and below).

Coming home through Newton Green couldn't resist a shot of this place (I've shown it before - been tarted up around the 1920s I should think) but well worth another look.

Almost home again.
Got home about half past four, since when I've been bottling the sloes for sloe gin - which is looking good. Won't be really drinkable until the Christmas after this coming one. It's a process that can't be hurried - still, I've got quite a bit left of the previous three year's produce, so we shan't go short.

Good Night All.

Sunday, 18 October 2015


This morning we set out at about ten fifteen and motored over to Ely. We had been invited to Ann's youngest brother Tim and his wife Sue's celebration of their fortieth wedding anniversary, together with Tim's sixty fifth birthday. Autumn colours beginning to show along the way.

The celebration was held at the Fire Engine house in Ely (near the Cathedral), and the above photo shows the private sitting room where we gathered prior to lunch. The couple in the forefront of the above photo are Sue and Tim.

The above photo shows the private dining room at the Fire Engine House. I've shown it before  when we celebrated Ann's seventy  fifth birthday here, earlier this year.

Above shows Tim and Sue surrounded by their children and grandchildren, just after Tim had said Grace, and  made a short speech of welcome.

View of the lunch table. I aught here to make an acknowledgement that several of these photos were taken by nephew/Godson Edward, who is a professional photographer; so if any of you have been murmuring "Gosh, haven't Horner's photographic skills improved of late?" that, I'm afraid, is why.  Thank you Ed, for thus lending a bit of style to this blog entry.

After the meal, at about four thirty the whole party adjourned to the cathedral. Tim, who is a jeweller, had made Sue a new ring. The one he'd made forty years ago for their wedding was getting a bit worn, so a short service was held in a side chapel at the Cathedral to bless the new ring.

We had given them, as a ruby wedding present, a rose called (very appropiately) 'Ruby wedding' in a terra cotta pot. We walked the two hundred yards back to the Fire Engine House, to transfer the rosebush, pot, and a bag of compost for it, to Tim's car. I was personally glad of the assistance of Ronnie, Tim and Sue's son in law, He picked up the  sack of compost as if it were a bag of sugar, bless him.
Set off on our journey back, and home by about seven pip emma. It had been a very pleasant, sociable sort of a day.

Good Night All.

Thursday, 15 October 2015


It's been a pleasantly eventful day today. Firstly, Janet and John came to lunch. You may remember that about a fortnight ago we had lunch with friends who intend 'retiring' as antique dealers (which is, of course, as I said at the time, against ALL the accepted rules for antique dealing).  Well, today they came and had lunch with us. This was partly so that they could pick up some repaired brass ware I'd done for them, and partly to show me some more antique metal ware that Janet had found whilst sorting some old stock. Her late father opened an antique shop in 1930, Janet took it on in 1970 (ish), and is now clearing it out, prior to closure. Various nice things have come to the surface during this operation, and anything that puzzles them, she firstly picks my brains, and then gives me first refusal on the items. I might well use one or two of the pieces I bought today as 'mystery objects' on this blog (unless I sell them first - but I want to play with them, so I'm not in a hurry to do that).

Grandson Matthew 'phoned Ann yesterday to ask if he might come and spend a couple of days with us before he starts a new job on Monday. Of course we said come and see us at any time, so we got a 'phone call from him this afternoon to say that he'd be on the five o'clock train from Liverpool Street, which we met. Matt and Granny shown above, and Matt and Grandpa shown below.

Spent this evening catching up on family news. He's just been downstairs to say Goodnight to me before retiring to his bed - I must say goodnight to my readers before doing the same - Goodnight all.

Saturday, 10 October 2015


I purchased the illustrated pair of 'side ejector' English brass candlesticks on eBay. They were delivered on Friday. I nearly didn't get the one on the right, as the lady vendor thought that it was probably unsaleable (in which view I think she is right). However she described it, then on my saying "Yes, please, if only for cannibalising purposes", she went and recovered it from the dustbin in which it was then reposing.  The candlesticks date from around 1720, and are both fairly filthy. One as you can see is in quite good condition, the other isn't; it has large holes in the main stem. This is not particularly rare, although as the vendor so nearly did to one of these, the holey one usually gets thrown out. As the price I'd paid for the two would have been a fair price for a single candlestick of this type, I didn't mind too much.

They are not really 'Mystery Objects' , but would anyone care to hazard a guess - Why the difference ?

                                           I do know the answer - it's very simple.

Friday, 9 October 2015


 Had problems with making the computer print out photographs yesterday. This was a pity, as we'd been to East Bergholt, had lunch there and taken a good many photos of the area. When we got home I put all the photos in the computer, but could not make it give them up or print them. This morning we walked into town, bought a few bits off the market, had a coffee, and walked home what Ann calls 'the pretty way', taking more photos. This time I took great care when putting them into the computer, and all has gone well (I still couldn't find where it had hidden yesterday's photos, though).  So this morning I took a quick snapshot (above) of Saint Mary's Church, then walked home via the riverside walk, Toppesfield Bridge, Tinker's Lane, and home.

Took above photo of our long term resident couple of swans and this year's brood (they've raised five cygnets again).

There is a nice area of trees beside the path approaching Toppesfield Bridge, the one in the picture centre above is a Black Poplar (only know this because we had one in the garden of a previous home- it was supposed to be the biggest Black Poplar in the East of England).

 Above is a close-up of the Black Poplar. They are becoming rare. Handsome trees though.

On a strip of land beside the river Brett (a slype, I suppose, although I think this is a 'Churchy term')  a small poultry farm is kept, and the the ducks shown swimming under the bridge are, I think, Aylsburys.  The 'Indian summer' we are having makes for pleasant country walking, so we must make the most of it.

Being called upstairs for a cuppa. More later, perhaps.

Sunday, 4 October 2015


Been a fairly standard Sunday, but a lovely, sunny one. Took the usual snapshots of corners of the garden, before going to church this morning. As I was down to read the Gospel lesson, we set out fifteen minutes earlier than usual, as I do like to have a quick practice read of the lesson before the service starts.

Also took quick snapshot of garden table (above) which has the bonsai'd yew tree on it, and various other plants, waiting to be transplanted to their more permanent sites in the garden.

On our drive to church (in Aldham) took the above snapshot. Some trees just beginning to have an autumnal look to them, but looking well for October.

Home a little after twelve and took a last garden snapshot (above). Then lunch , a quick zizz, and since then I've been pottering in the workshop. Been doing up a very early English pistol of plain, probably military type. May well put up a snapshot of it when finished, although you'll be disappointed- it's very plain and unadorned,  but an unusual survival.


Thursday, 1 October 2015


 Today we had occasion to motor up to Lowestoft. On the way we made a small detour to go and have a look at the 'Wenhaston Doom'.  Photo above is of Wenhaston Church.

The photograph above is of the Wenhaston Doom. It was painted a few years either side of the year 1500, to fill the chancel arch of the church, but probably in 1547 ( and in response to an injunction of King Edward VI) the rood screen was whitewashed and painted over.  In 1892 the East end of Wenhaston Church underwent much reconstruction. The whitewashed doom was removed plank by plank  and the wooden boards thrown out into the churchyard to await destruction, but in the night there was heavy rain, so that in the morning parts of the painting was decipherable through the now watered down whitewash.  Specialist Art Historians were summoned and the doom eventually made a spectacular appearance at Burlington House, under the auspices of the Society of Antiquaries, where it 'excited much interest'.

If these photoes are enlarged much detail can be seen. Sinners are seen being weighed in the balance, and some can be seen being thrown into the jaws of Hell to the right of the doom. It is (briefly) the Day of  Judgement being pictured.

 The sword bearer to the right of the above picture is thought to be the Archangel Michael. The group on the left are thought to be Saint Peter, a King, a Bishop, a Cardinal, and a Queen. These can be identified by their head dresses (being otherwise starkers, as are all the other resurrected human sinners, everyone being equal on Judgement Day).

Above is the Arch Angel Michael with a sword, facing the old gentleman, Satan, with a sinner being weighed in the balance.


To the right of the above picture are the jaws of Hell.  The words below the pictures are based on on the first few verses of chapter 13 of Saint Paul's Epistle to the Romans.  They are, of course from an earlier version of the Bible than the Authorised Version of 1611.

The last time I went to see the Wenhaston Doom, in the late 1970s, I was on my way back from the funeral of a Great Aunt of mine who'd lived in Southwold, and I had daughter Ruth with me, who was then preparing to take a degree in Art History. We made a slight detour to Wenhaston, and she was amazed to see the Doom, a piece of (at latest) 15th/16th century English art (folk art). She couldn't understand why she had not been made aware of this very important piece of art history by her tutors. I really couldn't enlighten her on that, but I was glad to have been able to introduce her to it.


Back to today - after Wenhaston had a late lunch at Wangford, then on to Lowestoft, where we'd not been for some decades. Great chunks of it now have all the charm of a badly worn bombsite.


On to Bungay where I was able to purchase a horn snuffbox and a large sword needing T.L.C., which it will probably receive this winter.  

               Now nearly 9.30 p.m.  so - Goodnight everyone.