With reference to the clock dial I was writing about yesterday, the point is that if the 'minute divisions' between the hour numerals are examined carefully, it will be found that there are four of them between each hour numeral and the next, and this is because the divisions are NOT minute divisions but quarter hour divisions, and this in turn indicates that the clock was originally a 'single hander' rather than having an hour and a minute hand. It is surprising how quickly the eyes get used to a single handed clock dial, and how easy it is to judge the time accurately with only an hour hand.
Wednesday, 24 May 2017
This is a photograph of Ann's herb garden. The white flowered plant to the centre right of the photo is (in my opinion) one of the most useful herbs in the garden (bar possibly mint). It is Sweet Cecily. If chopped and mixed with rhubarb, and cooked, the mixture needs very little sugar to make it palatable. Our good friends Jonathan and Jo came to lunch today, had rhubarb and Sweet Cecily as a pudding, and were astonished at what a good mix this is. The Sweet Cecily, when first gathered (and before cooking) has a not unpleasant liquorice scent and flavour, which doesn't seem to survive cooking, but sweetens rhubarb most pleasantly. Don't know why it's not more widely known and used.
I've been working on the above illustrated clock for the last day or so. As you can see if you examine the dial carefully, this clock started life as a single handed clock. Any ideas as to how we can KNOW this? (Equivalent of a MYSTERY OBJECT, but simple enough when you think about it).
Tuesday, 23 May 2017
With regard to the previous blog entry (Tuesday 2) here is the photo I took this morning of a male blackbird, who is nesting in the vicinity and a young female bird, who is one of his first brood this year, and who is now helping to feed what is the second brood of this year. We are putting out mealworms for their main course, and dried currants for their pudding. Father and daughter are now working very hard scavenging for the present brood. It is, I think, not at all an unusual arrangement for members of the first brood to work hard feeding the second brood. Interesting though!
The chap above is now busy raising his SECOND brood this year. He is being assisted (in gathering food for the brood) by a young female from the first brood - I think I got a shot of the two of them them this morning; whilst the hen bird is presumably sitting on the eggs.
Aquilegia, or, if you're of Norfolk origin, Granny's Bonnets.
Finally managed to make some sort of 'break-through' - been fighting this machine for about a fortnight- then this morning it decided to cooperate to some extent, so I seized the moment, and, pausing only to insert of couple of foties that were handy, I leapt into action and inserted this blog entry. Hope all goes well. Feels good to be back (I hope) in communication with my readers. Warm regards anyway! - Here goes.
Tuesday, 9 May 2017
The above two photographs are rather fuller ones of yesterdayday's 'Mystery object', which were taken from a rather different angle. It is, of course, an English coaching blunderbuss with a spring bayonet along the top of the barrel. It was made by J.Wright, of Weymouth, circa 1790 to 1810. I've always liked the engraving round the muzzle, Fly or Dye; in that, if you're close enough to read it, then you've already lost the choice it gives .
Monday, 8 May 2017
Saturday, 6 May 2017
The garden is beginning to look quite festive with the aquilegia (or Granny's nightcaps, or granny's bonnets as we call them in Suffolk and Norfolk) now bursting into bloom. They are of all sorts of colours and quite a variety of shapes.
Having developed the top picture I found that there was a bumble bee in the bottom right of the picture, so I enlarged him for the above picture. He was very active and industrious.
We also seem to have quite a collection of bonsai (or potentially bonsai) trees taking up the space on the garden tea table. They are not 'bought' trees, but raised from tiny seedlings we've found. The yew tree at the back has taken me around ten years to raise. Mostly they are native trees, so they live outside all year round. I must find somewhere permanent (preferably at eye level, more or less) for them. Shelves on a fence or wall ?
Suggestions would be welcome (remembering that it is a very small garden).
Friday, 5 May 2017
On Thursday we motored over to a small village a few miles away to look at a 'Banjo' barometer which needed work - so much so that the visit turned out to be somewhere between a complete washout and a dead loss. However we made a detour on the way home (as is our wont - in this case won't go straight home) and went to look at a village church in Little Waldingfield. This is one of those strange places - common enough in Suffolk- where Little waldingfield is now a much larger village than Great Waldingfield. I should perhaps explain that the top picture is of three early buildings which appear to constitute a small, early, industrial estate. The one to the right of centre obviously having started out as a roadside forge.
The next three pictures are of Little Waldingfield Church, and its contents. The Church is a beautifully proportioned, mainly 14th/15th century (?) building. The font is probably of much the same date, and although the figures on it have been ( literally) defaced during the Civil War, the font can quite clearly be seen to have been a lovely piece of work in its day. The oak chest in the fourth picture is a very fine piece of work, also dating from the 14th/15th century, and English.
I know I've said this, or something like it, a good many times before, but I'm still amazed at the number of village churches we have in East Anglia, all of them with a good number of interesting, or indeed fascinating, contents.
Good Night All.
Thursday, 4 May 2017
Wednesday, 3 May 2017
The above object (in the antique trade, anyway) is known by a certain name. Can you give me that name, and when and where the object was made ?
Been a busy day. Drove over to Long Melford this morning and went to the monthly antique fair (as customers this time). Successful visit. Motored home via Stowmarket (where I had to collect a blunderbuss) and also via a downpour (much needed). When home had a nap (also much needed) and have been pottering around the workshop since.
Ready for a more solid and elongated nap now - so Goodnight All.
Sunday, 30 April 2017
Two more shots of 'corners of the garden'.
The above photograph is of a tulip in a raised bed of tulips in the centre of the garden. It's a lovely vibrant red colour, but if you enlarge it, you'll see that the spikey edges of the petals make it look rather like one of those insect eating mini man trap type flowers. It's the same colour as the rest of the tulips in this area, and I can only think that the last time we purchased a bag of tulips this one slipped in to the bag and the flower bed. Does anyone know of this type of tulip and what it's called?
Tuesday, 25 April 2017
The top photo is of half a celtic strapwork stone set in the round tower of Aldham Church. The other half of the same stone is in the inside south wall of the church.
A small part of our garden, now looking quite colourful. The enclosed box hedge surrounded area at the top of the photo contains most of Ann's herb garden, although the terra cotta tubs at the front of the picture also contain herbs, the herb garden being pretty full. They get used a good deal. On 10th June the garden will be again opened as part of the Highdale hidden gardens display. We'd no real intention of opening it again this year, but seem to have been over ruled. Hilary has volunteered to help again, so, providing the weather's decent, it could be quite fun.
Sunday, 23 April 2017
Snapshot of junior granddaughter strolling on Felixstowe beach last Thursday.
Snapshot of her older sister working (and I do mean WORKING) in our garden during their week with us. It turns out that this particular granddaughter has a gift for gardening, and she spent an afternoon sorting out the tangled roots of sweet peas and morning glory, then planting them out and watering them in. How well they do will, I think, depend on a complete absence of late frosts. We had a frost earlier in the week, so must hope that was the last. If all goes according to plan they (the girls that is, and Ruth) are planning to return to us for a week in July, when senior sister's efforts should be bearing flowers. Be interesting to see.
Saturday, 22 April 2017
I mentioned the photographed 'Green Man' in our garden a day or so ago. We were given it by friends (husband and wife) who make garden ornaments. Ruth and her girls liked it . So did we, except that during the last day or two he seems to have developed the habit of wearing a sprig of apple blossom behind his left ear, and I cannot approve of such unmanly extravagances.
Polstead Hall - a view from the churchyard. Taken on Wednesday (I think).
Ruth took this one in Felixstowe on Thursday.
Yesterday was a very busy day. We set out about 7.30 a.m. and drove by minor roads to the airport where we deposited Ruth and the Girls to fly home (Sweden). We then drove on to Cambridge, where we went to McKay's hardware and tool shop. I bought some silver soldering wire, etc., then went on to their metal ware department where I purchased some mild steel plate and brass plate for the workshop..
Then on to Regent Street, in Cambridge where we'd been invited, by our son, to an eighteenth birthday party at an Italian Restaurant . The birthday girl, Tia, is our son Jonathan's step daughter . It was an interesting meal. I didn't know quite what to drink (as there was a chance that I might have to drive at least part of the way home). Jonathan suggested I have what he'd just ordered for himself, a salt caramel milkshake; he likes the stuff and thought I probably would too (I had me doubts about this but it turned out he was right) and I enjoyed it immensely. It is drunk through a large bored straw, to protect the whiskers I presume. It was like having a delicious liquid pudding at the wrong end of the meal.
After lunch we drove on to Stowmarket, so that I could view an auction sale that comes up today (Saturday). Then drove home, had a quick cuppa and changed for the evening, as we had an invitation for the viewing of the coming week's Art Exhibition in Saint Mary's Church, an annual social occasion. Thoroughly enjoyed it, but we were both wilting a bit by chucking-out time (9.30)
As I said at the start of this blog entry, yesterday was a very busy day - I'm finding it heavy work being retired!
Friday, 21 April 2017
Wednesday, 19 April 2017
Second daughter Ruth and her two girls have been staying with us over the Easter week. We picked them up at the airport last Friday. Traffic was very heavy and we took the 'pretty way' home. As we approached the village of Cavendish I told them that the village green at Cavendish was reckoned the prettiest scene in East Anglia. They loved the above view! but when I asked them if they agreed it was the prettiest view we'd shown them, they discussed the relative merits of Cavendish, Kersey, and Lavenham, then came to the conclusion the Cavendish was 'one of the prettiest' views they'd seen in England, and that judging between these villages was quite impossible. A case, I'd suppose of 'comparisons being odious'; and, I think, a wise decision.
When we got home, they all spotted the above 'Green man' which had been given to us; and all rather liked it with the espaliered branches of the Egremont Russett apple tree framing it. The tree is in full flower (the first time it has been since I planted it five or six years ago).