Monday, 16 January 2017


Herewith (good word) photograph of the knife from a chatelaine (?) with the blades open. The upper blade would be the pen knife, for reshaping a quill pen, and the lower blade a fruit knife for peeling pears, peaches, nectarines, etc. Altogether a useful little item for a lady. The knife is  shown  in  the blog entry for Friday, 13th January, 2017.

Saturday, 14 January 2017


Above are photographs of another 'Mystery object'. I first put up a photograph of this item on my blog entry of Saturday, 19th November, 2016,  but then changed my mind and did the necessary restoration of this  item, which  I finished this afternoon. In the second picture is a foot ruler to try and give an idea of the  item's size ( bit of a giveaway). What is it, when was it made, and  for what purpose was it made? It is a very attractive little item (if you like that sort of thing).

P.s. I do, and Ann does,too.  Like that sort of thing, I mean.

Friday, 13 January 2017


The four  photos shown here are of this week's  'Mystery Object'. It was purchased at last week's Long Melford Antique Fair. It is a little under two inches long, and on a chain that is seven inches long.   

Can you guess what it is, where and when it was made, and where the chain would hang. I think it would be only fair to add that it is made of polished iron/steel.

Good guessing regards, Mike.

Thursday, 12 January 2017


Last Christmas photo (promise). It was taken on Boxing day, and all are offspring, save the lady in the armchair (Jude) who is our son Jonathan's ( the tall bloke standing beside her) long term partner. They've moved (fairly recently) to a village near Cambridge, which is a great deal nearer to us than Wolverhampton, where they lived previously. Ann is at the front of the photo, and all others are our descendants; children, grandchildren, and a great grandchild in the centre of the photo. It was a good day.  Must knock off now - got friends coming to lunch, and I can hear the two who haven't been here before, are on the 'phone getting directions from Ann. So must now go upstairs and get into my convivial Host act- not really an act, I'm looking forward to it.

More later perhaps.

Tuesday, 10 January 2017


Walked into town  this morning (a lovely bright, but cold, morning). Did a little shopping, then went on to  lipreading class, for a 'refresher' course.  Took the above photo of St. Mary's Church, when walking back.

Took the above photo of  our only  hotel in  town while walking home. There  are several large old coaching inns in town, that  at one time would have been turned into hotels, but  all of these have been  cut up into flats/small houses, and sold (or let) as such.

Been fairly busy all week, since  the  Christmas season ended, and got several jobs waiting to be done.  In fact I must get stuck into one such job that's been waiting for far too long for attention. If all goes well, might turn it into a blog entry.

Warm regards to all, 
Mike and Ann. 

Wednesday, 4 January 2017


On Sunday we motored across to Stanstead Airport with Ruth and the  girls, setting off at 7.15 a.m. On the way there we ran across a road  sign in Essex which never ceases to puzzle me. Although it was raining at that time, I  think the notice is quite readable in the top picture. As a statement it is  interesting. I suppose that long gardens might reduce your speed, but surely only if the  gardens had now become so long as to have  grown  right over the road surface?

Here is a rather clearer picture of a similar sign on the  way home, approaching   Halstead.

On Monday we decided  that  a walk  was needed to sweep the cobwebs away, so we donned welly boots (remember it had rained quite hard on Sunday) and  set out to do the complete  river walk, where we found our resident pair of swans, and  their one remaining  cygnet from last year's five. I  suppose for a pair of swans who seem to have five cygnets annually it is not always  possible to find five suitable partners for them all.

Been to the Long Melford Antique Fair today. Bought  a  quite nice,  sheet iron, tinder box from Graham's stand- needs work though. And also bought a small, double bladed knife, with a fretted steel handle,  probably from a lady's 'chatelaine.  Generally  speaking,  a goodish  fair.

Been a long day -we set out at 7a.m.- so  will, I think, wish you all a very Good Night.

Saturday, 31 December 2016


Don't quite know how (or Why) I took  this  photo. It is a snapshot of one corner of the sitting (or drawing, or withdrawing) room. Been a lovely, busy Christmas, and has  become even busier this morning,  as Ruth and the girls have just realised that they are flying home tomorrow, and are busy packing for an early start. They've done quite a lot of shopping, but this is  alright as most of what they've bought is clothing, so they can wear several layers instead of packing them. As I type I can hear them rushing about packing, I have taken refuge in my cellar, so am well out of the way - ' real cowardy custard that Horner'  I hear you murmur, and you are, of course, right; although  I think that any other father of families composed mainly of girls, will agree with me that finding lots to do in the way of work in a nice dry  cellar, is a standard business precaution, when one's female family  are busy packing. When the noise level indicating that the rushing about packing part is still taking place drops to a level of all's done bar the actual donkey work - I may well go up and help with the carrying  stuff part of packing.  In fact I think I may  as well go and put in an appearance, especially as it's  nearly lunchtime now.

P.s. Yes, I can remember why I  took the above photo - It was because, in the small wall mirror almost dead centre of the picture, there was rather a good photo of the reflection of the Christmas tree and lights - which didn't  come out at all well, still it's a useful enough photo to give an impression of a family houseful at Christmas.

Regards, Mike. 

Thursday, 29 December 2016


The above  picture shows  the  Horner Family revelries at their height on the afternoon of Boxing  Day.


The next pictures were taken on the twenty seventh of this month, i.e. the  day after Boxing  Day, when Ann and I, Ruth and  her girls decided that  what we all needed, when the morning mist lifted , and the ground frost was nearly all gone, was a  good walk. We set out on the Highdale river walk, then watched  a dog walker throwing branches into the river for  his  two brown Labradors (lovely dogs) to retrieve. We then extended the River Walk, with a further walk up  and  over  the Highdale   Downs.

The above photo shows one, having done a graceful long jump (followed by a belly  flop) into the river for his branch.

The above  picture shows the graceful Highdale Downs. We do have some very lovely, if undramatic, scenery in our area.

More (D.V.) tomorrow- Goodnight All.

Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Tuesday (2)

P.s. Slightly enlarged version of picture shown earlier. 

Tuesday - the Day after Boxing Day.

Above  photo was taken on Boxing Day, and shows (from right to left) a grand daughter, meself, then our two Great Granddaughters. They are both just over two, behaved perfectly, and appeared to thoroughly enjoy their day with Great grandparents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, and loads of cousins. The pink and  blue items the children are holding are toy microphones, and the three of us were singing a wassail song 'Good Tidings we bring to you and your King, we wish you a merry Christmas..........'  To my surprise they both knew it and several more, so I took the base line and the tinies the tenor.  You should have heard us in 'Good King  Wenceslas'.  

We sat down to Boxing  Day lunch just over twenty of  us. Youngest daughter, Liz, had organised lunch, and everyone  brought something. Great Grandpa (meself, that is) provided the wines  and spirits, although not that much of  it  was drunk, as a good many were driving home  later. Oh well, it'll  be  a pleasant duty to make sure  it won't  be wasted..........

Needless  to say, it  has been a lovely Christmas!

Sunday, 25 December 2016

, Sunday, Christmas Day, 2016.

Went out  to Aldham Church this morning. Picture shows Ruth, Ann, and Ruth's two daughters.

Near the Church is the above water feature, which is an old duck decoy. It was cleaned out a few years ago. Don't know when it was last used, though.

Ruth's daughters  are both very artistic (like their mother) and  spent past of this  afternoon decorating the Christmas cake with a wintry scene, snowman, etc.  We've had no snow here yet, I'm glad to report; but they live in Sweden, so they've had good opportunities to study the stuff, already   this  winter. They  are both teenagers (the oldest one is at Uni) and both are already taller than I am. Been a good Christmas Day.

Tomorrow we are expecting most of the rest of our family to come and spend the day with us, so there'll be well over twenty of us at lunch. Looking forward to it.

Good Night to  All our friends.  Enjoy the rest of Christmas. Warm Regards, Mike, Ann, and Family.

Saturday, 24 December 2016


Hellebore now in full  flower.

Second  daughter, Ruth, serving stir-fry (with chicken) for supper.

Been a nice, busy day. Bagged the  last of  the shopping in town.

Take this  opportunity to wish all my readers a good,  and Happy,  Christmas.

Tuesday, 20 December 2016


Photo of a very pretty little thatched pub on  a very small back lane near here.  I'm surprised, given where the pub is (back of beyond) that it gets enough passing traffic to stay in business.  Hope it does, though.  'New' computer is still giving problems. It's latest bright idea is to remove all comments from my blog for the last couple  of months. Don't know  where it's  hidden them, but our friends John and Margaret are coming to lunch today, and as they are both much better at keeping computers in order than I am, I hope they are going to sort out this latest freak.  Actually I think they have just arrived. Can hear Ann greeting someone. More to report later I hope. 

Friday, 16 December 2016


Rather handsome old house in Newton Green.

Entering  the village of  Boxford.

Took these a week or two ago when coming back from a shopping trip to Sudbury. Must get on with some work now -  in the throes of repairing a wall clock. When I say 'repairing'  in  this cases I mean a major restoration project for a friend. More later perhaps.

Wednesday, 14 December 2016


Today we motored up to  Stradbroke in North Suffolk, after doing a minor repair to a rather nice long case clock in Highdale. It was trying to confuse its owner by striking  twelve on the hour,  whatever the hour  happened to be. After fixing the problem (this took about five minutes, during which the  clock owner made  coffee). Imbibed  said coffee, back in the car, and drove up to Stradbroke where a new Antique Centre has recently been opened.  Didn't buy anything, save a light lunch, but  must admit that the  new Antique Centre looked  promising. Must remember to call in again whenever in that area. Drove  home  through Saxstead, where we took the  top photo of a post windmill, just to  prove there's still  a certain amount of light industry in Suffolk.

Middle photo is in Nuttery vale near Hoxne. I think the name is a Suffolk form of Nut Tree Vale, and Saint Edmund's battle against the  Danes is said by the locals to have  taken place in the area on 20th November, 869  A.D.

The third photo is  taken in Eye, and  is  of  Eye Castle.  The castle mound is original and ancient, but the ruins on top of the mound appear to be a nineteenth century folly.   Got  home   just before four. Pleasant day out.

Monday, 12 December 2016


The top two  photos  were taken in our garden on Friday last, and show  our first Hellebore flowers of the winter (otherwise known as 'Christmas Roses'). On Saturday morning we motored over to Leicestershire to spend the weekend with brother Crowbard, and sister-in-law Judy. Took  the  third photo from their garden at about four o'clock on Saturday afternoon, and showed a dramatically  fiery sunset - not  sure that the photo does the  sunset full credit.  Had a very pleasant weekend with them and caught up on all the  family news.  Judy is a delightful hostess and a first class cook, so we had a lovely ( satisfying and relaxing  weekend).  Motored home after a good, and prolonged breakfast, and got home (with  two or three very necessary Christmas  shopping stops on the way)  at about four p.m. 

                                          Thank you both very much for a lovely weekend.

Monday, 5 December 2016


Motored over to Sudbury this morning as we both  had some shopping  to do.  I was expecting to tramp through  a good many shops to find my two items, and probably have to buy them on eBay in the end. However found both items in the first shop I tried. Most helpful  young  lady  found  them  then took me over to  the main counter, where a young man was equally  helpful. Whole transaction took about five minutes to complete. Would that all  shop assistants were equally knowledgeable, well intentioned, and helpful. Had a quick coffee  at recently opened coffee shop (combined with a clothier's shop - strange mixture- coffee was good, though),  then over to the grocery shop where Ann bought items for Christmas, and I (knowing my limitations) pushed the trolley round. Not nearly as quick a transaction as  the first two, but all went smoothly, and we were home by mid day. 

Lunch - venison casserole- left over from yesterday's lunch - like all  casserole/stew type dishes it was even better the  second day.

Then workshop - cleaning and labelling items for Wednesday's  Long Melford Antique Fair. Knocked off for ten minutes to do quick blog entry. Now  must do some more work for Wednesday.

P.s. Two photos taken on a detour through Boxford on the way home. Pretty village.

Sunday, 4 December 2016


Took this  photo of small part of our river walk a week or so  ago. I think a good many more leaves have fallen now, though.  Still, it shows what a lovely autumn this  has been.

Read the O.T. lesson in Aldham Church this morning.  For  Crowbard's  benefit it was Isaiah, Chapter eleven, first ten verses.

 I think (or anyway, I hope) this  is  going  to be another busy week - Long Melford Fair coming up. Planned to spend this afternoon getting things ready for Long Melford, but fortunately Ann reminded me that we are having tea with Helga (a few miles away).  Good thing she did- my  memory's getting  dreadful.  Ann's just called down the stairs that supper's ready, so must close now.

Good Night All.

Saturday, 3 December 2016


This pencil  sketch was drawn about forty five years ago by Ann's  sister-in-law,  Jo  Clayton. It shows our five children (the two girls at the top are now grannies). We've always liked  this picture. It  is not only an excellent  likeness of them  all, but  it catches  and  displays their character.  The picture now lives in our  spare bedroom.

Friday, 2 December 2016


Ruth drew this to celebrate my  fiftieth birthday (nearly a quarter of a century ago now). Can never decide if Ruth is an artist or a cartoonist. I  don't  think she  can either.

It's been a very busy week.  Spent  most of it  in London, viewing and bidding at auction.  Stayed at Lizzie's.  Lizzie's granddaughter, Elsa, is now just over two.  She speaks very  well. Her greeting on the morning of our departure was, "Good morning, Great Grandpa Horner."  She is slightly less formal with Ann, and greets her as Granny, or occasionally as Granny-Annie. Grandson Matthew assisted me at the auctions - Arms and Armour.  Eventually   bought nine lots, which is better than usual, so a fairly successful week. 

Just  been called upstairs to supper - light one I should think, as we had a lovely lunch with friends at Long Melford, and spent a pleasant afternoon with them.  Must go now. Regards to all - Mike.