Tuesday, 12 March 2019

Tuesday 2.

Just had lunch (roast pork, etc.) Very good, too!  After which Sarah borrowed the camera, and took above photy. She  sent off a copy  of it to  Mikey, her husband, and put this one on my computer, as another blog illustration.  I still have difficulty putting photies to the blog entries (must try harder, Horner ! as I was usually  told at school, somewhere on my end of term report).


I don't know if anyone remembers me talking about the clock illustrated? It is a small (dial 4inches square !!), London made (circa 1730/40)   timepiece alarum that I spoke of on this blog, a few months ago, when I'd first taken it on.  It's now approaching completion, and I'm quite pleased with it, although everything that could go wrong with it has done. This , I'm afraid, is more the fault of your blogger that the clock's !  However, I've taken my time and rather enjoyed it.  I know the owner will be pleased to have it back, although he still reassures me that there's no hurry over it.

Being called upstairs to lunch by Sal, who is responsible for getting me and the Blog together again - getting to be a lazy ole man.   More later I trust.

Wednesday, 27 February 2019


It is  a fact that  when exploring  some of the  earlier buildings around our town centre, it is worth  seeing
if a back view of the building can be obtained.   This one  is  a prime example. The front of the building is quite superb. It is Tudor and blends very well into the rest of our High Street.  But the back view of  this building, can really only be seen from one point - and the exploration is well  worth  making, as you can see. The glimpse of the   clock on the Church Steeple is the  giveaway as to location. 
We wish you happy exploration. 

Tuesday, 26 February 2019


Our local  churchyard throws a few early 'dog violets' most years. This  year they were, if  anything, even earlier than usual. Took the above  snapshot last Saturday morning - dog violet dead centre of photo. It was, incidentally, our 56th wedding anniversary- very obliging of it !

Tuesday, 19 February 2019

Saturday, 16 February 2019


Yesterday we put Freja into a taxi  , who took her to the airfield , who eventually took her to an airfield in Sweden, and eventually home. It was a lovely long  visit here, and she more  than pulled her weight. It was lovely having here here, and made it a Christmas we shall long remember!  Life seems very quiet here in comparision. 

Friday, 15 February 2019

Wednesday, 13 February 2019


 Yesterday our eldest daughter, Sarah, accompanied by her second daughter Amelia, and her daughter, Astrid, drove over from Milton Keynes, and spent the day with us. Astrid, who is a friendly little soul, struck up an immediate relationship with her cousin Freja, who instantly reciprocated her  overtures of friendship. It was lovely to see a four year old and an eighteen/nineteen pair of cousins forming an immediate and close relationship, which I think will turn into  an immediate and long lasting family relationship. Always good to see four generations getting on together.


Above shows same position and cast of characters.  Must just say that I was very impressed by great grandaughter  Astrid's sheer bredth of  vocabulary.

Tuesday, 5 February 2019


Yesterday Lizzie drove me over to Kesgrave, where, at Saint Michael's Church, we attended the funeral of an old friend of mine. He and I sang in the same male voice choir for  thirty five years or so. He was a second tenor and I was a second base. We got there with fifteen minutes or so to spare. The Chairman of  the choir very cordially invited me to sing with them once again, but as I felt I didn't really know the piece the choir would be singing I declined;  but when we got to the hymns in the  service I was able to let rip with them.

After the service we met up for refreshments at  the nearby Seckford Hall, where again I was able to renew a good many old aquaintance. Took the above photo outside Seckford Hall. Been there once before (about forty years or so ago). It's a lovely Tudor brick place, and hasn't been altered much inside or out.
As funerals go, it was a very good one; and it's always good to meet old friends.

Must take Ann to lunch at Seckford, soon. She remembers going there in the sixties, but as a hotel, I think it's altered and improved a good deal.


Sunday, 3 February 2019


Been a fairly uneventful day. Church this morning. Liz drove us us to Church. I think we shall now be thoroughly  relieved when one of us (probably Ann) gets permission to drive again. We both enjoy living in the country; but in mid winter, transport is really needed. And anyway, we don't  live in the country but in the middle of that roaring metropolis Highdale  (not really its name), but it's a small Suffolk Market town. Our only transport at the moment is by 'bus, and although we both hold a 'bus pass................ well, as I said, I think we'll both be glad to have a driving licence again. Being called upstairs to tea. More later perhaps.

Saturday, 2 February 2019


Couple of snaps taken in the garden.  It is easy to see why the flower in the upper picture used to be known as 'the Christmas rose'. It is of course the Hellebore, and comes in half a dozen different colours, from white to a dark red. This one was well in bud by Christmas Morning.

Nice little grouping of early spring flowers round a tree in the garden. We've also got a few yellow  crocii in flower.  It's always nice, even at this time of year, watching the early garden flowers marking the steady turning of the year.

Wednesday, 30 January 2019

Wednesday 2.

My readers will probably have noticed that  the previous blog entry was unillustrated. That was really because the above illustrated granddaughter was shopping with her grandmother (Ann). Both having just returned from these junkettings, I was able to beg granddaughter's assistance, insert photograph successfully, and complete today's blog entry.

Many, many thanks granddaughter.


Must just record that we woke up this morning to the first snow of the winter. About half an inch deep overall (if that)  and it's mostly  all gone now. If there is such a thing as a 'Frost Hollow' we must live in the opposite of it - probably it's called a warm patch in meteorological circles.  I don't mind this a bit, though.  Now I'm rather past building snow men or indulging in snowball   fighting, I've rather realised that snow is overrated  stuff, and anyway it's arrival is completely unpredictable. I only really believe in it when it's actually here, and I'm in no hurry for that to  occur.

Been getting on, slowly but steadily in the workshop. Still working on the little lantern alarm clock, but got one or two other jobs in hand. Progress report in a day or two perhaps.

Warm Regards to ALL me readers.

Monday, 28 January 2019


The two swords pictured are both English, are both gentleman's  'small swords', and were both made in the first half of the 18th century. The top one would have been carried by  a gentleman as part of his normal dress. The lower one was made for a boy of between six and eight years. It is of equal quality and effectiveness as the larger one - it is potentially deadly. Someone once said that childhood was a Victorian invention, and I think there's  something in that  idea.  If you look at eighteenth century oil  paintings of families, the children (even quite young ones) are dressed as miniature adults. Sometimes the boys   are even armed as miniature adults.

Ann has an English version of a 'Nuremburg Kitchen' , which is furnished with all the fittings of a kitchen of the early nineteenth century.  In one sense it is not a toy, but is designed and built  to familiarise a young lady with the necessary fittings and instruments of the household items that a young woman is going to need to run the household she will eventually govern.  The smaller of  the two swords is a perfectly proportioned weapon of the type that a young gentleman (boy) will need to teach  him to wear, and when necessary , to use that mark of a gentleman - the smallsword. 

Following on this idea,  I've even come across very small flintlock pistols that are too small to fit into adult hands, but could be used by six to nine year olds very comfortably. Like all tools they would have had to be 'learned'.  I've even come across the odd pair of unmistakable duelling pistols (but very small, and with little sign of regular usage, I'm glad to report). 

Going back to  swords, the child sized ones are not even particularly rare. Over the years I've come across half a dozen or so of them. I don't ever recall, though, reading of one being misused, or of any  boys being puncture with one. Perhaps the  Georgian young gentleman was more responsible that his modern counterpart. Or, and this is what I started out to  suggest, perhaps the pre-Victorian boy was expected to behave  responsibly, and as a result of that expectation,  did behave more responsibly  than might be  expected of his modern counterpart?

Friday, 25 January 2019


Couple of quick snaps to demonstrate how well  the old and new can blend. After  twenty five years or so without a TV we bought the above one about a year ago and put it in front of the sitting room fireplace. After  a few months  our friend Sue (who helps Ann about the house) said to me "Mike, that television set spoils the look of your lovely old fireplace. You're not  going to leave it there, are you?"
So I asked her where we should put the new telly, and she said to leave it with her, and she'd give it some thought. The next time I wandered through, I found she'd moved the above carved oak chest from it's previous place in a window bay, and put the new machine on top of it.  It proved, as I said a few lines back, how well the old and the new can blend. A few years ago we lived next door to Sue and  Chris  for about a year, and we've never lost touch with them.  Sue, as you  can see, has excellent taste.

Sunday, 20 January 2019


The two photographs shown are of my grandfather's eel glaive - they belonged to his grandfather-  who had the glaive made by  a member of the Evison family probably  around 1850. The last time they were used was about 1955 by grandfather Trower and meself , when we caught a fairly large amount of eels, which my grandmother converted into an eel pie. Do you know, the more I write, the more I am convinced that I've told you this before, so I'll now  apply the handbrake and stop this tale.

Today has been a pottering about the workshop sort of day. There was a hard frost this morning, I've just been out checking the car and locking up .   There's a full moon tonight, and another hard frost, I  think.

I wish  you all a good night's sleep. I think perhaps tonight will be a hot water bottle night.

Saturday, 19 January 2019


Not really mystery objects; but  all  three items standing on top of the spice cupboard in our kitchen are  very collectable pieces of   ?????.  We do not really collect this, but we do have several pieces of it about the home that we have collected over the years.  Every so often we meet someone who says, on seeing these  "AH Yes, I collect ?????  I have done for years. Rarely see it for sale these days".  It's a simple, very descriptive word ; well it is when you work out what it means. No prizes for guessing what the word is, but think of the kudos when I say "Very few people knew this  word, but old - so and so - did straight away."

Friday, 18 January 2019


I recorded on yesterday's blog that on Sudbury Market, earlier in the day, I purchased a brace of partridges.  This afternoon Freja borrowed one of her Grannie's cookery books, looked up  partridges (roast) and prepared them for dinner this evening. She wrapped each of them in a rasher of lean bacon, and made a sauce of cream, boiled onions, and various herbs and spices. Looking back, I can't think why I  didn't buy three partridges.  I've always said that a partridge is the correct size to feed one person. In fact, the two birds fed the three of us quite satisfactorily, but one each would have been easier for Freja to prepare and serve.  As a dish it was a resounding success with all of us.

Above is Freja sitting down to her meal, and still wearing her cook's  apron, and  an air of  quiet triumph at her culinary success, she being a true  Horner (and therefore, of course - modest). We all enjoyed our evening meal immensely. Her late father did a great deal of shooting in the forests of  Northern Sweden. He always made up his recipes as he went along, but never kept a record of them.
This always seemed a pity to me, but he obviously taught his daughters well. I've eaten everything  he shot or caught from elk down to freshwater fish, over their thirty years of marriage,  and I never knew him to use a cookery book; or to cook a less than perfect, locally sourced, meal, so his system of memory, and tasting and adjusting as he went along, worked well for him, and I think his daughter has inherited his skills.

Good night all.