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).
Tuesday, 18 April 2017
Since 'retiring' I've made two sheet silver 'clock hand' pendants. I thought photos of the different stages of manufacture might be interesting. First of all find a decent sized piece of sheet silver (such as may be found kicking around the workshop in any reasonably well stocked home).
Then draw out the pattern wanted on paper, and stick it to the sheet silver using white 'office' glue.
Then drill holes in the 'clock hand'. The one above had seven holes drilled in it. Then using a 'jewellers or piecing' saw, saw out the areas where there are to be holes in the pendant.
Then soak the paper from the pendant, engrave any area that needs the detail enhancing, file up the clock hand, and polish the whole thing. The one illustrated took a day to make. It is three and a half inches long and one and a half inches across. It is the tenth one I've made over about forty years and I hope the intended recipient will like it, and will not read this blog as it might spoil the surprise.
Monday, 17 April 2017
Reference the below pictures, I took them late one evening about ten days ago. I am again experimenting with putting photos on my blog with the assistance of Ruth, who (together with her daughters) is staying with us over Easter. As I was saying - about ten days ago I went out late one evening (as is my wont) to check the car; and as I went through our back garden gate onto the car park, I kicked, in the dark, something about the size of a small , half inflated football, and sent it slithering about half way across our car park (about three yards away). I then trotted back to the house and got a torch and my camera, and found the subject of the photies, which was a large, traditionally minded hedgehog, who on being kicked across a car park, had curled up into a ball and was now uncurling himself to await events. When uncurled he was a good foot long, or even fifteen inches or so! When I shone the torch on him he recurled himself into a ball. I then called Ann to come and have a look at him and took the above photos in the meantime. Ann came out armed with a wooden snow shovel and the yard besom. She'd also bought a cereal bowl with an egg broken into it. We then managed to get him into a safe place on the side of the car park with the snow shovel and besom, and left him with the bowl of egg beside him. The following morning he had gone, but had not fancied, or touched the egg. Does anyone know what hedgehogs do like to eat, in case of his reappearance? Traditionally this should be a bowl of milk, but all the hedgehogologists tell me that milk isn't good for hedgehogs.
I must say that I found it reassuring to see a large hedgehog about the place as they've become very scarce of late years.
I must say that I found it reassuring to see a large hedgehog about the place as they've become very scarce of late years.
Friday, 31 March 2017
Been a lovely spring day, and at about five o'clock this afternoon we decided to go for a walk down to the river and back. The top two photos show the area where a large watermill stood over our river (the Brett) until it burned down in (I think) the early nineteen seventies.
The top two photos show the remaining arrangements to supply river water to the old mill.
The above photo shows what is claimed to be the oldest bridge, still used for its original purpose, in England. Not too sure about that, but it is a very old bridge, and it is still used for heavy and agricultural traffic to cross the Brett. The thing I never understand is that the bridge is built on a long curve. You'd think that a short straight crossing would be the easiest thing to build and use, but I suppose there must be a reason for the curve. Any (sensible please) suggestions as to why it's built on a curve would be welcome.
Think I'm about to be called upstairs to supper (you must remember that your blogger slaves away for your enlightenment in the depths of a large, old Inn, originally, cellar.
Good Night all.
Thursday, 30 March 2017
On Sunday morning we took photographs of each other with daughter Kerry who was spending the weekend with us. The one Ann took with Kerry and I worked alright so I published it. However the one I took of Ann and Kerry vanished into the bowels of my blogger's photographic records and refused to come to heel. However it eventually reappeared (no rhyme or reason given), I was able to recapture it and herewith publish it. I don't think I shall ever be able to make sense of this machine. I was marginally better at the Windows seven I had for the first ten years of computer usage, but this one, a Windows Ten seems to make no sense at all. I used a computer regularly in the mid 1970s, it was a fairly simple memory bank, and being a reasonably simple creature meself I got on quite well with it. Oh for the days of reasonable simple creatures I could get on reasonably well with....... (sigh!)
Wednesday, 29 March 2017
On Monday of this week we discovered (as reported) Gedding Church. In the South wall of this church is the above photographed early Norman window. Although it's been repaired and restored over the centuries it's still a pretty little survival of a twelfth century window. Can't think why I didn't include it at the time?
Sunday, 26 March 2017
Friday, 24 March 2017
Above photo shows back of our home after I've got out and re-erected last year's bamboo trellis work. Plan to train up it this years sweet peas and Morning Glory, both of which put out a very good display last year.
On the way home earlier this week we stopped and took above photo in village a few miles from here. It shows daffs on the village green, surrounding what's left of the village pump (I think).
P.s. Note the two Tudor brick chimneys at top of first photo.
Wednesday, 22 March 2017
We took these two photographs on Monday morning before setting off for Ely. This morning I'm in the middle of a pig of a job I'm doing for a neighbour on his rather nice long case clock. It looks and sounds easy enough - the hand beating seconds and its arbour has come apart. Sounds easy BUT.... it has been mended (soft soldered) twice already, so I am fast coming to the conclusion that the easier way to do the job might well be to make a complete new arbour for the seconds hand to ride on. Whilst making up my mind about the job I've knocked off for a few minutes to do a quick blog entry whilst I calm down and make my mind up. Back to the workbench now - I'll report back on progress re the clock later today.
P.s. before anyone else reminds me - yes, I know I'm supposed to be retired, but it's a neighbour, asking me to do a simple little job (tee- hee).
Monday, 20 March 2017
Motored over to Ely this morning for a sibling lunch with Ann's three brothers and their partners.
Lunched at the Fire Engine house - the meal was as good as ever- in one sense rather better, in that when the time came to deal with the bill, Michael, David and Tim refused to let me pay our quarter on the grounds that it was Ann's birthday (her 77th !!!!!) later in the week, and this was their joint birthday present to her- very civil of them and much appreciated. After lunch we set out from Ely at about 3.30 p.m.
Turned off the A14 this side of Bury Saint Edmund's and came home by the back roads and lanes. Somewhere near the village of Drinkstone (strange name for a village- must look it up) We saw an early (well, 18th century, anyway) post windmill,
and, about 100 to a 150 yards from the post mill, a rather rarer (but slightly later)
smock mill. Why they should have been built so near to each other, I don't know so can't say - but interesting.
A few miles further we came across Saint Mary's Church Gedding, which dates from the 12 century. It's a pretty little church, with some 15th century pews inside. It's a bit of a job to find this church, but it's well worth the effort.
Fom the Churchyard can be seen, about half a mile or so away, the below photographed, Gedding Hall. It was built around the middle of the 1400s.
Friday, 17 March 2017
We have had hellebores (Christmas Roses) in bloom in the garden since the middle of December. Last Wednesday we gave a small dinner party for three friends and Ann wanted to make a floral table centre using flowers from the garden. The problem with hellebore is that they are modest flowers which hang their heads humbly so that the faces cannot be seen. Ann gets over this by cutting off the flowers leaving about a third of an inch of stalk, and then floating the flowers (face up) in a bowl, see the two illustrations. The flowers can be arranged on the surface of the water (they'll float). They will last like this for three or four days, and make really attractive and unusual table decorations, as I think you'll agree.
P.s. The glass bowl shown is about six inches in diameter.
Thursday, 16 March 2017
This morning we motored over to Bury St. Edmund's, as the car needed seeing to (one minor problem righting and a service). Took the car to the garage, then one of the mechanics drove us into the town centre, dropped us off near the Angel Hotel, and arranged to pick us up at two pip emma. This gave us four hours (more or less) to explore a lovely old town, take some photographs, do a little shopping, then have lunch. The photo above shows Moyse's Hall on the Market Place, and is, as far as I know (and Churches aside), the only Norman building in Suffolk. It's now used as a museum (with an entrance fee of FOUR pounds, which rather shocked me).
The building, above centre, is The Nutshell, which was known for many years as the smallest pub in Great Britain. I think a building somewhere in the West Country now holds this title (after a good deal of work with a tape measure, and long discussions, I should imagine).
The above building is a non-conformist Church of some description (sorry, I forget exactly which sort). It was raised in the time of Queen Ann (1702 - 1714) I think, and is a very pleasing building (easy on the eye, I mean).
The building above is a campanile (a bell tower), which is of pure Norman work. We thoroughly enjoyed our morning. Bury is a lovely town. In the year 630 A.D. Sigeberht, the King of East Anglia, founded a monastery here. Some centuries after that a good deal of plotting and arguing about the form of Magna Carta took place in Bury Saint Edmund's, so that although it's now considered a country Market Town, in its day it's been deeply involved in English history.
P.s. As you can see from the photies, this morning was a fine, sunny one, and walking round Bury in the mid- March sun was a great pleasure.
Above picture shows yesterday's 'mystery object' with the door open. It is, of course, an English spice chest. It is of oak, with wrought iron hinges, etc. It was made in England, circa 1680. It is at present in daily use by the senior medical adviser (Ann), as a medicine store. Thank you Crowbard and Rog. Between you I think you got all the relevant points. Well done.
Wednesday, 15 March 2017
Haven't had one of these for a while, mystery object that is. What is the above? When was it made, where, and for what purpose (quite a specific one). Eggs should give a fair idea of size. They are ordinary, standard, chickens' eggs. Good guessing. You'll probably all know, anyway.
Saturday, 11 March 2017
Took a few snapshots of corners of the garden this morning. Much as in previous years. I hope that our resident goldfinches are thinking of breeding again this year. They give every indication of being in the mood for raising another family. Most years they raise a brood of four or five youngsters.
Above photo shows our quince tree climbing all over our older garden shed. We put the tree in four years or so ago, and although it has loads of flowers and small fruit, so far the fruit have always been shed long before they are of a useable size. We'd both like to make quince jelly later in the year, but we've been unable to do so as yet.
We have a good many flowers in bloom in the garden, looking very spring - like.
Scrabble club is now to be held in Hilary's house every Saturday afternoon. We both went there this afternoon, but played at different tables (three players at each table). I won the first two games at our table, but Doris, who tells me she will be ninety- seven a little later this year, won the third game. All three were good, close, well fought games.