Thursday, 25 May 2017


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

Wednesday 3.

Ref previous  blog  entry - wasn't very pleased with the  photograph of  Sweet  Cecily (don't think Cecily  would  have been either) so here's a rather better picture of the lady.

Wednesday 2.

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

Tuesday 3.

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!

Tuesday (2)

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


                                            Mystery Object.

                                  What is it? Where was it made? And When?

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


Photographs of cottages and  farmhouses by the roadside, taken through the car windscreen whilst motoring home from Stowmarket yesterday. One of them managed to get its photie took twice, though.

Wednesday, 3 May 2017


                             Mystery Object.

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

Saturday 2.

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


Ruth's shadow and a  stick man dancing on the sand-
                                    Hand in hand.

At Felixstowe.

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).