Friday, 28 November 2014
Above picture shows the other (or off) side of yesterday's mystery object. I must say that Rog gets the answer absolutely right when he says 'very good Crowbard', in that Crowbard's first comment is completely correct. I could hardly have bettered his description (including the area of Italy) meself. I think I would have gone for the latter year of the dates to which he attributes the pistol, but this is a quibble. Full marks young Horner, and again full marks Peacock for spotting that fact.
Thursday, 27 November 2014
Been, so far, a very busy week. On Tuesday we motored to London in the morning. Parked at Liz's, then by tube to Bonham's in Knightsbridge where we viewed their Arms and Armour sale - very large one -596 lots! Back to Liz's where Georgia and her partner, Andy, had made dinner. On Wednesday returned to Bonham's and bid. Got eight lots (scattered over a long day). Paid for these, then Andy helped pack them, and I left him in charge of doing so, whilst I went and got a taxi for our return with goodies to Chiswick. Again supped and slept at Liz's (shades of Parson Woodford ? Probably, just been rereading him). Do other bloggers find that their reading matter is then reflected in the style of their blog a little?). This morning to Sotheby's Arms and Armour sale, which will not be held until next Wednesday, but Thomas Delmar, their Arms and Armour Director, and a good friend, had suggested that we had a private viewing of the bits that interested us. Left one (fairly optimistic bid). Then back to Liz's, sandwich and coffee, bless her, then drove home.
Photo above is not really a mystery object, as it is obviously a pistol, but perhaps some of you would care to guess its lock type, age, date, and country of origin?
Good night all.
Monday, 24 November 2014
One last shot of Great Granddaughter Elsa for the time being (I promise). She will lie quietly kicking her legs in the air, then suddenly appears to realise that a foot is threatening to kick her in the teeth. She will then examine it carefully, giving it every possible test, the final one being the taste test. She then appears to accept that all is well, and that she is not being threatened by some foreign foot, and settles down to sucking her socks/ toes in a thoroughly contented fashion.
The rest of this week looks like being thoroughly busy, so it may be a day or two before my next blog entry. We'll see.
In the meantime, Good Bless you All.
P.s. Having closed this blog entry, I remembered that I really started this entry to record that we had our first frost last night. Then I'm afraid I started waffling on about other things and forgot the whole object of the exercise. You will tell me if you ever notice that I'm getting a little vague and forgetful, won't you? I quote P.G.Wodehouse's character, Lord Emsworth.
Saturday, 22 November 2014
Yesterday evening our granddaughter Georgia, her partner Andy, and their daughter (our great-granddaughter ) Elsa Elizabeth Gumley, arrived to spend the weekend with us. Actually they arrived rather late, due to delays on the M4, the M25, and the A12 roads. It sounds a nightmarish journey, but it's lovely to have them here. Their daughter Elsa, is an absolute delight to have about the place. She is a happy, contented baby, with a smile like the rising sun. Said smile is easily activated, and she is musically appreciative even of her great Grandfather's singing. After lunch today I was able to sing her to sleep with all the basso profundo songs I was able to dredge up from memory ('rocked in the cradle of the deep', a 17th century German drinking song-'Within the Cellar's cool Domain', 'Forty Years on', etc.)
Photo above taken before breakfast, showing Elsa entertaining (or being entertained by) two gentlemen.
Again above photo shows Elsa playing with her great Grandmother.
Three different generations of young ladies, Ann, Elsa, and Georgia.
This one taken towards the end of a one man smoking concert, minutes after which the audience (Elsa), went to sleep. My Grandfather, Elsa's great-great-great Grandfather was the possessor of a rumbling basso profundo voice that you could feel rather than hear,and he always used to say that most small babies could be easily pacified by a deep male voice, and that he'd yet to meet the tiny baby that he couldn't sing to sleep. I wouldn't go quite as far as that, but (far more often than not) I can usually sing little ones to sleep. That aside, it is being a lovely weekend, although we're all thinking about granddaughter Amelia, who's baby is about to put in an appearance either today, or in the next few days. Look forward to meeting her (and yes, this being a scientific age - we DO know). She'll be a second cousin to Elsa, and I do hope they'll grow up knowing each other. There's a lot to be said for family.
Thursday, 20 November 2014
Here is the answer to yesterday's 'mystery object'. It is an adjustable candle stand, made in England, a very few years either side of the year 1800. It's purpose is to enable its owner to read small print by candle light, by raising or lowering the candle flame so as to be as near the page as is safely possible.
And here is a photo showing your blogger reading a rather small printed version of Tom Brown's Schooldays, and demonstrating how the candle stand would have been used.
It was sold to me as being a lace maker's lamp stand. A lace maker's lamp is a footed glass sphere that, when filled with water, became a quite effective magnifying glass. However, my home village finally got the electricity in 1950, so that I do know about reading by candle light, and the adjustable candle stand made reading by candle light a much easier proposition. It probably would have made lacemaking easier of a winter evening, but I think the major purpose would have been to assist in reading after dark.
Wednesday, 19 November 2014
Last Saturday morning, in Beccles, I bought the above 'Mystery Item'. It is six inches across the top and seven and a half inches high. It appears to be made of fairly straight grained walnut (I think).
What do you think is its purpose, and where and when was it made.
Tuesday, 18 November 2014
Fairly busy day yesterday. Picked up Hilary in town and drove over to Layham, where we went to a coffee morning with friends. After lunch Ann and I motored over to a village the far side of Stowmarket. As you can see patchy weather - sunshine and cloud, and with lovely autumn colours still.
The clock we were going to fix is one I sold to friend David about fifteen years ago. It is pictured below. It is a very pleasant country made clock. It was made in the north of England in about 1740. The really nice thing about the clock is its size. It stands an inch or so UNDER six foot, and is nicely proportioned in that the dial is ten inches square, instead of the more usual foot square. The problem was that the clock rope had broken (which isn't surprising after fifteen years) but I found that it had broken at the splice, and as the rope was otherwise in good enough condition, I simply re-spliced it, which took about half an hour, which left nicely time for tea and cake with David, and an exchange of news.
It doesn't show on the photo but the silvered chapter ring is becoming a bit patchy and David would like it re-silvered . Wish he'd said; I'd have taken the necessary kit for the job and done it in situ. Still, as he said - it gives us a good reason for going again (probably soon after Christmas). He's a good chap; was widowed about ten years ago, and seems to be coping extremely well on his own (bakes his own bread, etc. and the house is immaculate). I think he was glad to sit and chat, though. Must be a fairly lonely life for a sociable bloke. It wouldn't suit me, and I hope I never have to put that to the test.
Good Night All.
Saturday, 15 November 2014
It's all right; don't panic. You ARE in the right blog. It's just that on Friday morning we drove up to Yagnub, pausing at one or two of the few remaining antique shops in the area to do a little buying. We then called (by prior arrangement) on Z, had coffee with her and young Roses, then took Z for lunch to a Pub that she'd recommended . I'm a great believer in 'local knowledge' -this one was good! We puzzled for a while over the hand written blackboard of 'specials' for lunch, and found a problem. One of the items said, ( or so one of us thought) 'Fish pie with cherry topping'. Another possible reading of the item was 'Fish pie with cheery topping' (I rather thought though, that if I were a fish who'd been put in a pie, I would find it difficult to feel cheery about it) but Z, being local I suppose, read it as fish pie with cheesy topping. We all ordered a portion of the fish pie, and Of course Z had been right about it. Very good it was, too. Not quite up to one of Ann's fish pies (it lacked that 'je ne sais quois' that a small handful of capers in the ingreediments gives it ) but it was nonetheless a very decent fish pie, and enjoyed by all three of us, as was the bread and butter pudding that followed it. Then back to Z's for more coffee and chat. We eventually took our leave of Z, and explored the two antique shops in Yagnub, successfully -in that we bought a couple of pieces.
Then on to the B & B establishment (pictured above) where we'd arranged to spend the night. A lovely old place it is, too. Our hostess told us that it was built in 1575.
The above picture shows our bedchamber. The two rounded items in the foreground show our bedheads - Ann said the bed was 'Queen Size' - which gives a fair idea of the size of the bedroom. Had a very substantial breakfast this morning in the oak panelled dining room, which set me up nicely for the morning. Then on to Beccles, where we did a bit more antique hunting (and a bit more buying, I'm glad to say), then on to Halesworth, where we'd invited our old friends, Pat and Doc, to take a pub lunch with us. Doc had booked us a table next to the fire at the Triple Plea, a pub just outside Halesworth which I'd not seen for some years, and I remembered it as being a very basic beer house. It has been enlarged slightly, as has the menu, and they gave us a quite decent lunch. Then back to Doc and Pat's home, and drank coffee, whilst Doc explained where we could find three new antique shops in town. Found the shops, but not the promised antiques, as they didn't have anything that qualified as 'antique' as far as I'm concerned. Still, it was good to see Doc and Pat again, it's been a few years since we've got together.
Then drove home via the A12. The weather was misty and indeed threatened fog most of the way. A few miles north of Ipswich the skies became very threatening as the sun went down, and as you can see in the above snapshot, it looked quite dramatic for a while. Still, we reached home in the dry at about 5.30 p.m., feeling that we'd had a very sociable (and reasonably successful -business wise) weekend.
Wednesday, 12 November 2014
The other day our car supplier (who is very solicitous about his products) wrote to us to say that it was time our motor had its usual annual service, and an appointment had been made (if convenient). We therefore motored into Bury Saint Edmund's this morning to the garage. It was, as you can see a lovely sunny morning, with threatening clouds hovering in the West. The garage (which has a very well equipped waiting room) supplied us with seats, and coffee, whilst the car was serviced, which took an hour. When we'd paid the bill, a couple of the salesmen kept us talking about new , improved models (have an idea we'll soon be getting letters making offers that they hope we can't refuse- still we've had this car for three years come spring, so we'll see???). We set off back home, having decided to call in at Hollow Trees for lunch. A mile or so our side of Lavenham, there was the tail end of the storm we'd seen earlier, with rain, but the sun was shining under the clouds, so that it looked like rainbow weather (and it's been a lovely autumn for rainbows this year), and to our left we soon saw a magnificent single rainbow. The road was too busy to stop, so I asked Ann to pull into the next lane off to the left, which meant that we eventually pulled into Brent Eleigh, which lies nicely off the main road. By this time the rainbow had faded a good deal, but I eventually took the below two shots of it. The first was in the village, and the next one was just outside it. At its best it was a lovely fiery rainbow, but I'm afraid the photos just show the tail end of it.
Went, as planned, into Hollow Trees for lunch. We both had a large baked potato, Ann's with a tuna fish filling, mine with a turkey curry filling. Both very substantial. As we left one of the waitresses told us that she was leaving - Fresh fields and Pastures New. She's a nice chatty girl (big eyed - always reminded me of a cheerful Bambi). Still it was nice that she'd told us, so we could thank her for past services (which were invariably quick and cheerful) and say our goodbyes. Then home, and spent the rest of the day in the workshop (well, bar a quick post-prandial zizz, I'm afraid).
Wooden Hill time now - so Goodnight All.
Thursday, 6 November 2014
We had a good, busy day, yesterday, at the Long Melford Antique Fair. This morning Ann ran me into the town, dropped me off at the Library, and I continued on foot to the Bank. After various odd errands I walked home - the pretty way- taking photos en route. The above picture (left to right) shows our ancient Guildhall, the Deanery Tower, and Saint Mary's Church.
Above is a closer look at the Guildhall. We're not really sure when it was built, but I was once told by one of our architectural historians that it was standing on its present site in the year 1386.
The above photo was taken through the Guildhall garden hedge, and the now roofless building was once the Guildhall kitchen. The structure to the left of the picture was once a large fireplace where the cooking was done for the guildhall. By the time the hot dishes had been rushed into the guildhall, along the passages and up the stairs to the banquet hall, I wouldn't think anyone was in much danger of burning their lips on the hot food.
Then along the river, over Toppesfield Bridge (above) then up Tinker's Lane, and Home. Noticed several thoroughly unseasonable plants in flower this morning, including dog violets and poppies. Been a lovely year weather wise, and it's trying hard to pretend it's still summer really.
Must do some work now towards stocking up for the December Long Melford Antique Fair, although I've got two repaired and restored antique clocks to deliver and set up in the meantime. It's good to feel busy. I don't think retirement will ever suit me.
Monday, 3 November 2014
This morning we motored over to Ely to have lunch, as per usual with Ann's brothers. I took the above photo about half a mile from Ely because it always seems to me that from this position it is difficult to believe that a CITY nestles at the foot of this Cathedral. Drove down to the Waterside Antique Centre, where I purchased a rather nice piece of pewter.
Took the above photo of the Cathedral from outside the hostelry at which we usually lunch - the Old Fire Engine House.
Above is the snug in the Fire Engine house just after the fire had been lit. This is where we usually wait for everyone to arrive, and the staff serves us buckshee (meaning free, Lori; and from an Anglo/Indian word backsheesh used by beggars) coffee, until everyone has arrived and we're ready to order.
I'd ordered partridge casserole (pictured above) partly because I like partridge, and partly because I know that their partridge casserole consists of whole partridges, which are served whole bird per order. Which reminds me of one other peculiarity of this restaurant - towards the end of the main course the waitress will come in and ask if we'd like anything more - vegetables, meat, or whatever. Ann's brother David tested this a while ago. He'd had roast beef, and he asked for a little more when it was offered, and got three more solid slices! I'm not sure that this wasn't a challenge on the part of the staff, and to help David keep face I helped with the extra beef (Gosh, I've been a good brother-in-law to that young man!) Don't know what they'd do if I asked for a little more partridge. I've never dared because I think that they'd probably oblige with another whole bird, and I'm not sure I'd be able to cope with that these days. Having said which I'm being called up for supper (which I trust will be a light one).
P.s. Poached egg on toast - Perfect!
Sunday, 2 November 2014
Been a busy-ish Sunday. Gave a friend of ours a lift into Aldham Church. He has been recently widowed and has, also recently, given up driving - for reasons connected with this Anno Domini stuff they keep dishing out. Read the first lesson, from Revelation. Pouring with rain when we got home, and drove Robert to his door - we'd all taken brollies. Then home, and the above lunch. Since we returned from Sweden we've started eating midday, with a light meal in the evening - seems to suit us. The above photoed meal consists of chicken thighs, in egg coated with sage and apple, roast potatoes, roast parsnips, cabbage and mashed potatoes, with (top left) yellow pepper, roasted with blue cheese, breadcrumbs and chopped herbs inside. Followed by apple sponge pudding with, of course, custard, then coffee followed by a quick zizz for both of us. Been in the workshop since wakening, getting ready for Long Melford.
P.s. Should have said - that was a glorious lunch!!!!
Wednesday, 29 October 2014
Above is a photograph of yesterday's mystery object shown with all three lids to the compartments opened. It is, of course, a brass snuff box. English, of circa 1800 to 1820. It's purpose is to carry three different grades of snuff. In the largest compartment would be bog standard snuff (wonder where the expression 'bog standard' comes from?) for offering to undiscerning (or possibly undeserving) acquaintances. The middle compartment is for mediocre/goodish snuff to offer to acquaintances who you suspect might know the difference; whilst in the smallest compartment is really good, expensive, snuff, for close (and hopefully deserving) family members; and, of course, for yourself.
Tuesday, 28 October 2014
Been fully occupied over the weekend, which is why I have been a bit lazy on the Blogging front. My apologies. However, here is a
which arrived by post this morning, my having purchased it on eBay. What is it? where was it made, for what purpose (this is an easy one) but it does have a specific purpose, or rather a speciality which you should spot if you look well at the picture.
Good guessing (if you are reduced to guessing and don't know). I think Roger may well have seen one of these before and will know what it is.
Thursday, 23 October 2014
On Tuesday, as I believe I mentioned, we did a 'big shop' in Sudbury, and I took the above photograph of what must have been a very generously natured machine. It was, as you can see, offering 'Free Cash'. I managed to suppress my immediate impulse to step over to it, and ask it for a million or so. I mean I'd never been introduced to the machine, and it would have been rather a cheek, don't you think? Anyway, I include the photo, so that if any of my readers, of a rather less sensitive nature than meself, are in Sudbury, they can go and have a chat with the machine. It is parked right outside the front door of Waitrose, so should be easy to find. I should be interested in the result (if any) of this experiment; so please let me know.
P.s. Good Luck, and don't we live in a wonderful world these days?
Tuesday, 21 October 2014
Been a nice, eventful day. Nipped into town this morning to do various odd jobs. Got back in time for Ann to take a 'phone call. This concerned a very fine, early, London made, long case clock, which I did a quick job on nearly two years ago. The story was that the owner wanted the (recently inherited) long case to be going by Christmas, if this was possible. I've a feeling I did a blog entry on it at the time. Anyway, I attended the clock, and did what was needed to have it running during the Christmas season. This morning the owner 'phoned again to say that the clock had been running well since then (nearly two years ago remember) but it had now stopped. Could I attend and see what might be done about the matter?. Arranged to get together with the clock this afternoon. In the meantime I'd promised to take Ann out to lunch at a new Italian Restaurant that opened in town about a week ago. Pausing only to grab a tool box and work apron, motored back into town and
checked the notice in the doorway of the shop, which stated that it would open every weekday at twelve noon - only it hadn't! Got there at twelve fifteen p.m. and found the shop closed. Wasted five minutes or so, hammering on the front door occasionally, whilst waiting for the shop to open, which it still didn't. So got back into the car and drove out to our favourite farm shop and had their usual excellent lunch - so there!
Then drove into Sudbury (on our way to clock) where, at Waitrose's shop did a large, extended grocery shop.By the way, should have said that the two photos of early buildings were taken on the road between farm shop and Sudbury.
Back in car and drove to clock owner's home, and renewed acquaintance with the below clock. It was built in London around 1690 (or a little before), by one of the better London makers, and is an old beauty. When we got the movement out the problem turned out to be in the bolt and shutter maintaining power, which in turn was discouraging the escapement (don't worry about it - all is now well with the clock) and matter eventually put right, clock reinstated to its case, and was ticking away happily when we left. I know of few things more satisfying than bringing a dead clock back to life.
Got home just after five o'clock. Must knock off now, as I've got several minor jobs to attend to in the workshop. Cuppa first though, I think.
Saturday, 18 October 2014
Went to Scrabble Club this afternoon. There were only six of us there, so we had two tables of three each. The first two games were uneventful, and were won,the first by Kevin (to the right of the lower picture), then the second by Joyce (one of our senior members) to the left of the lower photo. The third game, photographed above, started at about twenty to four(when we usually break up) so we agreed to have a quick game to take us through to four o'clock. I kicked of with the word lax, in the centre of the photo. Joyce put down 'wet', and Kevin followed with 'toy'. I started the next round with 'kat' and 'kex'. Soon after that we realised what was happening and decided to see if we could finish the game by four o'clock, and reach the upper right and lower left of the board. Soon after that a sort of sublime idiocy seemed to overtake the three of us, and we played fast and well. We didn't cheat, and we counted the points (although that became of very secondary importance in the game). We finished- I should say Kev finished- the game at four o'clock, in the lower left hand corner, by which time the other table had finished and were gathered round our table to watch this rather weird and wacky game end. I won (on points) largely because of my 'rez' and 'fez' in the lower left.
We all three thoroughly enjoy scrabbling, have much the same scrabble skills, and are all three mediocre to goodish players; but this game was special and will be long remembered.
Thursday, 16 October 2014
Here are two photographs of yesterday's Mystery Item, now complete. The top one illustrates best what I meant when I said that you should be able to work out one more fact from today's illustration of the clock complete. I think it is very obvious from the top picture. The lower picture makes it equally obvious where the clock was made, and shows that it is weight driven, and the THREE weights indicate that it is hour and quarter striking. Not sure that I'm making this clear, but have another crack at it.
Wednesday, 15 October 2014
Been working on the above object most of today. It is hanging on a modern bracket, and is not the complete object. It is what we antiquarian horologists refer to in our pedantic way as 'the innards'. If I complete the job tomorrow, I'll put up a picture of the complete object. In the meantime you should be able to work out what it is, roughly when and where it was made, and some of its specialities.
Being called up to supper. Goodnight.
Monday, 13 October 2014
This entry is going to be a record (necessarily shortened a bit) of this last weekend. On Saturday morning we set out to drive to London to attend the baptism of Great Granddaughter Elsa. The above photo was taken of a dramatic sky somewhere over the M25. We drove up to Twyford to have a look round an Antique Shop where we've always bought well over the past several years. Beside the shop door were two notices each telling us that the shop was now 'permanently' closed and thanking everyone for their custom over the last twenty five years - oh well, it was bound to happen, sooner or later. There are very few real antique shops about now. Drove back into London, and to our hotel, which we'd found on EBay, a small, basic, but very clean, welcoming, and affordable establishment (oh yes, there are such places to be found - even in London).
The following morning, after a 'full English breakfast' served up by the proprietors, a charming Indian couple, we made our way to the Church of Saint Anselm Belmont, at Stanmore, Middlesex, where we took the above onesie of ourselves; only I think I've got that the wrong way round and in fact it's a selfie of.......... oh well I've no doubt you can work it out. The Church (in this case I do mean the building) as you can see in the above photo, is a solidly confident late Victorian/ Edwardian confection/erection. The real Church (i.e. the people - the resident congregation) was lovely. Ann described them as - an evangelical, but nicely short of being a happy-clappy- Church. The music was an excellent choir, many of whom played instruments at the same time as singing. There were two guitarists and a percussion section, mainly with a West Indian flavour. As I was a member of a skiffle group a very long time ago (late nineteeen fifties) I could appreciate their music.
Above photo shows Ann with our grandson Matthew.
Above photo is of Ann and our Great Granddaughter Elsa (who behaved perfectly during the baptism - and indeed all day).
Last picture shows our oldest and youngest daughters (gallantry prevents me, of course, from telling you which is which).
Well that's really all about the baptism, but I do want to tell you of one small incident that occurred later in a private room at a nearby hostelry where Granddaughter Georgie, Elsa's mother , had arranged a very nice buffet meal/reception. This last few years I've rather admired the sort of quiet self confidence that a good many of today's youngsters seem to have. Ann and I had just sat down at table when a young lad galloped up, held out his hand and said "Mum says I can come and say hello to you because you know me". I returned his handshake and said
"You'll have to tell me your name though".
"I'm Oscar", he said in a slightly surprised tone of voice, and as if his words had explained every thing.
"Of course I know you". I replied (I mean, how many Oscars does one meet during a lifetime?) "I've known you since you were a baby, but the last time we met you were only a toddler, so I'd forgotten". He obviously forgave my lapse of memory, and said "I'm ten now", after which we got on well. His mother (a good friend of our youngest daughter) came up soon afterwards and hoped Oscar wasn't being a nuisance (which he wasn't in the least). I told him I was glad he'd introduced himself, but that I supposed we both had a duty to circulate now; although I then stopped to chat with his mother and picked up all the family news (and to compliment her on her son's good manners).
"Oh, he worked out that you were probably Lizzie's father. So I told him to come and introduce himself. I knew you wouldn't mind."
I repeat, it's lovely to meet youngsters with that sort of quiet self confidence and innate good manners.