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.

Monday, 21 November 2016



Nearby lanes, taken a week or so ago.  Rather  less bocage now, I'm afraid.

We are a fairly artistic family, and we seem to have a good many draewingss and painting about the house to prove it. Above is a pencil drawing Ruth did of Jonathan, when we lived at Welney. As he is in his late forties now, Ruth must have done this about thirty five or forty years ago.

 The above cartoon was painted a few years ago by our local book dealer and cartoonist , Brian Haylock, and shows local housewives, cats, a fishmonger, and meself. He is in the habit of painting a picture for the local art exhibition every year. He always included a 'local worthy' and included meself that year. 

This is a photo of an 'anniversary clock'  I worked on a couple of  months ago. They are supposed to go for a year on a winding. I didn't wind it fully but it's been going (and keeping decent time) for a couple of months. I don't much like Victoriana, but I have to admire the efficiency of things like this.Sorry I haven't blogged for a while. I've been very busy (I'm glad to say) this last week, and I think this state of affairs may well continue up to Christmas. It's  an  odd thing but every year the 'season of Peace and Goodwill to  all men' seems to bring out the enthusiasm most blokes have for swords, guns, and weapons- 'toys for boys' as my late Mother-in-Law used to call them.

I'll do another blog entry  (D.V.) when I have a few spare minutes.

Warm Regards to All.


This morning we motored over to Horningsea  (just North of Cambridge) to meet up with Ann's three brothers and their partners for lunch at the Crown and punchbowl.  Excellent service - food perhaps not  quite so good as last time - in  fact after the meal, when the next get-together was being dicussed,  there seemed to be an inclination  to meet up at the  Fire Engine House at Ely again. I was glad to hear of this as there seems to me to be no possible comparison  between the two hostelries as to the  grub provided. I would be in favour of meeting at the fire Engine House three or four times a year, rather than once a month at  the Crown and Punchbowl. Ann and I were discussing  this on the  way home, and decided to cast our vote for the Fire Engine House, when the inevitable telephonic discussion on the matter takes place.   

With reference to the above three photos, the top  two are of a ford across a short cut near Lavenham, and the third one is just to show late autumn colours in Suffolk now.

Must get on with some work now, so will bid my listeners a very Good  Night.   

Saturday, 19 November 2016


This morning  we motored over to Martlesham, where an auction sale was being held. The auctioneer still sends me a 'freeby' catalogue, and I was able to buy a sword and the above 'gun'. I was going to make a mystery object of it, but it really is in rather a mess, so it seems hardly fair. I think what I'll  do is to effect the necessary restoration work , then make a mystery object of it. So - Watch this Space! 

Friday, 18 November 2016


Came downstairs this morning and found that Ann had left the above device to the left of the clock in the hall. It's a  very modern vacuum cleaner, and parked next to the grandfather clock, I think it gives a nice 'then and now'  feel  to  the  photo. Earlier this morning we walked into town (via the Market Place) to go to cafe church, both  of  which (Market Place and Church) act as the local gossip and news exchange. Had to be home by eleven as friends Brenda and Judy were calling at that time to take Ann off for a pub lunch, and to swap some more news/gossip.  I always think  of the three of them as a sort of female version of 'Last of  the  Summer Wine'.  I gave vent once to this idea to the three of them, and they all three rather liked it, but disagreed  slightly when they started to discuss which lady was which character!

Oh well, it's twelve-thirty  now, and I've been told to make meself a sandwich lunch from available bread, butter, ham and cheese. Given the availability of the ingredients, this should  be well within even my (fairly basic) culinary skills.

Regards, Mike.

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Tuesday (yet again)

Took the above photograph earlier this week. All the above pistols are fitted with a snapping, spark producing lock.  This is not  the usual 'Mystery Object' contest,  but  can you tell me which one is the 'true flintlock' pistol?

P.s. I  should perhaps have  specified that I am using  the Torsten Lenk  definition of  'The Flintlock' (hope this helps).

Tuesday (again)

Pottering round the garden this afternoon, and spotted rather subtly coloured plant in  trough just outside the forge. Its leaf colours are pink, olive green, and cream; giving a very pleasant , mottled sort of  effect. Neither of us  can remember putting it in, or what it  is. If anyone knows what it  is, any information would be  gratefully received. 
Thanks in advance, and regards - Mike and  Ann.


Still desparately  trying to get this 'new' machine to  work. Above photo  shows a country lane near here a few days ago. The lower one shows Ann trying to take snapshots of our late roses yesterday afternoon.  Will  now  try to publish these.

 Lost two or three branches of rose trees, over the weekend,  so trimmed them and put them in water, which seems to have been successful- These are the ones Ann is arranging in the photograph. We popped round to take a bunch of  daffs to Sue and David. Sue checked my blog on her computer, and found it had published the above entry, so perhaps things are starting to work again. Hope so, anyway. Will  carry on trying.

Monday, 14 November 2016

Friday, 4 November 2016


Been a busy week. Long Melford Antique Fair on Wednesday. The first two hard, white frosts of the year on Wednesday and Thursday. Still feel that I am fighting my 'new' Windows 10 computer. The only thing it lets me do easily is buying on eBay. Took the above two photos on Wednesday morning about seven a.m. on the way to long Melford. I must say the trees this autumn have shown the best autumn colours I can remember. However, I do have a feeling that I might have said this of other years (?). In fact, to be quite honest, I think I may say this most years - but..... it is always true! It's a lovely time of year. Good night.

Tuesday, 25 October 2016


The above photographed house is, to my mind, one of the handsomest in Highdale. I have photographed and spoken of it before, I know; but this morning, I walked along to it (about two hundred yards from our home) and photographed the side furthest from the road (the back view, in other words), to reiterate my opinion that lovely old buildings are usually well worth a look at the back of them. The back of this one is not easily on view, but some parts of it are, and what there is, is shown in the first illustration. Although the date is shown as 1653, this is the date at which the latest major alterations (or perhaps decorations would be the better word) were done, as the building was obviously built around two hundred years before the date given, i.e. circa the mid 1400s. Being called up to lunch, so will write a bit more (D.V.) later. Back again after a good, light lunch. One last thing regarding the above house is that it has been divided into two homes, probably done when the property ceased to be an Inn. Should perhaps make it clear that all the above photographs show the same building.

Sunday, 23 October 2016


After Church this morning (Aldham Church) we decided to motor round the lanes on a slightly longer than usual way home so I could photograph some autumn colours in the trees along the way. Above you see the results. It has been (is being) a lovely autumn. I find meself nodding off over the machine, and as Ann has already gone upstairs for a quick nap - think I will join her. So more later (perhaps).

Friday, 21 October 2016


The photos on yesterday's blog entry were taken coming home from Sudbury, and were mainly taken through the car windscreen in villages on the way home. The one above was taken as we were motoring through Kersey. The variety of windows still displayed in this ancient building fascinates me. Good Night All.

Thursday, 20 October 2016


Been a good, active week so far. Yesterday evening I gave a talk to the Mothers' Union (and about half a dozen assorted husbands, and a grown up son) on the subject 'The History of base metalware', illustrated by a table topful of early objects, from the late Stone Age to the late eighteenth century. I usually do this on the principle that if a picture is worth a thousand words, then the actual, three dimensional object is worth at least a hundred pictures. There was a slight problem at first in that the Mothers' Union Secretary was labouring under the delusion that my subject should have been 'Precious metal ware'; so at the end of about forty minutes waffle on 'A History of base Metal Ware' I produced a very ornate, mid Victorian, silver drinking cup, for her special benefit, and in case that didn't satisfy her lust for 'precious metal ware', I hauled out my gold hunter watch and its gold chain from my weskit pocket, and added it to the silver cup. Also as usual, I introduced a 'question and answer' session at the end of the talk, in case I'd not covered everything or made all clear. As sometimes happens this session went on nearly as long as the talk itself (I'd been asked to make the talk somewhere about forty-five minutes long - I'm always a little surprised to find that it's easy enough to carry on for that time on an interesting subject). At the end of the lecture (and, as Ann is a member of the Mothers' Union - I'd not made a charge for the talk) the secretary presented me with a bottle of wine as a thank you, which was much appreciated. It's always a pleasure to talk to a captive audience on one's own subject. Today (Thursday) we've been over to Sudbury to do a little shopping - Ann found some plants she wanted for the garden on a plant stall (it's Market Day in Sudbury on a Thursday); and I took a weskit in to my Tailor. It has shrunk in my wardrobe over the last few years - I don't know what they do to wardrobes to cause this to happen, but I know it is a not unusual effect. Matthew, my tailor, thinks he can get the necessary repairs done. Must go and assist Ann with some cat feeding - not our cats -neighbours' cats- Two neighbours - three cats. May finish this later. P.S. Consider it finished now. Cats wouldn't co-operate, which is a bit ungrateful of them considering we'd gone there to feed them; you'd think it would be little enough gratitude to pose for a photy or so. Cats!!! humph!! Good night All.

Tuesday, 18 October 2016


We spent last weekend with Sarah and Mikey, having received an invitation from Mikey's parents, Frank and Jane, to attend their Golden Wedding celebration meal at the Woburn Golf Club.The above photo shows meself after the meal and surrounded by glamorous granddaughers (Sophia, Amelia, and Lucy). It was a lovely 'do'.

Monday, 17 October 2016


Took this photo outside our home last week. The lorry shown bullying the small car was MASSIVE. There is a weight limit of seven and a half tons on this street. Almost all the houses in the street are Grade two listed. Whilst I was taking photographs Ann was trying to inform the Police of the difficulty with the lorry as traffic built up. Although Ann eventually managed to report the matter to the police, no police attended, and we were not given any further information by the police. Despite the weight limit having been applied around twenty years ago, it is flouted daily, and apparently with complete impunity!