Wednesday, 16 April 2014


Just to make the answer to yesterday's mystery object plain, here is a photo of the archer's thumb ring in situ on the blogger's thumb.  The bowstring would have rested in the jnotch towards the left of the ring with the thumb curled, then it would release when the thumb was straightened.  All clear?

Tuesday, 15 April 2014


Motored over to Sudbury yesterday to purchase provisions for the coming invasion (of family). On the way home took the above photos of fields full of oilseed rape. I was told once that from four or five acres of  oilseed rape enough deisel  can be processed to fuel a medium sized family car for a year. Don't know if that's true. I do know that the stuff  causes hay fever !!!

Sarah, Mikey, Lucy and Guy turned  up a bit after eleven this morning. Ann bought out the simnel cake she made yesterday, which features in the above photo. Granddaughter Lucy then produced the chocolate chip biscuits that she'd made (shown in the photo below). Cake and bickies both delicious.


                                     Below is this weeks MYSTERY OBJECT. It is a nice, uncomplicated object, the purpose of which should be fairly obvious.  It is made of bronze. Purpose, where and when made, please?

Below is the same object next to a shilling or rather a ten pence piece, to give and idea of scale.

Supper is soon about to be served so I must knock of now and get meself upstairs to it..

Sunday, 13 April 2014


This afternoon, as it was a lovely day (see above photo) we decided to walk into town, and return a book to the library. This, wasn't altogether a good idea, as I forgot the book. However, we got a book out each, then purchased one of the 'surplus to requirements' books, so the walk  wasn't altogether wasted.  Decided to walk home by the river path. Just before we got to the bridge passed a piece of land which is being used as a poultry farm; one of the more impressive denizens of which was the bird below.

Crossed the river by the bridge below, which is said to be the oldest bridge in Suffolk still being used for its original purpose (that of taking road traffic over the River Brett). It was built, I'm told in the 1300s, and seems sound enough still, although it's been repaired a good deal over the centuries.

Stopped for a natter with friend Kevin (a keen scrabble player) and watched the below pair of swans building this year's nest. Last year they had seven offspring, of whom five survived, and one of whom  finally left his parents just after Christmas.

As we chatted we realised that the swans were indulging in some sort of pre mating ritual, so it seemed only polite to walk on, pretending to have noticed nothing, and leave them to it. I suppose that may have been where the expression 'necking' comes from ?   A very pleasant afternoon walk.

Friday, 11 April 2014


 Above picture shows our garden, with, in the top left hand corner, the potting shed/forge. I doing a little leisurely clearing-out in the forge earlier this week, when I came across this weeks MYSTERY OBJECT, which is shown below. This one really is a mystery object, in that, although it's been kicking about the forge for some years, I really don't not know what it is, so I should value your opinions as to its purpose.  I perhaps should add, that having now examined it carefully, I think I do have some idea about it what it was made for.

It is heavily sprung (rather like a very large safety pin). It is about twelve and a half inches in overall length, and is obviously blacksmith made.

It has, as shown in the below picture four claws to each side of it.  If it's what I suspect it is, then one small part of it is missing. A spare pivotting point is just visible to the left of the upper claw.  Any way, all guesses (and any knowledge) would be gratefully received.

Tuesday, 8 April 2014


Took the above photo at about 7 o'clock in the morning on Sunday. Shows the playing field beyond our garden and car park,  from our back bedroom window, on a glorious  spring morning.

 Yesterday afternoon found the first aquilegia (Granny's Nightcap) in full flower in the garden.

Took it in to Ann, who picked some leaves and put it on the supper table. They are glorious flowers in all shapes, sizes, and colours. Should be some around now for a couple of months.

My computer tells me that 'support for this operating system has ended' and that my P.c. is now at risk. As my machine has been around now for about ten years (well parts of it have) I think it's probably time for a new one. Popped into a shop in Sudbury on Saturday, and the young lady in the shop recommended a 'laptop machine'. She offered me what sounded like a good deal, which included setting up the new machine, and a certain amount of maintenance.  I would be grateful for any suggestions or advice on the matter from my readers, most of whom know a good deal more about these matters than I do. My thanks in advance.

Friday, 4 April 2014


Above photo shows indoor flowers, which our good friend Cath (who is a professional flower arranger) brought to Ann on Wednesday at Long Melford.

The above and below photos are of different areas of our garden, which is beginning to look quite colourful.

The best thing that happened this week, apart from my new hearing aids on Monday, was that on Tuesday our friend David, who is a builder, came and did repairs to our roof (the damage occurred before Christmas in one of the freak storms that we had this winter).  David says that he is fairly happy that the roof is now waterproof, but doesn't want to repair the damaged ceiling in the side hall until we've had rain of the roof to make sure that he's repaired the damage. I hope he'll do the ceiling repairs soon, because I want to return my books to the bookshelves in the side hall - the front hall is still full of piles of books, which means I can't find any books I want, because the piles are in no sort of order, let alone their usual alphabetical order. Oh well - Tuesday was a good start. It's been a frustrating winter - having to make sure there are buckets under the places at risk whenever we went out.  

                                      Good night All.

Monday, 31 March 2014


 Typical Suffolk village street scene.  The four pictures shown today were taken within a few miles of here a few days ago.

Today we had lunch with Hilary, as also did John, Gloria, and Jane. Very pleasant lunch. Hilary was aware that we would have to leave early, so excused us just before two, as we had to motor over to Saint Leonard's Hospital in Sudbury to pick up (and be instructed in the use of) my new and more powerful hearing aids at two thirty.  Then walked from the hospital to meet Ann at  (fairly) nearby Waitrose shop. Found meself stopping under a tree to listen to a blackbird singing....................................................

Saturday, 29 March 2014


                                          MYSTERY OBJECT.
I took the above photo a few days ago. The blue eggs are, of course, duck eggs, with which Ann made a very good sponge cake. The 'mystery object' is the treen (wooden - tree-en) container in which the eggs are nestling.

I bought it some years ago, when we were paying our usual summer visit to second daughter, Ruth, who lives a long way North (well over half way up) Sweden. The object was made, a long while ago, from a burr growing on a silver birch tree.

The base of the object has  various carvings on it. The top one starts off  A P D (A.P's Daughter) who was probably the recipient of the object in 1729 (or possibly 1799). Then in 1832 it belonged to O.S.S (O.S's Son).

The above picture shows the purpose to which we put it - keeping eggs in it.  The 'mystery' I would like you to solve is :- for what purpose was it originally made ?

                                           Good guessing.

Thursday, 27 March 2014


Yesterday was a very busy day. Early Service as per usual on Wednesday. Then, late morning to a friend's  new house in the area (although the 'new' is a misleading adjective in this case), where we'd been asked  to make sure that two of the clocks very recently put up in the house were 'in beat' and happy (the one above is rather a lovely, locally made long case clock of about 1730). Next we were to  see the new home, then have lunch with them. The one drawback was that we had to be back in Highdale well before 3 o'clock, when the funeral of a friend was to take place. In fact when we first received the lunch invitation, we felt we had to refuse it to be back in time for the funeral. Angela immediately (and very decently) offered to make sure that the lunch was held rather earlier than is usual in order that we could get back to Highfield in time for the funeral. So we accepted gratefully. In fact both clocks needed very little attention, so we were then given a tour of the house. It is a lovely home, built (at different periods from the 14th to the early sixteenth century) around four sides of a court yard.

Above is shown one side of the courtyard, built in the late 1400s.

 Above is a close-up of carvings on the beams, taken from the same position as the previous photo. It is odd to think that the carving was completely covered with plaster for a century or so, being uncovered around 1905, and the richness of the old carvings again revealed.

Above photo shows the opposite side of the same courtyard.  Angela was as good as her word, and was insistent that we return for a better look when, (a) we have more time for a proper look at the place, and (b) when it is more completely  furnished.  I look forward immensely to our return visit, as it's a magnificent, un-got at and  complete early home, even for this area.
Got back nicely in time for the funeral, tead afterwards in Saint Mary's, home again and changed me tie yet again in time to go out to a Lent discussion group that's taking place in the run up to Easter. We got home from that at about nine thirty,  and were both quite glad to hit the sack shortly afterwards. We both slept well.

Tuesday, 25 March 2014


I'd no real intention of doing a blog entry today, but walking through Lavenham this afternoon we spotted the above notice pinned to the front door of Tickle Manor, and thought you would like to see the correct and proper way in which things of importance are announced in Lavenham (or perhaps in the whole of South Suffolk).
Shortly afterwards we were looking round the bookshelves of a small antique centre a few doors away from the photo'd door. I'd picked up a book about Suffolk buildings (with no intention of buying) opened it at random and showed the pictures on the page I'd opened,to Ann, remarking on the coincidence. "What coincidence?"said Ann. "Well" I said, "We're going there to lunch tomorrow".  "Oh", says Ann "Is that Angela's new home?"   "Yes" says I. And it was, so we bought the book.

Sunday, 23 March 2014


At midday today, we went to a village hall a mile or so up the road, where the  ladies of the Church put on an excellent three course lunch about once every two or three months, the proceeds of which go towards the upkeep of their church. At our table were Gloria, John, David, Wendy, Philip (David's son),  Hilary, meself and Ann.. John and I take it in turns (as far as we can remember)  to buy a bottle of wine (my turn today). Usual good, solid lunch, and excellent company.  Took the above and below photos just before we set out.


The photos below show this week's mystery object. They are two swords, very similar in design, but one is much smaller than the other, but nicely in proportion to it. Why do you think this should be?

The photo below shows the hilt of the larger sword in detail. You may well be able to work out the date the sword was made from the details of the hilt, probably to within five years.

                                                    Good guessing.

Thursday, 20 March 2014


 Lovely day again, and the garden is starting to look well. Even the Hellebore s are starting to lift their heads and look a little bolder.
 And the primulas are really starting to show colour.
 Mid morning I walked to the nearest pillar box to post a letter, so took a couple of photos on the way of early buildings near us. The one above is, I think, quite early Tudor.
 The one above is probably a little earlier, but was given a facelift in 1714, and redated to that year, with a little pargetting work around the date (you'll probably have to enlarge the picture to see the date).
We had guests to lunch, our friends and fellow dealers, Keith and Jill. Ann gave us  chicken with dried apricot inserts - recipe from friend Margaret - a great success, followed by cherry pie and cream, then a cheeseboard and coffee. Then Jill begged to go down to the undercroft (which she loves) and to see any fresh stock we had, after which a neolithic axe head (rather to my surprise) and a 'tithe pig' brass snuff box changed hands. I must say a business lunch is a nice, civilised way of trading.  Should add that Ann had picked a few flowers from the garden for the above table decoration.

                                  Got one or two jobs to do before bed time, so will close down now and wish you all a very Good Night.

Wednesday, 19 March 2014


At about nine thirty this morning Ann asked me if I had anything planned for today as she needed to do  some grocery shopping, preferably at Waitrose in Sudbury, and did I fancy a ride over that way? In fact I needed to take some snapshots for bloggery purposes; so with the proviso that we'd come back by a different route than usual, we set off. It was a dry but rather grey day with high cloud. As the above and below photos demonstrate,  many of the dyke sides and road verges were thick with primroses.
 In the above photo not only are there primroses beside the road, but, as you can see there is grass growing in the middle of the road, thus proving we are still in Suffolk.
The above tiny cottage has a very fine Tudor chimney leaning against it. We've seen this one before, and I think it's called something like Pepper Pot Cottage. It's rather a favourite of mine. Soon after that we took a quite deliberate wrong turn, and the rest of the cottages and small houses are all fresh ones to us.
The above one is called Priory Cottage and probably had connexions to a local Priory.
 The small farmhouse shown here probably has a late medieval timber framework under the thatch; speaking of which, the bird (a pheasant) perched on the right hand end of the roof is also made of thatch, and is probably the trademark of the thatcher.
The rather larger farmhouse in the last photo is pure John Constable (think 'the Hay Wain' and 'Willie Lott's Cottage', and you'll get the idea). It's probably much the same age as the previous cottage, or even possibly a little earlier, and, as you can see, there's part of a moat showing, which doesn't really fit the cottage, so there's  been a habitation on this site for a good many centuries.  A few miles after this we found ourselves running into Kersey, so knew we were only a few miles from home.  Exploration in our area  nearly always yields  pleasant  surprises.