Tuesday, 31 July 2007
This machine has been playing me up lately. It has suddenly (and for no reason that I can work out) developed a predilection for writing in Hindi. I say that I don't know why this has occurred, but I strongly suspect that the cause is an attack of pure swank on the machine's part. Could it be, you may think, that the machine just got bored with my mundane English, and developed a desire to show me what it could do ? Well, you may be right, but in that case, why didn't it go for something a bit less exotic ? French maybe, or latin (giving us a sporting chance of understanding in part). But Hindi !!!! No, as I said before, pure swank. This has been going on for some days now, so I have been unable to give details of everyday life in Suffolk. The details of why, at an at home last Saturday, I found myself declaiming, with another poetry enthusiast, the tragedy of The little one eyed idol to the North of Khatmandu, are now lost to posterity, or why later the same evening, by popular request, I was obliged to give details of the Ramsbottom family's adventure usually refered to as Albert and the Lion. All lost because this machine refused to record things in a sensible English script. I think I've sorted it to some extent, but anyway, on Thursday my good friend Craig (our local computer tamer) is going to come in and give it what for, and generally make it behave. Well, that's geiven it fair warning! SO THERE!!!
Thursday, 26 July 2007
Yesterday got home in the late afternoon and found a message from Hilary on the recording machine to say that she had a spare ticket for Trevor Pinnock's European Brandenberg Ensemble playing chunks of Bach's Brandenburg Concerto in St. Mary's. Ann happily accepted the spare ticket, and I trotted off down to the Church and was fortunate enough to be able to purchase a ticket for one of the last half dozen seats still available. It was an incredible evening. I haven't words to begin to do it justice. Can't think why it wasn't better advertised. It was part of the Suffolk Villages Festival this summer. The church was full so perhaps it was as well it wasn't better advertised. When there's music like that available part of me regrets my deafness more than ever and part of me thanks God that I've enough hearing left to be still able to appreciate such music. I'm becoming fulsome, so will move on to today and say that Sue and David dropped in for coffee this morning, it was lovely to see them. Choir practise this evening. It went well, and we also discussed the cut and colour of proposed new cassocks, being presented by Sylvia Willis-Betts in memory of her late husband Frank. Very generous of her, she's a lovely person. Must get off to bed now. Got a busy day tomorrow. Goodnight all.
Monday, 23 July 2007
Today we drove over to Bury St. Edmund's and met up with David and Jo about midday. Adjourned to the cathedral refectory and had (as usual there) very good lunch. Jo and I had lamb casserole, Ann and David had, repectively, salmon and gammon. Pud :- two rhubarb and ginger crumbles, and two apple pies. All with custard, of course. After a fairly lingered over lunch, the ladies went off to trawl the charity shops, and David and I returned to the cars to transfer a strimmer from their boot to ours. We are to deliver it to cousin (or niece - whichever way you look at it) Becky on our way home - small detour involved. After transfer of strimmer I take David to St. Mary's to look at George Graham clock, and Mary Tudor's grave. Strange to think an English Princess/Queen of France is buried in a small Suffolk town. Still the church is fit for a Queen. Walked back to the Angel Hotel and order pot of tea for two in the lounge while we wait for our wives to arrive, which they do almost immediately, so we change the order to pot of tea for four and biscuits. Chat and imbibe tea until about four o'clock when we decide that we really must go and deliver strimmer to Becky, so reluctantly break up tea party and set out. Stop on way at an allotment to buy small bunch of flowers for Becky. At Becky and Matthew's we are greeted by five year old Megan who instantly enquires if I have brought red handkerchief with me. Am impressed by her memory and produce large red snuff hanky, and proceed , under close scrutiny from Megan and Jacob (aged eight) to turn it into mouse/rat/rabbit. then make it jump and run up my arm. Megan, as usual, very impressed by this. When it jumps off my shoulder and I ask Megan to retrieve it for me, she approaches it very cautiously, and after making quite sure that it is now showing no sign of junmping up and running off, she eventually (and bravely), picks it up and (holding it very firmly) returns it to me. Jacob (being a rather sophisticated eight) watches all this very carefully, but eventually appears rather impressed. Performance repeated until arrival of tea and scones, when mouse/rat/rabbit's head and tail are pulled simultaneously and it turns itself back into snuff handkerchief. This magic taught me fity odd years ago by another Suffolk man, my great uncle Maurice Young, who would have been gratified by its continuing popularity. Children, thank God, don't change. Becky has inherited her Aunt Ann's magic touch with scones, which are excellent. Lovely day, but not the weather, which tiddled down on the way home. Good night.
Sunday, 15 July 2007
Thursday, 12 July 2007
At 10 am picked up friends Sue and Terry at Sue's, and motored up to Snape, where two antique fairs are being held. Went first to Graham Turner's fair in the village Hall, as the Snape Maltings fair didn't open till Noon. Pottered round the fair; didn't buy anything, but met, and nattered to, several old friends. Then on to the Maltings fair, which we got to about three minutes before opening. Rather to my surprise Ann, Terry and Sue declined to join me in the opening charge, and went to the tea tent instead (the slackers). Spent a very pleasant hour or so wandering round the fair, until Ann sought me out and dragged me off to the tea tent for and admittedly much needed (and very refreshing) cheese sandwich and a glass of milk. We were soon joined by Terry and Sue, and then by old friends Ros and George Harrington, who we had rather lost touch with. It was great to pick up the threads again. George told the story of a summer a few years, when they came to visit us with their son Piers (then about 9 or 10). I let hin fire a wheel lock pistol and then a flintlock dueller. Back at school a few weeks later Piers was set the usual essay on 'What I did in the summer holidays', and Piers got an awful lot of kudos from his schoolmates by putting:- 'I did some shooting in Suffolk'. The boy should go far. We then drove to Orford, watched some children and parents on the Quay crabbing, then adjourned to a Tea shop, where Sue treated us to tea and cakes. Explored Sudbourne Church, which we enjoyed despite its extensive Victorianisation (even I liked it). On to Terry's for promised tea and chocolate stodge cake (excellent, but couldn't finish mine, and was presented with it to take home- felt like child going home from birthday party with piece of unexpected birthday cake). On to Sue's, and home in time for choir practice, which went well. Mushroom ommelette (that word never looks right, however spelled) . Stepped out to post letters. Back home and bed. More or less perfect day.
Friday, 6 July 2007
To Terry' s. Tea, then a game called Superscrabble. Takes about three times as long as normal scrabble. This game very well fought. Towards the end Terry and I were neck and neck, with Ann in third place. Honesty compels me to confess that Terry eventually won by several lengths. Well, honesty and the fact that Terry reads this blog. Good night all.
Clock reinstalled in vestry. Going well. Last major repair to clock in 1895, when maker's grandson fitted new fusee chain. Whilst in town, went to market place and bought two bunches of flowers, one for Ann, and one for Terry, with whom we're about to have tea and scrabble. More later perhaps, if scrabble exciting.
Wednesday, 4 July 2007
With reference to my blog entry of 25th June I mentioned that John Rye had dropped the Vestry clock on me (will rephrase that - had delivered the vestry clock to our kitchen table), I am glad to record that kitchen table surgery successful, and clock has been ticking away happily and keeping reasonably good time for some days. Just shows what a little T.L.C. and firmness can do to clocks.
Tuesday, 3 July 2007
Had a lovely day today. Our good friend Eileen took three of us (Ann, myself, and our mutual friend Heather) out to lunch at the Shepherd and Dog, a very good little hostelry a few miles the far side of Stowmarket to thank the two ladies for their help when Eileen was convalescent a few weeks ago. I'm not sure why I was asked along, but did not query this and tagged along very gratefully. We stopped off in Stowmarket for Eileen and Ann to call into a local jewellery shop as they both had items of jewellery that was in need of care and attention and the shop has a reputation for supplying this. While we were in Stowmarket a cloudburst was taking place, and the same conditions prevailed all the time we were out interspersed with the od bright sunny spell. These were however always surrounded by threatening and dramatic clouds of the sort that Mr. Noah must have got used to immediately before his major work was launched. Had a soooper lunch and on the way home stopped off to explore Hitcham Church, because Eileen and Heather had recently been to a lecture on John Stevens Henlow, who had tutored Charles Darwin at Cambridge, and later been ordained rector at Hitcham. It is a lovely church surrounded by trees, and we stood outside the church porch admiring the flint flushwork in the sunlight whilst the thunder growled around us and a pair of swallows who had nested in the high porch dared us and the weather in order to feed their brood. Eventually the thunder won, and we went inside the church and explored, until the weather brightened up enough for us to dash to the car, and we drove home through alternate bright sunshine and gloomily dramatic stormclouds. It was a lovely few hours break in the middle of the day. Hard at work since then getting ready for Long Melford tomorrow. Good night.
Monday, 2 July 2007
Went to London today to pick up the one item I'd purchased in last Tuesday's auction. Went down by Car. Ours to Lizzie's in just under two hours. Lizzie has Irish friend, Catherine staying with her. Hadn't seen her for over twenty years since she spent a weekend with us at Welney House. She really hadn't changed much, and she was kind enough to say that neither had we !!! In fact we all perjured ourselve's thoroughly on each other's behalf. We took them out to lunch ( as we thought) at a nearby Greek restaurant. I had a kleftico which turned out to be a lamb shank, rich and delicious and some red wine which complemented it perfectly ; only when I went to pay the bill, I was told that Catherine had already done so. She was quite adamant about the matter, so I thanked her kindly and accepted this departure from tradition. In fact, thinking about it I find I quite like some of the modern ways of life (like the senior bloke of the party being 'tret' occasionally). Lizzie then ran us round to Olympia, and I payed for my item, picked it up, then negotiated for one of the unsold items, and purchased that too. Took a taxi back to Lizzie's, and drove home. Took much longer than going, owing to delays on the M25. Going to bed now. Goodnight.