Tuesday, 28 August 2007
Had friends in for coffee this morning. In order of arrival :- Sue and David, Daphne our near neighbour (husband Peter couldn't come - he still works three days a week) and Terry, whose clock I delivered and set up about ten days ago. Strike not reliable (as I rather expected) but it has been stopping. This surprises me but we are going over to have a look at it tomorrow afternoon, so hope I can spot what's wrong and induce it to behave better. Coffee morning went well. Conversation general until nearly midday when I found I had been giving a lecture which started with ember tongs, and went on to tinder boxes, both manual and mechanical, and ended with John Walker's invention of 'friction lights' in 1827. Must guard against tendency to ramble and stick to topics of more general interest. Surprised Ann didn't rein me in. Worked in workshop most of afternoon and completed restoration of copper tinder box, thoughts of which may have triggered this morning's pontification. Cleaned shoes and boots this evening, which should keep me looking respectable for the coming week. Pottering in garden this evening and spotted buds on Morning Glory (Ipomia) , Heavenly Blue variety, so with luck should have a nice display well before the first frosts finish them off. Been such a wet and cold summer that I really thought they would come to nothing. Nearly bedtime and an early start tomorrow, so goodnight all.
Saturday, 25 August 2007
This is a Ferdinand Pichard rose we put into our garden earlier this year. It is very like the old Rosa Mundi, and the scent is superb. We put half a dozen rose bushes in and this one is the best. Will put some more of these on the blog when I've become more familiar with using the camera.
Monday, 20 August 2007
Last thursday I finally got my new shed, that I intend using as a forge, delivered. This morning I finally got around to nailing up the fire resistant boarding around the forge area. This seemed a sensible business precaution when setting up a forge (however small) in a wooden potting shed. Later finished off edging tiny pond for frogspawn (and eventually tadpoles, and hopefully, frogs) next spring. This afternoon we drove over to Polstead and went for a walk. Stood beside the large pool from which the village is supposed to take its name (originally Poolstead) and watched two young anglers (10 to 12 year olds I should think) land a large carp. When weighed, it turned the scales at seven pounds. They had quite a fight landing it, and then an almost equally tough fight putting it back in the pool. Nice youngsters. Walked across meadowland where we have found mushrooms in the past but none today. Still we heard an owl hooting and also saw a green woodpecker that we had heard 'yaffling' earlier. Most enjoyable afternoon. Home about five thirty. Spent evening pottering on computer. I think in modern parlance that should be pottering on the 'pooter. Nearly time for bed now. Goodnight.
Saturday, 18 August 2007
Been a nice hectic week this last one. So much so that I can't remember much of it. Still, let's try. On monday (I think) took Terry's little thirty hour wall clock back and reinstalled it. Bit bothered about the strike. Very unusual arrangement to it, and some evidence of it having been altered early on. Still, having installed it we had tea and cake and waited for it to strike five, which it did perfectly, so hope I've solved the problem. On Wednesday ran Gran back as far as Ely. Ann dropped me off at Tricia's where I reroped her grandfather (clock that is). It's a lovely primitive old country gentleman. Good to see them both again. Then on to the Fire Engine House where David had booked lunch for the nine of us. Three of us ordered poigeon and bacon casserole, and rather to our surprise got a complete wood pigeon each. When I make a pigeon casserole (or pie) I usually use just the breast meat in chunks; so to make a casserole with whole pigeons- well it must have been quite a casserole! The Fire Engine house does rather pride itself on using local produce. Very good meal in family company. After the meal transferred Gran's luggage to Time and Sue's car and found that I'd left her small suitcase behind. Apologised to Gran for this and she said :- "Never mind, dear. I'm not bothered. I've got a wardrobe full at home." Nice, sporting way to take my booboo. She's a gentlewoman, is my Ma-in-law. Yesterday (Friday) Ann and I motored, with Sue and David up to high Norfolk to have lunch with Liz Allport and see her new cottage. Semi retirement seems to suit her well. Only semi as I think she'll always be an antique dealer. The cottage is a lovely flint built home set in a georgeous small garden (but bigger than ours). The garden is my ideal in that it is a cottage garden set in an old orchard. Behind the house surprisingly are some very mature oak trees. The cottage is much roomier inside than it appears from the outside. We were all very favourably impressed with her new home. For lunch Liz gave us a superb lasagne with garlic bread and a green salad, followed by raspberries with a meringue and cream. She then produced a cheese board with home made bread, after which we withdrew to the withdrawing room for coffee. While we were coffeeing Liz showed us some of her new stock including one piece she wasn't sure about and wanted my opinion on. It turned out to be a very nice piece of Indo/Persian koftgari work, which I purchased from her just before we left. Altogether a lovely day out. Must knock off now as we are giving a scrabble tea this afternoon. May add more later depending on the ferocity of the scrabble.
Friday, 10 August 2007
Hello again Ruth and Tribe. Having reread my last blog I see that I've left out the point ot the story. Which is that (as Pa used to say when telling the story) "She picked off a long line of lillies as neat as you please with an air rifle, cutting each one off about a foot above the ground." I hope that makes it clear. Great Gran sends her love to you all, as do Mummy and I. Love Pa.
Hi Roo, this time this blog is in answer to your query regarding your Great Gran's shooting escapade circa 1926?or 7. She says it occurred when she was 18 or 19. She was upstairs in Pa's bedroom where she was allowed to be because he was poorly at the time. Pa's bedroom was at the end of the back landing on the left. The room that Mummy and I had as our bedroom until you turned it into an upstairs sitting room when we were out one weekend. It is also the room (oddly enough) where I shot a hole in the wall beside the door using a long snaphaunce locked barbary musket in 1963, but that's another story. Great Gran says that she used an air rifle from the window. She says that the gravel drive was below the window as it is now, but that a pathway went from the far isde of the drive to the summer house or folly in the park. To the right of this path ran the line of lillies. They went from the edge of the gravel drive to a point level with the right hand end of the pond. Some of the same lillies were still at the end of the pond when we went back there in 1977. They were the type known as (I think) crown royal lillies. That would give a range of about ten yards (from the window to the far side of the drive) to about thirty yards or so to a point level with the right hand end of the pond. Great Gran also says "I thing Grandpa Will must have been annoyed, but he didn't say anything, I don't know why". I think I do. If I'd been Grandpa Will, and had seen such an exhibition of sharpshooting as that, I'd have kept me trap shut. At least until I'd seen Gran put the rifle down.
Yesterday Ann motored across to Wisbech to pick up her mother who is to spend a few days with us. Gran (who will be 99 on the 5th of November)coped with the two hour car journey very well. In fact when she'd been here half an hour she accepted my invitation to come down and have a look at my cellar (I shall have to learn to call it the undercroft - 'cellar' doesnt do it justice), Gran was very impressed with it. This morning our good friend Jenny arrived here at 11.30 am, and after showing her our new home the four of us piled into her car and she drove us to the Swan at Monk's Eleigh where we had lunch. An excellent lunch it was too. I had a duck's leg (I think it must have been an Aylebury duck) on a bed of red cabage. Ann had halibut on samphire, Gran had plaice in a parmesan sauce, and Jenny (who had had a starter) had a bowl of fresh shrimps. All had been cooked on the premises while we waited, and all (we all agreed) was excellent. Then home, coffee in the garden, and Jenny set off home. She loved our new home, and indeed it was lovely to see her. I don't know how she copes. She has a very sick husband to nurse, combined with a high powered job (and a business partner who is less than fully sympathetic). Yet she still manages to be (as Gran remarked when she'd left) a ray of sunshine. Must stop now. May add more later.
Sunday, 5 August 2007
Went in to church early for choir practice. Did several jobs before choir practice, e.g. prepared hymn boards, hung them up, wound vestry clock, etc. Then to choir practice where choir master/organist was in vile mood because several members were late ( I think they may have been late because of their fear that choirmaster might be in vile mood). He spent the practice muttering malevolently at choir, and as I am deaf I have the privilege of bellowing "EH?" at him so he ups the decibels of malevolent muttering so we can hear what he's muttering and I wish I hadn't bothered. Eventually he mutters,inaudibly, that he supposes it could have been worse, and I remark (audibly I hope) that this is high praise indeed chaps. We then go and get robed up, and so to service, during which we perform creditably, and choirmaster is said to be quite pleased. Don't know the truth of this report as choirmaster certainly doesn't confirm it.
Saturday, 4 August 2007
This morning Ann was taking the car into town to do a bit of shopping so I rode in with her. Bought some statice as Ann wants some for vase in hallway, (don't know how to pronounce that- should it be statiss or statichee ?), then returned books to library and took two more out. Then walked home. After lunch went to play scrabble with near neighbour. Took her a small bunch of statiche (had bought Ann two large bunches), which pleased her. Four of us, Doris(our host), Joyce, Ann and meself. Two very good games, then tea, then two more scrabbles. Doris won first three games, then Joyce won the fourth. Pleasant afternoon. After supper Ruth 'phoned from Sweden. She has had two of her sisters and their families to stay with her this summer (not at the same time) and said how well the visits went. Her youngsters had enjoyed their cousins staying, too. I find it very satisfying that all my grandchildren are growing up knowing their cousins and putting together some very colourful childhood memories. They have been walking in the forests, swimming in the lakes, catching fish (and cooking and eating them), and building a sand castle (their is a lake near Ruth with a sandy beach). They all want to go back to Sweden next summer and stay with their Aunt, Uncle and cousins again. When Lizzie said she wasn't sure that she could afford this her three offered to go without any Christmas presents this year if the resulting money saved could be put towards a return visit to Sweden !!!!! Ruth and I also talked about blogging, and I wanted to go into why I keep this blog with a view of getting comments on why we blog, but I find that I really must go to bed now, so will pu it off to a future blog (perhaps). Goodnight all.
Thursday, 2 August 2007
Further to my entry of July the 31st regarding a light heavyweight contest between my recalcitrant Hindi spouting computer, and local champion Craig the computer tamer, I am glad to report that it was a foregone conclusion, as Craig won by a knockout in the opening seconds of the first round. The computer was heard later whimpering quietly to itself; promising to stick solidly to a nice English script, and never again to show off by by breaking out into indecipherable Hindi script. A triumph for traditionalism, I think.