Sunday, 30 December 2007


Been experimenting with photographs on blog today. The one below was taken last Sunday, and shows son Jonathan, son-in-law Mikey, and back view of grandson Guy. Today went to morning service. I sang in choir for the first time in ten days , due to lingering nasally cold - not quite shaken off even now. Ann was server. Maureen gave sermon and almost immediately afterwards had heavy nosebleed (always been subject to them). This was dealt with so efficiently (and discreetly) that no one in congregation was aware it had happened. After lunch went to look at a bicycle that Ann had seen advertised for sale on local noticeboard. Ann, Lasse, Tuva, and self went to inspect cycle. Ann looked at it and quite liked it, I rode it, Lasse checked it for mechanical faults, and Tuva pronounced on its 'coolness' (qualified approval). So I purchase it (£40), and rode it home. I hope, and think, I shall enjoy having a bike again. This evening played scrabble. Good game. Good night. God bless you.
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Taken last Sunday and showing three of the granddaughters who have just raided the dressing up box.
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Great Gran.

Not a very good photie of Great Gran, but thought I must include one. This was taken on Christmas morning.
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Photograph of Swedish granddaughters with cake they decorated. Cake made and iced by Ann. I told them I wanted a Christmas theme and first rate quality professional decoration, and this is what they came up with. Pretty good, what ? May blog some more later.
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Friday, 28 December 2007


Pleasant day. Late morning we all went for a walk along the river, fed the ducks, watched a young fisherman, went to a park with swings and what appeared to be a junior assault course. Walked home through the town, and in my case sat in my chair to catch up on the news, and awoke an hour later with the newspaper on the floor, my specs on the end of my nose, and a cup of (completely cold) tea on the stool beside me - very kindly supplied by Ann who didn't like to wake me -even kinder. We ate at 3p.m.- Ruth and Lasse had been out to the new Indian restaurant and bought back a takeaway meal. Lasse knows about Indian food and this was excellent - all the ingredients (or ingreediments as Ruth used to call them when younger) tasted fresh, and there were some very subtle blends of taste. About 6 p.m. we had a cup of tea and a mince pie (with some of the brandy butter left over from Christmas day. Took the photo of three generations in the kitchen about an hour ago (from left to right Ruth, Freja and Ann). The two girls are now in bed, and all's quiet and all's well. Goodnight and God bless you all.

Wednesday, 26 December 2007

Boxing Day.

Jonathan set off back to Wolverhampton after breakfast. After lunch Ann and I took Gran to Ingham, where we met Ann's brother Tim, and transferred Gran and her luggage to Tim's car, for him to take her the rest of the way home. Should have mentioned that Tuva has been poorly all day - tummy upset (which I was inclined to blame on Christmas fare but both Ann and Ruth said that she had eaten very little on Christmas day) and a sore throat. She has slept most of today (probably the best thing for her) and seems rather better now. Cold collation and hot mashed potatoes for supper. I always say that the best part of Christmas for me (cullinarily speaking) is foraging for cold leftovers on Boxing Day. Am now sitting in my study (?) blogging. Ruth (obliging wench) has just allowed me to take her photograph (see above) despite her habitual dislike of this process. Off to bed now. Goodnight all.

Tuesday, 25 December 2007

Christmas Day.

At 7.10 this morning Ann woke me (with a cup of tea, bless her) to say that the two Swedish granddaughters wanted to open their Christmas stockings. "They're very welcome to carry on with it" says I, all grandfatherly. "No" says Ann, "They want you to be there". So then I donned a dressing gown and joined the festivities. Great fun it was, too; although it got slower and slower because the oldest one is turning into a reader, and started off reading the comics and books as they came out of her stocking; and by the time I took this photo she had started to read the old sheets of newspaper that the presents were wrapped in. She explained that the sheet of newspaper she is reading in the photo above contained an episode of the Simpsons that she had missed. Not familiar with the cartoon she mentioned though I have heard of it, and anyway understood just how she felt. After we had all emptied our stockings (Father Christmas had been his usual generous self- all useful stuff) we had breakfast - pork pie, toas, tea, and a russet apple. See first photo - partially laid breakfast table. Then to Church for Christmas morning Family Eucharist. Home for light lunch, Queen's Speech later, and Christmas Dinner about 6p.m. - Roast pork, etc. followed by Christmas pudding, aflame with scotch- very impressive blue flames in dark- with brandy butter - son Jonathan and I have been perfecting the flaming pudding routine for some years now - with son in law Lasses help, as effective as ever. Then short, brisk walk, home, cup of tea - made by Lasse- and just beginning to think about early night. Perhaps not - can hear piano being played in hall above me, so perhaps some music first. Goodnight all.

Monday, 24 December 2007

Still Christmas Eve.

Here is a photograph Ann took yesterday of the blogger surrounded by assorted grandchildren. I was showing them old black and white photoes from the album. This in turn started because two of them had dragged old frocks from the dressing up box and donned them and I then showed them old pictures of their Granny wearing the same frocks about forty years ago. Children love looking at an old image of a baby or toddler and saying "is that really my Mummy ?" and showing great disbelief that their matronly Mum was once a tiny tot. Yesterday, Sarah, Ruth, Kerry, and Jonathan showed up with the above illustrated offspring, and a great time was had by all, certainly by their grandparents and Great Gran. I am once again attempting to learn the art of illustrating this blog with photoes, and will make the most of Ruth's stay. Must go and see about my share of filling the Christmas stockings. Good night all.

Monday, Christmas Eve.

This morning I gave the two Swedish grandchildren the task of decorating the Christmas cake (a task I usually do myself- or at least with the aid of whatever grandchildren are available, but presided over by Grandpa). However this year these two were available and of an age to be left to get on with it, so I provided the materials, and did, and this is the result, which for an eight year old and a ten year old, is pretty good I think. The father Christmas figure was made in coloured icing by the two of them, and applied when complete, so that the figure appears on the cake in low relief. will publish this and come back later.

Thursday, 20 December 2007


Yesterday was a long day. Got up, went to early service where I read the Old Testament lesson. Isaiah 39, which concerned King Hezekiah who (just on the evidence in this chapter) must have been the silliest king recorded in the whole of the Old Testament. Brief breakfast in the Deanery, then drove over to Wisbech, saw Elizabeth our accountant, who returned the books, then on to Gran's who is spending Christmas with us, and bought her home, stopping at Downham Market at the Castle, where we had tea and Biccies with Mick and Erica. Considering she is now in her 100th year on God's earth (as she would put it) Gran coped very well with the two hour drive. This morning I was putting in some time in my workshop before breakfast when our good friend Terry Turk 'phoned. With the possible exception of our accountant Elizabeth, Terry talks faster and better than anyone I know. I think both of them live in their own time scale which moves faster than that of the rest of us, and I invariable come off the 'phone to either of them feeling stimulated, rejuvenated, and moving much faster than before. Will say no more because I've just remembered that Terry reads my blog, and I would not wish to embarass her (Heh Heh !!! - American expression- don't know what it means !!) Spent the rest of this morning in my workshop trying to sort out a small but recalcitrant timepiece alarm. Think I'm winning. This afternoon Ann and I went into town (Gran declined, saying she wanted a quiet day to recuperated from yesterday) to do a bit of shopping. Looked round the new shop opened by Adnam's of Southwold - Kitchens and Cellars I think it's called. Rather disappointed. Don't think it will take off. Still, you never know. Choir practice this evening for Sunday's Carol Service. Don't feel we're nearly ready for it. Also feel that Terry's influence has not yet rubbed off - the way I'm writing feels just as if I'm talking too fast (SEE TERRY- you're a bad influence on me!!!) Good night all - God bless you.

Sunday, 16 December 2007

Still Sunday.

P.P.S. Sorry, didn't make it clear :- Chief Medical Advisor :- Ann.


Fairly good, hectic, week. On wednesday early service (7.30 am) followed by breakfast in the Deanery kitchen. Wednesday afternoon telephone bidding at auction. Got seven lots (including one on commission for a friend). Wednesday evening shared meal at the Cleavers' , with a Christmas theme; our contribution was a 'Christmas leftovers pie'; very good it was too - turkey, ham, stuffing, and cranberries, under a pastry crust. Could be served hot or cold- rather like a Christmassy game pie. On Thursday found I was developing horrible nasally cold. Took it to choir practice, but managed to sing. On Friday had to go to London to collect the auction lots I'd purchased on Wednesday. Went up by train. Day went fairly smoothly. Left home just after 9a.m. and we were home by 4p.m. complete with goodies. Also found good record and music shop on upper floor of Liverpool Street Station, and was able to purchase young Pawan what I hope will be a suitable small Christmas present - a C.D. of Spanish guitar music- assured by very helpful young assistant that it is 'fast and relaxing - cool'. Couldn't make much of this but girl seemed to know what she was talking about. Pawan is keen guitar player, and very good so his mother (!) informs me. Fourteen year old boys very difficult to buy for so hopes he likes it. His sister much easier - book of instructions on origami (?) Japanese paper folding, and she's good with her hands. On Saturday morning sang Christmas carols in the high street. About twenty of us (mainly from different Church Choirs) accompanied by Salvation Army Brass band. Thoroughly enjoyed it but got very cold. Woke up this morning to find cold rather worse, so on my chief medical advisor's advice spent day indoors catching up on backlog of work. Shortly about to try the efficacy of a hot toddy, a hot bottle and bed. Goodnight all.

P.S. Recipe for above hot toddy : equal measures of scotch and water, good squeeze of lemon and a little honey all boiled up together, well stirred as it simmers, and the fumes well inhaled. This to be drunk when suffering from a cold. If I'm honest it doesn't really help the cold much, but it does help me feel a bit more cheerful about it . Warm regards to all, Mike.

Friday, 7 December 2007


Been hard at work all week (as far as I can remember). Still, one major job I had promised to have ready by Christmas looks as if it will be done in time. Due to the fortnight we had to spend in Milton Keynes I really began to think I should have to 'phone and make my excuses. Liz Allport stayed overnight on Tuesday so she could go to the Wednesday Long Melford antique fair. Liz is never any trouble and invariably pulls her weight - the ideal houseguest.Sue and David gave all three of us dinner on Tuesday evening - very good it was too- one of David's really very subtle curries. Their dog Coco is off colour - she's had teeth trouble- she's as welcoming as ever but really seems to have lost her 'bounce'. Liz bought fairly well at Long Melford, and we had a very satisfactory day. It's a unique little antique fair, the only one about which I've ever been able to use the word 'consistent'. Ann was out from midday till four pm helping with a local club that puts on a good hot lunch for elderly folk. They served eighty four lunches - roast beef as a main course, pudding and coffee, and charged £3 a head. It is deservedly popular of course with the elderly. The odd thing is that if you worked out the average age of the organisers, helpers, and servers, you would probably find it rather higher than that of the recipients ! Must knock off and go to bed. Goodnight and God bless you.

Sunday, 2 December 2007

Sunday- At Home.

My apologies for not having blogged for a while. The blog I'm about to write - but possibly not publish- is not my usual blog recording the latest scrabble session or with whom we've been out to tea. On Friday the 16th of November we got home from visting friends in Sandy (about fifteen miles from our oldest Daughter Sarah's home - note the irony !) at about 5 pm. At about 7pm. the 'phone rang. It was Sarah's father - in -law Frank. "Where have you been ? I've been trying to ring you all day," he said to Ann. "We've been to Sandy. What's the matter, Frank ?" says Ann. Then he told her that Sarah was seriously ill in hospital. Meningitis was suspected. She was on a life support machine. Mikey (her husband ) was with her. She had been delirious, and was now heavily sedated. Frank and Jane (Mikey's parents) were looking after the children. He offered us a bed for the night, but said he could see no point in going over that night, and suggested we tell the family, and go over the next morning, and they would put us up. Not a good night's sleep for either of us. I kept seeing her as a baby (she was a joyous babe - whenever we took her out in the pram she would smile at everyone - and everyone would stop to return the compliment). The following morning we made our way across to Milton Keynes, and went straight to Frank and Jane's. They were waiting for news from Mikey who had spent the night in hospital beside Sarah's bed. The children were very subdued, and were in fact being quite unnaturally good. We went on to the hospital to relieve Mikey (who had had no sleep) and sat beside Sarah who was still very deeply sedated. She had had a lumbar puncture to determine whether she had meningitis. At 8.30 pm. Mikey came back and relieved us, and we went back to Frank and Janes, where Jane had prepared a delicious light meal (which was wasted on us as I can remember very little of it, and tasted probably less), after which we soon went off to bed. The Following morning (Sunday) we tried to keep the children amused with card games. At 11 am. Frank and I were reading the papers when the 'phone rang. Jane answered it and then came through and said "That was Mikey. He says Sarah has been talking to him". It was, I think, the best news I had ever heard in my life. Frank and I sat there gulping and trying to keep stiff upper lips. Jane and Ann were clinging to each other (as ladies may). Young Lucy (ten) broke the tension by bellowing her (at the moment) favourite word :- "HALLELUJAH !!!!!!!!" . I'm going to shorten the whole thing now. Sarah had had bacterial meningitis. To try and keep things as normal as possible for the children (school, etc.) we (Ann and I, that is) took them home to Sarah and Mikey's on Sunday evening and stayed on. Sarah came home the following Sunday, and we eventually returned home on Friday last, 30th November. I'm sorry to have foisted all this onto any readers in such bald detail. It does, however, confirm my opinion, based on experience, that the really nasty events hit you out of a clear blue sky. Love to all, Mike and Ann.