Tuesday, 13 November 2007
Sunday, 11 November 2007
Been a busy week both socially and work wise. Been replacing (not sure that's the right word) all the black lettering and figures on the dial of an eight day, painted dial (obviously) long case clock. I'd love to know what the original dial painters used for their black paint, probably I think, a mixture of soot and gum arabic. The point is that it fades in sunlight, sometimes completely, but if a lamp is shone on at an oblique angle, what has been there is usually visible as a shiny surface just proud of the dial surface. This has to be replaced, in my case with Indian ink and a mapping pen; and in this case, with roman numerals to the main dial, but also with arabic numerals to the second dial, and with italic arabic numerals to the date dial. Then the maker's name was done in a rather elegant script, and the place name in florid regency gothic lettering, surrounded by curlicues and 'flecking' to balance sizewise with the maker's name above it, then the outer rings of ink had to be replace to mark the chapter ring. I must stress that all of this has to go on over exactly what was on the dial originally, so there is no question of 'fakery'. I must admit that I prefer restoring brass clock dials, partly because they're,in general, earlier, and I do like earlier clocks, and partly because they're easier to do. Socially it's been much as usual, although as St. Mary's Church choir were singing at a wedding yesterday (Saturday)afternoon , it meant I couldn't go to my usual scrabble club, but Hilary (also in the church choir) took pity on me, and asked us to a scrabble tea after the wedding. Incidentally met the wedding party after service this morning, it turned out they were from Norfolk and knew the Eglintons. Continuing on the social side, on Friday evening we went to a 'supper party' as they're now usually called (although a five course meal for eight of us seems rather excessive for a supper. I think 'dinner party' is a more accurate, if dated, description, and much fairer to our hostess). A very pleasant, relaxed evening was had by all. Conversation never flagged, and as we all had our own fields of speciality, and all knew each other fairly well, it covered a very wide range of subjects, and flew past much too quickly. One of the subjects we covered early was a rather sad one. An old friend of ours, a large bay gelding who lived in a field near us with a small grey pony, who had died a few weeks ago, decided to jump the old brick wall which divides his field from the road, crashed through the top courses of the wall, landed badly, and broke his neck. I don't think he was that old, about fifteen, I would guess. But he had been very lonely of late. Sad, what? I don't think I'm either a sentimentalist or one of those people who apply human emotions to animals (anthropomorphists ??) but he had been acting rathe oddly of late (rolling his eyes, and laying his ears back for no apparent reason) and it did seem possible that his loneliness for his old field companion had turned his brain possibly. On which sad note I must retire and go to bed. Good night, all.
Saturday, 3 November 2007
Got home from oldest daughter's about noon today, where we have been babysitting their four youngsters, Sarah having been in for surgery. We went there on Tuesday last. We both thoroughly enjoyed it but obviously came home a little fatigued. I've been playing nine mens' morris most evenings with the grandchildren and really having to exert meself to win about one game in three. On Wednesday evening (31st October- Halloween) lots of groups of children came 'trick or treating'. All were known to the grandchildren, and most were accompanied by their parents. All of them were dressed as witches or strange creatures of the night. One young gentleman (dressed- very appropriately as it turned out- as a little devil) after I'd payed tribute, and very possibly being misled by my whiskers, asked me confidentially if I was dressed as Albert Einstein. "No," I said "This is really me," and tugged at my beard to prove it. I realised almost immediately that what I aught to have replied was "No, I really am Albert Einstein." I don't think he'd have known. All the grandchildren burst into peals of hysterical laughter and galloped off to tell their father and Granny about this (in their view) incredibly funny and totally understandable case of mistaken identity. I spent the rest of Halloween having to speak in a German accent for their amusement. ( Havink in a Cherman accent for zeir amusment to shpik)., and being addressed a Herr Einstein. Children !!!!!!!!!!!!! Almost tempts one to shave. In the daytime we combed the very few remaining antique shops, but to very little effect, only two items. Still, got loads of work to be getting on with between now and Christmas. and one major job probably just after Christmas. This afternoon to scrabble club at U.R.C. Room, where three excellent games were played (lost first one- won next two). Going to knock off now and clean black shoes ready for Gran's ninety ninth birthday party tomorrow. Gran=mother -in -law.Goodnight all.