Pleasant, but very busy Saturday. Got up early as Ann needed to make soup for lunches at Bazaar, in St. Mary's, in aid of a children's charity. Yesterday we stopped at a roadside produce stall near Wisbech and bought a head of celery. Ann made soup of this and the stock from remains of a chicken carcasse from earlier in week. I did my usual tasks of stirring and quality control (tasting and adjusting). Ann took in soup and six small Christmas cakes (about quarter size) she'd made ten days ago, at about ten a.m. The cakes were put on sale at EIGHT pounds each - and they all sold !!! I must place on record my conviction that, even at that price, they were good value for money. I went into church at about midday, had a soup lunch there, and at one p.m. joined with six other choir members in singing carols. Everyone (well, all bar the choirmaster) said afterwards how good this had sounded, and what a lovely start this had been to the festive season. Then at 2 p.m. walked round to scrabble club and enjoyed three good games. Won the middle one.
Sausage, mash, and mushrooms for supper, followed by Yorkshire pudding and treacle. since then been pottering in workshop. Must knock off now. Goodnight All.
Saturday, 29 November 2008
Just realised that although I've published a couple of shots of details of Milden Church (Norman doorway, and a recumbent stone Spencer) I haven't published a shot of the church itself. This is it above. I think the flushwork along the base of the end wall looks like the chequered surround of a policeman's cap. This of course gives this tiny church a dignified and official look. More later perhaps.
Thursday, 27 November 2008
Yesterday got up early for early service and breakfast, then to Manningtree and caught train to London, tube to South Kensington, and walked round to V. and A. museum, where I had early lunch (roast pork - very good- although crackling could have been slightly crisper). Then round to Bonham's (Knightsbridge) sale. As I feared, prices were very high, even for mediocre lots. Managed to secure three lots though (four items), with which I was well pleased. Matthew joined me just before the end of the sale, and carried the goodies for me. Took a taxi back to Lizzie's, had a bite of supper with them, then on to Liverpool Street (Matthew came with me, bless him, and again carried the haul, and made sure I got on the correct train - I have a feeling he doesn't trust his Grandfather to be out on his own!!!). Caught the train by the skin of my teeth - then rather wished I hadn't as it was very crowded- had to stand as far as Chelmsford, where a good many passengers alighted. Ann met me at Manningtree - it had been a good day out, but feeling pleasantly drained today. Still, spent today doing small, necessary, repairs to yesterday's haul. Choir practice as usual this evening; felt it went well. Quite ready for bed, now, though, so : Goodnight all. God bless you.
Saturday, 22 November 2008
This chap lies in Milden Church. He is a lovely piece of stone- exquisite workmanship- minus his feet. The two stone tablets above him are faint and difficult to read, but I think it records that he was a Spencer, from Althorpe in Northamptonshire, and died in 1623. If I've got this right it seems odd that an ancestor of a future king of England (?) should be buried in a tiny church in Suffolk. Funny old thing , history, isn't it?
Scrabble club this afternoon. Three very good games - four of us at our table- Phyllis, Hilary, Joyce, and meself. Won the middle game - rather to my own surprise. No fireworks, but I'd been stacking up goodish scores without realising it. Duck for supper, with potatoes roasted in the duck fat, and chard (given us by Margaret - our nonagenarian choir member- as a thankyou for lifts into choir practice -very civilised of her). London tomorrow to view Bonham's, so bedtime now. Goodnight all.
Thursday, 20 November 2008
Lovely little Norman doorway to (I think) Milden Church. Been a busy week in the workshop. Just time for a quick blog before choir practice. Pruned the three fruit trees this morning, whilst waiting for some lead soldering to cool. Must get out some straining wire and tie them in. We're trying to espallier them . At Aunt Mary's funeral on Monday met her youngest grandson. Hadn't seen young Ben since he was in his teens. He's now, I think, 24. He's been growing a moustache which he says is based on mine!!! Great compliment I suppose. The shape is right and the colour is better than mine (chestnut as opposed to white), but he freely admits that it's not nearly as big yet. I complimented him on having got off to a pretty good start. If he carries on like that for another forty years or so my whiskers will have serious competition in the family (not that I'll be too bothered by then). He's teaching, he tells me. Classics, I think he said. Seems a very pleasant youngster, as indeed do all of his siblings. Must close and get off to choir practice. Tra la- la la.
Sunday, 16 November 2008
Usual pleasant weekend. Three excellent games of scrabble yesterday (nine of us present so three tables of three). At my table one game ended with scores of 204, 202, and 199 - the last being my score, but a really well fought game, with only 5 points top to bottom. Church this morning with Ann serving and self in choir. This afternoon in workshop. Got on well, Quaker clock finally persuaded to behave (I hope). I didn't think Quakers were supposed to fight back (that was why the Puritans disliked them so much). Anyway, I think I'm finally winning. Aunt Mary's funeral tomorrow in Norfolk, which means I'm having to skip a lip reading class - I've already made my apologies. Nearly bedtime, so:- Goodnight all.
Friday, 14 November 2008
Thursday, 13 November 2008
Our back gate in evening light about a fortnight ago. Spent today working on a rather nice Quaker clock (loop and spurs). Sorted out several minor problems. In fact I thought I'd finished it, but the clock thought otherwise - it's now developed a clutch problem - going train to hands. Still I know where the problem is, and will tackle it in the morning,D.V.
We've just got in from choir practice. Everyone seemed a bit on edge, although I thought we sounded alright. Your blogger was reprimanded for singing an octave lower than he should have been doing. I often do this, I'm afraid, as do most basso profundos, but it's not usually spotted. Oh well, must try harder I suppose, and aim for higher standards - and notes!!
Been asked to give a talk to the Friends of St. Mary's in late January (so have plenty of time to look out my old notes, and brush up on them). They want me to do the one on 'The History of Base Metals'; half an hour and then a fifteen minutes question and answer session - hope I know the answers - if I don't I usually say so, but then promise to try and find out, and, so far, have done. There will be mince pies and mulled wine, I'm told. This should assist in rendering me reasonably eloquent. Must knock off now - Bedtime- Goodnight all. God bless you.
Sunday, 9 November 2008
In kitchen earlier and saw this pottery toad leering over the rim of a Victorian teacup at me on the windowsill. I think Ann had been doing some tidying up - he doesn't normally live there. Remembrance Sunday today. Family service at 10.30. We were both in the choir, and I was asked to read the "They shall grow not old........." speech, just before the two minutes silence, and the "When you go home tell them of us, and say........." bit afterwards. I wasn't wearing a watch and I wasn't too sure how to judge the two minutes' silence, so I counted to 120 slowly, then counted another ten (just in case). I was told afterwards that I'd got it just about right. Must remember that for another time. This afternoon, at 3 p.m. we had the Memorial Service in Church - after the Service at the War Memorial. The Church was packed. Good service - the Rural Dean gave a good, bracing sermon.
Got Sue and Tim coming for a meal this evening- should be here by now - but just got a 'phone call to say they've got a puncture so will be a bit late. Oh well, that means we can both relax and wait for them. Glass of madeira sounds a good idea. Cheers all.
Thursday, 6 November 2008
Photo is of neice Naomi, family friend Phoebe, and latest great nephew Theo, all at Gran's 100th do. To return to which :- After lunch a reception was given by Gran's neighbours in a large room on the groundfloor of the flats, which they and the family attended; as did the Mayor, Mayoress, photographers and reporters from both local papers. Gran (in an armchair in the centre of the room) held court very graciously and sedately, and showed eveyone her 'telegram' from the Queen. Various cousins, mostly elderly, turned up. Nobody was very clear about the degree of cousinship, except of course Gran, who recognised them all, and explained the degrees of relationship very clearly. At one stage I overheard two of the elderly male cousins discussing Jimmy Fletcher, so I was able to join in as he had taught (or tried to teach) me music fifty odd years ago. I also heard Gran telling a young lady reporter all about a zepellin air raid she had witnessed in 1916 - all good topical stuff - but there, the Wisbech Standard has never been all that up-to-date on its news items. In other words a very good time was had by all. The party began to break up at about four, although the family went back to Gran's flat with her. We left by degrees, so that Gran wasn't left suddenly on her own again. When we left at about seven p.m. David was still with her, and said he would push off an hour later. I think Gran had thoroughly enjoyed her day, and indeed had coped very well with all the excitement. Ann's just calling that it's nearly time for choir practice, so must knock off now. Goodnight all.
Monday, 3 November 2008
Quick Diss game. A Livery Stable and riding school in Norfolk whose members were not very skilful and kept falling off ????????? Probably far too easy for some of the sharper witted of my readers. Answer in a day or two (if I remember). Must go and do some work now. Goodnight all.