Friday, 30 January 2009


Yesterday we got a 'phone call from our good friend Terry Turk. She has just moved back to civilisation from her usual winter hibernation in her London flat. Having got home she'd found one of her clocks was sulking and asked if I'd go and 'sort it'. As it's only a small clock and a great deal older than I am, I said I'd take it on, especially as there was a promise of tea and cake when we got there. Drove out and sorted clock in about thirty seconds flat. Being a retired G.P. Terry insisted on knowing exactly what had been wrong with the clock's state of health, which is rather a pity because I do like to give an impression of skilfully applied expertise in these matters, and that had been impossible in this case. Had tea and a slice (well two if I'm being honest) of apple cake. At tea Terry produced the Times crossword (last Saturday's, I think) and we spent a very pleasant halfhour or so wrestling with it. Eventually prevailed.
Ann's calling me to supper now. More later, perhaps.

Sunday, 25 January 2009


On Friday morning we motored across to Forward Green to fix a minor problem on a long case clock, which I had supplied to friends of ours just over 30 years ago. Fixed minor problem, but found another (potential) problem that I didn't have spares for, so will have to return. Arranged to go for lunch with them a few weeks hence. On way home went to look at Needham Market Church and took above snap of doorway. It's an unusual church being beside the High Street and with no churchyard. It has a lovely angel roof, not as good as St. Wendreda's in March (Cambridgeshire), or Upwell (in Norfolk), but pretty good all the same. Later on Friday went to cinema club to see Mama Mia. Peculiar thing. Cast looked vaguely human, but sounded and behaved as if a totally alien race, pursuing strange ends in unspecified country on unfamiliar planet. I couldn't make much of it (as you'll probably have already gathered). Still, Ann said she enjoyed it, so worth going to.

Yesterday motored over to Wisbech, lunched and spent afternoon with Gran. Last week she'd been rather poorly. She's a good deal better now, and as cheerful as ever, bless her. In the evening we went on to March, where Kerry had arranged a party for Laura in the United Services Hall. Laura, who is nineteen, is about to push off on a trip round the world, so this was a going away party. There was a very loud discotheque with a disc jockey. Liz, Georgia, Matthew, and Beth turned up, as did Sarah, Mikey, Amelia, Lucey, and Guy, together with about fifty of Laura's friends, and a very good time was had by all, including Ann and meself. Got home just after midnight tired and happy.

Today has been (so far) the usual quiet Sunday, enlivened (just before the morning service) by the organist (Bob) having a (to my mind thoroughly justified) go at one of the churchwardens regarding his lack of organisation and communication. Bob is usually such a quiet, easy going, chap, that it came as quite a surprise to everyone. It was done, quietly, effectively, and well. Don't suppose it'll bring about any permanent improvement, though. Still, it relieved everyone's feelings. 'Bye all.

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Thursday, 22 January 2009


Taken yesterday. First snowdrop in flower. Looked round garden and found small dark purple perrywinkle in flower, also primula, winter pansies, pink dead nettle, and a small white dianthus (Mendlesham Maid- like a miniature Mrs. Sinkins - a pink). I also found that the cyclamen I photographed in full flower on the 1st December (I think) now has a circle of new buds out. Found several tulips pushing through, and one already showing colour -one of the dwarf red ones in a small raised bed.It's surprising what can be found flowering in a garden even in January (if you look closely).
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Sunday, 18 January 2009


View along a mainly medieval nearby street.
Finished yesterday's Telegraph prize crossword at breakfast. Then to Church, self in choir, Ann serving. Sandwich and salad lunch, followed by doze I'm afraid. Since then I've been sorting out the strike train on a 30 hour clock movement - think it's sorted now- time will tell (if you see what I mean). Then repairing pair of side ejector brass candlesticks -late 18th century sheetbrass types - learned something I didn't previously know about the way they are put together. Been a nice quiet day of rest. Goodnight all.
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Saturday, 17 January 2009


Today we went to London by train to view the Roger Walker collection at Christies. We bought day return tickets (senior citizens) together with underground tickets. We had a very pleasant day indeed (grandson Matthew met us at Christies), until our return journey. We went to South Kensington Underground Station which was crowded as all the gates were closed and no one was being allowed on the platforms. The tannoy system squawked occasionally but things were so noisy that nobody could hear what the problem was. Eventually we walked across to Hyde Park where Matthew caught a 'bus home, and we took a taxi to Liverpool Street Station. We were just in time to catch a train stopping at Manningtree. The train was fairly full but not crowded, and we got seats near each other. All went well until the ticket collector came along. He scrutinised my ticket very carefully but eventually punched it. He then looked at the ticket produced by the young lady next to me in the window seat, and told her that it wasn't a ticket for this train. "Oh dear" says the obviously worried girl, "aren't we going to Stowmarket?" "Oh yes," says the guard " but this is a ticket for the 18.24 train, and you are on the 17.32 train to Stowmarket, and I shall have to charge you the London to Stowmarket fare". This turned out to be £32. The young lady, by now in tears, opened her wallet, which contained £30. To cut a long story short, Ann and I both chipped in together to produce the odd £2 and made sure that the girl was being met at Stowmarket, as she now had no money on her. The story doesn't end there. The guard then went to the couple occupying the two seats on the other side of the gangway. They had bought their tickets on line, and had then caught a slightly earlier train to Norwich, than that which the ticket specified. They were both under the impression that a ticket entitled them to travel to Norwich on any train that day. The girl said that they would get off at Colchester and wait for the train they should have travelled on. The guard said that he would then have to charge them for their ride from London to Colchester on this train. In the end they paid him over £90 to stay on board to Norwich. That meant that British Rail had conned an extra £120 from the three young people by not making the rules at all clear to them. I would be interested to know how much extra is being made by the railway authorities regularly using this rapacious, dishonest, and mean little racket ? I advise everybody travelling by rail, and buying their tickets 'on line' to read the small print very carefully.

Goodnight all.

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Wednesday again.

Finally manage to publish all three photoes ! Today has been a fairly long day. Got up at 6a.m. to go to matins. Ann took service. I read one lesson and the meditation. Followed by breakfast in Church. Home and finished a couple of jobs in workshop. Then drove to Chelsworth and took photoes. On to Bury St. Edmund's. Lunch in Cathedral Refectory. Good as usual. Roast pork followed by gooseberry and ginger crumble with custard. Then to hearing aid department of Bury Hospital. One of my hearing aids has been playing up. All done now and hearing again managable. EH? I SAID MANAGABLE !!!!!!!!! then home via Lavenham, where we ran out of bright sunshine into thick fog. We could see the edge of it from a mile away. Being called to supper so will knock off now. More later perhaps, but if not - Goodnight all.

Still Wednesday.

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If I've got this right there should now be three photoes on this blog. They are all of Chelsworth Church and the farmhouse which the road to the church winds past. Here goes.
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Thursday, 8 January 2009


The snapshot is of grandson Guy (oldest daughter Sarah's youngest), looking like a cross between a modified Mohican and the late (and not much lamented) Adolph Hitler. The haircut is about the limit of what he can get away with as far as his parents are concerned (it can be brushed nearly flat for school) and the moustache is frankly a false one I got out of a cracker at the lip reading lunch before Christmas (it caused much mirth when I wore it and it wasn't awfully effective as a disguise). Still, Guy liked it. He seemed to think it complemented his appearance nicely. More later perhaps. Mike.
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Monday, 5 January 2009

Still Monday.

This photo (which should, I think, be captioned 'The Strongest Girl in The World') shows Lucy, who is ten, holding her sister Sophie, who is nineteen and the senior granddaughter. I think I should explain that Lucy is (without being fat) strongly built and sturdy, whilst Sophie is tall, but very slim, light boned and elegant, so that the picture is not as impossible as it looks.
We woke up this morning to a white world -less than an inch of snow- and the news on the wireless (it was in fact on the TV -sorry) that a lorry had jack knifed near the Black Cat Roundabout on the A1. As we had to get back home, change, and into Ipswich by 1 pm to go to Phillip Woods's funeral, we had to alter our planned route home. We made it nicely in time, and I sang with my old choir, of which Phillip had also been a member - I sung next to him for some years. Phillip was a few weeks short of his 95th birthday. As his widow Phyllis said to me, he had a very long, full, and happy life, so it was more a celebration of his life than mourning his departure from it.
At the moment everywhere is wet and slushy, but it feels as if it is going to freeze hard tonight. Gran has just 'phoned to warn us that the roads and pavements will be treacherous in the morning, and to take great care if going out. Assured her that we don't plan to. Just beginning to realise that it's been a long and full day, so am going to knock off now. Goodnight all.
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We've spent a long weekend at Sarah and Mikey's. This is a snap of (left to right) Mikey, Sarah, Liz, Tia, Jude, and Ann. On Saturday afternoon eighteen of us went to the pantomime - Peter Pan. It is our Christmas present to the grandchildren and such of their parents who wish to accompany us. More soon (D.V.).
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