Thursday, 31 December 2009
Wednesday, 30 December 2009
Above photo is of another pargetted shop front in our High Street, this time above our local wine shop, which I regret to say has just closed down.
This morning pottered in workshop, then we had an early lunch, spaghetti bolognaise by special request of Freja, then drove into Ipswich, where the girls wanted to go to 'Toys R Us' to spend some of their Christmas money. Also spent considerable time wandering up and down aisles full of (to me) rather puzzling artifacts. Other things rather delightful - an elephant that, when its back was stroked, waved its trunk and trumpeted. Not clock work, as you might think, but battery powered. Also found, at the back of a shelf full of zoo animals, a rather dusty woolly mammoth (obviously old stock). Also found, among some mounted knights in armour, some plastic trebuchets - working, but I reflected that I've made better and more lethal ones, of wood and twisted rope (and they're still in service), for my grandchildren. Fascinating place.
We then dropped Ruth and the girls off at the 'bus station in the middle of Ipswich, from whence they were going to catch a 'bus to Victoria, in London, to spend a couple of days in London, at their Aunt Lizzie's (the girls' Aunt, that is- Ruth's sister).
On the way home we stopped off at a farm shop, where our favourite tea shop is. To our surprise it was crowded with people enjoying a late Christmas lunch. We ordered tea, coffee, and scones. Because the place was so crowded it was a while coming, and the young waiter came and apologised for the slight delay. We assured him that we were not in any hurry. When it came, it was, as always excellent, with butter, cream, and strawberry jam with the scones (which were nice and fresh). When I went to pay the reckoning the same young waiter told me that he had not charged for the scones to recompense us for the delay. I thanked him for this, told him that it really didn't matter, and then tipped him the amount that the scones would have cost us. It really is refreshing to find that level of service these days. Ann's just gone up to bed, so I must join her. Good night all.
Monday, 28 December 2009
The above photo shows rather good pargetting on a building in the High Street. It shows the coat of arms of Elizabeth the First, who died in 1603, so that the date above the pargetting must have been applied at least fifteen years after the pargetting was done.
Great Gran went home today. Ann's brothers, Tim and Michael, drove over to fetch her. They had lunch with us, and left at about three p.m. Gran 'phoned later to say she'd arrived home safely, and Tim had made her tea and scrambled egg on toast (of which, I'm told, he makes a good one). Been nice having her with us. She's still good company, bless her. Ruth, Ann, and I had a game of scrabble this evening. Ruth won by nine points. Ruth suggested the game, as Ann and I are going to a scrabble tea at Hilary's tomorrow, and Ruth thought we could both do with a bit of practice (which theory she proved true by beating us). Bed time now (Ruth and the girls have gone up) so I bid you all a very good night.
Saturday, 26 December 2009
I have never seen so many riders at our hunt, or so many people turn out to support them. We met a friend of ours as we walked home, who said the same. She said :- "All you have to do is to ban a thing, to get everyone on its side immediately". I think she hit the nail squarely on the head.
Dinner time. More later, perhaps.
Above is a picture of Ruth and I doing the Telegraph Prize crossword puzzle this morning. Grandson Matthew in background. We finished the puzzle, then held a democratic vote as to what to do with the morning. The vote was split on walking down to the river to feed the ducks, and going to watch the hunt meeting. It was decided to do both. See next post.
Thursday, 24 December 2009
Weird day, yesterday. Woke up to find a complete electricity cut in our area. Came on again mid morning, then supply vanished at about 5 p.m. As Ann and I had planned to go to Stanstead to pick up Ruth and the girls, we were a bit bothered about leaving Great Gran in an unheated, unlit, powerless house on her own. We both decided that one of us should stay with her, but G.Gran was having none of it. "If I were at home, and there was a power cut, I'd have to cope with it on my own. Anyway, the best place to be during a power cut is in bed, so if Ann could see me up to bed before you go (planned for a little after 8p.m.) I shall be quite alright on my own." As she was quite adamant about the matter, this is what we did. Ruth's plane was due in from Stockholm at 2230 and in fact she and the girls turned up at about 2320, so that we got home just after 1 a.m. - All was well.
This morning we spent doing last minute shopping, then after lunch, Ann and Ruth walked in to town to do some even more last minutey shopping. I'd asked the girls if they'd care to decorate the Christmas cake, and they liked the idea. I told them that I wanted a Christmassy theme and, of course, perfection. They discussed the matter for a while then told me what they'd planned. It sounded alright,so I got out my cake decorating kit, and left them to it. The above snap is of the girls hard at it, whilst their great grandmother keeps and eye on them. More in a min.
Monday, 21 December 2009
Mother and daughter.
Today we drove over to Wisbech to collect Gran, who is staying over Christmas. It was a lovely morning. Quite deep snow in places, so I thought I was going to get lots of photoes of Suffolk countryside and villages under snow. My camera thought otherwise. The batteries ran out, and as I keep spares in the car, I thought there'd be no problem. But there was. I think because I'd left spare batteries in the car, not used it for nearly a week, and in very cold weather, the spare batteries refused to cooperate. Once we were home, at about 4 p.m. I put recharged batteries in, and normal service was immediately resumed. Great relief, as I'd convinced meself that it was the camera itself that was playing me up. Could have been worse. When we reached Gran's flat she'd been packing ready for the journey, and said to me "Now I'm a hundred and one, I'm beginning to find it rather difficult to do things that I could do quite easily when I was only a hundred."
I think I was having my leg pulled. But it was a pretty good 'Grannism'; and on that note I bid you all a good night.
Sunday, 20 December 2009
Sun and snow on our chimney pots.
Just been to an 'at home' at a neighbours. The invitation said to 'pop in' between noon and 2.30 p.m. for 'plonk, pate and pies'. The plonk was pink champagne.......... The pate and pies were of similar high standard. Lovely do, and met several neighbours we hadn't previously met (in three years here, and fifteen in the town???). Thoroughly enjoyed it. In half an hour we must be at the final choir rehearsal for this evening's Carol Service. Tea to be served between the rehearsal and the Service. Given the weather we've been rather short on practice, but our choirmistress has, I think, resigned herself to our doing our best. Should be alright, I think. Will report back either way later.
Friday, 18 December 2009
Your blogger outside the south porch of St. Mary's Church. During the past few weeks good coffee, hot croissants, etc., are served in the kitchen area of the church on Friday mornings, and it's fast becoming THE meeting place and coffee spot in town on Fridays. This morning we had a black coffee each (actually Ann eventually had two coffees), I had a croissant, and Ann a slice of stollen cake (a German version of Simnel cake). We met and chatted with a good many of our friends over the next hour. Very sociable it was, too. The new Dean's idea, and it's doing well. No set charge is made for the refreshments, people are simply asked to donate whatever they think is fair. I think most people probably donate rather more than they would give in a coffee shop, so the church does quite well out of it.
This afternoon I've been busy in the workshop making a minute hand for a longcase clock movement. The hour hand is still in situ, so I've matched the minute hand to it. Qite pleased with it. Just needs fitting to the clock now. More bloggery later perhaps.
We had a little more snow during the night. Just over 2 inches had fallen overall. The above snapshot will show that it wasn't too bad. Given yesterday's North East wind there was some drifting. However, the A12 and A14 roads (our two major roads in this area) were closed, so that we didn't get our post or papers. Some car drivers were stuck on the Orwell bridge for six hours, and there were traffic jams on the A12 before it was closed , so that some people had to sleep in their cars there overnight. There were no trains and no 'busses running. All the schools were closed. All this because two inches of snow had fallen!!!!!!! It seems to take our local services and authorities totally by surprise whenever snow falls in winter. Rotten bad organisation somewhere.
We had an appointment to take our car into Bury St. Edmund's this morning for its service. Ann 'phoned the garage to confirm the appointment, and was told that the roads in the Bury St. Edmund's area were very bad, so we rearranged the service appointment for January. We then decided to walk into town for a coffee, and to do some shopping. More photoes in next blog.
Thursday, 17 December 2009
And this is the scene that greeted me when I left church to walk home at 12.15 p.m. It snowed very hard all the way home (I was glad I'd got a cap in my pocket - not that it stayed there, of course). Turned me coat collar up, buttoned it, and didn't hang about. The snow's all gone this afternoon, but everywhere's very wet, and as it's now freezing hard again, with a North East wind blowing, I think we're in for a hard night. Got to go out to choir practice later, and we've promised to pick up our senior choir member. Got to go anyway, as this will be our last practice before the carol service next Sunday, and the Christmas services. More blog later perhaps.
Been a busy week. Yesterday bought two bronze lantaka -over the 'phone- although I'd seen detailed photographs of them. Left a bid on with a friend (who has seen them) and got them more reasonably than I'd hoped. Look forward to collecting them now, though it won't be until some time in the new year.
Spent my weekly two hours minding the Church this morning, and doing various office work there. Walked down to the church, it being a lovely sunny morning, although cold. Above photo shows the nave of our church.
Wednesday, 16 December 2009
The picture above is just to prove to my transatlantic readers (Oh, alright, READER then) that we DO have snow over here. We must have had nearly a quarter of an inch depth of the stuff fall this morning, before it turned to rain and vanished. Hope (but not very realistically, I'm afraid) that that's the lot for this winter.
Sunday, 13 December 2009
This photograph of mother-in-law, alias Great Gran, was taken a few weeks ago at Naomi's wedding. The photographer then gave me a copy, saying "What an elegant Edwardian lady". The following conversation took place a few minutes afterwards, when the photographer was out of hearing:-
Great Gran - "Michael, did you hear that? She called me Edwardian. I'm not that old, surely? Edwardian, indeed!"
Me - "Er... Gran?"
Great Gran - "Yes, Dear?"
Me - "What monarch was on the throne when you were born, Gran ?"
Great Gran - "Edward the seventh....... OH!"
End of conversation. Subject changed.
Saturday, 12 December 2009
The central circlet of this stained glass window, in our North Chapel, was put up in the reign of the monarch it celebrates. Not, as most people assume, Elizabeth the first, but her half brother, Edward 6th, who reigned from 1547 to 1553. I should add that most of our earlier glass was smashed during the Commonwealth, but this window (and one other) was restored later from the remaining fragments, which had been carefully conserved.