Thursday, 20 February 2014


Set out at nine a.m. this morning to motor to Wisbech (planned - and managed - to kill four birds with one stone). In Wisbech called on Elizabeth, our long term accountant (and personal friend). Picked up books, signed papers, etc., then swapped usual family news and generally picked up the threads. Then on to the Blacksmith's Arms, on outskirts of Wisbech, and met up with old school friend Roy, and his wife Janet. Had lunch with them, nattered until just after two p.m., then back in car and drove over to King's Lynn, entering by town's South gate, pictured above. This ancient gate was originally built in the 1300s, although the ashlar stone cladding was only added in 1530.  Into town centre where we picked up two English military swords I had seen, and left a bid on, about two weeks ago.  Then met up and had coffee with Ann's younger brother Tim and his wife Sue.
 Took above photo (over a garden wall) of this rosebud - a real survivor - left over from last summer, and still looking very pretty.
 Timbered building dating from the 1400s, near to the sword picking up point -sorry Rog, bad pun  not  nearly up to your standard, I'm afraid.
Left town again by the old South Gate, shown above, but from other side, and as it would originally have  looked before stone cladding was added in 1530.  The white building to the right of it is a nice example of rather grim Norfolk humour (as a Norfolk man I am allowed to be rude about my county). The name of the inn was 'the honest lawyer'  and until a few years ago the Inn bore a very fine painted sign on the wall nearest to the camera. The sign showed a very properly gowned and wigged lawyer carrying his head under his arm. The inference being, of course, that the only honest lawyer is a dead one.  I really don't know why - even when the Inn had closed - the old sign should have been removed. It could have remained with the building  renamed 'Honest Lawyer House'; although I don't suppose any lawyer would have bought it, or assisted in selling it   with that name on the house. What a humourless, straitlaced lot we are nowadays.


Crowbard said...

A fine case of "If you can't beat 'em, laugh at 'em!"
There hadn't used to be a law agin it, but they've probably slid one in from the EU saying "You casn't laugh at the idea of honest lawyers just cos there ent none!" all wrote down clever in Latin or Froggie wiv no puntuation!

Mike and Ann said...

Dear Crowbard. You are right, there is very little punctuation about these days. I blame the French, as our father used to say. I asked him why once, and he very kindly explained that that's what they're there for.

Crowbard said...

My point was Mike that despite it obviously being the fault of the French,(In Casement's case, the Norman French) I'm afraid English law has traditionally been drafted without punctuation so that each bill is one sentence. Only true now of older statutes. Consider the story of Sir Roger Casement, hanged because of a comma, "During the First World War, Sir Roger Casement was charged with treason. Casement's defence argued that the Treason Act of 1351 was unpunctuated and that his guilt was therefore not clear-cut.

The words of that Act, which was originally written in Norman French, said that, "If a man be adherent to the king's enemies in his realm giving to them aid and comfort in the realm or elsewhere ...", he was guilty of treason.

His defence suggested that, since Casement had carefully done all his plotting "elsewhere" (and notwith enemies "in the realm"), he was technically innocent.

The judges went down to the Public Record Office to look at the original statute. They found under a microscope a faint virgule (early version of the comma). It was this comma, inserted by a 14th century scribe (whose only qualification for the job was perhaps neat handwriting) that Casement was sensationally hanged on, 565 years later.

Perhaps, the moral of the story is: do not neglect punctuation." But I consider it best not to let matters get to court, safer to shoot the swine who is stitching you up!