Wednesday, 29 October 2014


Above is a photograph of yesterday's  mystery object shown with all three lids to the compartments  opened. It is, of course, a brass snuff box. English, of circa 1800 to 1820. It's purpose is to carry three different grades of snuff. In the largest compartment would be bog standard snuff (wonder where the expression 'bog standard' comes from?)  for offering to undiscerning (or possibly undeserving) acquaintances. The middle compartment is for mediocre/goodish snuff to offer to acquaintances who you suspect might know the difference; whilst in the smallest compartment is really good, expensive, snuff, for close (and hopefully deserving) family members; and, of course, for yourself.

Tuesday, 28 October 2014


Been fully occupied over the weekend, which is why I have been a bit lazy on the Blogging front. My apologies.   However, here is a
                                        MYSTERY OBJECT  
    which arrived by post this morning,  my having purchased it on eBay.  What is it? where was it made, for what purpose (this is an easy one) but it does have a specific purpose, or rather a speciality which you should spot if you look well at the picture.
Good guessing (if you are reduced to guessing and don't know). I think Roger may well have seen one of these before and will know what it is.

Thursday, 23 October 2014


On Tuesday, as I believe I mentioned, we did a 'big shop' in Sudbury, and I took the above photograph of what must have been a very generously  natured machine. It was, as you can see, offering 'Free Cash'.  I managed to suppress my immediate impulse to step over to it, and ask it for a million or so. I mean I'd never been introduced to the machine, and it would have been rather a cheek, don't you think?  Anyway, I include the photo, so that if any of my readers, of a rather less sensitive nature than meself, are in Sudbury, they can go and have a chat with the machine. It is parked right outside the front door of Waitrose, so should be easy to find. I should be interested in the result (if any) of this experiment; so please let me know.

P.s. Good Luck, and don't we live in a wonderful world these days?

Tuesday, 21 October 2014


Been a nice, eventful day. Nipped into town this morning to do various odd jobs. Got back in time for Ann to take a 'phone call. This concerned a very fine, early, London made, long case clock, which I did a quick job on nearly two years ago. The story was that the owner wanted the (recently inherited) long case to be going by Christmas, if this was possible. I've a feeling I did a blog entry on it at the time. Anyway, I attended the clock, and did what was needed to have it running during the Christmas season. This morning the owner 'phoned again to say that the clock had been running well since then (nearly two years ago remember) but it had now stopped. Could I attend and see what might be done about the matter?.  Arranged to get together with the clock this afternoon. In the meantime I'd promised to take Ann out to lunch at a new Italian Restaurant that opened in town about a week ago. Pausing only to grab a tool box and work apron, motored back into town and
checked the notice in the doorway of the shop, which stated that it would open every weekday at twelve noon - only it hadn't!  Got there at twelve fifteen p.m. and found the shop closed. Wasted five minutes or so, hammering on the front door occasionally,  whilst waiting for the shop to open, which it still didn't.  So got back into the car and drove out to our favourite farm shop and had their usual excellent lunch - so there!
Then drove into Sudbury (on our way to clock) where, at Waitrose's shop did a large, extended grocery shop.By the way, should have said that the two photos of early buildings were taken on the road between farm shop and Sudbury.

Back in car and drove to clock owner's home, and renewed acquaintance with the below clock. It was built in London around 1690 (or a little before), by one of the better London makers, and is an old beauty. When we got the movement out the problem turned out to be in the bolt and shutter maintaining power, which in turn was discouraging the escapement (don't worry about it - all is now well with the clock) and matter eventually put right, clock reinstated to its case, and was ticking away happily when we left. I know of few things more satisfying than bringing a dead clock back to life.

Got home just after five o'clock. Must knock off now, as I've got several minor jobs to attend to in the workshop. Cuppa first though, I think.

Saturday, 18 October 2014


Went to Scrabble Club this afternoon. There were only six of us there, so we had two tables of  three each. The first two games were uneventful, and were won,the  first by Kevin (to the right of the lower picture), then the second by Joyce (one of our senior members) to the left of the lower photo.  The third game, photographed above, started at about twenty to four(when we usually break up) so we  agreed to have a quick game to take us through to four o'clock. I kicked of with the word lax,  in the centre of the photo. Joyce put down 'wet', and Kevin followed with 'toy'. I started the next round with 'kat' and 'kex'. Soon after that we realised what was happening and decided to see if we could finish the game by four o'clock, and reach the upper right and lower left of the board. Soon after that a sort of sublime idiocy seemed to overtake the three of us, and we played fast and well. We didn't cheat, and we counted the points (although that became of very secondary importance in the game). We finished- I should say Kev finished- the game at four o'clock, in the lower left hand corner, by which time the other table had finished and were gathered round our table to watch this rather weird and wacky game end. I won (on points) largely because of my 'rez' and 'fez' in the lower left.

We all three thoroughly enjoy scrabbling, have much the same scrabble skills, and are all three mediocre to goodish players; but this game was special and will be long remembered.

Thursday, 16 October 2014


Here are two photographs of yesterday's Mystery Item, now complete. The top one illustrates best what I meant when I said that you should be able to work out one more fact from today's illustration of the clock complete.  I think it is very obvious from the top picture.  The lower picture makes it equally obvious where the clock was made, and shows that it is weight driven, and the THREE weights indicate that it is hour and quarter striking. Not sure that I'm making this clear, but have another crack at it.

Wednesday, 15 October 2014


                                         MYSTERY OBJECT.

Been working on the above object most of today. It is hanging on a modern bracket, and is not the complete object. It is what we antiquarian horologists refer to in our pedantic way as 'the innards'. If I complete the job tomorrow, I'll put up a picture of the complete object. In the meantime you should be able to work out what it is, roughly when and where it was made, and some of its specialities.

Being called up to supper.  Goodnight.

Monday, 13 October 2014


This entry is going to be a record (necessarily shortened a bit) of this last weekend. On Saturday morning we set out to drive to London to attend the baptism of Great Granddaughter Elsa. The above photo was taken of a dramatic sky somewhere over the M25. We drove up to Twyford to have a look round an Antique Shop where we've always bought well over the past several years. Beside the shop door were two notices each telling us that the shop was now 'permanently' closed and thanking everyone for their custom over the last twenty five years - oh well, it was bound to happen, sooner or later. There are very few real antique shops about now. Drove back into London, and to our hotel, which we'd found on EBay, a small, basic, but very clean, welcoming, and  affordable establishment (oh yes, there are such places to be found - even in London).

The following morning, after a 'full English breakfast' served up by the proprietors, a charming Indian couple, we made our way to the Church of Saint Anselm Belmont, at Stanmore, Middlesex, where we took the above onesie of ourselves; only I think I've got that the wrong way round and in fact it's a selfie of.......... oh well I've no doubt you can work it out.  The Church (in this case I do mean the building) as you can see in the above photo, is a solidly confident late Victorian/ Edwardian confection/erection.  The real Church (i.e. the people - the resident congregation) was lovely. Ann described them as - an evangelical, but nicely short of being a happy-clappy- Church.  The music was an excellent choir, many of whom played instruments at the same time as singing. There were two guitarists and a percussion section, mainly with a West Indian flavour. As I was a member of a skiffle group a very long time ago (late nineteeen fifties) I could appreciate their music.

Above photo shows Ann with our grandson Matthew.

Above photo is of Ann and our Great Granddaughter Elsa (who behaved perfectly during the baptism - and indeed all day).

Last picture  shows our oldest and youngest daughters (gallantry prevents me, of course, from telling you which is which).

Well that's really all about the baptism, but I do want to tell you of one small incident that occurred later in a private room at a nearby hostelry where Granddaughter Georgie, Elsa's mother , had arranged a very nice buffet meal/reception. This last few years I've rather admired the sort of quiet self confidence that a good many of today's youngsters seem to have. Ann and I had just sat down at table when a young lad galloped up, held out his hand and said "Mum says I can come and say hello to you because you know me".  I returned his handshake and said
 "You'll have to tell me your name though".
"I'm Oscar", he said in a slightly surprised tone of voice, and as if his words had explained every thing.
"Of course I know you". I replied (I mean, how many Oscars does one meet during a lifetime?) "I've known you since you were a baby, but the last time we met you were only a toddler, so I'd forgotten".  He obviously forgave my lapse of memory, and said "I'm ten now", after which we got on well. His mother (a good friend of  our youngest daughter) came up soon afterwards and hoped Oscar wasn't being a nuisance (which he  wasn't in the least). I told him I was glad he'd introduced himself, but that I supposed we both had a duty  to circulate now;   although I then stopped to chat with his mother and picked up all the family news (and to compliment her on her son's good manners).
"Oh, he worked out that you were probably Lizzie's father. So I told him to come and introduce himself. I knew you wouldn't mind."
              I repeat, it's lovely to meet youngsters with that sort of quiet self confidence and innate good manners.

Wednesday, 8 October 2014


 Been a Wednesday today, and we never seem to be able to strike a balance on a Wednesday. So much so that the body seems to take over a bit- happened this morning - woke at 6.15 a.m., and I do mean really woke, not just drifting close to the surface of awareness, but became completely conscious, and aware that there was something I ought to do. When I concentrated I found that the 'something' was to get up, dressed and ready for this morning's early service, to which we both eventually went (at 7.30 a.m).  All the photos, by the way, were taken pip emma (that is, this afternoon). We were back in town by eleven, as we'd arranged to meet friends John and Margaret at the Orangery for coffee, which we had to linger over, as, mid way through coffee there was a very heavy downpour. Had a word with the waitress who said that they weren't busy this morning, so to linger as long as we wanted over coffee, which we did. We tend to meet up at the Long Melford Antique Fair, which never leaves us much time to socialise. John is that rare and unnatural creature, a RETIRED antique dealer. It has been well said that antique dealers never retire, but just become steadily more in keeping with their wares. However, John has officially retired, although he does occasionally buy bits to improve his collection.  When the rain had stopped, home to lunch, then back to the surgery where Ann had a hearing test, and I had a check up. Then to postal sorting office, who had a parcel for me (business - EBay). Then decided that a quick visit to our favourite farm shop was in order (see below photo),  followed by a cuppa in the canteen thereof.  On the way there took the first photo showing, after the rain, and, using the Norfolk tongue, "a whully slubby Suffolk lane".

Detoured, on the way home,  and in order to take a few more pictures, via Kersey. I know I've taken you there before, but it's impossible to take tooooo many pictures of the place.
Above is an early (circa 1490) just  pre Tudor, brick building.
Above is another picture of the same building, with the ford across the village street in the background.
The above house is a favourite of Ann's. For some years past it has been in the possession of its one inhabitant, a very elderly man, who eventually died about four or five years ago. By that time the place was in a fairly derelict state, and was sold immediately to people who have been doing it up ever since. I think it will take a long time, but they will eventually have a very lovely home in a delightful village. I'll take the occasional photo of it, so, in the meantime, watch this space!

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Sunday 2.

                                                  You'll spot that 'twas just as I feared,
                                                   That photo had quite disappeared;
                                                    So I went back, and found it
                                                    Then caught it and bound it -
                                                     until on my screen it appeared.
                                                     It's behaviour I'd found really weird!  Although fairly typical of that miserable monarch, the late (and not much lamented) King George IV.


 Been a busy week. In fact it's been so busy that I've forgotten most of it!  Except that we went to the Long Melford Antique Fair on Wednesday. I think we'll forget the rest of the week and start at today. Went to Aldham Church this morning - read the New Testament Lesson. I usually get the Old Testament lesson, which I can, and do,  usually let rip on. Got home just after midday, and found that Saturday's rain storm had

snapped off some of our late roses. Brought the above ones in for Ann. Roses still looking quite well, and a good many of them are bearing buds still.
This afternoon we went to friend Terry's cottage (pictured above) for tea. Good to see her.
After tea Terry told me that my last visit - to try and sort out the problems besetting her french mantle clock- had been successful, and the clock had been running well since then. She then wished me many happy returns of the 25th September, and presented me with the below cast iron chimney ornament of King George the Fourth (pictured below I hope, although I fear the photographic recovery department of this machine is playing hard to get again). We'll see when I throw the 'publish' lever of this device. Here goes :-