Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Wednesday (New year's Eve).

The above photograph was taken at the family get-together held at Sarah/Mikey's  home on Boxing Day. It shows :- at the ends of the sofa, Amelia and Georgia (the two new mothers), the two new Grandmothers, Sarah and Lizzie, holding their respective granddaughters, Astrid and Elsa; and in the centre Mater Familias Ann, or Great Grannie.


We take this opportunity to wish all our readers/ friends, a very Happy New Year.
Warm Regards to All, Mike and Ann.

Thursday, 25 December 2014

Christmas Day.

Been a nice, quiet Christmas day- blue sky ALL day. Motored over to Aldham Church for Family Service/Communion at 10 a.m. - Church full!  At 12 Noon picked up friend Sylvia, who had lunch with us. Lingered over lunch, then listened to the Queen's speech at three p.m. Then all three of us stood to attention (and Sylvia, God  bless her, is in her nineties)  whilst the National Anthem was played. Ran Sylvia home about four p.m.  Spent most of the rest of the day preparing for a Family get-together tomorrow. Looking forward to it. Goodnight.

P.s. Incredible flowers, roses.  These have been in flower since late April and are still flowering on Christmas Day.

Tuesday, 23 December 2014


Just finished decorating the Christmas cake. As per usual, Ann made and iced the cake, then I decorated it. Kept it fairly simple this year, but Ann says it's effective. Any of our readers who wants to pop over for a slice of above cake and a coffee (and/or a sloe gin) will be very welcome.

                                         Happy Christmas, Everyone.

Monday, 22 December 2014


Yesterday (Sunday) Ann surprised me by producing for lunch the above Swedish dish from a recipe that Ruth gave us a while ago. It's called Jannson's Delight. It is very light, tasty, and filling. The ingreediments are :- potatoes, onions, anchovies, and cream. It was served with fennel and carrots. Spent the rest of the day in the workshop repairing a small (probably child size) brass tinder box and contents (flint, steel, and damper).

Had to nip over to Sudbury this morning to pick up a jacket and a pair of trousers. Bought them a few days ago, but they both needed slight alteration. Tailor Matthew made his usual good job of them.  On the way back called in at the cobbler's to pick up a pair of shoes he'd repaired. This afternoon friends Hilary, John and Milly, came to tea. Ann gave them Egg and cress sandwiches,  cheese scones, orange cake, and chocolate and orange cake. Wish I'd taken photos - SORRY.   Discussed Highdale's recent history, news, and general health and well being over tea.


                                       Good night all.

Sunday, 21 December 2014


The above photograph, on which you are no doubt pondering, and wondering what's going on here? was taken yesterday morning and shows  various Highdale characters about to sing Christmas carols in the  Co-op for charitable purposes. We were well supported by a section of the Salvation Army brass band as usual.  We do this every year on the Saturday morning before Christmas, and usually the said charitable purposes do quite well out of it. I must admit though, that those of us who perform also do quite well out of it, as the employees and management of the Co-op press hot mince pies upon us, and very welcome they are, too.
One other minor incident I'd like to report, that happened yesterday evening. Our youngest daughter telephoned us to ask if we had anything planned for New Year's Eve. She knows perfectly well that we tend to have an early night on New Years Eve to try and get a bit of sleep in before  the Church Bells and Fireworks wake us up at midnight welcoming the New Year in. We reminded her of this, and she said that was all to the good as we would be free to babysit our Great Granddaughter Elsa, so everyone else could go out and welcome in the New Year.  We agreed to this and both felt more than a little chuffed to be asked. If any other Great Grandparents are reading this, it just goes to show that if you hang around long enough, you may well still come in useful for baby-sitting purposes.

I take this opportunity to wish all my readers a Merry Christmas and a Happy New year.

Saturday, 20 December 2014


This is the answer to yesterday's Mystery Object:- It is a skewer holder, which is, as you can see, what we still use it for. According to E.H.Pinto's book 'Treen and other wooden Byegones' it would have been made to hold beechwood skewers. It is Welsh and two other similar ones are illustrated in Pinto's book. All were made in the eighteenth century. There are, as Crowbard points out, a good many Welsh treen spoon holders, but these are much bigger than the rarer skewer holder. This one is, as I said, just over 6 inches tall. Any further questions or comments would be welcome, and I shall try and answer them.

Thursday, 18 December 2014


Couldn't think of a mystery object, then realised there was a rather good  one about a yard away from me in the kitchen.  So all three photographs are of today's  MYSTERY OBJECT. It is hewn from a solid block of walnut. Quite crudely made, probably with only a knife (and, I should think,  a hand drill to drill the holes in the flat section towards the top. The item is just over six inches tall.

The back view, which does show what a lovely piece of well figured wood was used. Can you tell me please, what service(in your opinion), the item was meant to serve,  when, and where (be specific) it was made. I think some of you will be able to name the generic term for wooden objects of this type, as they are very collectable.  Ann and I bought this object about thirty five years ago at an antique fair just outside Peterborough. It cost us three pounds, and as we both liked it, we decided we could afford to keep it, and have done.

One large (and I hope) helpful hint :- Pinto (where two similar ones are illustrated).

Good night all.

Monday, 15 December 2014


Been a busyish day. Last week sister-in-law Jude told Ann how very good she always found shopping at the Aldi store in Oadby(?), so Ann decided to shop at the Aldi in Sudbury today. Told her I'd like to complete a job I was doing in the workshop this morning,  so we decided on Sudbury in the afternoon. Made something of a 'pig's ear' of the workshop job at first (wonder by the way where that expression comes from - sounds like rhyming slang, or possibly it's simply a pig's ear as opposed to the silk purse from the other saying about them). Anyway at the second attempt the job went well, so had a quick lunch then motored over to Sudbury. The top photo shows a fairly dramatic sky as we approached Sudders. Went to Aldi's. Ann was a little dissapointed she said, although she bought quite a bit of Christmas stuff, and I bought some wine which, if it comes up to the label, we will enjoy (well, I will anyway).

Parked on the Market Place, where I took the above photo of a dramatic Sudbury sunset, and went into my tailors where I bought a tie, well that's what I went in for, found and bought; but then Matthew (my tailor) and Ann, ganged up on me, and, rather to my surprise found meself purchasing a new check sports jacket for, Ann says, next winter.  It will be no ill store, I suppose, but I do feel I should have been more strong minded, and left a new jacket until next winter when I quite see that I might well need one. Both Ann and Matthew assured me that it will be even more money then, so I've saved a good deal by buying it now. Not sure about the logic of that, but the motto seems to be 'avoid tailors' shops until you need something'.

Good night all.
P.s It's a nice jacket though.

Sunday, 14 December 2014


First of all, my apologies for my delay in writing up my blog. We seem to have been very busy during the last week. On Wednesday last we motored across to the midlands to stay for a couple of days with Crowbard and sister -in-law Judy, which was, as always, very relaxing. On Thursday evening we called on niece Jessica, by request,  as Jess's daughter is now nearly four and has lots of stuff which they asked us to take over to our granddaughter Amelia's new baby, Astrid.  I do like the way all the cousins swap goodies as their children grow. Very civilised.  We returned home on Friday, stopping off at Wisbech to pick up the books from our accountant. We paused to take the above picture of Ann's Childhood home, Welney House, which is about a mile north of Welney. It also became the childhood home of our children, in that when Ann's parents decided to move into a bungalow in Wisbech, we bought the above home (plus a couple of acres of lawn and garden) from them. This would have been in 1977, I think, so our children spent most of their teenage years there.  Very happy years they were, too.
Being called upstairs to supper.
Will try and write up  the blog a bit more frequently, in future.
Goodnight All.

Sunday, 7 December 2014


 This last week was an extremely busy one, with the Long Melford antiques fair on Wednesday. So busy that I can't remember much of it. However the two photographs here are of one of the items I purchased at Bonhams, on the Wednesday of the week before, and I think it will make rather a good

                                     MYSTERY OBJECT.

It's not quite as easy as it looks, and I shall be pleasantly surprised if anyone can give me the proper name for the item (there are at least three), the country of origin, and the date it was made, within about twenty years. The top picture shows it with all the parts folded away. The lower one shows it with various bits unhooked, so they can be seen. One part of the item is missing.

                                         Good guessing, and Good Night.

Tuesday, 2 December 2014


 On Sunday afternoon, just after 3p.m., our senior daughter, Sarah, telephoned to tell us that our second great-granddaughter, Astrid,  had been born half an hour or so  earlier. Yesterday, Monday, we got in the car and motored over to Milton Keynes, to make Astrid's acquaintance. The above photo shows, from the right, and going anti clockwise, Great Granddaughter, Astrid, being held by her grandmother, our senior daughter, Sarah; her Great Grandmother Ann, looking over Sarah's Shoulder; and her mother, Amelia, our Granddaughter.

This again shows Astrid; this time being examined by her Great Grandfather, your blogger Mike, to make quite sure that she, the new arrival, is quite up to the required standard (which she most certainly is).  I think that when we're looking back on this year, 2014, it will be remembered as ' the year of the Great Granddaughters'.


                                              Must close, being called up to lunch by Ann.