Wednesday, 23 September 2015


Been a pleasant day - part social, part business. A few weeks ago at an antique fair just outside Southwold, we ran into a couple of old (dealer) friends with whom we'd rather lost touch. It turned out to be that they'd retired (which is, in my opinion, something an antique dealer should never do) moved to France for seven years  (always unwise), realised their mistake, and returned to England, having lost a good deal of money on the house they'd bought in France.  Today (at their warm invitation) we went to have lunch at them in their cottage in a village near Saxmundham. As we were running rather ahead of time, we stopped off in Saxmundham and pottered .   It was market day (half a dozen or so stalls), then back to the car and on to Bryan and Margaret's home. Margaret is a good cook, and gave us chicken in red wine, various vegetables (including creamed celeriac. She gave Ann the recipe for this - lovely), a simple but delicious pudding, mainly raspberries and cream.  A cheese board. Then coffee, which we lingered over, and generally caught up on all the news. We then had a walk round the garden, which Bryan is redesigning, and has already made a great difference to. We left about three o'clock, and drove on to the home of Anthony and Jenny, and their four sons; going via the small town of Debenham, where I took the above three snapshots through the car windscreen.   Anthony is a very good and reliable furniture restorer. When I need a complex job doing in wood, I turn the item over to Anthony. I had two jobs for him. Before we got there, found a stall at a farm gate, and was able to buy Jenny a bunch of fresh flowers. When Jonathan and I had done discussing the two jobs (I'd drawn both of them out with measurements) we adjourned to the sitting room, where Jenny served tea and a lemoncake. The boys eventually came home from school, greeted and shook hands with us. They are a very polite family, and the boys behaviour made me realise that the modern world is, perhaps, not quite such an unmannerly place as it sometimes seems. We left them for the homeward drive at about four thirty, the boys queuing up to shake hands again. Reassuring, I think.

This last photo I took whilst travelling South down the A140 road at Stonham.  During the great days of coaching a great many of the Inns along the main coaching routes had the Inn sign built to hang high enough over the road, so that stage coaches and farm wagons could drive underneath them. Two hundred years ago there were hundreds of these Inn signs hanging over our main roads.  Now there are, I think, about three left. The most well known one is the Stonham Magpie, pictured above.

                                    Good Night, everyone.

P.s.  I should perhaps add that the boys are fourteen and  twelve years old. The youngest boys, the twins, are nine.


Z said...

learning to shake hands is a real social asset, it gets a young person through a feeling of awkwardness, once he or she reaches the age for it.

Crowbard said...

What a busy and splendidly delightful life you lead.
Love to you both and power to your elbows.

Mike and Ann said...

Hello Z. Yes, I think you're right. I've taught my grandsons and most of my granddaughters the skil; and when grandson Matthew first came with me to one of the major salerooms I realised the benfits of it. I introduced him to the Arms and Armour head of Department, Thomas Del Marr. Matt behaved perfectly, and afterwards Thomas said to me "What a very well mannered youngster your grandson is, Mike. It's reassuring to meet a socially confident youngster these days".

I rests me case!!!!!

Mike and Ann said...

Hello Crowbard. Thank you. I think I probably record on blog about a quarter of our social/business life. Being busy keeps us active (or vice versa - not sure which).

Margaret Brocklehurst said...

Happy birthday big brother. Have a wonderful day, lots of love from Cornwall xxx

Crowbard said...

Many happy returns Bruv, e-card should be in your e-mail in-box if I've sorted out the right p/wds.