Monday, 16 July 2018


Just come across  this photo taken ten days or  so ago. It shows part of  the family on the Cam,  with senior daughter Sarah demonstrating to the  gondolier just how she'd like  things  done!

No, not  really. He was teaching  Sarah how  to  quant. She did  quite well.

Sunday, 15 July 2018


Youngest daughter Lizzie stayed with us over the  weekend. Took the above photie of Ruth, Lizzie and Ann at teatime yesterday.  Asked them to  look langurous (even I wasn't sure about that word, so changed it to 'glamorous')......... and the above photie was the result of their efforts!!!!!!!!

Liz told me last night that she intended to hit the road this morning at 6.30 a.m. so got up at about five past six to see her off  and found her gone. Didn't want to go back to bed as I knew it would wake Ann (who rarely seems to sleep well), so have spent the  last hour and a half pottering about the computer.   This blog entry is the end  result of  said  potterings.
Must go and get dressed - I shoved on a workshop shirt, trousers and an old dressing gown to come down in --- it's  enough to  frighten the horses.

Have a good day.

Friday, 13 July 2018


Been a busy day. Early  service this morning. This afternoon Ruth ran me into the hardware shop in town to purchase a refill for the gas bottle I  use in the forge. Ruth spotted a french blue and white skirt she liked in another shop, so I bought it for  her. She has been so good - looking after her parents over the last two or three weeks - that it was a real pleasure to find something for her that I could see she really liked. As you can see from the picture above the skirt fitted her perfectly and really suits her. When senior daughter Sarah was sixteen she asked if  she  could  go  on a dress allowance rather than her pocket money. It's  a long story and I won't bore you with it; but eventually  I  used to teach all five of our children  that if  you are shopping and see a garment that you like, and it suits you, and you can afford it- buy it then and there. If you leave it  till you really need a garment, you will never find one that is perfect.  It's  the old  rule of  "Bag it when it's by."
Oh Dear!  The times I've been reminded of that fatherly counsel!!!!
We've got  our youngest daughter coming to  stay tomorrow -to help Ruth look after us I suppose.
Ann was very much in demand as a babysitter when our  childrens' families were young (actually we both were); but now two of them have grandchildren of their own to baby sit, so we both feel grateful and privileged that they can take time off from work and their grandchildren to look after the great grandparents when necessary.

Must go and  water the garden  before bed.
Goodnight All.

Thursday, 12 July 2018


 Spent today pottering about the workshop, then this evening the  girls, Ann and our daughter Ruth, decided to  go for  a walk along our river bank, over what claims to be the oldest bridge in England still in use for its original purpose, then back through the town to home.

 Took the  photos along the  river bank. Took  a few photos of ancient buildings on the way home,
but I think  I've shown you  most of  them.  Can't stay awake much longer, so - Goodnight All.

Wednesday, 11 July 2018

Wednesday 2.

Yesterday was the hundredth anniversary of  the  founding of the R.A.F.  so we drove out to a disused airfield a mile or  so from home to see the fly-past of aircraft towards London.  It gave us (and around forty or fifty other people  who'd  had the same idea) a good view of the  fly past.. We talked to  an elderly lady (even by our standards - she told us  she was 92) who wanted to know if any of us knew about her favourite aircraft she'd ever flown in -the Walrus?  Well of course I knew of the crate - it was a 'pusher' amphibious aircraft of (I think) the thirties.   She also told  us (she'd arrived by car - she'd driven herself) that her family didn't really approve  of her still driving, but she'd  consulted her doctor, who'd examined her, and then given his opinion that  she  was as safe a driver as she ever had been. I carefully did NOT give my  opinion that this remark could be  taken  two ways.  I think her family had shown great restraint by not  pointing  this  one  out - they must have spotted it, I'd think.

In the top picture I'm sitting on an old  shooting  stick I keep in the car, supported by walking sticks - nice and easy to get up from. In the second picture Ruth is holding   the  shooting stick. A pleasant morning's outing.


View of garden from one pane of  kitchen window.

Monday, 9 July 2018

The cross bow illustrated is the  next major job to  be  done. I purchased it last week in one of  the major London salerooms. It was made by J. Blancher of Attleborough.

Saturday, 7 July 2018


The crossbow  illustrated is my  next major restoration  job to  be done. I  purchased it last week  in one of  the major London auction rooms. It was made  by J. Blancher of  Attleborough (in Norfolk) probably in the mid / late 1600 -s ,and is  (in its way) rather  a  handsome weapon.

Since  then  I  have been studying Sir Ralph Payne - Gallwey's book  'The
Crossbow'. It was first published in 1903,  and  has (to my mind) never been bettered as  a text book on crossbows. There are four small  iron parts to be made, which will fix the bow firmly into the  stock , and two more slightly larger iron pieces that keep everything firmly in position. All are illustrated in Payne -Gallwey's book, and will have to be made to the correct sizes of the  vacant holes in the stock. In a repair job of  this  sort the holes that remain in the  stock, dictate accurately the  sizes of the missing parts. It should take a while (and keep me busy).  Must try and remember to take 'after' pictures to show when all's done -watch this  space.

Just been called  up for  lunch by Ruth.

Friday, 6 July 2018


Above photo  was taken in Cambridge last Sunday beside the river. It is of grandson Tom and meself about  to embark on our exploration of the Cam. The two punts held nineteen of us (family) . We were well provisioned with a  white fizzy Italian  wine (Prosecco, I think) and fresh fruit, by daughter Liz. It was a grand afternoon, made unique in that, unlike  other years, nobody  fell in!!!

Thursday, 5 July 2018


Very quick blog, thanks to a passing  neighbour, who took a quick snapshot of  the three of us. Ruth reminds me that we have an early start in the morning - hospital visit for an eye check up -me this time, and that reminds me that after Ann's  cataract op yesterday, she  has  been reasonably comfortable today (largely thanks to doses of Para Cetamol).

Good night all.

Wednesday, 4 July 2018


Been a  hectic day.  Ruth drove Ann into Ipswich this  morning to have a cataract removed from her left  eye.  The above photo was taken when they  arrived home this afternoon. All  had gone  well at the  hospital I'm glad to report.

Daughter  Liz, her three children, Matthew, Georgia, and Beth; and her granddaughter, Elsa, whose fourth birthday was today, came to lunch, bringing it with them. 

Just before  they  went home this  evening, the above photo  was taken of  great granddaughter, Elsa(the birthday girl) with her great grandfather Mike, meself, your blogger.


                                          Good night Readers, God Bless you  all.

Tuesday, 3 July 2018

Tuesday 2 or as Ruth suggests -Twosday.

The roses are now blooming  so  heavily that Ann found a few breaking off, and  brought them into the  kitchen as cut  flowers. Ruth took  Ann into  the local hospital this  morning for an eye check-up today, and they learned that Ann is  to go back in tomorrow to have a cataract removed from her left eye, at 3p.m. Ruth will drive  her in.  I will stay at home, as Liz is bringing her older daughter and our great
 granddaughter, Elsa, who is celebrating her fourth birthday tomorrow, and going to school (a Church school) in September. Liz is bringing lunch with her for all of us.  Must just try and  clear a few scrabble games, then bed.

So - Goodnight All.

Monday, 2 July 2018


Above photo  shows our two great granddaughters ( they are second cousins and very good friends) enjoying a family high tea beside the river Cam at a hotel in Cambridge, yesterday,

Around mid day today, we motored out to the building shown above and below. It is  the Bell  Hotel in Kersey, where we had lunch  in the garden. We have been using this hostelry  for over fifty years. Ruth who is staying with us has always  loved it.

The two antique items we purchased  (by 'phone) arrived by carrier this morning.  One of them will need a good deal of work doing, which I'm already  planning. It's good  to have something in prospect.

Sunday, 1 July 2018


Today we met up with as many of our family as could make it (nineteen of us) to Cambridge, where we'd hired  a couple  of  punts, complete with an undergraduate each  as an outboard motor, and went quanting on the Cam. The young gentleman, on our punt, let two of me daughters (senior daughter, Sarah,  and  youngest daughter, Liz)  have a go at quanting. Neither of them disgraced themselves. After that we had tea outside the hotel, on the riverbank, before returning home. It was a lovely afternoon out, which we all  enjoyed thoroughly. It has a long family history, which started by taking everyone to  a pantomime, but has changed a good many times over the years;  but  we think we may  change our arrangements next year. We'll  see what  everyone thinks. I know  they all  like to  get together with all  the cousins and exchange family news and gossip.

Friday, 29 June 2018


Our daughter Ruth has been staying for  a few days. It has been lovely having her here. Her daughters flew home earlier in the week. Ruth can always  see a job and get  on with it, and  Ann loves going shopping with her. Usually I'll go with Ann and push the trolley  for  her, but other than that I know my limitations, and serious shopping is one of them; although one of  my acknowledged  jobs is buying  wine, when we are having friends for a meal.  We have just had one of  my favourite suppers,  which consisted of cold leftovers and tea.

Ruth has also been giving me an intensive course in blog writing and keeping  the computer under control. It does seem to be behaving better than it has done at any time  this past two years.

Going upstairs now to be sociable. So- Good night  All.

Thursday, 28 June 2018

Thursday 2.

This is a photograph I took last week of the  Guildhall at Lavenham. It is a magnificent building, which was built, I  believe, about  1520. Our guildhall is about two hundred years earlier, double jettied, but  not so  well known as the Lavenham one.


Been a  busy week; as recorded earlier, nephew William very kindly ran me  into London on Tuesday to view an auction sale. Then on Wednesday I made postal bids on seven items in the sale, and secured two of them. Today we've been on the 'phone arranging payment, then more 'phoning to arrange collection and delivery by carrier. A certain amount of work to be done on one lot, but a good clean is all that will be necessary on the  other. Seems to be a good method of bidding and buying . Not too  tiring, either.   Thoroughly enjoyed it, and well  within my capabilities.    Supper time, I think, so will wish  all  my readers a good night.  Then upstairs, supper and an early night.



Ipomia (Morning Glory). This is a favourite plant of ours. I grow it most years, but it is  fairly picky about growing up the bamboo lattice work that I've fixed up  for it's convenience. The  year before last it grew very well, and was an absolute picture.  Last year it did blossom, but  never had more than five blossoms  open at any one time.   Yesterday (27th June) it had the one bloom showing , as above.  The flower was four and a half inches in diameter, but the real surprise was the date it opened, 27th JUNE. I can't remember seeing one of these in flower in June before. It will (in theory) now bloom until  the first frosts!  I should, though, point out  that the folk name, of Morning Glory, is  quite accurate, in that the flowers will have died by late afternoon/ early evening.  I shall, of  course, now  follow its future progress with great interest, and probably put up  further photos of it  as the year progresses. In fact I may well bore my readers rigid with photos of the Morning  Glory, before the first frosts.

Tuesday, 26 June 2018


Photoes of front hall.
Today I was taken to  London by nephew William, to  view forthcoming auction . One or two possibles, so made arrangements to bid by 'phone.  William, God  bless  him, then drove me home to Suffolk, had tea with us, then drove  back to London as he has  a business appointment in the morning.   He is such a good natured chap!    It's been a lovely day, but tiring.  So off for an early night.

Goodnight All.

Monday, 25 June 2018



Here are the last two Lavenham photos.  In the lower one the oak beams on  the  small cottage  (left of centre) looks like a piece of  'modern art'   from the nineteen 20s |(Ruth says it looks like  a 'Mondrian' . (I bow to superior knowledge).

Sunday, 24 June 2018

Saturday, 23 June 2018


Feel as if I've just had a long fight with the computer. I've made it look for the lost photos of Lavenham (taken last Tuesday, I think); finally found them, and here are the first three of them. The rest I've reserved for future use. Going to try and publish these now. Success!

Friday, 22 June 2018


Machine is again playing up, and being very reluctant to accept photies. On Tuesday we motored over to Fordham (the one near Newmarket) to meet up with daughter Kerry at the local garden centre (and also to give her lunch at the garden centre restaurant). On the way there we motored through Lavenham town centre, because our usual short cut around the town was closed for road repairs. Took advantage of going through the middle of this lovely little town to take photoes of half a dozen or so of the earlier buildings, for eventual use in the blog.This evening, having transferred the photoes from the camera to the computer, the computer swallowed the photies, gave a quietly satisfied burp; and that was the last I've seen of the Lavenham photies, although I've searched the computer for them. Ann says her Ipad is also playing up badly, so I must supose it's not just my computer (or me) getting it wrong. Ah well! Must just keep trying, I suppose, but will be issuing blog entries unillustrated until I can find a way round problem.


Thursday, 21 June 2018

Tuesday, 19 June 2018

Monday, 18 June 2018

Monday (2)

Very natural  looking, minute garden pond -  actually  a sunken horse bucket. Contains  (and has done for well over a year now) a goldfish; and an occasional frog ,which keeps things interesting in that area of garden.


We (I think it  was Ann, though) bought the  pedlar doll  pictured above about thirty years, or so ago, with very little stock left. It was a real  family effort to put her back in business, though. All five of our children made items of stock for the pedlar lady to carry.  Ann  repaired her  dress, and I restored her  tray. About  a year ago,  we were doing a little clearing out,  found  her  in a box, and I  finally made her hanging case out of  an old picture frame.  She now hangs in our hall, just inside the front door, and is admired by all, well  all of  good taste, anyway.

It's  always worth doing a bit of  clearing out - you never know what you'll find.

Sunday, 17 June 2018


Above shows one corner of our withdrawing room, plus its newish occupant. We have not  had a television set for the last twenty five years or so. By the way - the very worst conversation stopper is when someone says  "Did you see such and such on T.V?" and you have to explain  that you  haven't  had  a T.V. for the last umpty five years.  Any way when I was rather poorly just before Christmas, Ann 'phoned the local electrical machine vendor and ordered one.  It's a sort of  psuedo- company  of an evening, and some programmes are very watchable. Having  found the right  place for it, and common honesty  compells me to confess that Sue (Ann's lady who helps about the house) found the right place.  I put it in front of the fire place, and Sue said (the next time she came in)  "Mike, you  can't put that television set right  in front of that lovely great fireplace,   and I asked her where it should go? 
"Leave it with me  and come back in ten minutes" says Sue - so I  did.  She'd moved an old oak chest from in front of one of the windows, where it didn't show, into a corner, with the telly  on top  of  it.
The chest looks better there than it has done since we moved here (about ten or twelve years ago), and the telly  looks well  on  top  of the chest, in its corner.

Got  to go out to morning service in a min.  Reading second lesson. More when  I  get back.

Half past twelve. Back now. Found  above glass water (or wine) jug in local antique/junk/second hand shop. The  jug is rather an old  beauty . Pre Victorian, probably Regency (got  a 'ground out' pontil), and holds a good couple of pints, or so. Hand made, and doesn't drip.  Never know what's going to be in the shop, but always well worth a look and a potter round..

Friday, 15 June 2018


Snapshots of bits of the  garden (which is  blooming).


Thursday, 14 June 2018


Earlier in  the  week we attended a choir concert  held in a local  church. The  lower picture is of the
 programme .  Good,  solid, singable  stuff.  My  only objection  is that when the  National Anthem is sung -the  first item on the  above programme, I'm glad to say, and the  audience joins in (as we all did) the third verse of the Anthem  is  NEVER sung. It goes, if memory serves :-

Oh Lord, our  God arise,
scatter her enemies,
and make them fall.
Confound their politics,
fustrate their knavish tricks.
On Thee our hopes we fix.
God save us all.

Fine stirring stuff, you'd think; but we're never allowed to sing it- politically incorrect, I  suppose. What a lot of  lily livered poltroons we have become. The  Victorians had far more honest ideas than  we do! And the Georgians would probably have itemised 'her enemies'  as 'the  French  and other low forms of pond life!'
Bah Humbug!!!!

P.s. I  am quite  prepared to find  that the  last paragraph  has been 'removed by a blog administrator.'


Our delphiniums (delphinia ?) are putting on a  very  fine  display  this  year , having spread themselves naturally from one stem a few years ago. The ones  pictured above are a goodish five foot tall.  I do  particularly like  the  white centred ones (which we put in last year, I think.

Tuesday, 12 June 2018

Tuesday again.

This  morning daughter Sarah  and granddaughter Lucy motored over  from Milton  Keynes and spent the  day with us. As always  it was lovely to  see them, and a  very pleasant  time was had by all.  Both of  them spent a good  deal of time educating your  blogger in the  ways of  the  computer. Many thanks  to both of  you.

Goodnight  all.


Above are two photos of  the same weapon, which has recently been through my hands (for repair). Quite  small, it has a sixteen inch  brass barrel, a flintlock, and  a walnut stock.  It is, of course, very much  a military  piece (note the 'brown Bess' layout and proportions), and was probably for  naval use. It was made about the year 1780 to 1790.

I must say that I learned a great deal from the gun  during its repair.