Saturday, 15 September 2018
Tuesday, 11 September 2018
Wednesday, 5 September 2018
Saturday, 1 September 2018
Thursday, 30 August 2018
Yesterday we drove motored over to Bury Saint Edmund's to meet up with our (very) long term friends Alan and Barbara. Barbara and Ann were next door neighbours from birth (yes, really) in the Norfolk fens. Their fathers farmed adjacent farms. Barbara and Alan married late in 1962, Ann and I married early in 1963 - Beggar!!!! this machine has switched itself over to writing in italics. Well, it will have to carry on doing so until it can switch itself back to normal service as I don't know how to. I rather suspect the machine does know how to, but it isn't going to tell me. Back to Barbara and Alan. When Alan retired about fifteen years ago, they bought a very nice mobile home. Barbara had kept the village shop until then, but they closed it, and turned it into part of their English home - the idea being that they would spend all winter in the mobile home exploring the warmer Southern Countries in Europe, then coming home to East Anglia for the summer period. They have been doing this ever since, and we've been meeting up with them every year since then usually just before they head south again for the winter (I've an idea I've told you all this before but bear with me). They take loads of photies every winter, which Barbara turns into a winter travelogue/journal - and very interesting they are too. We had our annual lunch in Bury Saint Edmund's and discussed Barbara and Alan's problem :- which is what to do with the immediate future? WE are all four approaching the four score years mark at much the same rate - and they both begin to feel that driving several thousand miles South and back every winter on the wrong side of the road could become a suspicion wearing at our age. I had something of the the same decision to make about a year ago about whether to retire from business or not, but my decision was solved by my Doctor very strongly advising me to retire (and as he was very firmly backed up by Ann on this one, the two of them made my mind up for me). In the end Barbara and Allan decided (pro tem) to make another journey South this coming winter, which means we'll meet up as usual next year (as my late grandmother used to say "If spared"), and have the same discussion again then. Or as we more modern youngsters put it "God Willing".
P.s. Now I must try and beat this machine into resuming normal service, as opposed to itallics.
P.s. Now I must try and beat this machine into resuming normal service, as opposed to itallics.
Tuesday, 28 August 2018
Above photograph shows senior daughter Sarah, and her youngest offspring, Guy. They motored over here from the south Midlands this morning and have been helping me ever since. Guy, who is studying civil engineering, helped me restring the Norfolk Crossbow I showed on this blog about a month ago. Sarah has been helping me to try and make sense of this computer - with a good deal more success than I usually have.
Ann put on a delicious summer lunch of salmon (with a dill and cream sauce), peas, carrots , and new potatoes. Sarah, who is reading this over my right shoulder, is saying "And that isn't doing it justice, either. It was delicious!"
Above photo was taken by Sarah. It's been a lovely visit.
Monday, 27 August 2018
Sunday, 26 August 2018
Tuesday, 14 August 2018
Morning Glory (shown above) have been rather disappointing this year, considering what a lovely summer it's been. I've been watering them regularly (i.e. most evenings), but there's never been more than half a dozen, or so, flowers at any one time. Now it appears to have completely finished flowering. Been trying to grow them most years over the last fifty - with varying success. This lovely year has, I think, finally convinced me that the game's not worth the candle; but, if any one has any suggestions to help (serious ones, Rog and Crowbard) I'd be interested to hear them.
Sunday, 12 August 2018
A week or so ago I published pictures of the Lavenham Guildhall, which was built around the year 1520, and said that our guildhall here in Highdale was a couple of centuries earlier, or thereabouts, but not so well known as the Laveham one. Took the above and below photoes of it yesterday morning. It is double jettied as you can see, and I asked one of our local 'experts' about it a few years ago, and got the answer that we don't really know when it was built, but that most of it was standing on the same spot around the year 1370! It is still used as local government offices. In fact a great many Suffolk villages still have large old buildings known as 'the Guildhall' at the centre of the village. Mostly they are old 'wool towns'. They prospered until the mid 1300s. We had (in 1349 and 1350) two very bad years for the Black Death, after which the sheep were moved across to the Midlands, and our Suffolk villages went into decline. This 'potted history ' is a little over simplified, but is basicallly what happened here. It has left us with some lovely old half timbered buildings in the middle of gloriously picturesque villages. I'm a Norfolk man by birth, but I've been exploring Suffolk all my adult life, and it's never ceased to surprise and delight me.
Thursday, 9 August 2018
Been a busy day. Eye check at opticians this morning. Then on to lunch at the Red Rose pub at Lindsey, to celebrate friend Barbara's birthday. Eaten there several times this year, and a very pleasant Suffolk country pub it is, too. Reasonably quiet; serving country food, not too expensive (by today's standards, anyway), and the staff are always quietly welcoming. I had roast pork, with crackling, apple sauce, and bubble and squeak. Ann had mushroom risotto. We both had quite good puddings, too.
Had tea with neighbours, for whom I've recently repaired rather a nice, mid Victorian mantle clock (still going well, I'm glad to say - and keeping good time). As I've retired (as an horologist) I didn't charge them for doing the clock (about half an hours work, anyway) so she insisted on giving us tea.
Should have said when I mentioned Lindsey, that both Lindsey and Kersey, a nearby neighbouring village, are now small villages, very pretty, but in their day, both were famous enough wool producing towns to have a woollen cloth named after them :- Lindsey and Kersey.
Tuesday, 7 August 2018
Been struggling to put up pictures (without much success, as you'll have gathered), but finally managed to put up above photo of one of two hibiscus trees in the garden. Just been reading a comment from someone who calls himself 'How do we know', and is I think a house guest of Zoe's. He's got ideas about raising children, which I rather like - the ideas that is - haven't met the children, as yet, so I don't know whether I like them or not (although I usually do). Got five meself, plus eleven grandchildren, plus two great grand children, none of which has put me off liking children- rather the reverse, I think. The trick is - to listen to them, although they quite like being told stories.
Having read this, I find I'm waffling; and as there's a T.V. programme about to start, which we want to watch, Will close now, and wish you all a very good night.
P.s. Made a muck of that. The top picture is of greatgranddaughter Astrid, who is Amelia's daughter, Sarah's granddaughter , and our (as stated ) great granddaughter. A few days before they came to see us, Astrid had fallen onto a concrete path in her garden, and knocked a front tooth out. To make sure that we appreciated the full horror of the situation she had bought along a photograph of herself, taken shortly after the tragic incident occurred, and lost no time in showing us it. As she is three and a half now I fear that this will mean she is likely to be 'gappy' for the next three years or so. She is a sociable little soul and spent most of the day with Ann in the garden (where she carefully picked herbs to augment the lunch she helped Ann to make) found a new name for her great grandmother (Granny Annie) and then, perched on a stool that was just the right height for her , helped Grannie Annie in the kitchen. When she left I presented her with the stool so she could help her Mummy in the kitchen. She is really great fun, bless her.
Sunday, 5 August 2018
I hope I'm wrong about this, but I do feel that we have serious problems on computers (probably in our area). Can't seem to do anything with photographs. Going to try and send this commentary but without photos. Been trying on and off all evening to put messages out on the Armoury, without any success . Going to bed now, will try again ack Emma.
Good Night All.
Good Night All.
Tuesday, 31 July 2018
Showed this year's hibiscus flowers (on two trees) yesterday taken by flash after dark. Above are the same two trees taken in full sunlight this morning. When I was a boy the only hibiscus that could be grown in this country (or so we thought) was a mauve (ish) flowered tree called, if memory serves, Blue Bird. There are some lovely ones to be had nowadays, including the above white flowered, reddish centred, specimen, which looks lovely, and flowers for some weeks from mid summer to the early autumn.
The Ipomias are giving their usual glorious display, but have noticed something a bit different about this year's flowers, though. The below flower is the normal five lobed (petalled ?) flower, but the plants are occasionally throwing four lobed flowers, as shown in the upper picture. I've never noticed this before. Can any of my readers suggest a cause for this? The four lobed jobs are still lovely, but do look a little odd.
Motored over to have tea with friend Helga this afternoon. She bust her right arm a few weeks ago, and is still a little shaky, although the arm has healed well. She's a few years older than we are, so I suppose Anno Domini could have something to do with it.
Monday, 30 July 2018
Thursday, 26 July 2018
watched the world go by - very restful.
I tried to take photographs for the delectation of my readers, but found the camera being totally non cooperative. Handed the camera to granddaughter Beth, who found the problem- I'd forgotten to replace the memory card after doing yesterday's blog. I must admit to being not altogether high tech. However Beth, who is altogether Hi-tec, took these photos on her camera, then when we got home, transferred them to my blog. By magic, I suppose! Being called upstairs for supper. Goodnight All.
P.s. Reopen this to say that although the temperature in the garden was really uncomfortably high,this morning ; by the time we got to the beach, the temperature, although warm, was not uncomfortably so. It was much warmer a few miles inland than at the seaside.
Wednesday, 25 July 2018
Been a busy day.
Ann had to go into Ipswich Hospital for a check up on her eye operation. She was taken into Ipswich by a good friend of ours, John Goldbourn. Granddaughter Beth is staying with us for a few days, and made lunch. She made a chicken casserole;which I am shown (above) adjusting with the addition of a few chopped herbs from the garden, variegated sage, garden mint, chives, etc.
The above photo shows, from left to right - Granddaughter Beth, great granddaughter Astrid, Great grandmother Ann, Astrid's Mama (granddaughter Amelia), and Amelia's Mama, senior daughter Sarah.
Granddaughter Beth, at work preparing lunch for us all in the kitchen. She's staying a few days, looking after the senior generation -us. The youngsters have been SO GOOD! over the last few weeks. It really does restore the faith in human nature.
Saturday, 21 July 2018
I've been working on the crossbow which I bought in Sotheby's a week or so ago, and find that the maker's name is inlaid in the top of the stock in silver (I think). The letter form in which it is done makes me think that the item is probably rather earlier than I'd thought (possibly seventeenth century rather than 18th). I've done most of the necessary mechanical work, but there's a good deal of --
for want of a better word -- cosmetic work ....
for want of a better word -- cosmetic work ....
.to be done yet
Monday, 16 July 2018
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.
Thursday, 12 July 2018
but I think I've shown you most of them. Can't stay awake much longer, so - Goodnight All.
Wednesday, 11 July 2018
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.
Monday, 9 July 2018
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.