Wednesday, 31 October 2018

Wednesday 2.

Took Ruth to lunch at the  Red Rose at Lindsy. Had a decent  (ish) lunch : all three of  us  chose fish.  One other table occupied, which was helpful when, after lunch, we sang Happy  Birthday  to  Ruth. Before singing  I  had a word with  the occupants  of the  other table to make sure they  didn't  mind the dining room turning  a little raucous, and in fact they all four of  them joined in the singing  to Ruth, who made a neat little speech of acceptance and thanks.

  On the way home Ruth took the above photo of a very dark coloured peacock who appeared to be mounting guard over a flock of about twenty five guinea fowl, without  much enthusiasm being displayed on either side - still... a chap's got to  do his job, and his was mounting guard over the ladies, who weren't looking too keen on the  idea either.   One comes  across these  odd  little scenes occasionally in  the  depths of the countryside.


P.s. Should have said - first frost of the winter this morning. Real white one -didn't  last long - lovely morning thereafter.


Snapshot of  small 'alcove' in older part of wall of undercroft which contains (fake ) skull - Ruth bought this in 'kit form' when she was in her teens and studying biology. When she  left home some years later she had a clear out and threw the plastic skull out, and I , with her permission, recovered it and painted it - you must remember that I was an antique restorer at the  time- to look real and old. The stone is a Roman balista stone, and  the wooden wotsit to the  right  of the picture is a small balista that works well - it's a vicious little brute- made by your blogger a good many years ago to illustrate a point in a talk I was giving about the  history  of  guns. They  look a nice  little  grouping in their alcove.

P.s. Today is Ruth's umpty  third birthday, and we are about to take her out to lunch. More later perhaps.

Tuesday, 30 October 2018


Not  mystery objects. I'm practising putting photos (under Ruth's direction) onto the  Armoury blog. It seems to be working. The  two objects on  the  chair are both  horn cups (from the  Horner Collection !!!). They are the largest and the smallest from our collection.  When I retired as a dealer I said, I seem to remember, that I could see meself  turning into a collector instead, and I  think  that's  what I'm doing.

Monday, 29 October 2018


"An old joke set to rhyme". The penultimate line  should  read "for you mustn't get into the habit."


Above photo was taken a few days  ago, and is  of senior  daughter, Sarah, who spent last Tuesday, looking after her elderly  parents (us!!)

Above photo is of your blogger, arrayed for a funeral, see blog of last week.

Above picture shows Ann, our son Jonathan, who'd come over from near Cambridge where he lives,  yesterday, to  spend the day  with us, and Ruth, second daughter, who is spending a few days  with us,  and, at present, trying to teach me, once again, to use the computer (must try harder, Horner !!). Ruth is a professional teacher, and lives way up in the  North of Sweden with her two daughters. At least it feels like the far North of Sweden to me, but it looks like about half way up Sweden on a map. Must ask  Ruth. Just asked her and she says that 'Norrland' , the name of  the area where she lives, means the north of Sweden, and is  treated as being the  far north, but she is aware that it is only about  halfway up   a map  of Sweden.

Thursday, 25 October 2018



Pretty pictures- all taken within the last day or  so,  and none  having any relevance to what I  wish  to talk about :

We went to a funeral yesterday. Not someone we knew well -   a father of a friend - he was a year or  so older than I am, and we knew him to nod to.  So attending his funeral service was, if  we're honest about the matter, something of a  social duty. I'm sure  you'll all know  what I mean. Funerals have rather altered their nature over the last few years, certainly in small town life. I'm  glad to say that real funerals, i.e. family or friend funerals, haven't really  altered,  although the  details have rather.   I should think most blokes keep a black tie, a dark grey  suit,  a darker grey  top coat, and  a pair of black shoes in readiness for family funerals.  This outfit is  known as the subfuscs or the funeral rig. I also keep (and wore yesterday) for 'social funerals'  a navy blazer, grey flannels, black shoes, and a suitable tie (regimental or old school does well  enough- these work largely because no one ever remembers someone else's old school tie). I remember the  first time I  wore a school tie at a funeral, and an old friend of mine (ex cavalry and Royal Flying  Corps) looked at it and said "I didn't know  you  were a Desert Rat, Mike.", giving his own age away, as well as grossly exaggerating mine.

I suppose we get to an age when we find there are far too many  funerals per annum.  It hasn't been too bad this year, but  we had a really bad year about seven or eight years ago, when we had to attend about ten funerals in the first half of the  year. As the proverbial  Irish man is supposed to have said "There were people dying that  year who never had before." 

 I  should have said whilst on the subject of  funerary clobber, that  most of the ladies I know keep the feminine equivalent of dark and gloomy garb in  reserve for funerals. I know Ann does, and  I think our daughters do, as well. I somehow shouldn't think  the grand daughters do, though.  (Blow! if my  lady readers will excuse the  expression -this ridiculous machine has, once again, put itself into italic mode!!!)

Looking round  the  church yesterday I had a strong impression that nowhere near ALL the blokes attending were wearing black ties.  In fact they  seemed to  be  reserved  to people  of a similar vintage to the dear departed.   Do my readers agree with me that funerals are becoming far less formal than of yore?

Wednesday, 24 October 2018

Tuesday, 23 October 2018


Got  young  Sarah here today. She's trying hard  to turn me   into  a  respectable  citizen who can  write letters on blog - with, of course-a  picture (photograph), and the above  shows  a corner of our  garden, with the sun shining through the fuchsias and things. 

Above is  a heavily repaired (will  come back  to  that in  a  moment) saltglaze jug. It is very Engllish, circa 1800, and at some stage has lost its handle.  This  has been replaced by a blacksmith made (or possibly a tinker or tinsmith made) tinned iron handle, which is well made, very strong, and stable, which (in turn) is supported by two iron rings, held apart by  four uprights, and the whole thing is soldered into place on the jug. All  to put back into service a jug that would have cost about sixpence to replace with a new one. What a  diference  to  our own set of  values !!!!

Above is a photograph of the newly discovered wall, of flint nodules, with brick and tile stringing. It appears to be of late romano british manufacture.  I think that Sarah is about to make tracks  back to the South Midlands, so must close down now. More later perhaps.

Friday, 19 October 2018


Spent a very pleasant day. Been trying  to sort out the blogger again. I mean by that, to sort out  how to put  photos on  this  blog. Our good friends  Margaret and John came to lunch. It was good  to see them, and, as always,  very relaxed. After lunch  John  tried  very hard to sort out how to put photos on this blog -  not  altogether  successfully, but he got  a lot nearer to success than I  have done lately. In fact, it's  largely due to John's advice that I think  I may  well  manage to put  yet another photo of the Morning Glory  flowers on this entry (Ipomea).  The fact that John was unable to conquer this machine made me feel a bit better about the matter; he  having been using computers regularly since the early  days of  computers.  Actually  I was using a computer a good deal in the  seventies, but that was when computers were largely memory banks, and  a  good deal simpler  than they are now.

I've been asked to restore a small,  London made, lantern timepiece alarm,  and, over  thelast few days, have been making  some  of  the  missing  parts. Very satisfying work, especially as the  clock owner stresses that there is no hurry about the matter - so at the moment it's proving an enjoyable, indeed rather a restful job.   Almost wooden hill time, so I wish  my readers  a very Good Night.

Friday, 12 October 2018


Here is a better photo of the pile  of  treen bowls refered to in my  previous blog  entry.  I hope this  will give a clearer  idea of  the  mystery  objects  I  was trying to describe. I'm beginning to  think that  the old adage about a  picture  being  worth  a thousand  words  is a load  of tarradiddle -  it is just that  a  picture is about a thousand times more  difficult to transfer to my screen.

Goodnight All.

Tuesday, 9 October 2018


Mystery Object. Usual Rules.

P.s. Tee Hee.

Friday, 5 October 2018


Must just record that I had a most pleasant surprise yesterday morning at breakfast time when Thomas Del Mar joined us. He had 'phoned Ann the previous day to ask if he could call, and Ann had decided that what her husband needed was a nice surprise - so had not told me. We've known Thomas a good many years ; he is in charge of what used to be known as Sotheby's Arms and Armour, and is now known as Thomas Del Mar, Ltd. Antique Arms, Armour and Militaria, London. I had just finished (earlier this week) cataloguing some forty items for him, so went and got it, and (as the poet said, and I'm misquoting him) 'just in time to save the stamp.' Spent a very happy half hour swapping news and views, discussing some recent additions to the collection, and I then had to rush off to the surgery for a routine blood test. Thomas too, had to push on so we said our goodbyes and a very social brekky was a good start to the day. I rather envy Thomas his extremely accurate memory - he reminded me that twenty years ago I'd helped catalogue the Albert Littler Collection - could hardly believe it was that long ago, but knowing Tom, I've no doubt he is right. Later in the day Sarah and Mikey came, and we spent a very good day with them. This morning, Sarah, Mikey, Ann, meself and grand daughter Freja, , motored over to the Suffolk Punch Trust, near Woodbridge, and spent a couple of hours or so pottering round looking at Suffolk Punch horses, Suffolk red poll cattle, and Shetland ponies. Got back here at about 4p.m. Then Sarah and Mikey, accompanied by grand daughter Freja, drove off to their South Midland home. Freja is going home to Sweden , via her cousins in London. She's stayed with us for about ten days, helping about the house, and more than pulling her weight !!! So now we're Darby and Joan again for a few days. Sounds good to me, although we've both thoroughly enjoyed having company for the last few days.

Tuesday, 2 October 2018


Great excitement here this morning (well, I got quite excited, anyway). Part of my cellar needed repairing (a few days ago I put my hand through the old plasterboard) and today our specialist in repairing old houses (who lives about three doors along from us) has come in to effect repairs. He was getting on with the job, and I was working hard playing Scrabble on my computer and being thoroughly thrashed by Z, a fellow blogger, when Cliff called me across to show me something interesting. He'd removed some of the damaged plasterboard and uncovered part of the very early stone wall. The other end of the cellar is of flint cobbles with very early brick stringing, plus some courses of tiling. I've been told (I think reliably) that the old tiles are probably Roman ( and also probably reused). He'd now uncovered another area of flint cobble, with brick and tile courses in it, abutting on the base of the Tudor chimney, and almost certainly earlier than the chimney. I've also taken photos of the newly discovered wall (discovered in both senses) and I hope the two of the photos accompanying this blog, give a good idea of the old walls. The problem is that our architectural experts are very 'expert' on early timber construction, but not nearly so good (or keen) on early stone/brick walls. I do hope that some of my readers will feel able to comment on these photos. Just after we moved here (about twelve years ago), Crowbard visited us and came up with the suggestion that the work on the end wall of the cellar appeared to be late Romano British, and one or two others have supported this view. I look forward to getting your opinions.

Monday, 1 October 2018

The photo of the garden I took this morning is to prove that we STILL have (in October!!!) Morning Glory in flower, as we have had since JUNE! so that it's been blooming during FIVE different months this year. I took the back view of the present resident granddaughter because I have always liked to see ladies with loooooong hair. It reminds me of an incident in the nineteen sixties when the mini skirts were (quite literally) at their height. An elderly Scottish friend of ours was having a moan about the matter :- "When I was a young man" he lamented,"all the lassies grew their hair until they could sit on it! and now they cannae sit on their skirts." On our way home from Sudbury last week, we took a back road, and I was able to take the above photo of a thatched cottage just the far side of Kersey, which I've always liked the look of.