Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Wednesday 2.


The above long case clock is an old friend (in every sense). I found it in a garden shed (fortunately a dry one) in Ely over thirty years ago.The owner told me it had been in the shed for the previous fifty years or so. I purchased it, took it home, and spent about a week putting it into good order. Ann rather fell in love with it, and I liked it, so we decided to keep it. Since then it has kept very good time, and behaved well - until a few weeks ago, when the time keeping started to go all over the show. This afternoon I took it apart and found the problem straight away (the brass clutch spring behind the hands needed retensioning). I did the necessary, and also adjusted the date wheel pin. I'm fairly certain we've solved the problem but (excuse 'orrible pun) time will tell. Hopefully it will now give us another thirty year's service (or however long we've got). Just had supper, Ann had left me a beef casserole in the slow cooker, and I fried some left over potatoes and cabbage (bubble and squeak, Lori, or colcannon in Ireland) to go with it. Delicious. Bedtime now. Goodnight all.
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Wednesday 1.


Been a long day. Got up for early service (7.30 a.m.). After the service Ann went straight off to Wisbech to see her mother. She is planning to stay overnight with family friend Phoebe, returning tomorrow afternoon/evening. Today I've been working hard on two clocks. The one above is a small William and Mary wall clock (circa 1690- 1700). It has been playing up generally and I've found (and put right) several small problems. It's performance has improved a good deal, but it's still not happy. Nor am I. Tomorrow I'm going to be very firm with it. See next blog for second clock.
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Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Tuesday 2.


It reads as if Phillip Tylney (the last of his line) was, by 1598, a very lonely old man.
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Tuesday 1.


Snapshot of the interior of a church a few miles along the road (or rather lanes) from here. Will try and put up a close up of the plaque on the front of the tomb..
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Monday, 29 March 2010

Monday 2.


And here is the box opened for use, with the small bone snuff spoon/bowsprit. Nice little item, isn't it? Antique clocks are really my job, but I do enjoy little rebuild jobs like this.
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Monday 1.


Herewith photo of the table snuff I mentioned on Saturday, shown slightly smaller than it actually is (five inches overall).
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Sunday, 28 March 2010

Sunday 2.


See what I mean. Going back to previous picture, when the sun is on the violets, the scent is already gorgeous.
Been a nice quiet Sunday. Went to Palm Sunday service this morning. Eucumenical - held in the United Reform Church. After lunch zizzed for a bit then got on well in the workshop. Put the clocks on last night so bedtime now.
Goodnight all.
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Sunday 1


Above photo is of wild violets in a corner of the garden, which is starting to look quite pretty, not just snowdrops, crocii and daffodils, but violets, japonica, polyanthus, etc. See next picture.
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Saturday, 27 March 2010



The snapshot is of (I think) the silliest front door in East Anglia. It is of a magnificent silliness and apears to give onto the conservatory at the back of a Victorian town house in Hunstanton. I hope the owner of it never reads this blog.

This morning Ann was helping with the coffee and lunches at St. Mary's Spring Bazaar. I went down about ten a.m. and pottered round the stalls. I bought Ann a Minton tea cup of the 'Amhurst' pattern from the bric a brac stall. I gave them the fifty pence they asked for it, and when I gave it to Ann she loved it (we've been half collecting this pattern for years), but said that I hadn't given them enough for it, so I went back and gave the vendor (who we know) another couple of quid for it, which pleased (but rather surprised her). As a dealer I find it rather embarassing being honest about values. I spent a while looking at the book stall - Hilary in charge- and bought a couple of paper backs. Then Ann came along (still wearing her 'I'm going on a hot air baloon ride' baseball cap which she's had on since she got it with the baloon ride voucher yesterday morning), and we went off and had a coffee. After that Ann resumed her duties, and I walked home.

This afternoon I went to scrabble club as usual. There were nine of us, so three table of three players each. I won the first two games at my table, then at the third game Rhona, who normally plays a good, but quiet, game, struck a vein of absolute brilliance, coupled with very good tiles, and proceeded to wipe the floor with Barbara and I. Altogether a very good afternoon's play.
Roast chicken for supper, followed by fruit crumble and custard.
Since then I've been in the workshop repairing a treen, sailor-made, table snuff box, in the shape of the hull of a sailing ship. To open it the turned bone bowsprit is pulled out (it can then be used as a snuff spoon) and the upper decks swivel to one side revealing the snuff compartment in the hold. It's a charming, if rather naive (that word never looks as if it's spelled correctly) table snuff. Got to wait for some button polish to dry overnight before I can complete the job. I'll perhaps put up a photo of it, if I'm satisfied with the repair (P.s. see next monday's blog). Got one or two other jobs to get on with before bed. So - Goodnight all.
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Friday, 26 March 2010



Seagulls starting to nest halfway up Hunstanton cliffs.
Yesterday was Ann's birthday. What the grandchildren call 'A big Zero' birthday. She was, in fact seventy yesterday. Loads of flowers came by post (as well as loads of cards). Her big brother gave her a massive bunch on wednesday. So much so that the place now looks like a good, and well stocked, florist's shop. Ann has always had an ambition to fly in a hot air baloon, and it turned out that the children have clubbed together to give her that ambition. On reception of this news Ann spent the rest of the day in a state between high excitement, and slight apprehension. She was, to use a medical term 'all of a doo dah'. For friend Lori's benefit I should perhaps explain that 'all of a doo dah' is used to indicate a state of mind somewhere betwixt the heeby jeebies and the abdabs - all clear now, Lori?
In the evening I took Ann out for a meal at one of our favourite eating places, the Swan at Monks Eleigh. I had a plaice (poached to perfection) and Ann had the vegetarian option, pancakes with a cheese filling in a herb sauce. We had left room for pudding, and the landlady (who had guessed, or gathered, it was a birthday celebration) brought Ann's pudding in with a lighted candle in it, and suggested that I now had her (the landlady's) permission to serenade my wife. There was one other couple in the place (a young couple down from Yorkshire we found out later) a table or so from us, and I asked them to join me in singing Happy Birthday to Ann, which we all did with great gusto, after which the evening turned into a very pleasant small party. So don't let anyone tell you that the English are cold and reserved, Lori. Ann said afterwards it was one of the best birthdays she could remember.
Nearly bedtime now, so; Goodnight All.
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Thursday, 25 March 2010

Thursday 3.


Same day, same walk, and Ann shown against those low, but rather lovely, red and white striated cliffs. Sandstone and chalk, I suppose. Wish now I'd snapped them in the afternoon with the sun on them, but I'm afraid I was snoozing during the afternoon, so the opportunity didn't occur.
It's good to be back blogging. Cheers, Mike.
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Thursday 2.


Snapshot of your blogger on the beach at Old Hunstanton last Monday morning. Our hotel, The Le Strange Arms, backs onto the sand dunes and the beach; so after breakfast we checked that the tide was just past the full, then walked down to the beach, turned left, and walked along the beach (having to scramble over rocks in two places) until we came to Hunstanton, and climbed the steps to the promenade. We then walked through the town, and back to Old Hunstanton by the coast road. We think it was about three miles all told. Longest walk I've done in some weeks. We both thoroughly enjoyed it. The North Norfolk Coast used to be advertised as 'Bracing', and as an adjective, I couldn't beat it.
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Thursday 1.


Got back yesterday evening fro m a few days break at Old Hunstanton, on the North Norfolk Coast. The above photo is the view from our hotel room window. Late last week the required part for my computer finally arrived, and this morning Neil, our skilled computer engineer called in, fitted the part, got the computer running and gave me a short lecture on how the computer should be looked after in sickness and in health. I hope the thing will be in GOOD health now, for a while at least. Otherwise I am going to try the old folk remedy of a swift kick in the slats to liven it up a bit!!! Still it appears to be trying hard to please at the moment, so I won't resort to threats and violence until it becomes necessary. More in a mo.
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Tuesday, 23 March 2010

'S allright, I found one, courtesy of John Emms

Ignore the camel below, here's a proper sea-side picture.

Monday, 22 March 2010

Mike and Ann are going to Old Hunstanton to celebrate Ann's birthday.
I may be getting confused here but it appears Mike has bought Ann a new modem for their computer and it is to be installed and set up on the big day. So hopefully he will be blogging again soon.
I couldn't find a picture of a sea-side donkey at Old Hunstanton....
Will this do...?

Friday, 19 March 2010

Happy Birthday Ann

You'll be a proper grown-up on Thursday Ann!
All Love and Blessings on your forthcoming Birthday!
If you have a White-tie & Tails Party, I'll be the one at the front in mufti hoping for your 'seal' of approval!
The Kid-Brat-in-law.

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

KidBruv's home patch.

Village History

There are just a few houses now in Great Stretton - across the Gartree Road from the much restored but even more neglected 12th. Century Church of St Giles.
In ancient writings Great Stretton (Stretton Magna)was referred to as Strettone (the town on the straight-way), and sometimes Bishop’s Stretton since Robert Eyrick, Bishop of Lichfield, was born here in 1322). It is situated about 2 miles North across farm-land from my (KidBruvCarl) home and 2 miles to the North-East of Great Glen, in which parish it is now only a hamlet bounded by Great Glen village, Stretton Parva (Little Stretton) hamlet , Stoughton, Oadby and Houghton villages. The Roman road Via Devana, is very visible in part of this lordship, going through Leicester and on to Markfield Mill.
Stretton, together with Great Glen and Little Stretton is mentioned in Domesday as a parcel of the royal manor of Bugedone containing nine ploughlands and ten acres of meadow.
Great Stretton Church is remote and tiny with a Norman doorway. By 1937, it had been restored for occasional services, and has kept the traceried font at which Robert de Stretton was baptised about 1322, many years before he went from here to become chaplain to the Black Prince. He was not a great scholar but the prince, thinking little of learning but much of his chaplain, made him Bishop of Lichfield (which office he held until his death in 1385). Before Robert died he founded a chantry here, earning himself a memorable place among his Great Strettonian forebears.
The disappearance of the village of Great Stretton happened long before 1798 when Nichols published his survey called ‘The History and Antiquities of the County of Leicester’. At that time it consisted of only two farmhouses, besides the hall and the church. The disappearance may be attributed to the early enclosure of its open fields and their conversion in large part to pastures for sheep and cattle.
There is a large moated area about 200 yds south of the parish church. This consists of an island about 44 yds in length from east to west and 35 yds in width from north to south, surrounded by a deep moat which is now dry. Between here and the church was a large pond which supplied the moat, and below the moat was a smaller pond which would drain it if required. Mr. Tailby, who visited the site in 1796 and reported on it to Nichols, surmised that this was where the chantry chapel founded by Robert de Stretton stood, but this is known to have been in the parish church. The site appears to be that of a small medieval hall-house, but there are no certain documentary references to it at any time, and no trace of any structural remains upon it. The house no longer existed in 1670 but was probably the site of the family home of the descendants of Eyryk The Red, (another of our illustrious but distant ancestors) some of whom were King’s Foresters of the Beaumanor and Charnwood forests from the time of the Norman Conquest.

Monday, 15 March 2010

Ex (distant) family home at Stockport

I understand it has been a bank for some time now, but it used to be one of the family homes of the Adernes, distant umpti-cousins-in-law a few centuries back.
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Sunday, 14 March 2010

Mike & Ann are survivors

Mike & Ann are survivors but their pooter is on the hit list awaiting replacement parts. If it doesn't pull itself together quickly I would not want to be in its shoes!

Friday, 5 March 2010



Above photo is of Ann, Gran, and family friend Phoebe, celebrating Gran's hundred and first birthday last November in (of all places) a Pizzeria in Ely. Chosen by Gran as some of her children grandchildren, and great grandchildren had taken her there and given her a taste for that sort of thing. Very decent meal it was, too.
This blog is really just to report that I think our leaking cellar problem has been solved (fingers, etc. crossed). When you live in a sixteenth century house, built on a fourteenth century undercroft with some earlier bits, you really don't expect teething problems from the older and more respectable parts. Although, in fairness, the plumbing arrangements that gave trouble are certainly no older than late Victorian. Now all that remains is a thorough drying out, then a certain amount of redecoration. Could be worse, although my chief medical adviser has dared me to do any redecorating pro tem (note young brother's classical influence - pro tem, indeed!!!). Oh, by the way - Chief Medical Adviser i.e. Ann.
Got one or two quick jobs to do, then wooden hill time, I think- (up the wooden hill to Bedfordshire, Lori. Old, feeble, Nannyish joke). Goodnight all.
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Thursday, 4 March 2010



Snapshot of a neighbour's vegetable garden with snowdrops. When I say a neighbour, he's 300 yards away just the other side of the river, but I think that qualifies as a neighbour.
Been a hectic week so far. On Tuesday found that where the mains water comes into the house in my undercroft, and via an internal stopcock, the stopcock had sprung a leak and what had been a lovely, dry cellar, now had an area of thoroughly damp floor and carpet. Called plumber out, and he 'fixed' problem with instructions to keep an eye on it, as he wasn't totally confident he'd entirely solved it. Been drying out cellar since then, but on close inspection fear his doubts were probably justified. Will 'phone him in the morning. At the moment it seems to be one %^**!!"&% thing after another, if my lady readers will excuse the expression. Computer still giving problems, feel I'm having to fight it all the way. Still, that particular problem should be solved towards the end of next week - hope so, anyway. Bedtime now, I think, so - Goodnight All.
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