Friday 30 July 2010


Wealden cottage we passed whilst exploring lanes yesterday. So called (I think) because the majority of this type are in the Weald of Kent. This morning we called in at Cafe Church, where we picked up on all the town news of the last three/four weeks. It was good to catch up. Been at work in the workshop most of the afternoon, and we're going out to supper with friends Jill and Keith this evening. Jill says 'light supper' but she's a superb (and imaginative) cook so know it will be good. Will report on it tomorrow. Must go and tidy meself up now. Cheers All.
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Thursday 29 July 2010

Thursday 2.

Above is snapshot of supper. Consists of gammon steak done in a chilli and pinapple sauce, with butternut squash roasted with red peppers and courgettes. Plus fried potatoes and cabbage. In the ordinary way I think that most squashes and ALL courgettes are rather bland, but the red peppers balanced it out nicely, and made a very tasty dish of it. A delicious meal, which I thoroughly enjoyed. I'm now going to go and sleep it off. Goodnight all.
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Thursday 1.

Above snapshot is of Ann sitting and knitting in the garden this afternoon.Had to drive into Bury St. Edmund's this morning to have me ear'oles seen to, and my hearing aids adjusted at the hospital, then on to our garage for minor op to the car. Home, lunch, changed and in workshop for the rest of the day. Ann called me upstairs for dinner at seven to a rather exotic meal she'd knocked up. Details in our next - don't read the next one, Stig, it'll put you off your diet- although, come to think of it, it was a thoroughly heathy meal. More in a minute.
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Wednesday 28 July 2010

Wednesday 2.

There are a good many fords along the lower lying of our Suffolk lanes, but we hadn't come across this one before. Fortunately we weren't going fast, because we were round the corner and into it. Ann parked in the first gateway, and I walked back and took this photo.
Been working in the workshop the rest of the day (bar a short post prandial zizz), getting the Scandinavian antiques ready for display. I think I'm going to put another hour in, then declare bedtime. In the meantime, I'll bid you all a very goodnight.
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Wednesday 1.

Up early this morning for early service (deaconing). Then got a 'phone call that the stationery shop in Sudbury had some printing ink in that I'd ordered, so motored over there, where I collected ink, whilst Ann did the week's grocery shopping. motored home slighly different way than usual, via the lanes, where I took the above snapshot of a village street throught the car windscreen. Then turned off onto ever narrower lanes, where I eventually took the next shot. Hang about.
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Monday 26 July 2010

Monday 2.

Ann in the garden yesterday morning just before we walked to church. We both sang in the choir, and after the service our good friend Eileen asked us if we had anything booked for the afternoon. We hadn't, so Eileen said "Well come and have tea with me, and we'll play scrabble. Come early at three o'clock, and I'll ask Hilary to make up a four". We had three excellent games and a very pleasant tea. At tea Eileen apologised for the short notice and said "when you're just back from a holiday I always think things seem a little flat, and it's such a temptation to run yourself off your feet trying to catch up, so I thought a scrabble tea was in order". Walking home later we thought that was a very thoughtful thing for Eileen to have done. She is, as I said earlier, a good friend.
Goodnight all.
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Monday 1.

Quick last snapshot of 'the oldest silver birch in Yamptland', for the benefit of Stig, Mikey, and their youngsters, who have happy memories of it.
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Saturday 24 July 2010

Saturday 3.

Ann and Freja on the opposite side of the road from Ruth's flat in town. The handsome building complex shown was Lasse's Regimental Headquarters, and is now the University.
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Saturday 2.

Not sure what these are, they look like a sort of multi headed harebell. These are just round the corner from Ruth's farm. Ann said that this was the best year for wild flowers we've seen in Sweden. I think she's right.
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Saturday 1.

'I know a bank where the wild thyme blows....... ' but no, this isn't a midsummer night's dream, but the road embankment opposite Ruth's farmhouse. Some lovely flowers in the area, though.
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Friday 23 July 2010

Friday 7.

This was taken by Ann, still on Ruth's farm, in an area about forty yards from the house. What do you make of it ?
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Friday 6.

At the top of Ruth's property stood a hugely magnificent, and very old silver birch tree. It was said to be the oldest silver birch in Yamptland- the local county- should be spelled with an umlaut - pronounced Yemptland- but my computer doesn't do foreign accents.
The tree came down in a storm a few weeks ago, so I walked up the hill and took photoes. It was like saying goodbye to an old friend. Rather a sad note to end on...... So..... I'll put up a puzzle picture instead:-
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Friday 5.

Pineapple upside down cake, made by (and being admired by) the girls, who made it under parental (and grandparental) guidance. Served up as pudding that evening, and was popular to the point of complete anihilation (of the pudding that is - not the eaters- i.e. not a crumb left). That word- anihilation- doesn't look spelled aright!!!!!
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Friday 4.

Ruth, Miss T., Granny, and Freja, in the farmhouse kitchen.
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Friday 3.

Ann took this snapshot of a wild orchid growing near the roadway halfway up Ruth's property. The locals call it 'The Virgin Mary's Keys'. I've just looked it up- it does grow in England and is known (far less romantically) as the spotted orchid.
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Friday 2.

Like most Swedish people Ruth and the MOTH have a flat in town and a country home - the Farm- which is, in Ruth's words, 'in the village'. The village is miles from anywhere, on a loop of road -which is off a very minor back road. The 'village' consists of five houses, none of which can be seen from the others. I took this snap at nine one morning from Ruth's verandah. The subject is known as 'the village fox', and is very tame. I first saw him (I honestly think it's the same chap) seven or eight years ago on the same verandah, when I opened the door one morning and came face to face with a young red, three quarter grown cub. He's now a fully mature fox, as you can see. It's nice to know he's still around. From his behaviour (trotting up the hill often with eatables hanging from his jaws), he's raising a young family, so he'll (that is he or his descendants) will be around for a while yet.
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Friday 1.

Got home safe and sound around one o'clock (p.m.) today. I shall now bore you with our holiday photoes. You may recall me mentioning having lunch in a restaurant on top of a tower (Tuesday 13th July)? Well the above snapshot is of the town where Ruth and co. live, and was taken from the top of the tower.
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Sunday 18 July 2010


Above snapshot is of a typical north Swedish country scene, taken a couple of days ago. This morning Ann and I took the girls out to a local park, where there is a small coffee house, and we had coffee and cakes outside, the girls then ajourned to the play area ( swings, roundabout, etc.) , whilst we lingered over our refills of coffee. Ruth and Lasse had taken a couple of young neighbours/ friends, to teach them fishing, and we walked along the lake to meet them. When we joined them they were still (rather grimly) casting out into the lake, getting the very occasional nibble, but not much else. Back to the flat about two p.m. Hope the lack of success doesn't put the two young neighbours (brothers) off fishing. One looked a bit cheesed off, the other wanted to keep right on trying. Warned him that it was addictive, and he might get hooked on it- rather to my surprise he saw the dreadful pun and laughed heartily. Lunch now. More later perhaps.

Tuesday 13 July 2010

Tuesday 2.

Herewith, as promised, bedraggled granddaughter Freja, on balcony after the worst of the storm. I do remember her mother (and her mother's sisters) rushing out and dancing on the side lawn at Welney in the middle of a torrential downpoor one summer ('78, I think). Strange tastes the females of my family have. Still, just as well from my point of view - Ann might not have fancied me otherwise (?)

On which thought - Goodnight all.

Tuesday 1.

Above is a fairly typical Swedish scene and skyscape. We're now back in town. Drove in this morning. Had lunch in a restaurant on top of a modern water tower on the edge of town. Ate there last week. Excellent restaurant. Everyone helps themselves, and returns for more when necessary. There are hotplates for the meat and vegetables, and a large central counter for salads, pasta, pickles, etc. There is a large vat of hot soup, breads, tea and coffee plus small cakes. Also a counter for jugs of cold water and fruit juices.Although it is a help- yourself place the staff are helpful and attentive. Needless to say lunch is lingered over. Nor is it as expensive as I'd expected. Ruth treated us last time, so I was pleasantly surprised to be charged around forty five pounds for the six of us. Generally speaking Scandinavia as a whole is nowadays no more expensive than England. Well, perhaps Norway is slightly. Last week, in Trondheim, I was charged just under seven pounds for a pint of local beer (admittedly excellent) with me lunch. Didn't think to check the price first with the waiter.
Since we've been back, and Whilst Ruth and Ann were in town food shopping, we had a dramatic and noisy thunderstorm with torrential rain. Took a photo of a bedraggled Freja on the balcony.
May publish it in a min if I can persuade the camera (Ruth's) to disgorge the photies.

Friday 9 July 2010


All three of these photoes were taken yesterday. The first shows Miss T., Freja, and Granny (Ann) playing cards on the train on the way home fromn Trondheim. The second photo shows your blogger surrounded by Ann, Miss T. and Freja, on the dockside, watching a successful fisherman dispose of his catch at Trondheim Harbour. And the third photo shows the same group outside Trondheim Cathedral, just before a thunderstorm struck.
Today's been a quiet day. We went for a good walk, lunched on top of a modern tower just outside town that gave superb views of the surrounding countryside, and early this evening played a three handed game of scrabble - Ann, Nea, and meself. During the one game Ann scored THREE seven letter words, giving her a final score of three hundred and forty eight (a personal best for a three handed game). Nea and I were a very few points apart, but each over a hundred points behind Ann. We're about to have supper, so - Goodnight all.

Thursday 8 July 2010


Today has been a lovely day. We got up at six a.m. and caught a train at the local station that went to Trondheim in Norway, and took four hours about it. The five of us (MOTH decided to stay at home) had a very pleasant rail journey. The train guard was an ex-art student of Ruth's. A young woman now in her twenties, who knew, and enjoyed, her job. The lower picture is a snap I took from the train to show that even in July there is snow in Sweden. The middle picture shows Freja under a huge sign saying Freja that was on top of a restaurant. Freja thought that with her name on top of a restaurant it should be a good place to eat. Wasn't absolutely sure of the rationale of this, but as it turned out she was absolutely right. Won't go into details, because, as daughter Stig is on a diet it might be painful for her. The top photo is of your blogger outside Trondheim Cathedral. Caught return train, further four hours, same lady guard. Played cards and the journey sped by. Home around eight thirty p.m. Had scrambled eggs ; am now very tired and being summoned to bed. More soon. Mike.

Wednesday 7 July 2010


Snapshot shows Freja, your blogger, Miss T., and the MOTH.
Been a pleasant day. Little light shopping in the morning. This evening we played two good games of scrabble. Miss T. won the first, and Nea won the second, scoring TWO seven letter words in consecutive goes. Tomorrow we plan to nip over to Norway by rail. Trondheim to be exact. Will try and take pictures and let you see. In the meantime - Goodnight all...

Tuesday 6 July 2010


Above picture is of Ann and Miss T. comparing height. Miss T. who will be thirteen next month, is now almost exactly the same height as your blogger, and towers over her Granny!!!
When we awoke this morning Freja had a slight tummy upset and was feeling thoroughly icky. So then MOTH, Nea, and I went on a cultural tour of the local antique shops (moderately successfully) leaving Granny and Miss T. in charge of the patient. When we returned she was feeling a little better, so MOTH and I volunteered to sit with her. Such was the concentration of her father and grandfather on the wellbeing of the patient, that we both went to sleep in our armchairs, and when we woke (still rather exhausted with our vigil) we found that the rest of the household, including Freja, had partaken of a good lunch which MissT. had prepared. As they had left us a decentish portion of lunch (pasta with things in it) we really didn't mind, especially as Freja had more or less recovered under our care. So much so, that Nea, MOTH and I went out to another antique shop, outside of which I took the snapshot of Nea. On our return I am glad to report that Freja had returned to mid-season form - all down, I am convinced, to
the quality of the nursing she had received, or possibly, to nature taking its course.

Monday 5 July 2010

Monday P.p.s.

Should have said - photo (taken by Nea) is, of course, of your blogger and junior granddaughter Freja.


We arrived here with Nea and family today after many adventures on the high seas , driving up Denmark, another car ferry from Frederik'shavn to Gothenberg, then a two day (six hundred mile) drive up Sweden, and got here this afternoon, after the occasional refreshing stop at wayside antique shops. A good journey, both of us tired now. Just had a dollop of the MOTH's famous elk stew. His hand has not lost its cunning! Time for bed now. Will try and add a further blog in the next day or so. Good night all.
P.s. Did not really have any adventures on the high seas - they were unusually well behaved in fact. Just put that bit in to add verisimilitude to an otherwise bald and unconvincing narative.
Warm regards to all my readers. Mike.