Saturday 30 April 2011

Saturday 1.

Been a busy day. Yesterday evening we went to the preview of our annual art exhibition in St. Mary's. This morning finally slapped into a job I've not been looking forward to, and, as often happens when a dreaded job is finally attempted, it went well. This afternoon we were both stewarding at the art exhibition. Afterwards we just had time to motor over to the best nurseryman in the area and buy bedding plants. He is very protective of his young plants though, and told us we were not to plant them out for another three weeks until ALL danger of late frosts is past. So they'll have to live in the potting shed till then. Mem. MUST remember to water them. Home, then to workshop again, and resumed work on dreaded job. Again went well. Supper, then a game of scrabble. Ann wiped floor with me, eventually scoring a seven letter word onto a triple, scoring a personal best of a hundred and one points, and winning the game eventually by over sixty points. Between us we made over 700 points. Brilliant game.
Should have said :- above snapshot is of a red double hawthorn tree (flowers are double, that is) about fifteen yards from our back gate. Been a good year for may generally - now in full bloom. Nearly bedtime, I think, so - Goodnight All.
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Friday 29 April 2011

Friday 1.

This last photo of our visit to the Tower of London shows the chapel inside the White Tower. This was found to be necessary as so many guests in the White Tower eventually required the Last Rites.
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Thursday 28 April 2011

Thursday 2.

This photo was taken yesterday in front of the London Wall, and shows Tuva, Freja, the Emporer Trajan, and Granny Ann.

When I was a young man (well, alright then, a younger man), and explored the Tower of London, this small armour was described as having been made for  Queen Henrietta Maria's dwarf, Jeffrey Hudson. The experts have now changed their collective minds and say that it was made for a three year old boy. How nice that, even in the sixteenth century, our moneyed classes were so protective of their young.
As you can see I had to aim my camera over the shoulder of a young lady, and this reminds me of another incident in the White Tower yesterday that rather pleased me (and amused daughter Ruth) :- I stood aside to allow a file of French Schoolgirls (mid teens and in a two by two 'crocodile') to go past. One of them looked at my whiskers and said something in french to her companion, who glanced up at the hirsute adornment, giggled, and said "Ooh La La !".
I've always wanted to hear someone say Ooh La La!

Good night All.
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Thursday 1.

Busy day yesterday; as Ruth and her daughters were staying with Lizzie in London until Saturday, we motored down to Lizzie's in the morning, arriving at about eleven thirty. Lizzie, Danny, and the children were all out at work/ school. Above photo, of Freya, rose tree, and Tuva taken in Lizzie's Garden.

This one, also taken in Lizzie's garden, is of Bryan, Tuva, and Freya (Strawberry).

Ruth served up a quick lunch, then the five of us took a tube train across London to Tower Hill. The above photo is of Ruth in front of the London Wall, the lower courses of which (the first eight or nine feet) are second century Roman, i.e. circa 200 A.D. The rest is medieval repair and heightening.

We then walked  a couple of hundred yards, over a small drawbridge, into the Tower of London,  through an arch, and the White Tower was before us. It's only when you see it in full sunshine, that you realise how fitting and descriptive the name is. It's a grim, well proportioned old building, built by William the first (also known as William the Norman, William the Conqueror, and William the Bastard), and completed somewhere about the year 1080, I think. After I'd told the girls these interesting facts, Ruth told them that the Normans, although we think of them as French, were, in fact, Norse men (quite rightly). As residents of Scandinavia, this pleased all three of them; and anyway, it's always good to have the facts straight, and anyway, we don't want the French getting above themselves, do we?    Must get on with some work now. More bloggery later , perhaps. 

Tuesday 26 April 2011

Tuesday 2.

Photo of a corner of the garden (as per usual). Work's gone well today. Goodnight all.
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Tuesday 1.

Photo of transplanted bonsai yew tree in new 'sink garden'

Can anyone tell me what this is ? (bet Judy- or Maggie- knows). The photo doesn't do the colour of the plant justice; it's more of a gentian blue. It looks almost like a cultivated dead nettle, but gives a lovely splash of an unexpected blue.

Ann has always wanted a thyme lawn, but as we don't have room for a lawn, we put three different sorts of 'creeping thyme' in a necessary join in the garden path. It's necessary because the path slopes down from the garden gate towards the house, and the earth and gravel filled gap acts as a soakaway when it rains (and grows thyme). We walk over it daily, and as our shoes brush it , it releases a thymey, herby, scent. Ann's idea - works well.
Being called up for supper. More later perhaps.
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Saturday 23 April 2011

Saturday 2.

First half of this evening's supper. Tenderloin of pork in a lightly curried mushroom sauce, fried potatoes, AND - Tarah!!!- the first bait of asparagus of the season. Normally we would have this on its own as a starter, but Ann said that as this was going to be a light supper, and as she was going to have to rush off and serve at this evening's 'Vigil' service immediately after the first part of the meal, we'd have the asparagus as a second vegetable. I always think the first taste of a seasonal vegetable like asparagus is always the best, as this proved to be. Not sure what time the 'Vigil' is likely to end, but pudding when Ann comes home after it.
Been working in the garden this afternoon and evening putting up a bamboo cane support for the sweetpeas, runner beans, and (hopefully) the Morning Glory.
Earlier this week our very part time gardener Ken called when we were out and relocated our sink garden to its permanent position, so this evening I did a bit of rearranging it and transplanting therein a tiny yew tree I've been 'bonsai-ing' (that word doesn't look at all likely but I hope you'll be able to work it out) for some years. Hope it's happy to be moved at this time of year. We'll see.
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Before the Roman came to Rye or out to Severn strode
A rolling English drunkard made the rolling English road.
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Friday 22 April 2011

Good Friday 2.

Problem solved, I think. To continue :-
Row of thatched cottages, with work being done on thatch of far end one; seen on way to bluebell woods.

Bluebell woods.

Must do some work now. More blog later perhaps.

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Good Friday 1.

This afternoon we decided to go for a walk in our local bluebell woods. We'd been told they were in full flower, although I always think of May as the 'bluebell' month. On the way there we passed the above Suffolk cottage. The weatherboarding make it look more Essex than Suffolk, but it is in South Suffolk.


Stump of old tree that would now be massive, had it not been coppiced over many years, to give a supply of poles/firewood. I would think it was last coppiced (i.e. cut to ground level) about thirty years ago, since when it has grown about eight fair sized saplings in a ring round the old stump.

Slight problem with pictures - bear with me a minute.

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Thursday 21 April 2011

Maundy Thursday.

On Tuesday morning we drove to London (to be exact, to our youngest daughter's home, just off Chiswich High Street). It was a glorious, sunny, day, and to my surprise, some of her roses are in full bloom (one or two of ours have tiny buds showing). I suppose it's because they're seventy miles south of us, and very sheltered. We had a sandwich lunch, then I went to knightsbridge and 'viewed' Bonham's auction - they still send me 'freebie' catalogues of anything they think might interest me. Ann, and our youngest London grandchild, Beth (she's sixteen) went for a walk along the river, and Ann took the following two photoes, which I think show London at its best. Ann says the photoes were taken from the same spot; one looking towards the Thames, and one with her back to it.

When they got back to the house Ann made supper, ably assisted by Beth. It was a sort of roast chicken bake, done in a celery sauce,
followed by strawberries (Spanish) and cream. My contribution was a bottle of wine I'd won in a raffle at Saturday's Church Bazaar, and which I was a little doubtful about, but which turned out to be very acceptable. It was an Asti Spumante, which I thought might be rather a 'pudding wine', and in fact went very well with the desert.

Back to Bonham's on Wednesday, where I successfully bid for five lots. Ann joined me in Knightsbridge for lunch, and then again towards the end of the auction, after which we took a taxi back to Liz's. Ann again made supper, raiding Liz's fridge for most of the ingreediments of a vegetable bake, and following it with a fruit salad, which she'd purchased in the local shops. We hit the road at 7.30 p.m. and eventually were very glad to get home just before midnight. There seemed to be roadworks and diversions everywhere. Oddly enough the journey down on Tuesday morning took just under two and a half hours, and went like a dream (as opposed to the nightmare journey home). Still - we hit the sack at around midnight, crashed out and eventually woke just before eight this morning. Been doing necessary jobs around the workshop today (relaxed pottering mostly), but we're singing with the choir at this evening's service, so if you'll excuse me, I must go and get meself ready for it.

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Monday 18 April 2011


Yesterday afternoon drove up to Dunston Hall (a few miles south of Norwich) where we'd been invited by our friends Derek and Cath to a party to celebrate their twenty fifth wedding anniversary. The building is an impressive Victorian copy (1859) of an Elizabethan great house. It's now a hotel/ golf club.   They held a renewal of their marriage vows in the chapel, then we had an evening meal in a large private room. The meal was EXCELLENT, and the service was very good indeed. The staff were young, obviously carefully chosen, well trained, and very efficient. It's always a pleasure to meet the extended family of old friends, and to feel you almost know them already (and to find they know you) by reputation. One particularly pleasant surprise - took the above photo on our way into the Hall, and later realised that the young lady in the bottom right of the photograph was, in fact, a friend whom we'd not seen for a few years and rather lost touch with. She recognised us instantly, and was very pleased to renew the aquaintance. Since we'd last seen her, she'd changed partners (as the youngsters do - we'd heard of this via the grapevine) and had two children (which we hadn't heard about). It was lovely to see her again, and to meet her new bloke / partner / husband - I do find the nomenclature (?) of relationships a little difficult these days, and have to tread warily. Still - it's their pigeon.
We left the party a little after nine, drove home by the light of a glorious full moon riding high in a wide, clear, Norfolk, sky. Got home about ten- twenty, and went straight up to bed, leaving this blog till today, which has been a very busy one. Goodnight All.
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Friday 15 April 2011

Friday 3

Snapshot of Ann in the garden, taken just before we walked in to town for Cafe Church this morning.
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Friday 2.

Relevant part of previous picture 'embiggened' for the readers' convenience.
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Friday 1.

Photograph of the clock on our church steeple. The bell above the dial is one of the oldest in the country, dating from circa 1280. Instead of a loud echoing BOI- OI- OI- OING, it now gives a sad sort of g-donk noise. This has happened before and when it last happened it turned out that the white doves that nest in the tower were building nests around the bell. This year the doves are building around the DeaneryTower and the church tower; but the jackdaws have built around the clock bell, as you can see if you 'embiggen' the picture .  I talked to our senior Churchwarden, and he told me he intends disconnecting the strike mechanism of the clock (hope he knows what he's doing) until the jackdaws have finished nesting - "Then we'll see what can be done". Very humane of him, I suppose.     We'll also have to see what can be done about discouraging the jackdaws next year!!!!!
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Thursday 14 April 2011

Thursday 2.

Sorry to have to report that Picasa is, once again, digging its heels in, laying its ears back and refusing to co operate, so I'm back to publishing photoes by the 'round the houses' method. Both these are of our small garden which is beginning to look as we planned it to be when we moved in four years or so ago.

Thursday 1.

Just tried Picasa, and it seems to be working.!!!!!  Must tell Pat (Past imperfect.).
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Wednesday 13 April 2011


Top picture, running into Bildeston. Middle picture, running out of Bildeston. Bottom picture, running through Thetford Chase.

Got up before six o'clock this morning, as Ann taking early service, and self reading lessons.Bite of breakfast, then into car and drove across to Bury St. Edmund's. Eventually drove on to Brandon where we met up with old school friend Roy and his wife Janet, and had lunch at refurbished Brandon House Hotel, which was (the lunch, that is) dissapointing.  As also was, I'm sorry to say, the refurbished hotel. A year ago the hotel was down at heels, but welcoming. It is now - well I'm afraid the phrase 'cheap and cheerful' springs to mind, although it's not particularly cheap. The staff are still doing their best to be welcoming, and it's a convenient place for the four of us to meet up, so we'll probably give it another try in a few months, but unless it's improved in the meantime, we'll then have to find somewhere else.  On the way home we stopped of in Bury St. Edmund's again, bought a few bits in garden centre, then had a cup of tea and a long chat with our old friend Joan. Got home just before 6 o'clock.  Just changed into workshop scruff and must do some work. More later perhaps, depending how work goes.

Tuesday 12 April 2011

Monday 1.

Garden's looking well. Most beds now surrounded by aubretia.
Central raised bed with tulips and pansies - a flare of colour.
Colours a bit more subtle:-  snake's head fritillaries, and white fritillaries. Both these seem to have increased in number sinc last year.

Friends Keith and Jill joined us for lunch. This last winter Jill had given us several brace of pheasants (she is given them as payment for beating at the local shoots), and as we still had some in the freezer Ann decided to do a pheasant casserole for lunch. It was excellent !  For pudding Ann gave us apple charlotte with cream, followed by excellent coffee.

 After lunch (bearing in mind they too are dealers ,specialising in early metalware and oak) a little business took place. As Keith remarked :-  "Nice, civilised way of mixing business and pleasure."
 As they'd never seen the inside of St. Mary's the four of us then walked into town and spent an hour or so looking round the church and various of the other interesting buildings in town. Then home, cup of tea, and Jill and Keith started for their home just before five o'clock. All told, a very pleasant, relaxing day.