Friday, 30 September 2011


Hello Z. I'm not much of a ceramicist, but I think it's Chinese. It's just over four and a half inches high, and it looks and feels good. Ann occasionally puts small flowers in it (snowdrops look well). Sorry to have probably wasted your time - any information gratefully received. Point is - we both rather like it, so we've kept it for years. We did show it to Margaret Corson a good many years ago, and she too liked it, but I don't remember her springing about with excitement over it.
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Thursday, 29 September 2011


Been a quiet but fairly productive day in the workshop. Sandwich lunch, followed by a quick zizz (nap Lori). Then in car to pick up a linen jacket I've had to have cleaned (picked some blackberries and as a result one or two ripe ones fell on me, from higher in the bramble bush, and stained my old linen jacket - still,  Fiona, our cleaner, has made a perfect job of it). Then on to garden centre to buy a bunch of bronze chrysanths (they smell of autumn, those things) for Terry this evening. Just before seven drove over to friend Terry's home, where I'd been invited to supper. Drank apple juice (as I'd be driving home). Supper was a very pleasant quiche- sort of egg flan, with various salady thing as accompaniment. This was followed by pears stewed in red wine and spiced with a little vanilla and cinnamon . After this very pleasant light supper I was given a copy of the Times, banished to the sitting room, and asked to try and break into the crossword, while Terry made coffee (I must say that Terry made a better job of the coffee than I did of the crossword). Quiet half hour or so of very civilised conversation- well, all bar the part when Terry told me about an ancestor of her's who was burned at the stake in Crackow in the sixteenth century!
I must say that whenever Ann's away doing her Grannyish duties there's always a friend or so in our area who makes sure that I don't become completely uncivilised due to lack of proper hot meals and feminine company. And God bless them, say I; I'm very grateful.
And talking of blessings and being grateful for them, Ann 'phoned just before I set out to tell me that, whilst the medicos were doing the exploratory op on young Georgie, they spotted the problem and put it to rights. Sorry I can't be more specific, but you must remember that I am the sort of clean minded Englishman who really doesn't WANT to know the details of other peoples' (or me own, provided they continue to work) private insides, even those of my grandchildren. But I'm very glad and thankful that all's well now.

On which cheerful note I wish you all a very good and restful night's sleep.

P.s. Should have said (but you've probably worked it out) that snapshot is, once again, of a corner of our garden.

P.p.s. Mem : must write Terry a 'bread and butter' letter ack emma.

P.p.p.s.  Perhaps, as Terry reads this blog (and what better proof of friendship could she give that regularly reading this tosh?), this blog could count as a 'bread and butter letter', so I needn't write (????)

P.p.p.p.s. (think I'm losing count). Rubbish, taradiddle, Of course I must. Where's me pen?
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Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Wednesday 2.

Up early this morning as Ann was 'Deaconing' at early service. Pottered in workshop doing 'clean jobs' until 2.30p.m., when we drove over to Manningtree Railway Station where I put Ann onto the train for Liverpool Street. Granddaughter Georgie has to go into hospital early tomorrow for an exploratory op (nothing life threatening involved)  which involves a general anaesthetic, and as her mother, Liz, is very busy, she'd requested Granny (Ann) to accompany her. As Georgie is now twenty, it's rather nice that she needs her granny occasionally.
Just had a 'phone call from friend Terry asking me to eat with her tomorrow, which was very sweet of her.
Took the top photo from the car - trees just beginning to show autumn colouration. Took the bottom photo yesterday in Monks Eleigh opposite the Swan.
Pushing ten p.m. now, so - Goodnight everyone.
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Wednesday 1.

Yesterday we decided to have lunch out, and went to our favourite hostelry, the Swan at Monks Eleigh. The above picture shows Ann with her starter, a dish of mussels with herbs (can't remember what the herbs were). We usually swap bits of the dishes, so I can confirm that the mussels were excellent. I had a duck and partridge terrine, which was equally good (Ann confirms this).

Above Ann with her main dish of lasagna and (below) my main course of scallops. Again equally good.

Took above view of the Swan after our meal. I must add that we've eaten there a good many times, and never been disappointed.
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Monday, 26 September 2011


Above is a photo of the Black Forest clock I mentioned about a fortnight ago. It is now going well and keeping good time. It strikes the hour on a rather 'dingy' bell. It was made about 1840 in (as the name suggests) the Black Forest area of Germany, but very much with the English market in mind, as it is a quite conscious copy of an English regency rosewood wall clock.

The garden is still giving us a surprising amount of colour, as evidenced in the below pictures. The bottom is of one of our two hibiscus shrubs. Ann was given them as pot plants a year or two ago, and when they'd done flowering she planted them out. Rather to our surprise they've proved quite hardy, and are giving us a mass of late flowers. The white rose above them gives a lovely scent, especially when the sun is on it.

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Friday, 23 September 2011

Friday 2.

Took the above photo in one of the towers on the city wall when we took a walk along the top of the wall on Monday evening. The odd shaped hole in the wall is to fire a musket or light artillery at an invader.

The above snapshot is to give some idea of the weather we had - bright, windy, and with about two showers over the three days.

On Wednesday afternoon I got back to our room as the sun was setting. Ann was just stirring, so I put the kettle on and we had a cuppa. As we were having it Ann drew my attention to the view from our window, and I took the above photo. It had been a lovely three day break.
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Friday 1.

To resume my account of our trip to Kent earlier this week. Having been to Barfreston on Wednesday afternoon, we drove back to Canterbury. After  parking the car in the close, Ann decided that she needed to get her head down for a while (nap or sleep, Lori), and I decided to have a last walk round the Cathedral Close and take a few more snapshots - this is an unusual way round for us; normally it's I who nod off whilst Ann is still full of energy. Wandered around the east end of the cathedral and along its south side, snappling away as follows :-

Took the above photo of five guinea fowl pottering about the lawns. As they all had rather an ecclesiastical look to them, they blended in very well with their background. Snapped them from the slype (now there's a good word for scrabble).

Don't quite know how that snap got in here. I took it to get a shot of the City wall (about half of which is still standing) as we were leaving Canterbury late on Thursday morning. I think I'll have to do one more post and photo to complete my account (which I've had to precis a good deal anyway). More in a minute.
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Thursday, 22 September 2011

Thursday. 5.

On Wednesday afternoon we went to the village of Barfreston, which is in a tangle of narrow lanes some miles to the west of Dover. Parking is extremely difficult, as the lanes are narrow. We found the church easily (there's not much else there) and a gateway to park in with difficulty, but when we'd parked, walked back, climbed the steps to the churchyard, and pushed our way throught the yew trees, we were rewarded by finding this tiny gem of late norman architecture, which dates from around 1150, and is almost barbaric in its decorative splendour. I've taken photoes from all round the church, and then some details of its stone carved decoration. The door surrounds are decorated with jolly little Norman men at arms, people doing different jobs, various animals, some everyday, some mythical, and other more enterprising ones playing musical instruments.

Well worth the journey. Will try and complete account of our journey into Kent tomorrow. In the meantime, it's good to be home. Goodnight all.
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Thursday 4.

On Wednesday morning we motored over to Dover Castle. The above picture shows, on the left the Church at Dover Castle. It dates from the year 1000. To the right of the picture is a roman pharos or lighthouse, which dates from the first century A.D. It was later adapted to act as the bell tower for the Church. It is unique in Britain.

After we'd explored the roman lighthouse and the church, we wandered round the castle. Although there has been a castle on the site since roman days much of it has been built over and altered many times. The building in the centre of this picture was built in the 13th/14th century, but was altered to its present form as a barracks in around 1740.
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Thursday 3.

On Tuesday we went to early communion in the Cathedral, then back to the lodge for a very good breakfast. Spent the rest of the morning exploring the Cathedral.

Then explored the city.

The centre of the city is full of glorious early buildings.

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Thursday 2.

Our good friend Jenny, who regularly goes to Canterbury, recommended, as a place to stay, The Lodge, which is inside the Cathedral Close, and a matter of thirty or so yards from the side entrance to the Cathedral, and perhaps seventy yards from the main entrance. I took the above photo from our room, just after we arrived at about four o'clock on Monday afternoon. Car parking is just outside the lodge and therefore inside the cathedral close.

Above snap is of Ann about to go into the town via the main cathedral close gateway not long after we'd settled into our room.

I remember being told at school, that in old double jettied town houses, if two peopled leaned out of the opposite windows of the top floor rooms it would be perfectly possible to lean across the gap and shake hands with each other; and looking at the above photo, I would think it very likely.

The cathedral is largely Norman, and there are some interesting (if fragmentary) early murals, and some glorious early stained glass.
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