Sunday 30 October 2011


This is a photo of Mayfield in Sussex. It is published as an experiment to see if we have overcome Picasa's relectance to behave. Thanks to Crowbard's advice (and to Lori's suggestion, it appears to be successful- three rousing cheers !)Posted by Picasa

Thursday 27 October 2011

Thursday 2.

Above photo is one of the items I purchased at auction and collected on Monday. It's a..................... No, on second thoughts do any of my readers know (or guess) what it's purpose is? Their use was made illegal in 1827.
P.s. This is by way of being an experiment to see if I've solved the problem of illustrating the blog. It appears to be working.


I'm having problems with the illustration of my blog. Picassa refuses to use the photoes. Please bear with me until it's sorted out. At the moment my machine can only repeat the words "memcache value is null for form restoration".  I take it a memcache is some form of lady's purse or reticule? Or possibly a shortened form of memory cache? I do wish the chaps in charge of these machines would teach them to speak plain English.

Memcache indeed !!!

Oh well. In the meantime, I'm afraid it will be verbal messages only.
P.s. As a matter of interest, is anyone else having the same problem ?

Wednesday 26 October 2011


Been a busy few days. You may remember that I mentioned viewing an auction on 14th October in Lewes and leaving some bids. Two of the bids were successful, so on Monday we motored down to Lewes, paid for and collected the purchased items. We stayed over at the same B. and B. place (French clock still going well, I'm glad to report). Then on Tuesday we visited Mayfield in Sussex, took a few photoes thereof, explored it for a while, then motored home.

Today we motored over to Carl and Judy's home near Leicester, had lunch there, then returned with Judy who has recently had an operation and is to stay with us for a few days to convalesce. Return journey took just over two hours (Ann driving). Glad to be home.
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Saturday 22 October 2011

Saturday 2.

Still with yesterday evening's supper party - snapshot of table just after I'd laid it. Later on during the meal Christine remarked that it was Trafalgar Day (206th anniversary thereof), so I proposed the traditional toast 'Confusion to the French' which was then drunk. Thought afterwards I should have added a more modern toast (which I'd just made up) :- "And beggar the Common Market before it beggars us".
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Saturday 1.

Had friends coming for supper yesterday evening. Above photo is of Ann preparing the meal.

Three puddings on the worktop that divides our kitchen/dining room. The nearest is a chocolate torte (Ann tells me that is the correct term, and that I aught not to refer to it as a chocolate stodgecake) that Ann made earlier in the week, so that we could do 'quality control tests' on it. It was delicious and seemed to improve with keeping for a day or so. Beyond that is a glorious apple pie (with cloves) and to the right of that is a bowl of strawberries and raspberries (one of our guests is diabetic).  Cream and/or custard available.

Meal in full swing- pudding stage. Terry - next to Ann- reads this blog and suddenly asked me if I was going to take photographs of the meal to put on blog. I made sure nobody had any objection, then snapped away. To the right of Terry is our friend Hilary, then Terry's son Simon, and to the right of the picture Simon's wife Christine. So there you are Terry - wish granted; and thank you all for helping to make it a lovely evening.
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Friday 21 October 2011


Walked to cafe Church this morning, and took the above snapshot of the white doves that inhabit the nooks and crannies of our (just) pre Tudor Deanery tower. After an early frost the weather was very mild and some of the doves seemed to think springtime was at hand and were behaving as if the breeding season was about to recur. Ah well, good luck to them, say I, Gather ye rosebuds while ye may, and make hay while the sun shines, for youth's a stuff that won't endure; and there's a thoroughly mixed bag of metaphores (or quotes anyway). As we used to say at school - Have you never met a metaphore afore ?
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Wednesday 19 October 2011


Been a quiet day. Early service. Read a lesson each. Later in the morning motored over to the next village to fix a clock. Hasn't gone for years. Room where it normally hangs is being decorated. Did what was necessary. Think it will run, but shan't know until decorating finished and the clock can be rehung. Stopped and took the above photo when nearly home. Nice peaceful scene. Hailstorm this afternoon. Below dahlia (which was very tall and spindly) had broken stem so snipped it off and took it in to Ann, who snipped it further and put it in a vase. Almost certainly the last of the dahlias (although there are still one or two buds). Been a good show of them this autumn.

Nearly supper time, so will wish you all a very good night.
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Tuesday 18 October 2011


Snapshot of an apple pie, made on Sunday by Ann and granddaughter Lucy. It had one or two cloves in it to jazz it up (not really necessary for an apple pie in the usual way, but as we're eating  lots of them due to the glut of apples,  it does vary the flavour). Served with custard and/or cream.

Not sure why I put this one in. It's just a snap of the sitting room (usually known as the bar parlour - this place used to be half an old Inn).

What I really wanted to write about today  is my weekly lip reading class. Just under thirty per cent of the English language is readable on the lips, but every little helps. The class is attended by ten or a dozen of us, and we all really enjoy it. I don't quite know why it's such fun; partly I suppose because we're all in the same boat, including our tutor Jill - that is to some extent we're all luggy, hard of hearing, aurally challenged (to use the rather mealy mouthed modern expression). In other words - deaf. And that means that we all know the problems, and it also means that we can pick up tips from each other on means of solving some of the problems. I think too that as Jill is a professional teacher she is able to make the classes fun. She devises quizzes for us regarding the different sounds we are studying. I'll have to give an example here, I think. This week we were doing the 'J', 'Ch', and 'Sh' sounds, which are homophenes - that is they look exactly the same on the lips. Jill would silently mouth a word at us and we'd have to come up with a word meaning the same but with the 'J', 'Ch', or 'Sh' sound in it. One of the words Jill mouthed was 'throw away' ( fairly easy words to read on the lips - try it in a mirror), and we each came up with a meaning containing this week's sounds. Mine was 'ditch', Brian's next to me was 'chuck out'. The answers, too, have to be silently mouthed and the others (and Jill) guess them. I'm sure you get the idea. You'd be surprised at how tiring two hours of this sort of learning can be. Three of us were discussing this in the break, and the general opinion is that it's tiring because of the sheer concentration needed. We all agreed that it's....... well 'fun' is the word that seems to best describe it. A while back, just as I was going out to lip reading class, Ann was talking to one of the grandchildren on the 'phone. "Say hello to your grandfather" she said. "He's just going out to his play group." Since then (in the family) my lip reading class has been known as 'Pa's Playgroup'. I told Jill this, and she took it as rather a compliment.

Being called up to supper now. More later perhaps.
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Saturday 15 October 2011

Saturday 2.

Guy and Lucy working on their pomanders.

Guy had put his name on one side, and the date on the other (2011).

Lucy had put her name on one side and a stylised (I hope) portrait of her Pa on the other.

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Saturday 1.

I illustrated a child's small sword late in August. Above is a photo of the sword being held as it should be (fingers through the pas dane rings) by grandson Guy who is nearly twelve. As you can see his hands are already too large to hold the sword properly and comfortably.

This morning we went for a walk down Tinker's Lane and along the river walk. In a cottage on the corner of Tinker's Lane lives the terrier photographed above. He spends his time keeping watch from one of two windows. He always seems pleased when we stop to greet him.

Family and dogs on the River Walk.

Swans and three nearly grown up cygnets. I think I published a photo of the same family in their nest earlier in the year.

This afternoon just before five we had a power cut. So Ann gave Lucy and Guy an orange each , some ribbon, a jar of cloves, and a quick lesson in making pomanders. I was left in charge (a heavy responsibility) whilst the three adults (I know my place) went shopping. The above is a snapshot of Lucy's pomade when nearly finished. Soon after this we had to light candles and finish the work by their light.

I took this photo of Guy and his pomander by candle light only. Not a very clear photo but it gives a good idea of our working conditions. Soon after this (at about seven p.m.) the power was restored.

I should add that we woke up this morning to the first frost of the winter. The house opposite to us has a slate roof, which was white this morning. Since then it's been a lovely day weatherwise and every otherwise.
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Friday 14 October 2011

Friday 5.

One last thing I've just remembered. Inside a covered gateway in Lewes is this portrait I've always admired. I took this snapshot because I thought it might interest one of my regular readers - Lori Scoog. It's of Thomas Payne, who lived in Lewes for some years. He eventually went to America, and I believe helped to draw up your constitution.
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Friday 4.

Closer view of the Barbican gateway.

Snapshot of Ann in an ancient alleyway.

Bit further along the same lane we were astonished to see a Forsythia in flower. Known them to flower in Febrary in a very mild spring, but in mid October......!

Been an eventful three days. Yesterday we'd parked the car opposite an auction house I used to frequent some years ago. Became aware that the head porter was waving wildly at us from the office window, and he then charged across to greet us, informed us that their 'Special' sale is on next week, presented us with a free catalogue, and invited us to view the sale on Friday morning (today) which we did, and eventually left several bids.

This morning at the 'Bed and Breakfast' farmhouse where we were the only guests, our hostess after breakfast, asked me if I'd have a look at a clock which hadn't been going for some years. The French clock (above) was way out of beat, but responded to treatment, and was going nicely, and striking the hour as we left. Thoroughly enjoyed our few days away, but it's good to be home. We've Sarah, Mikey, Lucy and Guy (and the dogs) coming for the weekend. Expecting them later this evening, and looking forward to it.
We wish you all a good weekend.
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Friday 3.

Not sure I should publish this shot of an early fireback. It has the virtue of antiquity. It shows a 'gentleman' pressing his unwanted attentions on a milkmaid, who reciprocates by spilling milk on him from the pail on her head. If this doesn't cool his ardour I think the pail may follow. I should think this one must have once adorned the fireplace in the bar parlour of a not too picky pub.

View of the back of Ann of Cleeves House. It was given to Ann of Cleeves as part of her divorce settlement from Henry VIII.

Bookshop in a lovely old building (although in dire need of a lick of paint) in the town of Lewes.

The Barbican Gateway to Lewes Castle, one of the first to be built after the Conquest.
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Friday 2.

To continue. In the morning Jeremy Hodgkinson, author of British Cast Iron Firebacks (and a member of the Antique Metalware Society) gave a talk on the collection of firebacks in the house. The above shot is of the earliest dated fireback in the collection.

Ann took the above snapshot of meself in mid covet.

Small corner of one of the rooms of reserve collections.
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