Tuesday 31 January 2012


One thing I meant to say about our weekend away :- It turned into a rare bird weekend for us. When we set out from home on Friday morning we saw a little egret on the water meadows near the river Brett. Hadn't seen him for some months so it was lovely to see him in our area. An hour later we called to see our friends Frank and Jenny, and in their garden we watched a nuthatch feeding, and we hadn't seen one of those for a good many years. And on our way home yesterday, only a couple of miles from home we saw a young barn owl hunting. It was in an area where, up to a few years ago, we would have been fairly sure to see one, so it's nice to think they may be making a comeback.

The photo is one I promised yesterday to show sister-in-law Sue (who is the lady on the left of the picture). I hope she can make the picture stand up straight for I can't; Sue, you will have to lie down on your left side and look at the picture then you should be able to see it properly.

Must get what's left of an early night now- got an early start tomorrow.  Good night All.

Monday 30 January 2012

Monday 2.

Guy spent some of the weekend building farm machinery from my old Meccano set.

Dramatic sky on way to Sarah's, near Milton Keynes.

Today, on way home, met up with Ann's brothers, and had a pub lunch at Great Barton. Tim (youngest brother) took above photo after lunch. Left to right we are - meself, Sue (Tim's wife), Ann,  Mo (David's wife), David (middlest brother) and Mick (senior brother - and senior of the family).  Got home about five p.m. It's been a lovely weekend - and it's very nice to be home.

Goodnight all..

Monday 1.

Last Friday after cafe Church, we packed the car, and motored over to Sarah's. About ten miles from home we parked in a layby on a back lane and ate our sandwich lunch. The above robin came and perched beside Ann's driving  window in hope of crumbs, which he got.

Photo of granddaughter Lucy on Friday evening.

Photo of Ann, chatting to Lucy.

Photo of senior daughter Sarah making up bed assisted (?) by cocker spaniel Mango.
More in a minute (when I've loaded more photos).

Wednesday 25 January 2012

Wednesday 2.

Pancake party in full flow.

Still at pancake party. The lady standing just to the right of centre is our hostess, fellow  blogger Wendy; But for a full report of this evening's pancake party suggest you check out wendywhitecat.wordpress.com

Wednesday 1.

Been a busy day so far. To early service at which Ann deaconed and I read a lesson. Breakfast, did two or three little jobs in town, then we drove over to Woolpit.  Above is view of Woolpit Post Office. Just to the left of centre of the picture is a very fine Tudor chimney stack. If successfully embiggened the quality of the brickwork should become apparent.

View of the Market place and Market Cross.
 Then drove to cousin Sheila's where we had lunch. Hadn't seen Sheila for a year or two so we did a good deal of catching up on family news.

View of cousin Sheila flanked by two grandfathers. The grandfather on the left has been attending to the needs of the grandfather on the right for a great many years. I first had to sort it out and get it going when it belonged to Sheila's parents. Since then I've been called to minister to its needs at  irregular intervals, although I've never had to perform major surgery on it. These consultations have always coincided with a very good meal there.  This time it was ticking away happily though.   Got to close now, motor into town, pick up Hilary, then the three of us will be attending a pancake party at the upper end of town at fellow blogger Wendy Whitecat's.   More later perhaps.

Sunday 22 January 2012


Above is today's mystery object.  Well, actually there's no mystery. I made it this afternoon. It's a weight to drive the clock I illustrated yesterday. It weighs just over five and a half pounds, and is made of lead in a sheet  copper casing, and was nearly an afternoon's work. Only nearly because in the late afternoon Sheila (just along the road from us) 'phoned to ask about yesterday's Prize Crossword. We'd both nearly completed it, so swapped the few remaining undone clues. In view of Z's blog entry this seems to be this weekend's subject. The clue that pleased me most was 'cut back tough fish'- eight letters- (or rather getting the answer did).  I now  don't know whether to leave it to see if anyone else got it, but if I do that you'll all think I'm hoping for further assistance, so I'll tell you that the answer I put down was  PILCHARD  (clip backwards,  and hard).

Good night all.

Saturday 21 January 2012


Sorry I've not posted since Monday; been a busy and fairly well filled week. Today has been a  standard Saturday. Spent this morning in my workshop putting finishing touches to the above clock. I published a photo of the same clock when I'd just got it on 17th November last, so I now have 'before and after' photos of it. Been working on it (well, on and off) since then. It's a nice small wall clock (eight inch square dial) built about 1780.    Got meself tidied up about 1 p.m., had sandwich lunch, then to scrabble club for usual three games. Played with Phyllis, Hilary, and Kevin. Good games. Home just after four. Friend Jill 'phoned to say she's been beating today and had a brace of pheasant for us. As they've got a very busy weekend (setting up tomorrow for an antique fair in London) we motored over to them (seven or eight miles) to collect the birds. Stopped and had a cuppa with them; they were in the middle of packing, but seemed ready for a  break, then collected birds, and came home. As they were only shot today I hung them up outside  in the forge to ripen. Will do the necessary on Monday (D.V.). As the weather is still very mild they should be about ready then.  Supper just after seven, and been in the workshop since. About ready for bed now, so will bid you all a very good night.

Monday 16 January 2012

Monday 2.

Tonight's supper was a real meal of leftovers, and that, by the way, is by no means a complaint. It was excellent.  Ann found she'd got some creamed, left over  potatoes; so  mixed in some tuna fish and some capers,   turned the potatoes into fish cakes, and fried them. Then the last of the Christmas brie cheese was mixed with some sliced tomatoes and baked. Together with a few chopped, fried mushrooms, the leftovers were turned into an excellent light supper.   Pudding was stewed pears with figgy yoghurt.  We still have a few scraps of cheeses (also left over from Christmas) so we finished up with a cheese board, and a glass of port apiece. Followed by a game of scrabble.
I'm now back down in my cellar, and am about to try and complete  one or two more jobs before bedtime.

Goodnight all.

Monday 1.

Further to telephone conversation of about ten minutes ago with sister-in-law Judy, herewith is photo of the amarilys bulb that you gave Ann last November, now in full bloom, with two main stems of four flowers each. It's a beauty, a glorious velvet red.
 Been getting on in the workshop today (but only slowly, I'm afraid) - got at least another day's work on the case of the wall clock before I start on the movement, then the dial. Oh well - satisfying job. Got a lantern clock to sort out after that, then a snaphaunce carbine - should keep me going at least into March. It's good to have plenty of work waiting for me.
Being called upstairs to supper now. Bit more later perhaps.

Sunday 15 January 2012


This morning both Ann and I sang in the choir at morning service. After service I'd put the robes away in the vestry and after winding the vestry clock I came across these two seated at the organ with their hands on the keyboard.  "Hello you two" I said, "practising duets are you?"
"Not really" says Oliver, the organist's son.  "Dad says we may sit up here and finger the keys, but we mustn't switch the organ on. So we're sort of only pretending to practice duets".

Friday 13 January 2012


Above photo is of last night's supper- and goes directly against the advice a blogging friend gave me this morning. It went - roughly- 'Only blog when you've got something to say'. Then I find meself thinking of Parson Woodford's Diary - he always made a note of what he'd had for supper, so - the above supper consists of two Cumberland sausages in onion gravy, boiled carrots, celery, roast red peppers, and creamed potatoes. Followed by a pudding of apple and raspberry crumble with custard and cream. And if any of my revered readers can think of a better winter supper I don't think I want to know of it.

Been a fairly busy day. Went to cafe Church this morning and had coffee and a croissant (with butter and jam), and seemed to meet everybody including blogger friend as mentioned above. On the way in to Church stopped in the market place and purchased a pork pie from the pie maker from whom I bought our Christmas pork pie. This morning's pie was a small one, made, he told me, from Gloucester Old Spot pork. He then gave me a sliver of Cheddar cheese to try, and it was very good, so bought a few ounces. After coffee, walked home and called in at our local book shop/art supplies shop- Idlers. Needed some black Indian ink to touch in the well worn numbers on a clock I'm doing up, but Brian was out of the ink (Windsor and Newton's), so told him there was no hurry for it, and I'd call in again soon. This suited him well, as he'd just bought a box of books (not yet unpacked) with a copy of The Ingoldsby Legends in it (which I'd asked him to look out for). He's a good book dealer, and never forgets anything he's been asked to  look for.
Sandwich lunch (which featured Old Spot pork pie and cheddar cheese), then a quick zizz.  When I got up, came down to workshop and completed restoration to the oak case of the clock I'm working on at the moment. I've just said that the case is of oak, and oak is the major wood used,  but in fact it's of mixed wood. The oak parts were alright, but some of the other parts were elm, pine, etc., and these were pretty wormy and have had to be replaced.  Most of the time I work in metal, but I must say I 've found it therapeutic (if that's the right word, and it's a word that seems to keep coming up today) to be working in wood for a change.
As we're going out to the film club later, I must knock off now and go and get cleaned up and changed to go out. More later perhaps.  

Monday 9 January 2012


Didn't really intend to blog today - been a busy one, but took the above photo in town - window box on the front of a friend's house on the High Street.

This afternoon went to a  lecture (U3A- University of the 3rd Age, Lori, don't know if you have these. The idea is that people over a certain age can carry right on learning) on Suffolk Punches. The correct name is the Suffolk Horse, or the Suffolk Sorrel Horse, with slides on a screen. It was fascinating, but I had to slide out three quarters of the way through and nip round the corner to our surgery where I had an appointment to have me ears syringed out. The nurse who did it didn't waste any time, and I was able to slip back into the lecture towards the end of it. 

The lower picture is of one of Ann's Amarylises, which has decided to flower fairly early. The colour is of a rather deeper velvety red than the photo shows. It's a beauty.

 Got an early start ack emma, so going to grab an early night.  Goodnight all.  

Sunday 8 January 2012


I took the above pictures earlier today to remind meself that there are (even in January) a few bits of colour still about. Took the top one in the garden of the United Reform Church, through which we took a short cut this morning. Took the lower two pictures in our garden when we got home.

This afternoon we walked back into town to our friend Eileen's home,  where we met up with Hilary for a scrabble tea. We took her a small purple chrysanthemum plant in full flower. Hilary took her the last of her Christmas crackers. Had two good games of scrabble, both of which eileen (who was on top form) won. We then had tea and crackers. Tea consisted of egg and cress sandwiches, Patum Peperium sandwiches (gentleman's relish), various small cakes and Eileen had baked one of her apple cakes (noted for their moist fruitiness). Hilary's crackers were really very good ones. The jokes in them were all fairly awful. In fact one of them was so awful as to be quite good :- 'Why did the mechanic sleep under the car?'  (tell you later). After tea we had a third game of scrabble, which, after putting down a seven letter word and managing to hold onto my lead, I won. We left Eileen's about six p.m., all of us feeling that we're still hanging onto the Christmas season to some extent.  A very pleasant and sociable  afternoon. Just had a very light supper of cold chicken, fried potatoes, and pickles, and we're about ready for bed - Goodnight All.

P.s. No, I hadn't forgotten.  It was 'because he wanted to get up oily in the morning'.

Saturday 7 January 2012


One of the best crib scenes we've seen in a while. Saw it in a local church. From the dress of some of the figures (particularly Joseph), I think it was made in the early thirties. One detail that I liked was that Joseph, the figure to the left (behind the goat) had a canvas bag of small carpentry tools at his feet- doesn't show in the photo though. Fairly standard Saturday - in workshop most of the morning, working on an eighteenth century timepiece alarm clock. Sandwich lunch, then scrabble club. Managed to fit four games and a tea break into our two hour session (though we overshot our two hours by about eight minutes). Of our table's four games, the four of us managed to win a game each. Several of us took in bags of left over Christmas goodies to hand round, so it turned into a tea party. Ann walked into town to meet me out of scrabble, and we visited the library on the way home to change our books.  Must knock off now to try and get a bit more work done on the clock I was overhauling this morning. Bit more later perhaps.

Thursday 5 January 2012

Thursday 2.

Supper :- Pork and apple casserole, with mashed potatoes, cauliflower in a light cheese sauce, and roast red peppers with cherry tomatoes. The apples Ann used in the casserole are Cox's pippins (we were given a box of these by our friend Phoebe just before Christmas- they are an eating apple but quite sharp and go well in a pork casserole).   For pudding we had a bread and butter pudding and custard.  Altogether a very satisfying winter supper.  After supper we played a game of scrabble which Ann won by ten points. Had a glass of port apiece to go with it.
Good night all.

Thursday 1.

Two more of the photos taken in Thaxted. Above is of cobbled lane leading up towards the Church.

The above photo is of the side of the Guildhall. To the left is the open area at the front of the Guildhall, which I should think was originally used as a Market Hall, or a shambles. The door in the lower centre of the picture obviously gave onto the town lockup. The whole town is a glorious survival of ancient buildings.

Had a good and busy day at Long Melford yesterday. Started off by buying a very attractive lantern clock. Needs a good deal of work on it, but I set it up when we got home late  yesterday afternoon and the clock's been ticking away ever since - which is a good start.  Had a good, busy, and potentially profitable  day after that. Today I've been pottering in the workshop, walking into town, and then taking down the Christmas cards and Christmas tree.  Being called upstairs for supper now. Bit more later perhaps.

Tuesday 3 January 2012


Above is a photograph of Thaxted Church, which we visited yesterday. It is a fine, cathedral like church, light and spacious inside. Mainly 14th/15th century, with some earlier bits, and many interesting internal features. It is set on a small (East Anglian you must remember) hill, above the town.

The town of Thaxted itself is a typical east Anglian town. The main street, below and to the East of the Church is full of fine, early buildings of all periods, well at least of all periods since the 1300s. The pretty little double jettied , bay windowed house, in the photo below, is typical of the town.

Monday 2 January 2012

Monday 2.

This morning we hit the road at just after nine a.m. to drive to Stansted Airport. It was a lovely morning so took photo of Ann, Ruth, Tuva and Freja in the garden before we set off.  Got to Stansted at about ten fifteen, had a coffee, and saw Ruth and the girls through customs at ten forty.  We both had a feeling that life is now going to seem a bit quiet for a day or so, and to cheer ourselves up a bit we drove back via Thaxted in North Essex.  Took photo of a 1930s Austin Twelve, which had broken down outside a furniture restoration shop. Lower photo is of  the Guildhall, with the Church in the background. Explored the Church at some length and took more photoes which I'll show later in the week probably. In the meantime I must get on with some work (got Long Melford Antique Fair later this week).

So - Goodnight all.

Monday 1.

For yesterday evening's meal we had a fish pie (which had largely vanished before I thought of photography). However, for pudding, by popular demand of Ruth and the Girls, Ann had made a lemon meringue  pie, and I did remember to take a  photograph of it before it too was largely demolished.  This morning Ann asked the girls what they'd like for breakfast, and to our astonishment they asked for the cold lemon meringue pie!!!!!  Not to be outdone Ruth asked if there was any of the Christmas pudding left, and as there was Ruth had some of it for breakfast.  Our family are all pretty robust trenchermen I'm glad to report.

Sunday 1 January 2012

Sunday 2.

Experiment. Ruth is upstairs. Packing. Thought I'd try and publish an illustrated post before she comes down. Ann has just shouted down my cellar steps -"Supper in five". Sounds convenient. Smells pretty good, too. I happen to know that Ann is preparing a rather special fish pie, for the girl's last evening with use  (drools a little in anticipation).  More later.

Sunday 1.

 Today Ann's older brother, Mick, came over from Littleport to see Ruth and the girls (and of course his sister and brother-in-law). We sat around the dining table drinking coffee and tea, and eating Christmas cake, mince pies (with a little brandy sauce under the pie lids- "scrummy" as Freja says), bickies,etc. Mick showed us old photoes, some dating back to World War Two. Ann and I knew who was on most of them then had to explain to Ruth who they were, whilst Tuva and Freja treated it as a history lesson.

Took the above photo to see if a family likeness is apparent. I think it is. As both Mick and Ann said "Not so much Clayton as Doulton.  I think that's probably true too.

I'm now being given an intensive lesson by Ruth (who is a determined teacher, and I'm glad I'm not one of her long term pupils- although come to think of it, I'm probably her longest term pupil!!!!! - I think I'm grateful for it- I've a lot to learn in operating this machine).  More in a few mins I think.