Thursday, 28 February 2013


It's lovely having Ruth and her girls here to stay. Took above snapshot of Freja and Tuva at breakfast.

 After breakfast Ruth decided to take the girls for a long walk, passing the above ploughed field on the way.

They then went on to some beech woods about half a mile (as the crow flies) from home, where they discovered a rope swing. If you enlarge the above photo you'll discover Tuva, on the right, about to go into orbit.

 They all had a good swing, even Ruth, who, in her late forties (sorry to be ungallant, daughter) might be considered a bit long in the tooth for such excesses! Still, she's very fit and lissome. Good job Grannie stayed at home to cook lunch, otherwise I know she'd have been tempted to have a swing. (so might I, if I'd gone with them,  come to think of it).

 Above photo shows Freja resting from the excercise on a log. She'll be thirteen in a few weeks.

When they all got home Grannie had made a hearty meal of bangers and mash, celleriac, potatoes and mushrooms. It was followed by the above pictured apfel strudel that Ann had also made (with custard of course). They all (needless to say) did full justice to a late lunch.

P.s. Reopen this to say that I gave Ruth my camera before they set out and asked her to take lots of pictures, so that ALL the above were taken by Ruth.

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Tuesday (still testing).

Ann and meself in 1963.

Granddaughter Laura and meself at our do at the Swan.

When we left the Swan I had to call for a number of volunteers to act as a team of native bearers to get all Ann's flowers to the car. Above shows grandson Matthew, and Georgie's partner Andy, transporting floral tributes.
The whole of this blog entry is to try and sort out my photo problems under Ruth's guidance. And also to put up a few more photos from Saturday's celebration. Probably more tomorrow (when I'll try and return this blog to normal).    Goodnight all.

Tuesday (test).

Tuva and Freja in Ruth's room, waiting for Ruth and Granny.
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Sunday, 24 February 2013


 Above and below pictures - Then and Now. Exactly fifty years apart.  Unusually  the above photo was taken with one of the new fangled colour cameras by a wedding guest.

The below four photographs show the lunch party held to celebrate our golden wedding  in a decent sized private room at the Swan Inn at Monks Eleigh. Thirty two family members sat down to lunch at three tables. The food served was up to the Swan's usual high standards, and between the courses our youngsters and their youngsters wandered between the tables catching up on all their cousins' news.

Above :- grandsons Guy and Matthew (cousins), meself, Ann, and Freja (Ruth's youngest).

Above and below :- general impressions of the room. Doesn't show, but there was a decent fire in the huge fireplace.

It was a glorious meal, and a lovely party. Afterwards, just over twenty of our family came on to our house, and the party finally broke up at about seven thirty - a memorable day!

P.s. All the photos were taken by Ruth on my camera. She and the girls are staying with us for the next fortnight. Ruth took loads more photos, and I shall probably bore you rigid with them over the next few days.

P.p.s. Ruth wishes me to make it clear that she certainly didn't take the first photgraph in 1963.

Friday, 22 February 2013


Tomorrow we celebrate our fiftieth wedding anniversary. Above is one of the photos from our wedding photograph album. You must remember that on the 23rd February, 1963,  we were having the worst winter (well, the coldest, anyway) on record, so that when the photos were taken there was still a great deal of hard, frozen snow about, and the temperature was still way below freezing. By the time this was taken the happy wedding smiles were fast becoming (literally) frozen grins.  Ann made her wedding dress (she still has it).  I was given the 'morning suit' in the photo, by an old friend of the family (a Col. Keates), who said he thought he'd never wear it again, as he could no longer get into it (I still have it, and can still get into it, although it's a snugger fit than it used to be). My best man, young Crowbard, hired his morning suit, and fortunately a pair of gloves came with it, so we carried one each. Economies of that sort were very necessary  for us at that time.
We're holding a family 'get together' tomorrow, with lunch at our favourite hostelry, to celebrate. A bit later today we're motoring over to Stanstead to pick up Ruth and her girls at the airport.
Just being called upstairs to lunch.  More later perhaps, although that will depend on what time we get back from the airport.

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Monday, 18 February 2013


Still practising publishing photos via the new arrangement that my computer has imposed on me. On a comment on my previous blog entry I was telling Sir Bruin about our family celebration on Saturday next. Browsing through my photographic files (to experiment with) I came across this one, which shows a small portion of the tribe in our kitchen, celebrating during the Christmas before last.

Back to today (which has been a good and relaxed one). We went and had lunch with our good friends David and Sue, who live at the opposite end of our town in a very pleasant bungalow set in a surprisingly large garden - they are both keen gardeners. When we got there, there appeared to be no
 one about, but we finally located them at the far end of the said garden, where they were rescuing a pair of greenfinches from David's fruit cage. After which little excitement we went in to lunch. David usually makes a curry of some sort when we lunch with them, and today he had surpassed himself with (I think he said) a 'biriani' (apologies if I've got that wrong, David).  Whatever it was , it was a delicious mixture of oriental spices and chicken, with rice and two sorts of chutney. Sue followed this by three sorts of pudding on a plate. As my late mother in law would have said "Ten out of ten for presentation, Sue". The puddings were a pear and almond tart with cream, two dabs of ice cream, and some stewed blueberries. A lovely mix which we lingered over. We then adjourned to the sitting room where we chatted over tea/coffee and shared all our local news.  It was, as always, good to catch up with them.

We left them just before four, and I have spent the rest of the day in my workshop, doing odd jobs, one of which was the re case-hardening of a fire steel, so that an eighteenth century tinder box I've been restoring is now in full working order. Don't suppose anyone will ever NEED to use it, but I do like things to be capable of fulfilling their original purpose. Antiques are like us - they last better for being kept in use and at work.
Goodnight all.

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Sunday 2.

Been playing with the new system ('fighting with' might be the more realistic term) and have so far succeeded as to be able to rotate this picture (had taken the picture with the camera on its side). The point of the blog entry is that we had lit a fire below the left hand chimney the other night and discovered about a third of a Tudor brick in the fireplace which hadn't been there before. The chimneys date from the late 1500s, so we thought we'd better get the chimneys checked out. Our good friend, David Northover, a builder who specialises in ancient buildings, came over on Saturday morning to have a look at it.  His opinion was that the chimneys had better be repointed, this time using the correct lime mortar, rather than the concrete that had been used when they were last repaired.  He also thought a fresh chimney pot (i.e. a second hand pot of the right period) on the left hand chimney would be a good idea. As he'll be using lime mortar, the job had better be done when all danger of frost had passed.  Oh well, that should give me some time to save the necessary pennies (even at 'mate's rates - David's phrase for it - it will be fairly spensive).   The joys of living in 'period properties, eh ? !!!!!

Sunday 1.

This entry is all about flowers. I am, once again having difficulty with photography. It does seem to me that once I have got used to doing almost anything on computer, the machine then changes all the procedures around leaving me (and probably a great many other users) up a gum tree, and , as Wodehouse says - very  far from gruntled. Oh well..... this morning we pottered round the garden taking pictures. The above and below ones are of the two hellebores in bloom.

The below photo shows the first daffodil in bud.

After church we whizzed around to the new Morrison's superstore to buy some things ready for Ruth and the girls arrival on Friday- necessary things for teenagers - potato crisps and Coca-Cola, among others. The new store seems to be very well stocked, and has a good range of reasonably priced cut flowers, so I bought Ann the below carnations- white with pink rims - rather pretty. I must now practice with the new photograph system.
Goodnight all.

Saturday, 16 February 2013


 Last Sunday Ann decided to make a Queen's pudding. Hasn't made one for eighteen months or so; But she seems to have set a trend for them, as I've just been reading on Z's blog entry for today that she made one last night.  Z. says, and I quite agree with her, that it's a very English pudding, and is delicious. The top photo  is of my portion of pudding, and I took the second photo when I'd finished demolishing the subject of the first photo, by which time (as Ann wishes me to point out) the meringue top of the pudding had sunk a good deal.

The below two photographs were taken on Wednesday. The one immediately below is of Lavenham High Street, looking South towards Sudbury.

The below picture of a thatched farmhouse was taken somewhere in the back lanes a few miles west of Bury St. Edmund's.  We're in the middle of a pleasantly busy weekend, of which I'll probably post more details later.

Wednesday, 13 February 2013


Been a long and busy day. Went to early service where Ann was deaconing and I was reading the Old Testament lesson (58th chapter of Isaiah - for Crowbard's benefit). After a quick bite of breakfast went  to the Royal Mail Sorting Office, where a couple of parcels were waiting - one contained a battered tinder box (brass),  which needs some TLC.  Then motored over to Lavenham (see top and below photo), where we had coffee with friends, and advised on a very early bronze artifact.

Left them about midday, and decided to stop at a pub (the Manger) where a good lunch can be had (and indeed it was - both good and had).  Outside the pub in the childrens' play area Ann spotted the subject of the next picture and drew my attention to it by saying "Oh, look! That snow lady's slid off the slide."

Then on to a village near Newmarket where we delivered a regency bracket clock I've been restoring to its owner. Had a cuppa with her, then drove back to Bury St. Edmund's. On the way took the below two photos (through the car windscreen) of  a thatched cottage and barn.

The Church below is fairly modern, but is of some interest, as it was designed by Sir George Gilbert Scott, who designed that other monstrosity the Albert memorial. The Church is at Higham, which was granted its own parish and church in 1851, immediately after which the Church was designed and built.

One last photo - we stopped in Bury St. Edmund's to do a little shopping, and took the below photograph of the Nutshell pub, which claims to be the smallest pub in England; and that  is probably why the small group of drinkers outside had to do their drinking on the pavement on a very cold day with an East wind blowing. As I said at the start of this sago- sorry saga- it's been a long day - so : Goodnight All.

Monday, 11 February 2013


About an hour ago, in our kitchen, I took the above snapshot of an orchid that Ann has had on the windowsill for over a year- this is the third time it's flowered. It's a cold, raw, day, and the window faces North East, yet the orchid seems to thrive in these conditions. In the past we always thought of orchids as being hothouse flowers and very difficult to grow, yet these exotic looking plants  seem to thrive on neglect.

This is a snapshot of out double jettied Guildhall. Nobody seems to know just when it was build, but our archivist once told  me that the records show that it was there on its present site in 1386. Must check that one.

And talking of flowers, and how well they (sometimes !) last: I've just taken the below photograph of the lilies that Rose and Bryan gave to Ann when they came to a small dinner party we held a fortnight ago. They were in bud then, just breaking into flower,  and have been flowering ever since, which I think is pretty good.

Thursday, 7 February 2013


All three of the photographs shown here were taken on the first of February, this year. Should perhaps record that we'd had a mild couple of days or so, and on February the first  the garden thermometer showed a temperature of  55 degrees Farenheit (hope I've got the right one- always get them muddled). Near the back gate of our garden, I noticed the above photographed fungi. We then had a good poke around the garden and found the usual things in flower at this time of year:- snowdrops, two different colours of hellebore, and, to our astonishment, a few very hardy aubretia (below) in flower.  On the box hedge above the aubretia Ann found a LADYBIRD (see bottom photo). I've always admired courage and optimism,  but it was a bit  misplaced, I think, on February the first.

Attended Long Melford on Wednesday - had a reasonably good day (seemed a very long one, though). So today we rather slobbed out (relaxed in a thoroughly irresponsible way, Lori). In the afternoon though, roused ourselves enough to walk into town. Went to the bank, did a little gentle shopping, then decided to try the newly opened tea shop which our good friend Sue had recommended. Shan't tell you the name of the place, partly because it would be advertising, but mainly because it has been given a thoroughly SOPPY name. However, although it was small, crowded and rather noisy, I have to report that the coffee and food were EXCELLENT.  I think we'll use it again - certainly we will in summer - they'll have tables and chairs out on the pavement then, we're told.    
Good Night All.

Sunday, 3 February 2013


Earlier this week (on Wednesday evening in fact) we decided that my poor old bureau needed clearing out. It was bulging at the seams with about forty years of things that we didn't really want to throw out, or rather that we wanted to throw out, but hardly liked to. Anyway, we decided that we'd be strong minded about it before the thing actually BURST. So far we have done a drawer an evening, and have cleared the bottom three drawers out.  Well worth doing - in that the three drawers now are about half full, and we've chucked out stuff that I can't think why we kept in the first place.   We did decide to keep the below two photographs which were taken in 1961 (the year in which we became affianced/engaged). You'd probably recognise the top one of the below two photos, but I'm not sure that you would the bottom one.

And I really don't think you'd have recognised the below two photographs, although they're of the same two people in the same order. The things you find in old bureaux !!!!!

Good night All.

Saturday, 2 February 2013

Saturday .

Sorry about how dark this picture is. This morning our fellow bloggers (and friends) Steve and Liz, came and took us in their car to our favourite farm shop/ breakfast stop, where Steve bought us all breakfast. After the meal was served I got the waitress to take the above photo. She has grouped us perfectly, but I think the 'flash' must have failed to oblige. Pity; I think it might have been a good photo. If I were still using Picasa, I would have been able to lighten it up, but can't see a way of doing it using Gimp 2. Still,  I'm sure one of you will be able to advise on improving things.  It was a very pleasant outing - Thanks Steve (and Liz).