Thursday, 30 May 2013

Komputer Kaput-er?

Awfully sorry, screen's gone completely black on me and I can't see what I'm typing,, therfore please forgive any smelling mistakes. Shall not be available until new screem arrives. Typing in the dark is somewhat tearsome so hopefully your blogger will be black soon.

Wednesday, 29 May 2013


Mystery objects. All three are of (at least) dual purpose, and they all three have something in common.

I'm sure that Crowbard will have a fair idea of what they are, but I shall be pleasantly surprised if even he will   be able to specify  their full purposes accurately.

Tuesday, 28 May 2013


Firstly - Yesterday, Monday, we motored over to Quy Mill, in Cambridgeshire, to have lunch with Ann's brothers. The four siblings are shown above : David, Timothy, Ann, and Michael.

I mentioned on my last blog entry that our garden is awash with aquilegia flowers (or Grannies' nightcaps, as we called them in the fen area of Norfolk). All the rest of today's photos illustrate them  :-

 The one above is (I think ) my favourite.

 This one (above) is my least favourite. It always seems a bit perverse to me, that anyone should spend their time trying to breed a BLACK flower, but I illustrate it to show what colours and shapes these flowers can produce.

The snapshot above shows that they have even attempted to take over our herb garden. There are swathes of aquilegia all over the garden. We both like them, but they really can become an invasive flower. If they increase next year at the rate of the last three years, I imagine that early next summer I will have to keep a machete just inside the kitchen door in order to hack a path through them to the garden gate whenever we want to go out.
               Good night All.

Sunday, 26 May 2013


Got up quite early this morning and went to 8 o'clock service. Got back around nine and, after breakfast took above photos of  (top) a male chaffinch, and below ( taken this afternoon) two goldfinches, all getting their families'  food.
 Just after midday motored over to Monks Eleigh, where we were to join our friends Terry, and her son Jeremy at the Swan Inn for lunch.  Took above photo of the main street with a teenage child mounted on a skewbald hairy mount that looked like a retired drum horse. Wished her a Good Morning, and asked her permission to photograph her and her mount ( to add a little local colour to the scene). She had no objection at all, smiled and slowed down to pass the time of day with us. Could wish all teenagers were as well mannered as she.

Above is a photo of Monks Eleigh Church.  Met up with Terry and Jeremy, went into the Inn and were met by the landlady (another old friend) who showed us our ( reserved) table. Usual excellent lunch there, which we lingered over until about three o'clock.  Very pleasant to pick up the threads with them both.

 When we got home, had a cup of tea in the garden, and finished yesterday's crossword.  Just after seven p.m. Ann decided we both needed a small supper, so we had poached egg on toast, and some rhubarb stewed with ginger (left over from yesterday - but as delicious cold as when first made).
Should report that the garden is a mass of aquilegia, of all shades of colour and shape. Took several snaps of them in the garden, and will try and remember to show them later in the week.  In the meantime -
                                                Goodnight All.

Saturday, 25 May 2013


Been a fairly hectic day. Started at 10 o'clock this morning, when we went to St. Mary's Church, where a flower exhibition is being held with 'Time' as a theme. Above is the church porch with some rather formal flower arrangements. The arrangement below is called Time for Romance. I could see the idea, but some of the flower arrangements' connexion with 'Time' was perhaps a little stretched.

The following three illustrations are of our friend Audrey's arrangements. She is a retired botanical illustrator and garden designer, and designed the layout of our garden some years ago. I hope she won't mind my saying that she is approaching her ninetieth birthday, and her thoughts seem to have been returning to the past  in this arrangement. It is called 'A time to remember'. It is much 'greyer' than the other flower arrangements and made a deeper impression on me. She's called it 'A time....... to help heroes'.

The snapshot below is of a lovely, rather restrained, windowsill arrangement.

The font decorated.

The shot below is of Ann at the raffle stall chatting to Joan and Jean who run it.

We had to make our visit to the flower exhibition rather a flying one, as I'd arranged an appointment at eleven in a village about five miles away to advise on the possible purchase of an antique clock. Back home by twelve thirty and a quick sandwich lunch before I was off out again to scrabble club. Played the usual three games (won the last one).  Home again by four thirty. Light meal at five thirty because there's a concert on in Church as part of the flower festival, at which Ann is helping with the refreshments. I decided not to accompany her, as I felt I'd done about enough today. Ann agreed with me, so I stayed at home, cleared the kitchen, and wrote a leisurely blog entry (herewith).
Going to toy  with  the crossword puzzle (already half done), read the paper, and probably drowse a little.

          Goodnight All.

Wednesday, 22 May 2013


Above is another photo of the fine old house beside Cockfield churchyard.

Today has been a long day. Up betimes to attend the early morning communion service at which, it turned out, Ann was deaconing (bit of a muddle which eventually got sorted). Breakfast in Church, then home, just as well as post came rather early for once. Back to Hilary's by ten for U3A Scrabble Club, which Hilary was hosting. Hilary left at eleven a.m. for a funeral service in which she was assisting. Ann called in at Hilary's for me at eleven thirty, and we walked round to St. Mary's (only about a hundred yards from Hilary's house) also to attend the funeral service for John, a friend of ours, who, with his wife Leslie, retired to our town about three years ago. Their daughter Clare, her husband Jonathon (who is now our organist) and their son Oliver, had moved to our area a year or two before that. Since then Leslie has become one of our Churchwardens, and Jon, as I said, has become our Church organist. They have settled in and become a real part of our community very quickly, especially for Suffolk, where it is said that no one is considered a native until they've got a granny buried in the churchyard. It seemed very hard therefore when, less than a year ago,  John, who was a very fit and active seventy three year old, was found to have leukemia; from which he died ten days ago. Today his son-in-law Jon played the organ at his funeral, and his daughter Clare gave the eulogy, together with her brother (in New Zealand but on a large screen - he has spent a lot of time over here lately with his parents- but was unable to get back for the funeral).  It was a very moving funeral, and we finally got back, around three o'clock,  from the post funeral get together, which was held at Clare and Jon's house, a mile away in the next village.
When we got home I nipped upstairs to get out of the subfusc funeral clobber, and before climbing into me workshop rig, decided to get me head down for ten minutes. I was awoken, an hour and a half later, by Ann, with, bless 'er, a cup of tea.  Since then pottered in my workshop. As I said - been a long day.

The above item (well the top one, not the quid below it) arrived in the post this morning, having been purchased on ebay. It's  an inch and a half long, and is made of brass and steel. It's today's mystery item. It was described on ebay as a snuff box, which it isn't.
I'm sorry about the slightly fuzzy photo. Still trying to get the hang of the new camera.

                                           Goodnight All.

Monday, 20 May 2013


First of all, I must apologise for the sorry mess I made of my blog entry for yesterday. I don't know how I managed to duplicate all those photographs. It had been a lovely day, but at the end of it I was too tired to try and correct the mess, so I published it as it was and went to bed. Now I'm going to try and straighten things out by showing the same pictures and commenting on them. Should explain that we took the A14 back from Cambridgeshire into Suffolk, turned off at Bury St. Edmund's, then took what Ann calls 'the pretty way' home. Even then we decided to take a turn off the back road that we weren't too sure about, and eventually  found ourselves in the Cockfield/ Thorpe Morieux area. 


The house above is a Thatched farmhouse. It's worth enlarging to have a good look at the thatching detail along the roof ridge. It's a house that has been well looked after over the centuries.

Above is a house that has steadily come down hill over the centuries. Built as a 'hall dwelling' in the 1300/1400s.  Probably with a central hearth fireplace originally, it was prosperous enough to have a solid Tudor chimney installed in the 1500s. At some stage, probably in the 1700/1800s it has been converted into a row of labourers' cottages, and in the first half of the 1900s has suffered the final indignity of having its peg tiled, or possibly thatched, roof removed and given a corrugated iron roof  instead. However, someone is now spending a fair amount of money on restoring the building into a home. I hope its story has a happy ending- No! not an ending- a good continuation.

Cockfield Church, with a lovely building to the right and a possibly even better one to the left (see next photo but one).

A closer look at Cockfield Church, to which we must return for a better look round. Ann says we have been over it in the past (I think she's right), but it looks well worth a second visit.

A glorious building adjacent  to the churchyard. Probably built sometime in the 1400s, or even possibly in the 1300s.  One thing I noticed that I thought was nice is that underneath the jettying to the right piled logs are stored, indicating that an open fireplace is still in use.

You can see why we enjoy living in Suffolk. We usually  find that almost any lane or back road is worth exploring.

Sunday, 19 May 2013


Up early this morning and to early service. Home then ran two of the older choir members to church (Hilary wil be taking them home. Then at eleven o'clock motored over to Quy Mill in Cambridge shire for lunch. Met up there, as arranged, with Sarah and Mikey, together with their two younger offspring Lucy and Guy. Got very helpful young waitress to take above photograph of us all. Had a small dining room to ourselves, with a view of the millstream outside. Food was, as usual here, excellent. I had roast beef (Sirloin) and yorkshire pudding with roast potatoes, roast parsnips and carrots, cauliflower cheese, gravy, and horseradish sauce. Ann had roast chicken with similar accoutrements (bar, of course, horseradish sauce). Can't remember what the rest of them had, but it all looked pretty good. Mikey and I opted for Eton strawberry mess, which sounds revolting, but was in fact a very pleasant light pudding, being composed of broken up meringue, chunks of strawberry, and thick cream. Then on to coffee (mine, on Doctor's orders, being decaff). We picked up on all the family gossip, Sarah and I finished off yesterday's Prize Telegraph crossword puzzle,  and in fact we sat and chatted until nearly four o'clock (very well trained, or possibly naturally good natured, staff at the Mill, in that nobody tried to hurry us).  Lovely meal in great company!! Who could ask for more.

On the way home took a good many photos of Suffolk buildings.  Looking at said photos I seem to have made rather a muddle and duplication of them. Sorry, I'm a little fatigued (polite for 'cream crackered'). Generally speaking they're the mixture as before, and I think I'll leave you to sort them out.   Might make it clearer tomorrow.    Goodnight.

Thursday, 16 May 2013


 We have been having the house painted. Jordan, pictured with Ann, outside our house, is doing the job, which is nearing completion. He is a very conscientious worker, self employed, and trying to build up a one man business. He deserves to succeed in this. It's nice to meet a young man who so obviously takes a pleasure, and a pride in his work.

Today we motored over to Wisbech to have a natter to our accountant. We've been discussing (Ann and meself that is) the possibility of my retiring. This came up when I had that pest of a heart attack in March. My considered (and, I'm afraid, often stated) opinion is that antique dealers do NOT retire. They simply, as the years advance, become steadily more in keeping with their stock.  Anyway, Elizabeth has been my accountant since (I think) 1978, and during those years has become a personal friend of both of us. So today  we gave her lunch at the Red Lion on the North Brink in Wisbech and discussed the matter. She gave us her usual well considered opinion. This, when boiled down, seemed to be that there is no hurry to decide; and that any decision need not be final, anyway. Eventually we adjourned to the pub car park, handed over the books for this last year, and parted with mutual expressions of esteem.

We then popped into Wisbech to call on  96 year old cousin Sid, and spent half an hour with him- he looks after himself, and, although having had half a leg amputated last year seems to be pretty spry still.
Then pottered round Wisbech, and took the below three photos.

This one is of the Museum, which I used a good deal as a reference library when I was a boy. It hasn't altered much since then, or indeed since the 1830s when it was founded. Ann's (several greats) grandfather, John Peck, helped to set it up. It's a lovely, early museum, and, in my opinion, should be in a museum.

Above is Wisbech Castle. It's not a castle now, but a private house, with a lovely great circle of a garden, behind the house. It's in the centre of the Crescent in Wisbech. Bit like a smaller version of the Cresent in Bath, but a complete circle, in two halves.

Ann standing at the start of the Crescent in Museum Square. The Crescent stands on what was The Castle in Wisbech - hence Castle House- above. Bad  King John (gnash, gnash, curses, curses) dined at Wisbech Castle a few days before his death, made a pig of himself, and it was here that he probably indulged in the celebrated 'surfeit of lampreys', or peaches, or whatever, of which he died, in the year 1216 - or so it is believed in this area.


                                                   Good night All.

Wednesday, 15 May 2013


These are photographs of a narrow boat holiday we took in May of 1988 with two friends of ours Brenda and Warren. It is by special request of Rog (who has, I fear, strange tastes).  The first three photos were taken as we crossed the Pontcysyllte (I don't know HOW that is pronounced before anyone asks) Viaduct over the river Dee, one  hundred and twenty six feet below us. Warren, who was driving, wanted a photograph of himself, so I climbed onto the roof of the narrow boat, stood up, faced the blunt end of the vessel and took the above photo.

I then turned round, faced the sharp end, and took this photo,  where Ann (on the right) and Brenda, were enjoying the view.

Then, leaning over sideways, I took the above photo of the river Dee, rushing along 126 feet below us.

Above is a photo of your blogger (I used to shave me chin then), driving the boat.  In fact, when we returned, I drove the boat back across the Viaduct (and I have the certificate to prove it).

Above is a picture of Ann driving the boat. She thoroughly enjoyed it, but like me, found it hard to get used to a  speed of three miles per hour.

One other incident I must record, is that when we tied up at Llangollen, I walked into the town, found an antique shop I knew of, and purchased a lovely little round Welsh cricket table. The turned, heavily chamfered table top (the chamfer being to the underside of the table top) was three inches thick, and of elm (which is, in my opinion, the most underrated of our native woods); the three legs were of ash. It was of late eighteenth century date, and was a most charming example of naively rustic furniture. I carried it back to the boat. Now, at this point I must stress that we had followed the advice of a friend when hiring the boat and hired a bigger one than needed; in fact for the four of us we'd hired a six berth boat, and even then there wasn't that much spare space. However I was surprised that the other three accorded my little table such a cold reception. Even Ann, who rather liked the table said that there really wasn't room for it, whilst both Brenda and Warren were very reluctant to have it on board. I put up a spirited defence of the table, pointing out that if we decided to hold a dinner party on board, of say six people or so, we would be jolly glad of a spare table to accommodate them. After a somewhat acrimonious discussion it was decided that if the table came aboard, it must stay in the  sleeping space allocated to Michael. I must admit that over the next few nights I got to know that little table very well. However, when we finally got home, I took the table along to an antique dealer we knew, who specialised in early country furniture, and who raved over it, bought it,  and the profit on it paid for our part of the hire of the narrow boat; so I didn't regret buying  it. Thinking about the matter though, I rather regret parting with the table; it was a little beauty!

Monday, 13 May 2013


Went to a funeral today. Odd thing - we have to go to another funeral next week too. Both men were friends of ours, both were around seventy, and both died from leukemia.
The service today was held at Halstead Crematorium. After the Service we went back to the post service get together, which was held at John's old home at Sible Hedingham in North Essex. Whilst we both love Suffolk, we agreed that there is a lot to be said for the scenery and buildings of North Essex. I know Essex is supposed to be one of the more boring counties, but people who hold this view without knowing Essex, might be pleasantly surprised by a lot of the north Essex area.
To support that last statement I produce the three above photos taken through the car windscreen whilst running into Sible Hedingham from the South. The whole town has a seedy, run down look to it, but if you look at the three photos I think you'll agree that, given a lick of paint and some T.L.C., (tender, loving, care Lori) all the above buildings are handsome examples of early English architecture.  I rests me case.

Good night All.