Saturday 29 June 2013


Been a lovely day out today. We motored up Suffolk and just over the border into Norfolk, where the fine old building shown above, is located. It is, of course, the Zeddary, and is inhabited by our host, Russell (the Sage), and hostess Zoe. We had gone to celebrate the third annual East Anglian Blogmeet. And great fun it was, too!

I'm afraid this photo is a little fuzzy (it was taken after lunch- which was, as usual, superb) and shows our hostess pouring coffee.

This one was kindly taken by Rog, and shows his wife (Mrs Rine), meself, Ann, and Madeleine.

I'm afraid the photo above appears, at best, to show a certain amount of horseplay taking place, and at worst, looks as if a young victim is being prepared for sacrifice.

But NO! At one bound the intended young victim leaps upon a motor cycle, and is born off upon the pillion of the gallant Sir Bruin/Galahad.
Actually, I'm afraid I've allowed my imagination full rein to run riot in the last two photos. As we left a few minutes after Sir Bruin's valiant steed roared away over the horizon, we don't know if he, our hostess (who was the young lady riding pillion in the above photie), or the steed, returned safely. But I'm sure that one of the three will let us know by comment.
 Thanks again Z. and the Sage - it was a lovely day.

Warm regards, Ann and Mike.

Friday 28 June 2013


A fairly quick blog; got lots to do before an early night.  The garden is full of roses. The above is one of those miniature roses that used to be sold on garage forecourts. This one was given to us three or four years ago, and has really settled in well. It is now full of buds again, and has a lovely scent.

Maggie dear, the rose above is the first flower on that lovely 'Golden Celebration' rose you gave us back in February. It, too, is full of buds, and has a pleasantly subtle scent. Thank you, it's a beauty!

Above - a flower arrangement Ann has just done from the garden, with roses and bronze fennel.

I'd just started dinner when I realised it looked,smelt, and tasted so good that I must take a photie; so put me knife and fork down and did so. From the right :- pork chop in onion sauce, fried potatoes, and leeks in a cheese sauce. A very tasty light supper (followed by a small chocolate sponge pudding in chocolate sauce).
Got to go and clean me shoes and press me flannels ready for Z's blog party on the morrow, where we hope to meet many of our blogfriends.     To all of whom I wish a very good night.


Wednesday 26 June 2013


On Tuesday morning we drove to London- via, as you can see, the North Circular road. At one point on the North Circular - travelling West, you get a wonderful view of Wembley Stadium. I usually manage to miss it, but on Monday morning snapped it through the windscreen, as above. Drove to daughter Lizzie's, parked on her spare parking space (just off Chiswick High Street) picked up grandson Matt and caught 'bus to Sotheby's where we viewed their Arms and Armour Sale. This afternoon caught bus back to the said sale and bid. Only bought one lot, but it was the one I wanted. Drove home this evening, so we're both a little fatigued. Ann's just gone up to bed, and I'm about to follow her excellent example.  Good Night All.

Sunday 23 June 2013


This weekend an exhibition is being held in Saint Mary's Church, of local skills, crafts, hobbies and interests. After service this morning we had a ploughman's lunch in church with Hilary, John and Maud. Ann then pushed off to help friend Brenda with some plaiting (well, I'm sure that's what she said. I  may be told more later) and I stayed on and wandered round the exhibition taking photos. The above one is of a chap who collects and restores ancient motor cycles.

The above snap is of the produce of a couple of local lacemaking ladies.

Above snap is of a local man who, with his son, has made a lifetime's habit of collecting advertising ephemera. It now fills their home, so they were probably glad to take a double stall in church, and have a bit more space at home this weekend.

Model railway layout. Please do not worry, Sir Bruin. Not, in my view, a patch on Bearstone on the Wold.

Above, friend Roger, our local historian, who writes books on local history.  His pet subject is the history of bricks.

 Mike's stall (another Mike- not me) writes copper plate script (there's a name for it) and collects writing instruments.

 Philip's stall; he collects stamps and Wisdens.

Friend Ruth, above, studied at the Royal School of Needlework, and continues to produce (professionally) works of art like those produced below. Her stall was easily my favourite. She seems to me to have the  rare ability to get outside her own period, into another one, and produce the work of that period (if that makes sense- but I hope you will know what I mean).

Below is a photo of John, who was until recently, one of our Churchwardens. He is a very keen gardener, and has also recently taken up researching his family history, which he was showing on the screen in front of him.

I really don't have time or space to give anywhere near a full picture of the exhibition. My apologies to the jewellery makers, felters, painters, card makers, etc; and perhaps especially to the local man who makes radio controlled paddle steamers, of perhaps three feet long or so. We live in a small market town in South Suffolk, and the skills and crafts of my fellow townspeople I found quite incredible (and perhaps rather reassuring in an age of mass preoduction).
As I was leaving, a group of about twenty teenage usherettes .........? NO!................Majorettes - were strutting their stuff enthusiastically in a cleared area of the nave to POUNDING  pop music.  Our Dean, who seemed to approve of this, murmured to me as I passed him "I wonder if we could book them for a Sung Eucharist?"
I think he was trying to shock me...........

Saturday 22 June 2013


Last Monday our box hedges finally got cut. I know it should be done on Derby Day (according to traditionally minded gardeners), but we're not superstitious and neither is Ken, our jobbing gardener who did the job. Our garden looks a lot neater for its 'haircut'.
Walked into town on Friday morning. Took the below two photos  of neighbours'  roses which seem to be burgeoning (hope I'm using that word aright) into full bloom all over the place.

Took the below  two snapshots of a flowering shrub in the churchyard. Haven't really looked at it before. I assumed it was some sort of mock orange blossom, but it's not very much like one and the scent is not at all like.

As the below photo of the same shrub shows,  it's full of  five petalled white flowers with a pale pink centre. The centre, when looked at closely is almost a 'salmon' pink. Admire it but wouldn't have room for one in our small garden, which it would dominate. Odd that - the smaller the garden, the more carefully you have to choose what to put in it.

Anyway - if anyone knows what the above shrub is, I would be grateful if you'd share the information.

Nearly bed time - that's  reminded me of an incident that occurred last night at 2.50 a.m.  We were sleeping in our spare front bedroom (our usual room and Ann's little needlework room are being decorated - and a good deal of the contents of the smaller room had been moved into the room in which we were sleeping), when at ten to three in the morning (as stated) there was a reverberating crash which seemed to shake the room. We both sprang up wide awake, and, pausing only to grab the sword stick which I keep beside the bed for decoration, I rushed to repel boarders, protect our home,  and generally find out WHY our rest had been so rudely disturbed. Didn't take long. I nearly tripped over a large pile of books which had fallen over - the contents of a large bookcase which had been moved out of the sewing room, and rather untidily stacked against the wall of the room we were sleeping in.  Life is full of surprises.

                          Goodnight All.

Thursday 20 June 2013


Above - Ferdinand Pichard, a 'striped' rose, with a superb scent - very similar to the old  Rosa Mundi.

Above rose - Mme Isaac Pereire - flat face, pink, well scented.

Above roses known to the botanists in this household - Ann and meself, as the pale pink 'un, the white one and the red rambler.

Having problems with putting photos on blog again. Lost some of the best ones of roses, I'm afraid. Waiting for the engineer to get in touch (left a message on his 'phone).  'Gimp' is  in a midway condition between having a brainstorm and open rebellion. So I'm afraid pictures may be in short supply on this blog, until Neil (our engineer) sorts it out.

Monday 17 June 2013


                  Another Mystery Object - and this time it's a stinker!

A copper box and its lid are photographed above. The box was originally made, I should think, as a tobacco  box. It is about four and a half inches long. When I first acquired the box (in 1975) it had been used as a snuff box for many years. It also had in it the wrinkled object, which is, of course, the MYSTERY OBJECT.  It is just over an inch long; and NO, before Rog, Sir B., or Crowbar make the suggestion, it is not (despite its wrinkled appearance) any superfluous part of your blogger which has dropped off due to age or disuse (sorry ladies - but you know what they're like, and, of course, I shouldn't encourage them).
The object does serve a purpose, and has two names. If any of you know the answer, I shall be pleasantly surprised - with the possible exception of Brother Crowbar, the breadth of whose knowledge (even after nearly seventy years) can still occasionally surprise me. I think he should try for both common names, AND the Linnaean one perhaps.

Saturday 15 June 2013


Early this morning I encountered Ann on the landing and said to her "have you had a look at that 'Allo Vera plant lately"
"Yes", says Ann.,  "I watered it yesterday, and thought how good it was looking".
"I'm not sure that 'good' is the adjective I'd use. You'd better come and have a look at it".
The point of the story is that, as you can see, this dissolute old plant shares a window sill with a pottery young lady, and  has taken to tickling her under the chin in a most familiar manner that almost amounts to chucking her under the chin.  Such debauchery! Don't know what modern house-plants are coming to!

A bit later in the morning (just after nine) we motored over to our favourite farm shop and joined three of our friends for one of the excellent breakfasts that are provided there (if you want confirmation of the excellence of the breakfasts please check with fellow bloggers Sir Bruin and Lady Liz  Arcturus). The photo shows (left to right) John, Gloria, Hilary, Ann, and meself.

     This afternoon to scrabble club. Played three games, four handed, opposite Hilary. Won the first game, mainly by getting a seven letter word.   This evening Ann has gone out to a concert held in St. Mary's in aid of the Life Boat Institute.  I've stayed at home, partly because I've had a fairly full day, and partly because I really have difficulty hearing music these days. Tend to go to them only  if I know the music fairly well, because then, soppy as it sounds, I can usually hear them.  I tested this once by listening to a C.D. of one of the G.& S. works with the score open in front of me, and could 'hear' every word quite clearly.

     Going to do a little engraving  in the workshop now.
          So -  Goodnight All.

Thursday 13 June 2013


Very brief blog entry. After dinner we were relaxing over the scrabble board when I realised our bird feeder had THREE  goldfinches feeding on it (father above and two youngsters). Actually they weren't feeding so much as dozing on the feeder perches. So much so that they let me get quite close to take the above photie.


Wednesday 12 June 2013


Yesterday afternoon we motored over to Needham Market, passing on the way the above photographed (via the car window) mill house where a friend of ours lives. It's an old water mill beside the river Brett.

Whilst there (Wickham Market that is) we popped into the church for a look round, not having been inside  it for a good many years. It's an odd little church beside the main street, with no churchyard.  As you can see from the photo above though, it has a quite magnificent hammer beam roof.

It's always described in the guides as an 'angel roof', which it is. But having got a few photos of the angels and enlarged them, it did seem to me that the faces of the angels have a very Victorian look to them. If you enlarge the above photo then think- 'Alma Tadema/Pre Rafaelite School'-  I'm sure you'll see what I mean. Anyway, having looked the church up, it turns out that the angels ARE Victorian replacements!  Next time we're Wisbech way we really must have a look in Upwell Church, and then nip round to Saint Wendreda's Church in March, where the two best Angel roofs in England are to be seen (so all the experts tell us).

I know I keep showing you snapshots of 'a corner of the garden', and you're probably fed up with this one, but the aquilegia is now in its prime, but will, in a few days, be past it. On the other hand our roses are just coming into bloom and look promising this year. So, when the aquilegias are done, there'll be photos of roses here.

                                          Goodnight all.

Monday 10 June 2013


This afternoon we motored into Ipswich to visit an old friend (in every sense -she is approaching her ninetieth  birthday) who is in hospital. On our way in we passed the door illustrated. It fascinates me, this cowardy custard of a door.  I mean we all feel a little apprehensive when going into a hospital -even when visiting, but this door (which has been there long enough to get used to being a hospital door) openly and cravenly admits to being alarmed about being a hospital door - is that the spirit that won the Empire?

Be that as it may, we eventually located Sylvia, who, on Saturday evening had fallen in her garden and busted her right hip, been removed to hospital, had the hip pinned on Sunday, and was feeling pretty groggy when we first got there. 
She brightened up after a bit, and told us that she'd first fallen in her rose garden, struggled to get up, and fallen again, this time onto her crazy paving. As she lay there she opened her eyes and spotted a weed near her face and then saw several others. She told us that she then thought that , as she was down there, she'd better do a little  weeding. So she lay there and cleared quite an area. Then she heard her next door neighbour moving about in his garden and shouted for help, he 'phoned for an ambulance; she had her hip pinned on Sunday, and  ended up where we found her this afternoon. And that, my friends IS the spirit that won the Empire- weeding the garden while you're down there!.


Took the below photo through the windscreen coming home. It's a house in part of which we lived for three or four years in the mid 1970s.  A lovely old place, a manor house built in the 1400s.

Sunday 9 June 2013


Noticed this morning that our first two evening primrose had opened yesterday evening. They only last a day, and probably the last ones will open in early September. The yellow is so bright that they seem to glow in the late evening. They are the only flowers I know of that can be seen opening. If you watch them of an evening you can see the flowers actually opening - rather jerkily sometimes.

Earlier this afternoon Ann and I examined a collection. The lower picture is a small part of that collection, and the owners thereof had no objection to me photographing them. It seemed to me that they might make rather good 'mystery objects'.  Just to help a bit they all seven have a purpose in common. All (bar two) are of different materials.
                                        Guesses (or more probably knowledge) please.

Thursday 6 June 2013


Very brief blog:- went to Felixstowe today and had lunch at the Orwell Hotel. Afterwards saw the above sign on the front of the hotel. Loved it! Sort of knew what they meant - I think. Live music as opposed to canned music. In this case they boasted a live pianist as opposed to a .............

Wednesday 5 June 2013


Been a full, but enjoyable day. Got up  quite early and went to the 7.30 a.m. service. Quick brekky then motored over to the Long Melford Antique fair.  Bought a miniature mahogany corner cupboard (16 inches high by 12 inches across, with two shaped shelves inside. Will photograph it when I've put it up in a corner of the drawing room.  Then drove home via the back lanes and took the below three photographs of early thatched houses. ALL of them on the Essex side of the border. 

After a (latish) sandwich lunch we both zizzed for half an hour or so, before going out again to have tea with our friends David and Sue at the other end of the town. Their garden is as full of aquilegia as ours (Sue uses the lovely old English name for them - columbines). They both picked the odd flower off their plants to show us the best ones. Ann bought the picked heads home in her handkerchief so as not to waste them, and made the below illustrated flower arrangement by floating them in a bowl of water.

The centre flower at the bottom of the picture is a pale pink with FIVE layers of petals! David is convinced that these flowers hybridise regularly to produce new and different ones every year, and I think there may be something in this theory.  Been a long day, but I think the new (increased) dosage of  pills are starting to work, as I've only had to use the heart spray once today. But I'm about ready to hit the sack now.

 So- Goodnight All.