Saturday 30 November 2013


Azalea - absolutely thriving. It's the one that Rog and Cath gave Ann a week or two ago. Thanks both of you. It still looks stunning.

Our senior daughter, Sarah, her husband, and youngsters are spending a few days in Southwold. They had invited  us to have lunch with them. So this morning we drove up to Southwold, via Yoxford, where we stopped to do a little antique hunting. Some lovely autumn colouring still showing along the A12. Took the above photo through the windscreen running North down into Blythburgh.

Had lunch in Coasters, which specialises in sea food. Got our waitress (a very pretty and helpful girl) to take the above photo just after she'd taken our orders. Usual very good lunch there, after which we did a little relaxed pottering round the shops. It's still a lovely little town, Southwold, and not quite so crowded in late November as it is in summer. Finally left at about a quarter to five, and got home a little after six. Been a very nice day out.   Got a fairly busy day tomorrow, so must try and get a reasonably early night now, after a quick game of scrabble. Last night's game was a draw (341 points each).

                                       Good night All.

Thursday 28 November 2013


Been a busy week so far. On Tuesday morning we set out quite early and motored to London. Just as well we set out early because there were signs out that on the M25 junctions 24 to 27 were subject to delays. We therefore took the M11 from the M25, drove south to the A406 (the North Circular) and motored round  to Lizzie's on that. Better road than it used to be. Parked car  at Lizzie's, picked up Grandson Matt and he and I  took the tube to South Kensington. Then walked to Knightsbridge, and viewed Bonham's Arms and Armour sale. Later that day returned to Lizzie's where we ate and slept.
          You may remember that I mentioned Granddaughter Georgie's engagement to Andy?  I think I mentioned it probably a couple of months ago. Well anyway, below is a photograph of the betrothed couple.

On Wednesday afternoon, went back to Bonhams auction sale (Arms and Armour), where I bid for a few lots (successfully in three cases) returned to Lizzie's, again ate with them, and eventually arrived home at about ten thirty p.m.

And finally (at the request of Crowbard) below is a photograph of the previous entry's mystery object in action. Hope this makes its action and purpose clear. It does, in fact, work well and easily, although I'm tempted to tighten the rivet a little.

Monday 25 November 2013


This morning we motored up the A140 to Dunton Hall to have lunch with friends Cath and Derek. Took the above photo travelling North on the A140, near the village of Mendlesham.  Mendlesham Church contains the only surviving Church Armoury in England. The Armoury was founded in Mendlesham when the Armada was chucking its weight about in 1588.

Good lunch in good company.   Got home about four thirty.


                                               The above photo is of this week's
                                                        MYSTERY OBJECT.

It is a useful little object (it was more used when our children were young - but it still gets used occasionally now).   It is made of silver plated iron.  It is five and a half inches tall.
                                       The object is to guess its purpose, its nationality, and its age.
 Good guessing, although I expect some of you will probably KNOW the answers.

Friday 22 November 2013


 Yesterday we spent the day in London. Not, for once, on business (viewing or attending auctions), but just pottering round. I think I'd better start this one again- at the beginning, which was last February. We had our Golden Wedding Anniversary, and, among other things, one of our youngsters (and her husband) gave us tickets to tea (that should of course, be Afternoon Tea) at the Ritz Hotel. Then, because of health reasons, etc, that had to be postponed a couple of times, so that we eventually had that TEA yesterday, and decided that we weren't going to be able to fit it in with a business trip, so we had a day off in London. We went up by the nine a.m. train from Manningtree, getting into Liverpool Street just after ten a.m. Then took a 'bus towards Trafalgar Square,  and took the above photo of Saint Paul's through the front window of a double decker (hence the blue strip along the top of the photo). Half a mile beyond St. Pauls we decided to walk for a bit (in London Traffic it was quicker).

After half losing ourselves in back streets we eventually spotted an old aquaintance (Eros) but he was encased in a bubble - I would have thought that one good arrow from his bow into the inside of the bubble would have freed him instantly. Ann, however thinks that he's inside the bubble as part of the Christmas decorations.

Eventually found ourselves within view of Trafalgar Square. The building to the left of the above picture is the front of Saint Martin in the Fields Church.

Above is of the Crypt of St. Martins.

Near the Crypt, in a passageway, are several gravestone memorials. The above is by a versifier who shows a certain self awareness. The last four lines read -

Modest as Morne,  as Midday Bright,
Gentle, as evening, Cool, as night;
'Tis true, but all so weakly said,
'Twere more significant : She's Dead.

It's as if he suddenly wonders if  he might be writing verbose tosh about the departed woman, so in the last line he gets down to the important bit - she's Dead.

Went on to the Wallace Collection in Manchester Square, where we spent a very pleasant hour or so renewing acquaintance among the exhibits. Eventually took a taxi back to Piccadilly.

The warmly clad gentleman above is standing in the gateway of the Burlington Arcade, just off Piccadilly. He is a member of the smallest, oldest, Police Force in the country. He is one of the Burlington Beadles, of whom there are three (and a Head Beadle). The Force was founded in 1819, ten years before the Metropolitan Police. They seem to be a very effective force - I noticed no serious crime, and  indeed  very little unsocial behaviour in the Burlington Arcade yesterday!

A glimpse, through traffic, of our destination, but as we were still rather early for our teatime slot of 3.30 p.m., we had a stroll round St James.

Above is St. James' Palace. We were in the right place at the right time, and were able to take a snapshot of the above horse-drawn equipage which eventually drove round to the back of the Palace. Don't know who was in it, but Ann caught a glimpse of a lady in the back.


Eventually back to the Ritz :-

 Above and below are snapshots of Ann and meself in front of the tea room. Must say the tea was of excellent quality, and rather too great quantity, although we both did justice to it.

After this memorable meal, we took a tube to Chiswick, and Lizzie's, where we spent an hour or so with Lizzie, Georgie, Andy, Matt, and Beth. Then tubed back to Liverpool Street, trained to Manningtree, and motored home, arriving about 9.30 p.m.   and slept well (surprise - surprise!)

Many thanks Sarah and Mikey - it was a glorious meal - almost up to Great Aunt Jessie's Teatime standards; and the basis of a lovely day out.

Much love to you both - the Parents.

Wednesday 20 November 2013


Above photo was taken (on Monday, I think) looking along Tinker's Lane about two hundred yards from home. Really opened this blog entry to record unusual weather conditions this morning.  Woke around six a.m. and there had been a hard white frost overnight.  Just after seven, when we set out to early service, it was raining quite hard, so we decided to go in the car (we usually walk): and although it had been raining quite a while, when we got to the car we had to scrape ice off the windscreen, underneath the rain, before we set out.

Monday 18 November 2013


Left to right above are: Ruby, Mango, Guy, and Lucy.

Guy having slight problems with Mango (who is easily the most strong willed of the family). Took the photos in the private car park behind our house, as Lucy and Guy gave the dogs a little exercise before they drove (or rather, were driven) home yesterday by their parents. It was a lovely weekend, and things have seemed very quiet today - still, we all made the most of their flying visit; and we shall be seeing Sarah and Mikey on the 5th of next month - to celebrate Sarah's  'Big Zero' birthday- it would be ungallant of me to specify further.  Meeting halfway at the Fire Engine House.


I've just had to reopen this blog entry because Ann's just reminded me of an incident on Saturday evening that should be recorded :-  Ann was serving out supper at the bar that divides our kitchen from our small dining table, and I was taking the laden plates to table, and spilled a few peas when handling Guy his plate. Now Guy, who will be fourteen in a few days time always appreciates a joke (even his grandfather's jokes can make him chuckle) but I've never known Guy make a joke, well not a verbal 'funny'. I apologised as his peas bounced across the table, and he  said :-
"It's all right Pa. You know what they are now?"
"Peas ?" I said.
"No", Guy replied.  "They're peas that have got away.  They're escapees", and collapsed into a fit of schoolboy giggles.

Can't think who he takes after?

Saturday 16 November 2013


Been a lovely day. Sarah, her husband Mikey, and their children, Lucy and Guy, together with the dogs, Ruby and Mango (both cocker spaniels) turned up for breakfast - by arrangement, of course. After breakfast we pottered, did some of the Telegraph Prize Crossword, drank more coffee, played Nine Mens' Morris, etc.  About mid day we went for a long walk along the river. Since then we've had a good game of scrabble, and are about to have supper. More later  (if I can find time).

P.s.  Above photo shows Sarah, Ann, Lucy, and Guy.

          Cheers, Mike.

P.P.S.  We finished the Crossword at about 8.30 p.m.

Thursday 14 November 2013


Been, I'm glad to say, so far, another good busy week. I think Wednesday was easily the most full, so will give a quick run down of Wednesday's events:-  up early, to early service at St. Mary's (7.30 a.m.) quick breakfast then motored over to Gazeley (near Newmarket) to fix good long case clock by Suffolk maker Thomas Moore, of Ipswich. Job done, clock ticking away nicely when we left. On to Sudbury to search for (and eventually found and acquired) silver chain. Did what turned into a major shop at Waitrose's in Sudbury as we've a fairly busy weekend coming up (Sarah and tribe staying). Had light lunch in 'The Secret Garden', still in Sudbury, then drove home, arrived about three thirty p.m.  Grabbed a needed afternoon snooze, then up, changed into decent clobber, and out to supper with friends Milly and John. Usual super grub and excellent conversation there, catching up on all the town news.

The photos are of (from top) an Azalia that Rog and Catherine gave Ann on Saturday; Chrysanthemums purchased from usual roadside stall (no new rude messages this time) on way to Gazeley; and orchid, given to Ann a few days ago by her husband.
Off up the wooden hill now (Ann having preceded me there some few minutes ago).
So - Goodnight all.

P.s. Just reopened this to say that as I was going upstairs, I met Ann coming downstairs to remind me that we'd not supped yet. I thought hard, then had to agree. "But I thought you'd gone up to bed ?" I said.
"No," she said "I went upstairs to do the ironing".  
"A  pressing engagement ? ",  I answered.

Sorry Rog, I know I was poaching on your preserves.

Saturday 9 November 2013


Must record that today, fellow bloggers Rog and Catherine, who are weekending in a cottage in Suffolk,
came over and had lunch with us. Ann gave them mushroom soup, followed by a cheeseboard, then apple and raspberry crumble. Above photo shows us at the coffee stage of the meal.

They brought Lily and Holly with them. The dogs were incredibly well behaved, as, of course, were their owners; and all were their usual delightful company. Been a very relaxed day.

                                                 Goodnight all.

Friday 8 November 2013


Been a busy week. Started well, in that on Monday we motored over to Ely. Took the above photo of the Cathedral as we approached the city.

We went there to meet Ann's two younger brothers and their wives and have lunch with them at the Fire Engine House, shown above. We've been eating there for a great many years, and I have to say that both the food (using, as it does, good, local, produce) and the service, which is excellent, suit us very well.

Got there first, so had a stroll. The above Church (Saint Mary's, I think), stands more or less opposite the Fire Engine House, and the half timbered house to the right, was inhabited for a few years, by Oliver Cromwell, when he was collector of the King's taxes for the Isle of Ely. Strange to think that a few years later, he was the prime mover in the removal of the same King's head!!!!!!!

Back to the Fire Engine House, where we found David and Jo, and David kindly took the above photo, then, on the arrival of Tim and Sue,  to lunch. Ann had roast pork, which she told me was excellent, and I had partridge casserole, knowing that my portion of casserole would contain a whole partridge.  I remember being shown, a few years ago, a pigeon pie there. It was the size of a smallish cart wheel, and each slice of pie contained a whole wood pigeon!.  The waitress then brought in a large dish of vegetables, and told us that we were to ask for more if necessary - "and more meat , too, when you're ready for it".  A while later, when I was about half way through my partridge, I did in fact ask for some more vegetables  - "Of course, sir" - and was back in thirty seconds with another dish of them.   I remember, a while back, Ann's brother David asked for a little more meat, and met with exactly the same response - the 'little more' being several more slices of  roast beef.   The problem with telling everyone about a place like this is that it becomes well known, and you end up having to book a table months ahead.  Although, come to think of it, we always do book a table, well ahead of time. After a superb lunch, the party broke up just after half past three o'clock, and Ann and I adjourned to the Waterside Antique centre, where, I'm glad to say, I bought half a dozen bits - a good haul. Finally got home at about six p.m.

          The rest of the week has been pretty busy, too; the high point being the antique fair at Long Melford on Wednesday. Bought several bits before the fair opened (and sold most of them before the fair closed).   I like to be fairly busy, the drawback is that I then get behind with the blog. You'll see my point if you realise that I took the above photos on Monday, and finally got round to publishing  them today, Friday.

     Oh well.......... must (and will) try and do better.

    Warm  Regards to all my readers.

Sunday 3 November 2013


                                          MYSTERY OBJECT.

Doing a bit of tidying up (now that has rarity value !) this afternoon, I came across the above object. I'd almost forgotten  it. It is made of bronze (with traces of silvering on it), although two parts are of iron. It is five inches long as seen. I bought it a good many years ago from a dealer in Essex, who told me that it had been 'dug up near Colchester'.  Can you tell me its purpose, age, and origin, please.

Friday 1 November 2013


Took the above photographs late last week. Before the storm on Monday and certainly before Wednesday's frost. We were motoring back from Sudbury, and took the first three through the car window. All three houses are fairly typical Suffolk dwellings, of different periods and sizes.  The last picture, of a clump of late poppies at the edge of a field, we both saw at the same time, so Ann backed the car about fifty yards, and I hopped out and took the picture.  

The computer's been playing up lately and this morning I bumped into Thomas in the town, and asked his assistance. He and his wife popped in about tea time. Thomas is an I.T. teacher at the local school (hope I've got the terminology right), and it took him about five minutes flat to induce the computer to return to its duties.  He is a helpful chap in his twenties, and I hope he doesn't realise what a dimbo he makes me feel when he does something in minutes that I've been fighting the computer over for days. However I took notes of what he did (he always explains it carefully) so if the same thing happens in the future I can sort the %$^&***!! machine out.

This evening a superb firework display was put on by one of our neighbours opposite, and we got it nicely (as we usually do at this time of year) from one of the front spare bedroom windows. When it was all over (and it took not far short of half an hour) I bellowed "THANK YOU !" out of the open window at the top of my voice, and we both heard some sort of verbal acknowledgement.
We do enjoy fireworks!

                                      Good Night All.