Saturday, 31 December 2016


Don't quite know how (or Why) I took  this  photo. It is a snapshot of one corner of the sitting (or drawing, or withdrawing) room. Been a lovely, busy Christmas, and has  become even busier this morning,  as Ruth and the girls have just realised that they are flying home tomorrow, and are busy packing for an early start. They've done quite a lot of shopping, but this is  alright as most of what they've bought is clothing, so they can wear several layers instead of packing them. As I type I can hear them rushing about packing, I have taken refuge in my cellar, so am well out of the way - ' real cowardy custard that Horner'  I hear you murmur, and you are, of course, right; although  I think that any other father of families composed mainly of girls, will agree with me that finding lots to do in the way of work in a nice dry  cellar, is a standard business precaution, when one's female family  are busy packing. When the noise level indicating that the rushing about packing part is still taking place drops to a level of all's done bar the actual donkey work - I may well go up and help with the carrying  stuff part of packing.  In fact I think I may  as well go and put in an appearance, especially as it's  nearly lunchtime now.

P.s. Yes, I can remember why I  took the above photo - It was because, in the small wall mirror almost dead centre of the picture, there was rather a good photo of the reflection of the Christmas tree and lights - which didn't  come out at all well, still it's a useful enough photo to give an impression of a family house  at Christmas.

Regards, Mike. 

Thursday, 29 December 2016


The above  picture shows  the  Horner Family revelries at their height on the afternoon of Boxing  Day.


The next pictures were taken on the twenty seventh of this month, i.e. the  day after Boxing  Day, when Ann and I, Ruth and  her girls decided that  what we all needed, when the morning mist lifted , and the ground frost was nearly all gone, was a  good walk. We set out on the Highdale river walk, then watched  a dog walker throwing branches into the river for  his  two brown Labradors (lovely dogs) to retrieve. We then extended the River Walk, with a further walk up  and  over  the Highdale   Downs.

The above photo shows one, having done a graceful long jump (followed by a belly  flop) into the river for his branch.

The above  picture shows the graceful Highdale Downs. We do have some very lovely, if undramatic, scenery in our area.

More (D.V.) tomorrow- Goodnight All.

Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Tuesday (2)

P.s. Slightly enlarged version of picture shown earlier. 

Tuesday - the Day after Boxing Day.

Above  photo was taken on Boxing Day, and shows (from right to left) a grand daughter, meself, then our two Great Granddaughters. They are both just over two, behaved perfectly, and appeared to thoroughly enjoy their day with Great grandparents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, and loads of cousins. The pink and  blue items the children are holding are toy microphones, and the three of us were singing a wassail song 'Good Tidings we bring to you and your King, we wish you a merry Christmas..........'  To my surprise they both knew it and several more, so I took the base line and the tinies the tenor.  You should have heard us in 'Good King  Wenceslas'.  

We sat down to Boxing  Day lunch just over twenty of  us. Youngest daughter, Liz, had organised lunch, and everyone  brought something. Great Grandpa (meself, that is) provided the wines  and spirits, although not that much of  it  was drunk, as a good many were driving home  later. Oh well, it'll  be  a pleasant duty to make sure  it won't  be wasted..........

Needless  to say, it  has been a lovely Christmas!

Sunday, 25 December 2016

, Sunday, Christmas Day, 2016.

Went out  to Aldham Church this morning. Picture shows Ruth, Ann, and Ruth's two daughters.

Near the Church is the above water feature, which is an old duck decoy. It was cleaned out a few years ago. Don't know when it was last used, though.

Ruth's daughters  are both very artistic (like their mother) and  spent part of this  afternoon decorating the Christmas cake with a wintry scene, snowman, etc.  We've had no snow here yet, I'm glad to report; but they live in Sweden, so they've had good opportunities to study the stuff, already   this  winter. They  are both teenagers (the oldest one is at Uni) and both are already taller than I am. Been a good Christmas Day.

Tomorrow we are expecting most of the rest of our family to come and spend the day with us, so there'll be well over twenty of us at lunch. Looking forward to it.

Good Night to  All our friends.  Enjoy the rest of Christmas. Warm Regards, Mike, Ann, and Family.

Saturday, 24 December 2016


Hellebore now in full  flower.

Second  daughter, Ruth, serving stir-fry (with chicken) for supper.

Been a nice, busy day. Bagged the  last of  the shopping in town.

Take this  opportunity to wish all my readers a good,  and Happy,  Christmas.

Tuesday, 20 December 2016


Photo of a very pretty little thatched pub on  a very small back lane near here.  I'm surprised, given where the pub is (back of beyond) that it gets enough passing traffic to stay in business.  Hope it does, though.  'New' computer is still giving problems. It's latest bright idea is to remove all comments from my blog for the last couple  of months. Don't know  where it's  hidden them, but our friends John and Margaret are coming to lunch today, and as they are both much better at keeping computers in order than I am, I hope they are going to sort out this latest freak.  Actually I think they have just arrived. Can hear Ann greeting someone. More to report later I hope. 

Friday, 16 December 2016


Rather handsome old house in Newton Green.

Entering  the village of  Boxford.

Took these a week or two ago when coming back from a shopping trip to Sudbury. Must get on with some work now -  in the throes of repairing a wall clock. When I say 'repairing'  in  this cases I mean a major restoration project for a friend. More later perhaps.

Wednesday, 14 December 2016


Today we motored up to  Stradbroke in North Suffolk, after doing a minor repair to a rather nice long case clock in Highdale. It was trying to confuse its owner by striking  twelve on the hour,  whatever the hour  happened to be. After fixing the problem (this took about five minutes, during which the  clock owner made  coffee). Imbibed  said coffee, back in the car, and drove up to Stradbroke where a new Antique Centre has recently been opened.  Didn't buy anything, save a light lunch, but  must admit that the  new Antique Centre looked  promising. Must remember to call in again whenever in that area. Drove  home  through Saxstead, where we took the  top photo of a post windmill, just to  prove there's still  a certain amount of light industry in Suffolk.

Middle photo is in Nuttery vale near Hoxne. I think the name is a Suffolk form of Nut Tree Vale, and Saint Edmund's battle against the  Danes is said by the locals to have  taken place in the area on 20th November, 869  A.D.

The third photo is  taken in Eye, and  is  of  Eye Castle.  The castle mound is original and ancient, but the ruins on top of the mound appear to be a nineteenth century folly.   Got  home   just before four. Pleasant day out.

Monday, 12 December 2016


The top two  photos  were taken in our garden on Friday last, and show  our first Hellebore flowers of the winter (otherwise known as 'Christmas Roses'). On Saturday morning we motored over to Leicestershire to spend the weekend with brother Crowbard, and sister-in-law Judy. Took  the  third photo from their garden at about four o'clock on Saturday afternoon, and showed a dramatically  fiery sunset - not  sure that the photo does the  sunset full credit.  Had a very pleasant weekend with them and caught up on all the  family news.  Judy is a delightful hostess and a first class cook, so we had a lovely ( satisfying and relaxing  weekend).  Motored home after a good, and prolonged breakfast, and got home (with  two or three very necessary Christmas  shopping stops on the way)  at about four p.m. 

                                          Thank you both very much for a lovely weekend.

Monday, 5 December 2016


Motored over to Sudbury this morning as we both  had some shopping  to do.  I was expecting to tramp through  a good many shops to find my two items, and probably have to buy them on eBay in the end. However found both items in the first shop I tried. Most helpful  young  lady  found  them  then took me over to  the main counter, where a young man was equally  helpful. Whole transaction took about five minutes to complete. Would that all  shop assistants were equally knowledgeable, well intentioned, and helpful. Had a quick coffee  at recently opened coffee shop (combined with a clothier's shop - strange mixture- coffee was good, though),  then over to the grocery shop where Ann bought items for Christmas, and I (knowing my limitations) pushed the trolley round. Not nearly as quick a transaction as  the first two, but all went smoothly, and we were home by mid day. 

Lunch - venison casserole- left over from yesterday's lunch - like all  casserole/stew type dishes it was even better the  second day.

Then workshop - cleaning and labelling items for Wednesday's  Long Melford Antique Fair. Knocked off for ten minutes to do quick blog entry. Now  must do some more work for Wednesday.

P.s. Two photos taken on a detour through Boxford on the way home. Pretty village.

Sunday, 4 December 2016


Took this  photo of small part of our river walk a week or so  ago. I think a good many more leaves have fallen now, though.  Still, it shows what a lovely autumn this  has been.

Read the O.T. lesson in Aldham Church this morning.  For  Crowbard's  benefit it was Isaiah, Chapter eleven, first ten verses.

 I think (or anyway, I hope) this  is  going  to be another busy week - Long Melford Fair coming up. Planned to spend this afternoon getting things ready for Long Melford, but fortunately Ann reminded me that we are having tea with Helga (a few miles away).  Good thing she did- my  memory's getting  dreadful.  Ann's just called down the stairs that supper's ready, so must close now.

Good Night All.

Saturday, 3 December 2016


This pencil  sketch was drawn about forty five years ago by Ann's  sister-in-law,  Jo  Clayton. It shows our five children (the two girls at the top are now grannies). We've always liked  this picture. It  is not only an excellent  likeness of them  all, but  it catches  and  displays their character.  The picture now lives in our  spare bedroom.

Friday, 2 December 2016


Ruth drew this to celebrate my  fiftieth birthday (nearly a quarter of a century ago now). Can never decide if Ruth is an artist or a cartoonist. I  don't  think she  can either.

It's been a very busy week.  Spent  most of it  in London, viewing and bidding at auction.  Stayed at Lizzie's.  Lizzie's granddaughter, Elsa, is now just over two.  She speaks very  well. Her greeting on the morning of our departure was, "Good morning, Great Grandpa Horner."  She is slightly less formal with Ann, and greets her as Granny, or occasionally as Granny-Annie. Grandson Matthew assisted me at the auctions - Arms and Armour.  Eventually   bought nine lots, which is better than usual, so a fairly successful week. 

Just  been called upstairs to supper - light one I should think, as we had a lovely lunch with friends at Long Melford, and spent a pleasant afternoon with them.  Must go now. Regards to all - Mike.

Monday, 21 November 2016



Nearby lanes, taken a week or so ago.  Rather  less bocage now, I'm afraid.

We are a fairly artistic family, and we seem to have a good many draewingss and painting about the house to prove it. Above is a pencil drawing Ruth did of Jonathan, when we lived at Welney. As he is in his late forties now, Ruth must have done this about thirty five or forty years ago.

 The above cartoon was painted a few years ago by our local book dealer and cartoonist , Brian Haylock, and shows local housewives, cats, a fishmonger, and meself. He is in the habit of painting a picture for the local art exhibition every year. He always included a 'local worthy' and included meself that year. 

This is a photo of an 'anniversary clock'  I worked on a couple of  months ago. They are supposed to go for a year on a winding. I didn't wind it fully but it's been going (and keeping decent time) for a couple of months. I don't much like Victoriana, but I have to admire the efficiency of things like this.Sorry I haven't blogged for a while. I've been very busy (I'm glad to say) this last week, and I think this state of affairs may well continue up to Christmas. It's  an  odd thing but every year the 'season of Peace and Goodwill to  all men' seems to bring out the enthusiasm most blokes have for swords, guns, and weapons- 'toys for boys' as my late Mother-in-Law used to call them.

I'll do another blog entry  (D.V.) when I have a few spare minutes.

Warm Regards to All.


This morning we motored over to Horningsea  (just North of Cambridge) to meet up with Ann's three brothers and their partners for lunch at the Crown and punchbowl.  Excellent service - food perhaps not  quite so good as last time - in  fact after the meal, when the next get-together was being dicussed,  there seemed to be an inclination  to meet up at the  Fire Engine House at Ely again. I was glad to hear of this as there seems to me to be no possible comparison  between the two hostelries as to the  grub provided. I would be in favour of meeting at the fire Engine House three or four times a year, rather than once a month at  the Crown and Punchbowl. Ann and I were discussing  this on the  way home, and decided to cast our vote for the Fire Engine House, when the inevitable telephonic discussion on the matter takes place.   

With reference to the above three photos, the top  two are of a ford across a short cut near Lavenham, and the third one is just to show late autumn colours in Suffolk now.

Must get on with some work now, so will bid my listeners a very Good  Night.   

Saturday, 19 November 2016


This morning  we motored over to Martlesham, where an auction sale was being held. The auctioneer still sends me a 'freeby' catalogue, and I was able to buy a sword and the above 'gun'. I was going to make a mystery object of it, but it really is in rather a mess, so it seems hardly fair. I think what I'll  do is to effect the necessary restoration work , then make a mystery object of it. So - Watch this Space! 

Friday, 18 November 2016


Came downstairs this morning and found that Ann had left the above device to the left of the clock in the hall. It's a  very modern vacuum cleaner, and parked next to the grandfather clock, I think it gives a nice 'then and now'  feel  to  the  photo. Earlier this morning we walked into town (via the Market Place) to go to cafe church, both  of  which (Market Place and Church) act as the local gossip and news exchange. Had to be home by eleven as friends Brenda and Judy were calling at that time to take Ann off for a pub lunch, and to swap some more news/gossip.  I always think  of the three of them as a sort of female version of 'Last of  the  Summer Wine'.  I gave vent once to this idea to the three of them, and they all three rather liked it, but disagreed  slightly when they started to discuss which lady was which character!

Oh well, it's twelve-thirty  now, and I've been told to make meself a sandwich lunch from available bread, butter, ham and cheese. Given the availability of the ingredients, this should  be well within even my (fairly basic) culinary skills.

Regards, Mike.

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Tuesday (yet again)

Took the above photograph earlier this week. All the above pistols are fitted with a snapping, spark producing lock.  This is not  the usual 'Mystery Object' contest,  but  can you tell me which one is the 'true flintlock' pistol?

P.s. I  should perhaps have  specified that I am using  the Torsten Lenk  definition of  'The Flintlock' (hope this helps).

Tuesday (again)

Pottering round the garden this afternoon, and spotted rather subtly coloured plant in  trough just outside the forge. Its leaf colours are pink, olive green, and cream; giving a very pleasant , mottled sort of  effect. Neither of us  can remember putting it in, or what it  is. If anyone knows what it  is, any information would be  gratefully received. 
Thanks in advance, and regards - Mike and  Ann.


Still desparately  trying to get this 'new' machine to  work. Above photo  shows a country lane near here a few days ago. The lower one shows Ann trying to take snapshots of our late roses yesterday afternoon.  Will  now  try to publish these.

 Lost two or three branches of rose trees, over the weekend,  so trimmed them and put them in water, which seems to have been successful- These are the ones Ann is arranging in the photograph. We popped round to take a bunch of  daffs to Sue and David. Sue checked my blog on her computer, and found it had published the above entry, so perhaps things are starting to work again. Hope so, anyway. Will  carry on trying.

Monday, 14 November 2016

Friday, 4 November 2016


Been a busy week. Long Melford Antique Fair on Wednesday. The first two hard, white frosts of the year on Wednesday and Thursday. Still feel that I am fighting my 'new' Windows 10 computer. The only thing it lets me do easily is buying on eBay. Took the above two photos on Wednesday morning about seven a.m. on the way to long Melford. I must say the trees this autumn have shown the best autumn colours I can remember. However, I do have a feeling that I might have said this of other years (?). In fact, to be quite honest, I think I may say this most years - but..... it is always true! It's a lovely time of year. Good night.

Tuesday, 25 October 2016


The above photographed house is, to my mind, one of the handsomest in Highdale. I have photographed and spoken of it before, I know; but this morning, I walked along to it (about two hundred yards from our home) and photographed the side furthest from the road (the back view, in other words), to reiterate my opinion that lovely old buildings are usually well worth a look at the back of them. The back of this one is not easily on view, but some parts of it are, and what there is, is shown in the first illustration. Although the date is shown as 1653, this is the date at which the latest major alterations (or perhaps decorations would be the better word) were done, as the building was obviously built around two hundred years before the date given, i.e. circa the mid 1400s. Being called up to lunch, so will write a bit more (D.V.) later. Back again after a good, light lunch. One last thing regarding the above house is that it has been divided into two homes, probably done when the property ceased to be an Inn. Should perhaps make it clear that all the above photographs show the same building.

Sunday, 23 October 2016


After Church this morning (Aldham Church) we decided to motor round the lanes on a slightly longer than usual way home so I could photograph some autumn colours in the trees along the way. Above you see the results. It has been (is being) a lovely autumn. I find meself nodding off over the machine, and as Ann has already gone upstairs for a quick nap - think I will join her. So more later (perhaps).

Friday, 21 October 2016


The photos on yesterday's blog entry were taken coming home from Sudbury, and were mainly taken through the car windscreen in villages on the way home. The one above was taken as we were motoring through Kersey. The variety of windows still displayed in this ancient building fascinates me. Good Night All.