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.