Thursday, 31 May 2018


Above  is one of  the  two coaching Inns in the main street of Boxford  (opposite each other), and both appear to   be doing a roaring trade.

Above is a handsome young  walnut tree near the Churchyard  in Milton Keynes village, with a seat round the trunk; which always  seems to me to be a very convenient trick, the  chance of a wayside sit being, these days, almost impossible to resist.

Later this afternoon we are driving over to Aldham to  meet the proposed new Vicar and  his wife, the vixen. My late father in law's joke; he always  used to say that if we ever introduced 'lady  vicars' they  would probably be known as 'vixens'. 

I am being called upstairs to lunch. May  write some  more later.

Wednesday, 30 May 2018


Took  the above photo through  the car nearside window earlier this  week. The  house  is a   (probably)  pre-Tudor moated manor house a few miles up the road towards Stowmarket. It is  a lovely looking old place, but given the closeness of the moat to one side of the house, probably  rather damp! Always  looks well though, and we always  slow down when passing it.

Been a 'bitty' sort of a day. Had a visit this morning from a health specialist of some sort (an 'ologist' from the local surgery) - nice woman - with a sense of humour. Rather enjoy her visits -  find them a bit  tiring, though.  Then this afternoon had a further interview with one of the Doctors from our surgery. Lots of questions, and he seems to enjoy  our visits to him, as do we. Between times today been 'pottering' in the workshop - finishing jobs, tidying up, spot of hoovering, etc. Place looks  better for my efforts, I must say.  Just 'phoned Kerry (one of our daughters) to wish her many  happy returns. She  sounded fairly bright and  cheerful.

Wish you all a very good night's rest.  Mike and Ann.

Got  a few more odd-jobs to be done down here, then going to grab what's left of an  early night I think.

Tuesday, 29 May 2018

Had the oddest experience (or rather series of ) over the the last week or so. It started off with a friend of ours showing me a post card from her son in New Zealand. I illustrate the postcard above. I was introduced to her son, the last time he was over here, which was three or four years ago. With the  postcard was a note saying  that if I was still about (!) I might be interested in it.  He had bought it in a museum in New Zealand, and asked (via his Mama) if,  given the likeness between meself and the  subject of the postcard, we were relations ? I shouldn't think  so , says  I, given the gentleman's  name
(Sir John Anderson, a Scottish name). However, I 'phoned brother Crowbard, he being  a keen researcher of family  trees, told him about the  matter, and got rather a surprise.   The connexion is via Sir John's mother, and my great grandmother. Crowbard is of opinion that we are probably fourth or fifth cousins.  It seems odd to me that  over such a long period  such  a likeness should have occurred.  Strange subject - genetics. Strange subject -coincidences.

Took this photo (or at least, I  think Sarah took it) a week or so ago, and I think  I may have shown it before. If so my apologies, but we both think it's  quite a good one, so bear with us.


Took this  photie last week, running into  the thriving city of Ely from the Newmarket road. The  sun was on  the  Cathedral, and you'd hardly  believe that there was a thriving city below, and around the said cathedral.  Been having rather a job lately getting photographs onto the blog, but today Sarah (senior daughter) is spending the day with us, and after dealing firmly with the computer for about thirty seconds, reduced it to a compliant, whimpering wreck. Must try and keep the machine in it's place. It's  not so much kindness that  seems to work on the machine as firmness.

Monday, 21 May 2018


I have been working  on the above (and below) illustrated clock , and  today  we  took  it  back to its owner (and its home). Having delivered it, and eventually  reinstalled it,  we (the clock owner, Ann and  meself) were having a  coffee, and  chatting;  and  came up with the  facts that I have been attending  to its needs, and doing any necessary repairs for  over forty years now. It is  a  great favourite of mine . It is a  very English clock. It  is an oak cased  thirty hour, long cased clock with a single hand and an alarum train that, when used, sounds like an old fashioned fire engine coming along over the  cobbles. However, I have now retired on  medical  advice, so will (in all  probability) not be seeing much of  the  clock in the future. Its owner  issued us with a general invitation to call on her, and take coffee with her whenever we are in her area. She  then went on  to  say that we could do any  necessary  adjustments to the  clock on these visits. I'm not at all sure that she took  the  retirement bit in, and even if she  did, she  didn't seem to take it too seriously, I'm afraid. But Ann nearly  always  answers the  'phone as I can't  really hear it (well not until  I put  the  loudspeaker on, and  not always  then), so I'll have to leave Ann to persuade our friend that  I  really  have retired. Oh well - we'll see.

Saturday, 19 May 2018

Friday, 18 May 2018


Above photo is another one  of  the village  of  Boxford- a lane off  the main street.

Above  building is the gatehouse of Hinchingbrook  House, near Huntingdon. Made a detour (got lost- hem hem)  on the way home  from Sarah's;  the place is now  a  school. The main building is pre Tudor, and stone. The rather  earlier gatehouse (I think probably fourteenth century) was moved from elsewhere  to its present site some centuries ago, and is  also  used for antique fairs, which is why I know it quite well. Nice to see it again - worth the detour.

Wednesday, 16 May 2018


Snapshots of  the main street in Boxford, a few miles from here.  Just before I  took the second picture down, a small boy (a 7  to 8 year old) was careering down the hill on his bicycle,  and  shrieking at the top of  his voice  "This is DANGEROUS. This is REALLY  DANGEROUS!!!", whilst  obviously  thoroughly enjoying himself.  We forget what it's like to  be that age!

The third picture down is of a small building backing onto the river. The building  has always  rather puzzled me. The two stone squares above the doorways are inscribed BG and 1828. I've done a  little research, and the  local story is that the  building  was Boxford Gaol or lock up, then used as a Fire Station, then more  recently as a 'bus shelter.
Boxford is  a lovely (and  quite unspoiled)  Suffolk village, and well worth exploring.


                                         Mystery Objects.

I took  the above two photos of mystery objects in Boxford yesterday.  They are at the  corner of a  big old inn and a lane off the  main  street of the  village. There are a good many of  these  objects around Suffolk. Try and guess what they are made of and the purpose they now  serve.  When I  first saw them yesterday a young mother and her son were sitting on them in the  sunshine, and I wondered whether to tell  the  mother what they were sitting on - but I lacked the courage.

Tuesday, 15 May 2018


Managed to crop, and therefore enlarge, the photo of our frog (?) which I showed yesterday. I  put a  question mark because I'm not sure that some expert on amphibia won't try and tell me that this  is a toad rather than a frog, and given this chap's  skin, I'm not  too sure, but anyway, no bets taken either way. This afternoon we motored over to Sudbury to have my hearing aids serviced, and also to do a little necessary  shopping (socks, a tie or so, and some groceries), and also to drink  coffee, and take some photoes of  a Suffolk village, Boxford,   on the way back (for use in future blog entries) -altogether a very pleasant and relaxed afternoon out.

Pushing ten pip Emma, and I'm starting to make toooo many typing errors (all so far I think, corrected)  so I'll knock off now.    Goodnight all.

Monday, 14 May 2018

This is  our garden pond, and as the garden is very small (pocket handkerchief size) the pond is small too, in fact I'd better confess that it is an old horse bucket sunk into the garden. If your eyes are good you may well be able to see that on top of the central rock in the pond is a frog - I hadn't seen him for some time, and ( if it's the same frog) he's grown a good deal since the last sighting, a couple of months ago.

Our one goldfish still lives in the pond as well. I hope goldfish and frogs can inhabit the same small pond in amity?

It's good to be  home  again, Sarah drove over this morning from Milton Keynes, and took Ann into Ipswich Hospital , where it was decided that Ann is to have a cataract removed from one eye sometime in the next  three months. Otherwise, the eye surgeon  is fairly happy about her eyes.

I've been asked not to drive (pro tem.), which is why Sarah drove over. I must say that all our offspring have been very good indeed about running us about, when necessary; and generally keeping an eye on us.
 Looking at my screen it seems that I've developed the same photo twice - still I suppose that's better than none being developed at all, as has been  frequently   the case, of late.  After lunch Sarah has been giving me lessons on the computer, so I'll keep trying to publish this blog. If it doesn't work it will mean that this machine has found some other way of  frustrating my good intentions - must just keep trying. 

Going on from my  remarks in the previous blog entry about Milton Keynes, there are a good many signs similar to these two all over Milton Keynes. I don't really mind the lower one, especially if (as in Suffolk) the Roads  and Bridges Department are filling in all the horrific potholes left over from last winter.  However the upper sign seems to me to be , at best, verging on being brusque, and, at worst, being *$""+ rude.  I would value any comments from readers on this one.

P.s. Having being given a few more lessons on the use of  the  computer by senior daughter, will try  and be a bit more reliable at keeping my blog up to date.

Both these pictures were taken during our fortnight at senior daughter's home in Milton Keynes village during  the last fortnight, when our new bathroom was installed in Suffolk.  The top one shows me teaching Great Granddaughter Astrid (who is now three and a half) how to blow bubbles. This magic fascinated her so much that when she called  in at Grandmama Sarah's home ( a few miles from her home) she would plant herself in from of me and say  (very firmly) "Bubbles ?".

Above picture taken in the same room (Sarah and Mikey's kitchen  in Milton Keynes village), and shows FOUR generations of ladies - Ann, Amelia, Astrid and Sarah (our senior daughter).  It's an odd thing, but when people learn that we are going to MIlton Keynes, they make derogatory remarks about the  place,  and almost invariably, it turns out that they have never been to the place, or, at best, have once driven through it. In fact, a very great deal of thought  has gone into the design and layout of  the place, and there's a lot to be said  for open spaces, woods, grassland ,  meadows, lakes, and well designed houses. Most of the  prettier village centres have been carefully  preserved, too. Just being called for lunch. More later, hopefully.