Friday, 29 June 2018


Our daughter Ruth has been staying for  a few days. It has been lovely having her here. Her daughters flew home earlier in the week. Ruth can always  see a job and get  on with it, and  Ann loves going shopping with her. Usually I'll go with Ann and push the trolley  for  her, but other than that I know my limitations, and serious shopping is one of them; although one of  my acknowledged  jobs is buying  wine, when we are having friends for a meal.  We have just had one of  my favourite suppers,  which consisted of cold leftovers and tea.

Ruth has also been giving me an intensive course in blog writing and keeping  the computer under control. It does seem to be behaving better than it has done at any time  this past two years.

Going upstairs now to be sociable. So- Good night  All.

Thursday, 28 June 2018

Thursday 2.

This is a photograph I took last week of the  Guildhall at Lavenham. It is a magnificent building, which was built, I  believe, about  1520. Our guildhall is about two hundred years earlier, double jettied, but  not so  well known as the Lavenham one.


Been a  busy week; as recorded earlier, nephew William very kindly ran me  into London on Tuesday to view an auction sale. Then on Wednesday I made postal bids on seven items in the sale, and secured two of them. Today we've been on the 'phone arranging payment, then more 'phoning to arrange collection and delivery by carrier. A certain amount of work to be done on one lot, but a good clean is all that will be necessary on the  other. Seems to be a good method of bidding and buying . Not too  tiring, either.   Thoroughly enjoyed it, and well  within my capabilities.    Supper time, I think, so will wish  all  my readers a good night.  Then upstairs, supper and an early night.



Ipomia (Morning Glory). This is a favourite plant of ours. I grow it most years, but it is  fairly picky about growing up the bamboo lattice work that I've fixed up  for it's convenience. The  year before last it grew very well, and was an absolute picture.  Last year it did blossom, but  never had more than five blossoms  open at any one time.   Yesterday (27th June) it had the one bloom showing , as above.  The flower was four and a half inches in diameter, but the real surprise was the date it opened, 27th JUNE. I can't remember seeing one of these in flower in June before. It will (in theory) now bloom until  the first frosts!  I should, though, point out  that the folk name, of Morning Glory, is  quite accurate, in that the flowers will have died by late afternoon/ early evening.  I shall, of  course, now  follow its future progress with great interest, and probably put up  further photos of it  as the year progresses. In fact I may well bore my readers rigid with photos of the Morning  Glory, before the first frosts.

Tuesday, 26 June 2018


Photoes of front hall.
Today I was taken to  London by nephew William, to  view forthcoming auction . One or two possibles, so made arrangements to bid by 'phone.  William, God  bless  him, then drove me home to Suffolk, had tea with us, then drove  back to London as he has  a business appointment in the morning.   He is such a good natured chap!    It's been a lovely day, but tiring.  So off for an early night.

Goodnight All.

Monday, 25 June 2018



Here are the last two Lavenham photos.  In the lower one the oak beams on  the  small cottage  (left of centre) looks like a piece of  'modern art'   from the nineteen 20s |(Ruth says it looks like  a 'Mondrian' . (I bow to superior knowledge).

Sunday, 24 June 2018

Saturday, 23 June 2018


Feel as if I've just had a long fight with the computer. I've made it look for the lost photos of Lavenham (taken last Tuesday, I think); finally found them, and here are the first three of them. The rest I've reserved for future use. Going to try and publish these now. Success!

Friday, 22 June 2018


Machine is again playing up, and being very reluctant to accept photies. On Tuesday we motored over to Fordham (the one near Newmarket) to meet up with daughter Kerry at the local garden centre (and also to give her lunch at the garden centre restaurant). On the way there we motored through Lavenham town centre, because our usual short cut around the town was closed for road repairs. Took advantage of going through the middle of this lovely little town to take photoes of half a dozen or so of the earlier buildings, for eventual use in the blog.This evening, having transferred the photoes from the camera to the computer, the computer swallowed the photies, gave a quietly satisfied burp; and that was the last I've seen of the Lavenham photies, although I've searched the computer for them. Ann says her Ipad is also playing up badly, so I must supose it's not just my computer (or me) getting it wrong. Ah well! Must just keep trying, I suppose, but will be issuing blog entries unillustrated until I can find a way round problem.


Thursday, 21 June 2018

Tuesday, 19 June 2018

Monday, 18 June 2018

Monday (2)

Very natural  looking, minute garden pond -  actually  a sunken horse bucket. Contains  (and has done for well over a year now) a goldfish; and an occasional frog ,which keeps things interesting in that area of garden.


We (I think it  was Ann, though) bought the  pedlar doll  pictured above about thirty years, or so ago, with very little stock left. It was a real  family effort to put her back in business, though. All five of our children made items of stock for the pedlar lady to carry.  Ann  repaired her  dress, and I restored her  tray. About  a year ago,  we were doing a little clearing out,  found  her  in a box, and I  finally made her hanging case out of  an old picture frame.  She now hangs in our hall, just inside the front door, and is admired by all, well  all of  good taste, anyway.

It's  always worth doing a bit of  clearing out - you never know what you'll find.

Sunday, 17 June 2018


Above shows one corner of our withdrawing room, plus its newish occupant. We have not  had a television set for the last twenty five years or so. By the way - the very worst conversation stopper is when someone says  "Did you see such and such on T.V?" and you have to explain  that you  haven't  had  a T.V. for the last umpty five years.  Any way when I was rather poorly just before Christmas, Ann 'phoned the local electrical machine vendor and ordered one.  It's a sort of  psuedo- company  of an evening, and some programmes are very watchable. Having  found the right  place for it, and common honesty  compells me to confess that Sue (Ann's lady who helps about the house) found the right place.  I put it in front of the fire place, and Sue said (the next time she came in)  "Mike, you  can't put that television set right  in front of that lovely great fireplace,   and I asked her where it should go? 
"Leave it with me  and come back in ten minutes" says Sue - so I  did.  She'd moved an old oak chest from in front of one of the windows, where it didn't show, into a corner, with the telly  on top  of  it.
The chest looks better there than it has done since we moved here (about ten or twelve years ago), and the telly  looks well  on  top  of the chest, in its corner.

Got  to go out to morning service in a min.  Reading second lesson. More when  I  get back.

Half past twelve. Back now. Found  above glass water (or wine) jug in local antique/junk/second hand shop. The  jug is rather an old  beauty . Pre Victorian, probably Regency (got  a 'ground out' pontil), and holds a good couple of pints, or so. Hand made, and doesn't drip.  Never know what's going to be in the shop, but always well worth a look and a potter round..

Friday, 15 June 2018


Snapshots of bits of the  garden (which is  blooming).


Thursday, 14 June 2018


Earlier in  the  week we attended a choir concert  held in a local  church. The  lower picture is of the
 programme .  Good,  solid, singable  stuff.  My  only objection  is that when the  National Anthem is sung -the  first item on the  above programme, I'm glad to say, and the  audience joins in (as we all did) the third verse of the Anthem  is  NEVER sung. It goes, if memory serves :-

Oh Lord, our  God arise,
scatter her enemies,
and make them fall.
Confound their politics,
fustrate their knavish tricks.
On Thee our hopes we fix.
God save us all.

Fine stirring stuff, you'd think; but we're never allowed to sing it- politically incorrect, I  suppose. What a lot of  lily livered poltroons we have become. The  Victorians had far more honest ideas than  we do! And the Georgians would probably have itemised 'her enemies'  as 'the  French  and other low forms of pond life!'
Bah Humbug!!!!

P.s. I  am quite  prepared to find  that the  last paragraph  has been 'removed by a blog administrator.'


Our delphiniums (delphinia ?) are putting on a  very  fine  display  this  year , having spread themselves naturally from one stem a few years ago. The ones  pictured above are a goodish five foot tall.  I do  particularly like  the  white centred ones (which we put in last year, I think.

Tuesday, 12 June 2018

Tuesday again.

This  morning daughter Sarah  and granddaughter Lucy motored over  from Milton  Keynes and spent the  day with us. As always  it was lovely to  see them, and a  very pleasant  time was had by all.  Both of  them spent a good  deal of time educating your  blogger in the  ways of  the  computer. Many thanks  to both of  you.

Goodnight  all.


Above are two photos of  the same weapon, which has recently been through my hands (for repair). Quite  small, it has a sixteen inch  brass barrel, a flintlock, and  a walnut stock.  It is, of course, very much  a military  piece (note the 'brown Bess' layout and proportions), and was probably for  naval use. It was made about the year 1780 to 1790.

I must say that I learned a great deal from the gun  during its repair.


Still having problems with this  disobliging machine, i.e.  computer, mainly re photies, now. the  ones above  are old stock - taken a year or  so ago; but it's being a  lovely summer re roses this  year, so  that although I took the photoes a couple of years ago, the roses depicted on it are again in full bloom, so not really cheating ?????

Saturday, 9 June 2018


Been a pleasant day. Had lunch in Saint  Mary's Church- ham, cheese and salads. Shared a table  with friends. Photo of Saint Mary's below.  Looked round  four  gardens, then back  to tea with  next door neighbour.  Her mother who is Italian is the best pastry cook in our area. I'm glad to say   that  some of  her mother's produce put in a brief appearance.  Very civilised tea.

Saturday. 2.


At present our garden (admittedly very small) is full of roses in bloom. Today is 'open garden day' in our town  - Highdale, an anagramatic form of its proper name. Plan to have lunch  in  the church, then this afternoon, to go on an open garden crawl. We have thrown our garden open for the last two years,  but this  prevents our exploring our friends and neighbours' gardens, so this year that is what we intend to do. Shall  take the camera along and ask permission to use it.

Friday, 8 June 2018


Looking  through  old  photographs and  found the above. Can't remember where I  took  the  photo but it must have been within  a few miles of  home- which  just  goes   to prove how  spoiled we are for lovely old buildings in Suffolk. Been working on a  silver clock hand pendant for a  granddaughter earlier today. I've always  made them for daughters (et cetera)  when they hit fifty, but if  I'm to make them for  granddaughters when they attain that age, I shall be in my nineties, and I'm not  sure that I shall  be  a reliable silversmith  by then. So, at Ann's suggestion, I think the rising generation can have them at thirty, and  as two of  them are fast approaching  that point, I'd better start now.  Gives me something to do, and keeps me off  the streets.

Off to bed now. Goodnight all.


As you can see still lots  of  goldfinches about.

Just got back from Church;  attended a Communion  Service  in the Lady Chapel, whilst a coffee morning went  on in the  Nave - not altogether a happy mix. Could  wish there  was a way  of  holding these  two , plus sometimes a market in the  nave, at different TIMES. The nave is, I think  the  second longest in Suffolk, but.....   Being called upstairs for lunch now-  more  blog later perhaps.

Thursday, 7 June 2018

Yesterday morning we drove over to Long Melford, where  an  antique  trade fair is held on the  first Wednesday  in every month, and bought  quite well.  Between us we bought five items. Ann bought a small horn beaker,  engraved with a sporting  (in this case - shooting)  scene, of about 1810 -  1830 date; and a set of nine silver teaspoons, hall marked for the year 1835 (William the fourth). I  did my sums afterwards, and found that Ann had paid about scrap silver value for the set.  I thought she'd bought  them for one of  the children  (or  grandchildren) but she said "No. I  bought  them for use.  We're getting a bit short of decent tea spoons".  About half way through  looking for  goodies, we adjourned to the lounge bar , of the  Bull Hotel  opposite and  ordered coffee. We were joined by five other customers from the fair, all old acquaintance.  Very pleasant half hour followed- strolling  down memory lane.


Yesterday morning, first thing, we motored over to Long Melford, where a monthly  antique fair is held on the first Wednesday of every month. It  is very much a trade fair, and we purchased, between us,  five items. Ann bought a small horn beaker, engraved (rather naively) with a sporting (shooting) scene, and a set of nine silver (William IV) tea spoons, for around (or rather below) their scrap silver value.  I thought she perhaps wanted them for one of the offspring, but she said "No.  For use. they're good big ones, and we're running a bit short of decent tea spoons."

Being called  upstairs, as  we should be  driving  into Ipswich- routine hospital appointment, I think.

More  later, I hope.

Tuesday, 5 June 2018


Been a good day. Our friends John and Margaret came to lunch. After lunch (roast chicken) John and I retired to the Armoury to compare notes on recently  encountered  blunderbusses (blunderbii ?? No, I don't think so. Looks awkward). Both very  military looking, both English, and both probably  of naval origin. 
Ann's just called me up to supper.  More tomorrow, possibly.  In the meantime -Goodnight All.

Monday, 4 June 2018

Just had a pleasant weekend. Ann's middle  brother David. and his  wife Mo spent Saturday with us.
David, who is five years younger than I, retired at much the same time as I did, and I asked him how  he is managing his retirement; and how he's managing  to stay retired? He said something like :- "Mike. I think I know what your problem is. You've spent the last few years dealing in, and restoring, high quality antiques, and I know you're missing that. I think you've now got to turn yourself from a specialised dealer into a specialised collector". I  must  think that one out very carefully. It ties in with something my accountant said a few months ago.  That brings me to the two photographs. The top one  shows (from left to right) a candlestick of the thirteen  hundreds,  a candlestick of the  fourteen hundreds, a candlestick of the   sixteen hundreds, and a candlestick of the fifteen hundreds. The candlestick shown below is of the mid seventeen hundreds.  It is an English  chamber candlestick, dating from circa 1740-50, and is fitted with a pair of wick trimmers of the same period, and a slightly later douser, douter,  or  putter outer.

Between them they cover five different centuries. They are of great interest, but not of tremendous  value., and I think a similar approach to collecting may well be my way forward.

Comments from my blog friends would be welcome.