Tuesday, 31 July 2018

Tuesday 2.

Showed this year's hibiscus flowers (on two trees) yesterday taken by  flash after dark. Above  are the  same two trees taken  in  full  sunlight this  morning. When I  was a boy the only  hibiscus that could be  grown in this  country (or so we thought) was a mauve (ish) flowered tree called, if memory serves, Blue Bird. There are some lovely ones  to be had nowadays, including the  above white  flowered, reddish centred,  specimen, which looks lovely, and  flowers for some weeks from mid summer to the early autumn.



The Ipomias are giving their usual  glorious display, but have noticed  something a bit different about  this  year's flowers, though. The below  flower is  the  normal five lobed  (petalled  ?) flower, but the plants are  occasionally throwing  four lobed flowers, as shown in the upper picture. I've never noticed this before.  Can any of my readers suggest a cause for this?  The four lobed jobs are still lovely, but do look a little odd.

Motored over to have tea with friend Helga this afternoon.  She bust her right arm a few weeks ago, and is still  a little shaky, although the arm has healed well. She's  a  few  years older than we are, so I suppose Anno Domini could have something  to do with it.

Goodnight  All.

Monday, 30 July 2018


Just a corner of the garden, showing mainly  hibiscus, taken with flash about an hour ago.

Goodnight  all. Will try and blog better tomorrow.

P.s. See above entry for  Tuesday showing same view by  daylight (and  sunshine).

Thursday, 26 July 2018


Today was absolutely lovely weather wise, so we (that is Ann, meself and  granddaughter Beth) decided to  go to  Felixstowe and have a look at the North   Sea. Pausing only to  book  a table at the Orwell Hotel for three, at one pip  emma, we drove down the A14 (mostly ) to Felixstowe, and to the Orwell, where we partook of  a light (but very satisfying) luncheon. After lunch we drove to the seafront, strolled along the sands for about fifteen minutes,  then found a vacant seat and
 watched  the world go by - very restful.

I tried to take photographs for the delectation of my readers, but found the camera being totally  non cooperative. Handed the camera to granddaughter Beth, who found the  problem- I'd forgotten to replace the memory card after doing yesterday's blog. I must admit to being  not altogether high tech. However Beth, who is altogether Hi-tec, took these photos on her camera, then  when we got home, transferred them  to my blog.  By magic, I  suppose!  Being called upstairs for supper.  Goodnight All.

P.s. Reopen this to say that although the temperature  in the  garden was really uncomfortably high,this morning ; by the time  we got to the beach,  the temperature, although warm,  was not uncomfortably  so. It was much warmer a few miles  inland than at the seaside.


Wednesday, 25 July 2018


Been a busy day.
Ann had to go  into  Ipswich Hospital for  a check  up on  her eye operation. She was taken into  Ipswich by a  good friend  of ours, John Goldbourn.  Granddaughter Beth is staying with us for a few days, and made lunch. She made a chicken casserole;which I am shown   (above) adjusting with the addition of a  few chopped herbs from the garden, variegated sage, garden mint, chives, etc.

The above photo shows, from left to  right - Granddaughter Beth, great granddaughter Astrid, Great grandmother Ann, Astrid's Mama (granddaughter Amelia), and Amelia's Mama, senior daughter Sarah.

Granddaughter  Beth, at work preparing  lunch for us all in the kitchen. She's staying  a few days, looking  after the senior generation -us. The  youngsters have been  SO GOOD! over the last  few weeks. It really does restore the faith in human nature.

Monday, 16 July 2018


Just come across  this photo taken ten days or  so ago. It shows part of  the family on the Cam,  with senior daughter Sarah demonstrating to the  gondolier just how she'd like  things  done!

No, not  really. He was teaching  Sarah how  to  quant. She did  quite well.

Sunday, 15 July 2018


Youngest daughter Lizzie stayed with us over the  weekend. Took the above photie of Ruth, Lizzie and Ann at teatime yesterday.  Asked them to  look langurous (even I wasn't sure about that word, so changed it to 'glamorous')......... and the above photie was the result of their efforts!!!!!!!!

Liz told me last night that she intended to hit the road this morning at 6.30 a.m. so got up at about five past six to see her off  and found her gone. Didn't want to go back to bed as I knew it would wake Ann (who rarely seems to sleep well), so have spent the  last hour and a half pottering about the computer.   This blog entry is the end  result of  said  potterings.
Must go and get dressed - I shoved on a workshop shirt, trousers and an old dressing gown to come down in --- it's  enough to  frighten the horses.

Have a good day.

Friday, 13 July 2018


Been a busy day. Early  service this morning. This afternoon Ruth ran me into the hardware shop in town to purchase a refill for the gas bottle I  use in the forge. Ruth spotted a french blue and white skirt she liked in another shop, so I bought it for  her. She has been so good - looking after her parents over the last two or three weeks - that it was a real pleasure to find something for her that I could see she really liked. As you can see from the picture above the skirt fitted her perfectly and really suits her. When senior daughter Sarah was sixteen she asked if  she  could  go  on a dress allowance rather than her pocket money. It's  a long story and I won't bore you with it; but eventually  I  used to teach all five of our children  that if  you are shopping and see a garment that you like, and it suits you, and you can afford it- buy it then and there. If you leave it  till you really need a garment, you will never find one that is perfect.  It's  the old  rule of  "Bag it when it's by."
Oh Dear!  The times I've been reminded of that fatherly counsel!!!!
We've got  our youngest daughter coming to  stay tomorrow -to help Ruth look after us I suppose.
Ann was very much in demand as a babysitter when our  childrens' families were young (actually we both were); but now two of them have grandchildren of their own to baby sit, so we both feel grateful and privileged that they can take time off from work and their grandchildren to look after the great grandparents when necessary.

Must go and  water the garden  before bed.
Goodnight All.

Thursday, 12 July 2018


 Spent today pottering about the workshop, then this evening the  girls, Ann and our daughter Ruth, decided to  go for  a walk along our river bank, over what claims to be the oldest bridge in England still in use for its original purpose, then back through the town to home.

 Took the  photos along the  river bank. Took  a few photos of ancient buildings on the way home,
but I think  I've shown you  most of  them.  Can't stay awake much longer, so - Goodnight All.

Wednesday, 11 July 2018

Wednesday 2.

Yesterday was the hundredth anniversary of  the  founding of the R.A.F.  so we drove out to a disused airfield a mile or  so from home to see the fly-past of aircraft towards London.  It gave us (and around forty or fifty other people  who'd  had the same idea) a good view of the  fly past.. We talked to  an elderly lady (even by our standards - she told us  she was 92) who wanted to know if any of us knew about her favourite aircraft she'd ever flown in -the Walrus?  Well of course I knew of the crate - it was a 'pusher' amphibious aircraft of (I think) the thirties.   She also told  us (she'd arrived by car - she'd driven herself) that her family didn't really approve  of her still driving, but she'd  consulted her doctor, who'd examined her, and then given his opinion that  she  was as safe a driver as she ever had been. I carefully did NOT give my  opinion that this remark could be  taken  two ways.  I think her family had shown great restraint by not  pointing  this  one  out - they must have spotted it, I'd think.

In the top picture I'm sitting on an old  shooting  stick I keep in the car, supported by walking sticks - nice and easy to get up from. In the second picture Ruth is holding   the  shooting stick. A pleasant morning's outing.


View of garden from one pane of  kitchen window.

Monday, 9 July 2018

The cross bow illustrated is the  next major job to  be  done. I purchased it last week in one of  the major London salerooms. It was made by J. Blancher of Attleborough.

Saturday, 7 July 2018


The crossbow  illustrated is my  next major restoration  job to  be done. I  purchased it last week  in one of  the major London auction rooms. It was made  by J. Blancher of  Attleborough (in Norfolk) probably in the mid / late 1600 -s ,and is  (in its way) rather  a  handsome weapon.

Since  then  I  have been studying Sir Ralph Payne - Gallwey's book  'The
Crossbow'. It was first published in 1903,  and  has (to my mind) never been bettered as  a text book on crossbows. There are four small  iron parts to be made, which will fix the bow firmly into the  stock , and two more slightly larger iron pieces that keep everything firmly in position. All are illustrated in Payne -Gallwey's book, and will have to be made to the correct sizes of the  vacant holes in the stock. In a repair job of  this  sort the holes that remain in the  stock, dictate accurately the  sizes of the missing parts. It should take a while (and keep me busy).  Must try and remember to take 'after' pictures to show when all's done -watch this  space.

Just been called  up for  lunch by Ruth.

Friday, 6 July 2018


Above photo  was taken in Cambridge last Sunday beside the river. It is of grandson Tom and meself about  to embark on our exploration of the Cam. The two punts held nineteen of us (family) . We were well provisioned with a  white fizzy Italian  wine (Prosecco, I think) and fresh fruit, by daughter Liz. It was a grand afternoon, made unique in that, unlike  other years, nobody  fell in!!!

Thursday, 5 July 2018


Very quick blog, thanks to a passing  neighbour, who took a quick snapshot of  the three of us. Ruth reminds me that we have an early start in the morning - hospital visit for an eye check up -me this time, and that reminds me that after Ann's  cataract op yesterday, she  has  been reasonably comfortable today (largely thanks to doses of Para Cetamol).

Good night all.

Wednesday, 4 July 2018


Been a  hectic day.  Ruth drove Ann into Ipswich this  morning to have a cataract removed from her left  eye.  The above photo was taken when they  arrived home this afternoon. All  had gone  well at the  hospital I'm glad to report.

Daughter  Liz, her three children, Matthew, Georgia, and Beth; and her granddaughter, Elsa, whose fourth birthday was today, came to lunch, bringing it with them. 

Just before  they  went home this  evening, the above photo  was taken of  great granddaughter, Elsa(the birthday girl) with her great grandfather Mike, meself, your blogger.


                                          Good night Readers, God Bless you  all.

Tuesday, 3 July 2018

Tuesday 2 or as Ruth suggests -Twosday.

The roses are now blooming  so  heavily that Ann found a few breaking off, and  brought them into the  kitchen as cut  flowers. Ruth took  Ann into  the local hospital this  morning for an eye check-up today, and they learned that Ann is  to go back in tomorrow to have a cataract removed from her left eye, at 3p.m. Ruth will drive  her in.  I will stay at home, as Liz is bringing her older daughter and our great
 granddaughter, Elsa, who is celebrating her fourth birthday tomorrow, and going to school (a Church school) in September. Liz is bringing lunch with her for all of us.  Must just try and  clear a few scrabble games, then bed.

So - Goodnight All.

Monday, 2 July 2018


Above photo  shows our two great granddaughters ( they are second cousins and very good friends) enjoying a family high tea beside the river Cam at a hotel in Cambridge, yesterday,

Around mid day today, we motored out to the building shown above and below. It is  the Bell  Hotel in Kersey, where we had lunch  in the garden. We have been using this hostelry  for over fifty years. Ruth who is staying with us has always  loved it.

The two antique items we purchased  (by 'phone) arrived by carrier this morning.  One of them will need a good deal of work doing, which I'm already  planning. It's good  to have something in prospect.

Sunday, 1 July 2018


Today we met up with as many of our family as could make it (nineteen of us) to Cambridge, where we'd hired  a couple  of  punts, complete with an undergraduate each  as an outboard motor, and went quanting on the Cam. The young gentleman, on our punt, let two of me daughters (senior daughter, Sarah,  and  youngest daughter, Liz)  have a go at quanting. Neither of them disgraced themselves. After that we had tea outside the hotel, on the riverbank, before returning home. It was a lovely afternoon out, which we all  enjoyed thoroughly. It has a long family history, which started by taking everyone to  a pantomime, but has changed a good many times over the years;  but  we think we may  change our arrangements next year. We'll  see what  everyone thinks. I know  they all  like to  get together with all  the cousins and exchange family news and gossip.