Thursday 30 August 2018


Yesterday we drove motored over to Bury  Saint Edmund's  to meet up  with  our (very) long term friends Alan  and Barbara. Barbara and Ann  were next door neighbours from birth (yes, really) in the  Norfolk  fens. Their fathers farmed adjacent farms.  Barbara and Alan married late in 1962, Ann  and I married early in 1963  - Beggar!!!! this machine has switched itself over to  writing in italics. Well, it will have to carry on doing  so until it can switch itself back to normal  service as I  don't know how to.  I rather suspect the machine does  know  how  to, but  it  isn't going  to tell me. Back to Barbara and Alan. When Alan retired  about fifteen  years  ago, they bought  a very nice mobile  home. Barbara had kept the village shop until then, but  they closed it, and turned it into part of their English home -  the idea being that they would spend all  winter in the mobile home exploring  the  warmer Southern Countries in Europe, then coming  home  to  East Anglia for the summer period.  They have been doing this  ever since, and we've been meeting up with them every year since then usually just  before they  head south again for  the   winter (I've an idea I've  told  you  all this before but bear with me). They take loads of photies  every winter, which Barbara turns into a winter travelogue/journal - and very  interesting  they  are  too. We had our annual lunch   in  Bury  Saint  Edmund's and  discussed Barbara and Alan's problem :- which is what to do with  the immediate future? WE are all four approaching the  four score years mark at much the same rate - and they both begin to  feel that driving several thousand miles South and back every winter on the wrong side of  the  road could become a suspicion wearing  at our age. I had   something of the the same decision to make  about a year ago about whether to retire from business or not, but my decision was  solved by my  Doctor very  strongly advising me to retire (and as he was very firmly  backed  up by Ann on  this  one,   the two of  them made my  mind up for  me).  In the end Barbara and Allan decided (pro tem) to make another journey  South this coming winter, which means we'll meet up as usual next year (as my late grandmother used to say "If spared"), and have the same discussion again then. Or as we more modern youngsters put it "God Willing".

P.s.  Now  I  must try and  beat this machine into resuming normal service, as opposed to itallics.

Tuesday 28 August 2018


Above photograph shows senior daughter Sarah, and  her youngest offspring,  Guy. They motored  over here from the  south Midlands this  morning and  have been helping me ever since. Guy, who is  studying civil engineering, helped me restring  the Norfolk Crossbow I showed on this blog about a month ago. Sarah has been helping me  to try and make sense  of  this computer  -  with a good   deal  more  success than I usually have. 

Ann put on  a  delicious  summer lunch of salmon (with a dill and  cream sauce), peas, carrots , and  new  potatoes. Sarah, who is reading this  over my  right  shoulder,  is  saying "And that isn't doing it justice, either. It was delicious!" 

Above photo was taken by Sarah. It's been a  lovely visit. 

Monday 27 August 2018


                                          Mystery Object!

The above photographed object is made of iron and steel, and is seven and a half inches long overall. Over the  years I  have seen four of these.  Ideas please.

Sunday 26 August 2018

Sunday 2.

The photo  of the   above  two pistols have something  in common (and  in other  ways are very different. This  is a sort of Mystery item entry. Ideas please ?


These are, I think, the very last few 'Morning  Glories  in bloom showing. It's  raining now, so  I shan't have to  water them this evening.  Been a fairly standard summer Sunday. After morning Service, home to lunch, then I've been pottering in the workshop most of  today doing odd jobs. Yesterday we drove up to Southwold and went to  an antique fair (freebie ticket from the Pinns, bless 'em)  - a good  fair, didn't find anything to buy, but sold a very complete little pocket tinder box to a dealer.  Good stuff seems  to  be  fairly think on the ground, and I have to keep reminding  meself that I've retired anyway, so  it doesn't matter.  Still having problems  with the  computer (mainly photos), but sometimes the machine seems very reluctant to publish anything, so don't  be toooo surprised if you  don't  manage to receive this.

Tuesday 14 August 2018


Morning Glory (shown above) have been rather disappointing this year, considering what a lovely  summer it's been. I've been watering them regularly (i.e. most evenings), but there's  never been more than half a dozen, or so,  flowers at any one time. Now it appears to have completely finished flowering. Been trying to grow them most years over the last fifty - with varying success. This lovely year has, I think, finally convinced me that the game's  not worth  the  candle; but, if any one has any suggestions to help (serious ones, Rog and Crowbard) I'd be interested to hear them.


Reference the ancient buildings around our churchyard - the above pictured is of the Deanery Tower, which is easily the most modern, in that it was completed in 1495 A.D. and is thus of very early, if not quite 'pre', Tudor.;

Sunday 12 August 2018


A week or so ago I published pictures of the Lavenham Guildhall,  which was built around the year 1520, and said that  our  guildhall here  in Highdale  was a couple of centuries earlier, or thereabouts, but not so well known as the Laveham one. Took the above  and below photoes  of  it  yesterday morning. It is double jettied as you can see, and I asked one of  our local 'experts' about  it a few years ago, and got  the  answer that we don't really know when it was built, but  that most of  it was standing  on the same spot around the year 1370! It  is still used as local government offices.  In fact a great many Suffolk villages still have large old buildings known as 'the Guildhall' at the centre of  the village. Mostly they are old 'wool towns'. They prospered until the mid 1300s. We had (in 1349 and 1350) two very bad years for the Black Death, after which the sheep  were moved across  to the Midlands, and our  Suffolk villages went into decline.   This  'potted history ' is  a  little  over simplified, but is  basicallly what happened here.  It has left us with some lovely old half timbered buildings in the middle of gloriously picturesque villages. I'm a Norfolk man by birth, but I've been exploring Suffolk all my adult  life, and it's never ceased to surprise and delight me.

Thursday 9 August 2018


Been a busy day. Eye check at opticians this  morning. Then on to   lunch    at  the Red Rose pub at  Lindsey, to celebrate friend Barbara's birthday. Eaten there several times this year, and a very pleasant Suffolk  country pub it is, too. Reasonably  quiet; serving country food, not too expensive (by today's standards, anyway), and the staff are always quietly welcoming.  I had roast pork, with crackling, apple sauce,  and bubble  and squeak. Ann had mushroom risotto. We both had quite good puddings, too.  
Had tea with  neighbours, for whom I've recently  repaired  rather a nice,  mid Victorian mantle  clock (still  going well, I'm glad to say -  and keeping good time). As I've retired (as an horologist) I didn't charge them for doing the clock (about half an hours work, anyway) so she  insisted on giving us tea.

Should have said when I  mentioned Lindsey, that  both Lindsey and Kersey, a nearby neighbouring village, are now small villages, very pretty, but in  their day, both were famous enough wool producing towns to have a  woollen cloth named after them :- Lindsey and Kersey. 

Tuesday 7 August 2018


Been struggling  to put  up pictures (without much success, as you'll have gathered), but  finally managed to  put up  above photo of one of  two hibiscus trees in the garden. Just been reading a comment from someone who calls himself  'How do we know', and is I think  a house guest of Zoe's. He's got  ideas about raising children, which I rather like - the ideas that is - haven't met the children, as yet, so I don't  know whether  I like  them or not (although I  usually do).  Got  five meself, plus eleven grandchildren, plus two great grand children, none of which  has put me off liking children- rather  the reverse, I  think.  The trick is - to listen to them, although  they quite like being told stories.
Having read this, I find I'm waffling; and as there's a T.V. programme about to start, which we want to watch, Will  close now, and wish you all  a  very  good night. 

P.s. Made a muck of that.  The  top picture is of greatgranddaughter Astrid, who is Amelia's daughter, Sarah's  granddaughter , and our (as stated )  great granddaughter. A few days before  they  came to see us, Astrid had  fallen onto a concrete path in her garden, and  knocked a front tooth out. To make sure that we appreciated the full horror of  the situation she had bought along  a photograph of  herself, taken shortly after the tragic incident occurred,  and lost no time in showing us it. As she is three and a half now I fear that this will mean she is likely to be 'gappy'  for the next three years or so.  She is a sociable little soul and spent most of the  day with Ann in the garden (where she carefully picked herbs to augment the lunch she helped Ann to make) found a new name for her great grandmother (Granny Annie) and then, perched on a  stool that was just the right height for her , helped Grannie  Annie in the kitchen. When she  left I presented her with the stool so she could help her Mummy in  the  kitchen. She is really  great fun, bless her.

Sunday 5 August 2018


I  hope I'm wrong about  this, but I do  feel that we have serious problems on computers (probably in our area). Can't  seem to do anything with photographs. Going to try and send this commentary but without photos. Been trying on and off all evening to put messages out on the Armoury, without any success . Going to bed now, will try again ack Emma.
Good Night  All.