Monday, 31 December 2018


The picture above was produced by magic !  Or rather by Ruth (which is much the same thing) - She casts spells on this machine, and it usually obeys her (well, in the end it does). If I try the same thing, it sniggers, then  sneers at me, lays its ears back, digs its hooves in, and refuses to comply.  Anyway, Ruth arranged us  both in the undercroft, her fingers danced over the computer keyboard, and this is what it produced - as  I  said :- Magic!!!!  And no camera involved.


Been a nice, restful day. Tomorrow is the last day of the Christmas Season, and next year -2019 A.D.

                       We wish all our readers a Happy and Successful   NEW YEAR.

                                                Mike, Ann, and Family.

Sunday, 30 December 2018


Today  our son, Jonathan, who lives near Cambridge motored across and had  lunch with us; then stayed on till evening. He has recently changed jobs (head hunted for the  third time !)   He is a scientific type - can't  think who he gets it  from. He is on the right of the above picture.

I rather  like  the new arrangement whereby Christmas carries on until the New Year. Makes the  'Twelve Days of Christmas'more meaningful.

I wish all my readers a Very Happy  New Year.  'God Bless us every one' -Tiny Tim from A Christmas Carol,  I think.

Warm Regards,   Mike  and  Ann.

Saturday, 29 December 2018


Above young lady is  junior Swedish grand-daughter.  Actually, and this  might simplify  matters, she is  our youngest grandchild.  She will be nineteen  this coming March. They do  grow up so  fast these days.  Thinking  about  it,   I'm  not  at all sure that is true. I mean, we married at twenty; and my mother, in 1941, married rather younger than that.

The photo above shows meself between the two Swedish grand daughters. I'm five foot ten inches tall, and I can quite see that these two dwarf me. They are very elegant, but I'm  not  sure  that  they are aware of that  fact. The tallest one is looking over my  shoulder  as I type, so I've just asked her if  she  agreed  with me about being aware of her elegance. She thought about that one, then said "All  that's needed Pa is self confidence, I think."  I like the answer - especially as they are both  quietly  self confident.

Friday, 28 December 2018


Attractive young lady shown in our kitchen above is senior Swedish grand- daughter. She is  studying  sciences at Uppsala University. It is lovely having the three of them staying  here for a while. They are all three of them more than pulling their weight.  

Above  is  the  Christmas cake that Ann made, and  that above young lady has decorated for us. The decoration was done in icing sugar, then painted. Very festive it looks too. Another piece of work that above grand daughter made  is the frock that she is wearing in the photo. She really is  a multi talented youngster. I'm  pleased to say they are (all three) staying on  until about a week into the New Year.

Thursday, 27 December 2018

Pretend Christmas.

I think I'd  better describe what happened to our family over Christmas. First of all there  was that daft business with the drones over Gatwick, which  eventually allowed Ruth and her girls to get to England on Christmas Eve. In the meantime we had a 'pretend Christmas' at Sarah and Mikey's from the  pre Christmas Wednesday until Saturday. Good  fun it was  too. During that time we saw all our offspring at Sarah's save Liz, who'd gone back to Spain, and Ruth's family  who were still fighting imaginary (I think)  drones. We got home just before Christmas, and were joined by  Ruth et famille on Christmas Eve, after which Christmas proceeded as usual, and as planned.

Picture  above shows Ann and I  in Sarah's kitchen.  Been a prolonged and  very good Christmas.


Ruth is  directing and guiding me in publishing  photos  on  blog. Above is a photo  of Saint Mary's  Church, Aldham,  about two miles away from our home- less than that as the crow flies.  We worship here most Sundays.  The  Church is a mixture of periods from Saxon onwards, and as it stands on a mound that the 'experts'  tell us  used to support a pagan temple before this church was built, it's been a place of worship for a very long time.


This  is not quite a mystery  object, but  a set of shelves in our kitchen. On it are mounted twenty  four  pieces of pottery. Twenty- one of  them  were made in Staffordshire. Three of  them were made elsewhere. Can any  of  you  name the three, and tell me where they  were made.  I am not a ceramicist, but  I do  know the answer; As probably does Zoe, who is a ceramicist. 

P.s. But I've  had lots of time to find  out the answers!

Thursday, 20 December 2018


I have finally persuaded this ridiculous machine (a Windows 10) to accept a photograph. It is  a picture Ann designed and embroidered a good many years ago of the house she grew up in. The house is  in   Norfolk, on the  edge of the fens. When we were first married (in 1963) we rented the upper floor  of this house  from her father for  a couple of  years; then, some years later (in 1977, I think)  we bought the place from him, together with its Huge garden, and an acre or so of park land;  did it up (it needed a good deal doing to it), stayed there for ten years, and brought our family up there.


Ann's just had a 'phone call from Ruth. Ruth and her girls plan to spend Christmas with us, but, due to  dimboes playing silly  beggars with a 'drone' at Gatwich, have had to postpone their visit for a couple of days or so.  What said subtle humourists the silly beggars get out of it, only they in their total lack of wisdom, know. If I carry on on the subject of silly beggars,  I shall become heated.  More later, perhaps.

Thursday, 13 December 2018


                                         Above photo is of  great Grand daughter, Astrid, who, together with her mother, Amelia, and her grand mother, Sarah, came and had lunch with us  yesterday. Great Granny Anny had put on a gooseberry crumble for pudding. Astrid didn't really like gooseberries, and indeed these needed more muscovado sugar, so Granny had a think  and  provided a chocolate ice cream from the freezer, which (surprise) Astrid did like, so everyone was happy.

It has been a very sociable sort of a  week, and yesterday we went to our friends Jill and  Keith for lunch. Also  at lunch was our old friend David and his friend Michael - no not me, but another of the many Michaels born in the 30s/40s. Jill gave us a glorious venison casserole,  followed by   a  sticky toffee pudding, then a  cheese board, then tea/coffee. There used  to be  an old  saying that the way to  a man's heart is  through his  tummy - it's especially  true if you add the word 'old'  in  front  of  man.

Today we continued to socialise by meeting up (at  a garden centre in Needham Market) with fellow blogger Zoe, and her husband Tim. We  had a very good beef  pie, and  picked up the threads - it had been over a year since  we'd seen them.  I'd assumed we were 'going Dutch' , but  it turned out that  Tim  was a good deal nippier on his  feet than I am, and got to  the cashier an easy 'first' - with Horner an 'also ran' - though 'ran' was pushing it.   It was lovely catching up on all the news  with  them.
After they'd gone we had a look round the other shops on the same site, and  I  found a really nice  scarf that Ann loved, so I bought it as a Christmas present for her (not having  found one yet). Being called up  for supper, so Goodnight All.
P.s. Zoe - it  was really lovely  to see you both. Mustn't leave  it  so  long till next time.

Tuesday, 11 December 2018


Sarah, God bless 'er, motored over this morning  with her daughter Amelia, and Amelia's daughter , Astrid.So above  shows (left to right) Great Grandmother Ann, grandmother Sarah, great granddaughter, Astrid,  and granddaughter Amelia (Astrid's mother).  Above is a good photo of all four generations. At lunch, Ann gave us game casserole, followed by gooseberry  crumble.

P.s. When I  say 'a good photo' what I mean  is  that everyone is  smiling and looking as if  they're enjoying themselves.

Sunday, 9 December 2018


Above photo is of our friend John Cunningham restoring the very early (recently rediscovered) wall in our undercroft. John is the expert on early stone or brick walls in this area. He is invariable called in to repair church walls, and indeed any early stone/brick wall in need of attention (Highdale is full of these). He says he would date our below ground walls as being of 'dark ages' period, but says this would give a very fair amount of leeway. Anyway, he is making a very good job of ours, and not hurrying it. He is a man of very wide ranging interests, and I'm enjoying his company and conversation.

Thursday, 6 December 2018


Been an odd day. pottered this morning, changed into decent clobber about midday, then motored into Ipswich - to hospital - various check ups, mostly went well enough. At the end an Indian lady Surgeon, who I'd met before, came in (so I stood up- of course), she did the necessary examination and declared all was fairly well, and nothing further need be done, at present. Obviously I then thanked her for her time , helpfullness, and opinion; to which she replied "Ooh; I could take you home!", which, of course cheered me immensely, and was probably the best medicine she could have given!. _______________________________________________ Can't remember where the photo was taken, but it's typical of this area - South Suffolk. Good Night All.