Tuesday, 31 December 2019


Our daughter Ruth, and her daughter, Freja, in our new sitting  room, the other evening.

We've  just been out to a service at The Row Chapel, which is about two hundred yards from here, if that. It was built around 1470 or 80, to serve the almshouses in the area, which it still does, although the almshouses were replaced in the 1870s. It was a very pleasant service, with some carols that aren't often heard these days. As we entered David, a retired clergyman, said  "Oh goody. Mike's here. That means there'll be four of us singing the base part in 'Good King Wenceslas - the first hymn."  Which there was. Sounded good, too, we were told afterwards. Stayed on afterwards for coffee, which was very welcome. 

Saturday, 28 December 2019


I do believe in "movies" . 

Thursday, 26 December 2019

Boxing Day.

Photo  taken by Ruth in nearby street with useful little General Stores where we sometimes shop.
Meself in  lower right corner of  picture.


Close up of Freja and Ruth in  new sitting room.

Wednesday, 25 December 2019

Christmas Day.

 Picture taken by Ruth this evening, and showing me setting light to hot brandy before pouring it over the Christmas pud.

Wednesday, 18 December 2019


Dear Crowbard, I think a study of these three pictures will answer your questions. The top one shows the  true suspension chain which, I think would defeat the dark designs of any cutpurse. Inside the case  is a tiny 'strike- a -light', a flintlock (or rather a snaphaunce lock) tinder lighter. The larger button on the front of the box acts as a trigger, and  the device  still strikes a spark. It is a lovely piece of lightly decorated metalware. It is Japanese. The dating of these items is a bit guesswork, but I would think this one dates from the eighteenth century.

Saturday, 14 December 2019


Thought it was about time to have a 'mystery object',   so here is one. The coin below it is a pound. Most of what can be seen of the object is silk, although on the lower half  are iron sort of 'strengtheners.'   The coin is there to give an idea of size. It is a pound.  What you can see is a sort of protective bag, with the outer container of the item inside the bag then the actual item inside the iron container. I think that is clear and might help an educated guess - hope so anyway.

Alright. Try Where ?, When? then What ?,   This sometimes helps.

Monday, 9 December 2019


Took above photo a few days ago. It is of Ruth and Ann, Neither is quite asleep. But  on the other hand, neither is completely awake either.

Had a friend here today - Anthony Keer.  Sorry - being called for supper. Will try again later.

Mentioned Anthony Keer - he is a good friend of ours, and a very good furniture dealer/restorer. He came to buy some brass candlesticks, and it became a very complex deal, involving a good deal of antique brass, drilling walls, hanging pictures, lunch (cooked by Freja), and wax polishing. No cash changed hands, but very satisfying. I'm trying to persuade (doesn't look well spelled??) my camera to take a picture for a mystery object. Back in a minute. 

Sunday, 8 December 2019


Above shows clock Jack still with one or two jobs to be done on him.

Above shows granddaughter Freja, who is staying with us until after Christmas. She is More than pulling her weight in the house hold, has been sending off her completed exam papers to Sweden, and is (all at the same time) excellent company - She is the ideal house guest. Better knock off now - I'm starting to make mistakes - so will foil my computers evlil  intentions by posting what it's written  before it can make more mistakes.

Monday, 25 November 2019


Above photo shows son  Jonathan, and his  mother Ann. They both look like good  children doing their homework.

View of  one wall in  the kitchen, with  neolithic ax head also on  wall.

Sunday, 24 November 2019


Photo is of our son Jonathan, who is  weekending  with us. He has just spent hours  (murmur from Jon of "slight exaggeration!") mending my computer. Therefore Normal service will now be resumed (I hope).
We move house (to bungalow) later this week. May well be hectic (???). Will keep  in touch.

Saturday, 9 November 2019

Saturday 2.

Ann says I can have the smallest of the three bedrooms in the bungalow, as a bookroom. So yesterday evening I spent making/ carving the above  sign  for it on a bit of spare oak; and this morning  Jonathon helped me put the sign on the bedroom 3 door. Looks well. Hope they'll all fit in.

Hope that 'Library' isn't a bit hifalooting for a bookroom? Still, as I said, it looks well - so  - let it stand.


Taken last week when Ruth was with us - Ann and Ruth having a mother and daughter moment.

 Above shows progress on Jack Horner.

Son - Jonathan  -  over for the day -spent the morning doing things to the new bungalow - then returned  home, and Jon helped make  lunch Sausage and mash - delish!!!  I would like to place on record my admiration for - I think the term is - The New Man, and the many skills he possesses - !!!!

He has just assisted me in making this blog entry - the machine is, as usual, playing up rather.

Wednesday, 6 November 2019

Wednesday, 30 October 2019


Photo of  our present home, showing the two  (mid Tudor) chimneys.

The last rose(s)  of  summer.  The bungalow we're moving into couldn't have a more different  garden. This one is pure cottage garden. The new one is more of  a garden set in a forest clearing. That's not  really so, but gives a strong impression of being  just that.

Monday, 28 October 2019


As promised -different views of the  bungalow we are purchasing- or rather  -
of the gardens of the new bungalow. It gives an impression of  woodland gardens  surrounding the bungalow.  I think I must find a book about  English woodland trees, and familiarise  meself with the  contents  thereof. 

Sunday, 27 October 2019


We've been given the keys to the bungalow we are purchasing. This afternoon we had another look round and took photoes of the garden. About two or three owners ago the chap who lived there for a while was a dendrologist and filled the garden with trees. The above photo shows the bottom of the garden. As both Ruth and Ann have just gone up to  bed, I will try and put up  a few more snapshots of our new garden sometime tomorrow.

Goodnight All.

Saturday, 26 October 2019


I bought this carved horse (probably of silver birch)  some years ago in Sweden  (Jemtland). He is  a Jemtland horse (same colour and shape as a Suffolk Punch, but about half the size - they were bred for pulling felled timber through the forests).   Ruth is  staying with us to the middle of next week, so I've just given her the horse to take home. 


Tuesday, 22 October 2019

Tuesday (2)

Above photo  is  of  Ann and Sarah in  our kitchen.

Above is another photo of  the clock jack (Jack Horner), who I've been working on  for  a while. The bell is a nice early bronze one, of  the correct age and size (just possibly the original bell  ?).   I have got the case 'roughed out', but it  still needs a lot of work.  Will try and keep a bit better track of my progress on it now.


The above chap is the clock jack I've been working on  for  awhile. He's been kicking about my workshop in a fragmentary condition for some years, and I do a bit of work on him, when I've nothing  else to do.  As Sarah (God bless her) is spending the day with us I've got her to help me  put the computer to rights. I'm charging my camera at the mo - then, hopefully we'll take a few more  photies of Jack Horner (above) , and do a further blog entry,  So :- more later , we hope.

Tuesday, 15 October 2019


A couple of years ago this fine medieval building a couple of miles outside Highdale was a derelict tumbledown barn in skeletal condition. It is now (as you can see) a handsome, fully restored, manor house/ farmhouse.  It's had a lot of time and money spent on it to restore it, and must have been   worth every penny of it.


Thank you for the note, Zoe - it will always be good to see both of you.


Carl - would it be possible to see a copy of the the photo you have of  Great Grandpa Horner?

          It's nearly eleven 0'clock pip Emma, so I'm off to bed.

          Goodnight every one.

Thursday, 10 October 2019


Above two pictures are (of course) of Ann, about her housewifely duties. Yesterday two of our neices , Elizabeth and Rebeccah, came over and had lunch  with us.  It was lovely to see them. Ann gave them mushroom soup (with home made bread) followed by a peach  pavlova - a light lunch to drool over. I am reminded of that old (and very true  saying) that the way to an old man's heart is through his tummy. 

Spent this  morning working on a clock jack that I've been restoring  lately. It's been kicking about my workshop in a very fragmentary state for some  years. Once it's reasonably  complete I'll  probably  take its photograph for a blog entry. Don't think  I'll sell it  though. It will never be complete enough to be a particularly desirable collector's  item.  Might be a good advert though for my restoratory skills, but probably not as I've retired now (of course).  We've got two lovely early clockjacks in Suffolk  Churches - Southwold and Blythburgh.They've both  lost their clocks, but both are used to ring in the start of services (and are well worth a look at).  I suppose the  one I've been restoring ought to be known as 'Jack Horner'  ?

Tuesday, 8 October 2019

Tuesday 2.

Upper picture shows Sarah and  I  holding the house  up.

I've shown you  this before. It's a snapshot of Ann's  English version of  a 'Nuremberg kitchen'.  needs 'enlarging'.


Took this  a  few days ago in the village of  Stowupland just outside Stowmarket. It's a  lovely  little cottage - best of  both worlds (past and present). Sorry I've not blogged lately. Senior  daughter Sarah's here at the moment, and is sorting out the computer (and meself   - I'm not good with the machine). 

Monday, 23 September 2019


These two pictures were taken  on Sunday morning in Aldham Church. The top one is dated 1537. The date is the earliest I know in arabic (as opposed to roman) numerals. On English 'hammered' silver coins, I think the earliest use of arabic numerals, occurrs in the year 1560.

This rather gothic looking bench end carving, is at the end of the dated seat.


Drove into our town centre last Saturday and found that a large bunch of elderly gentlemen were doing a Morris dance near the Market Place. Never did  find out what they were celebrating, though. Perhaps they were all just a bit dotty.

Friday, 13 September 2019


Heard recently that an  old  friend (and customer) of mine (Guy Ackers) had died.  Shortly afterwards I heard from one of  his  sons that Guy had left me a  clock. This morning Guy's  son, Jon, and his wife, Ann, called to  deliver the clock (pictured above) and stayed about an hour, coffeeing and chatting. Jon is very like his father - and that is  a  compliment to both of  them. The clock is one  I've always liked. It is an English timepiece alarm, also fitted with a single passing strike on the  hour.  The maker's name is on the lower part of the dial. It was made in England in the early 1700's. Guy purchased it  from me about twenty years ago (or so).  It was lovely to see it again -shan't sell  it this  time - one so rarely gets a second bite of the  cherry..  It's now on my cellar wall, going well  and keeping reasonable time, as far as one can judge of a single handed clock over a few hours. At the moment I'm having thoroughly mixed feelings about it - It's lovely to have the clock again, but shall miss Guy  to talk with about  clocks.  We really must call on his widow, Gwen, soon.

Goodnight all.

Tuesday, 10 September 2019


I'm not sure that I've put this  down before -I think  probably not,  so here goes -  I'm still  recovering from a busted hip, and one of the results of this is  that  we've decided  that a bungalow will be safer for us. We have found  a bungalow (our children all  seem to think it  ideal for us)so now we're planning for one  last (we hope) move. Any comments  gratefully received  (sensible ones only please, Crowbard and Rog)

Saturday, 31 August 2019


Above photo is of my  favourite tree. It is about a mile  from here (as the crow flies). It is completely hollow, but appears otherwise healthy. There are three large holes for accessibility - so if all else fails we could go and live in it.

Above photy shows meself and senior daughter,  Sarah, at lunch last Tuesday.  It was lovely to see her.her.

Wednesday, 28 August 2019



Above two young ladies sharing an arm chair are great granddaughter  Elsa     and granddaughter  Freja (who starts her long journey home later today) we shall miss her.  The two of them are cousins - well to be accurate they are first cousins once removed.

Must knock off now - we are motoring Freja to the airport.

Saturday, 24 August 2019


The illustrated pair of  brass candlesticks (yesterday's 'mystery object')  were made and sold (probably in Birmingham) to celebrate King George III's golden jubilee year in 1809. I have had a good many single candlesticks of this type, But this  is one of the few pairs that I have seen. I think they are quite rare.

Thursday, 22 August 2019


These  are   not really  mystery objects, but can you please tell me in what year they were made?  and where?

Wednesday, 21 August 2019

Sunday, 11 August 2019


 Above photo shows granddaughter  Freja and youngest daughter liz, together with the Sunday lunch they'd prepared  and left in the oven to cook whilst we went to Church.

It consists of :- stuffed roast chicken,  vegetables and cauliflower /flour cheese.  With a bottle of Cotes-du- Rhone, and a jug of water.


Thursday, 8 August 2019


Today we again motored over to  Polstead and had lunch at the  Cock Inn pub on the  village green. We'd been reading up on the  Red Barn murder of 1827, and found that the inquest on Maria Martin was held in the room where we were lunching.  When we'd finished lunch and returned to the car we were much impressed by the little wagonette and pair parked on the green outside the pub. We talked for a while with  the owners (and the horses) , found we'd a couple of aquaintances in common (one living, one not), and eventually over took them in the lanes, and waved enough not to frighten the horses as we passed them. Freja (who used to ride as a child) made great friends with the horses, whilst we'd been finding common aquaintances with the owners. A very pleasant encounter.

Wednesday, 7 August 2019


Soppy JokeTime.

Freja :-   "Pa. What are those rather pretty pink flowered shrubs called?"

Pa :-       "They are called Hibiscus- until they fall to  the ground."

Freja :-  "What are they called when they fall to the ground?"

Pa :-         "Lowbiscus."

Freja :-    "Oh Pa!  That is  terrible!"   Then giggled over said terrible joke for five minutes.

P.S. Does anyone else find that when grandchildren come to stay they have to  revert to schoolboy sense of  humour????

Sunday, 4 August 2019


Yesterday we motored over to Polstead and grand daughter  Freja took the above photo of Polstead Church and other ancient monuments, like say frinstance - ME.  Had a quite acceptable lunch afterwards in the pub on the village green.  Very pleasant outing. Had to tell Freja all about the Red Barn murder, of which she'd vaguely heard (surprising, considering she lives in Sweden, and the murder took place in (I think ) 1827).