Tuesday, 30 April 2019


Took this photo of recently 'returned home' grand daughter a week or so ago. She  had just prepared something fairly exotic for lunch (Italian dish, I think ???)  and was posing with it for fotie. She really is a charmer. She so obviously enjoys life and it shows.


Last week I told you of an auction sale in Stowmarket we viewed and left bids on.  I must now confess that I was unsuccessful in all three bids I left. One of the  lots was a bronze canon barrel, and I  only  really wanted it because the carriage was missing, and I've nicely enough old timber in the forge to  rebuild the missing carriage, although I do wonder if antiques' prices are at last rising???
It'll be interesting to see.  Been a pleasantly pottering about the workshop sort of day, although we motored over to Aldham this afternoon because Ann wanted to water some of the windowsill flower arrangements. The Church looked really well cared for when she'd done.  It's a  lovely little round towered church.

Must knock off now.  Good Night All.

Saturday, 27 April 2019


This afternoon Freja starts her long journey home. If all goes according to plan she should arrive home late tomorrow afternoon. Tiring I should think. We've done the journey ourselves a good many times in the  past - usually crossing the North Sea by car ferry (which no longer runs) then taking two or three days driving across Denmark, and up Sweden, buying stock along the way. In the past the trip  has always more than paid for  itself.  Scandinavia at that time was full of small hotels and farmhouse B.& Bs, and the journey was thoroughly enjoyable, and a  big part of  the holiday. We miss it.

The picture above is by Bryan Haylock, an artist who keeps a small bookshop in town. His pictures , perhaps I should say cartoons, show scenes of the town, feature at the Annual Art Exhibition,  and usually  include what he refers to as 'a local worthy' .  My turn to feature came a few years ago. Ann loved it, and said that we must have it as  "being included in one of Bryan's paintings means that we've arrived and been accepted as a local." Not sure of that (although we'd been here about twenty years then) but I've always rather  liked the painting, so didn't mind having it.  Rather reminds me  of  the  Norfolk saying  that  you're not a local until  you've  got a Granny buried in the churchyard.

Almost lunch time, so must knock off and climb the stairs.

Friday, 26 April 2019


                                                                    More soppy verse.

Granddaughter Freja goes home tomorrow (or rather gets home the day  after) -it's a long journey,she lives in the  far North of Sweden. She has, once again, more than pulled her weight. She's taken over a lot of cooking and housework from Ann, and anyway, she's a real pleasure to have about the place. She's a bright nineteen year old, and we'll both miss her. Still, our daughter (her mother) will have been missing her - so fair do's. 
Thank you Ruth - it's been lovely  having her here.

Yesterday we motored over to Stowmarket to view an auction  which included a small section of antique guns  and swords. Bit disappointing. The auction is tomorrow, so instead of going back  to  the  auction to bid for the three items that interested me, I left bids on them, all fairly optimistic ones. As I'm now officially retired it really doesn't matter much whether I buy  or  not. One of the lots (a flintlock  pistol) needs  a  fair amount of work  doing, which, if bids are successful, will keep me busy for a while.  That's the point, I think -keeping  meself occupied in retirement. If successful, might well take 'before' and eventually 'after' photos for the  blog.

 We'll see.

Thursday, 25 April 2019

Thursday 2.

It's been a year or  two since I last used Ann's - English version of  a  'Nuremburg Kitchen' - to illustrate a blog entry. Since then we've  found several more items suitable for illustration. As you can see, there are two floors - the kitchen below - and  the maid's bedroom above.

This is  the kitchen. There are now  several small treen kitchen items on the left hand side table top.
On the right hand side of the picture above is a mouse trap, with a pewter mouse placing himself in grave danger, the whole being watched by an ivory white kitten .

On the 'tiled' floor of  the  kitchen in the centre of  the  picture, is  a pewter case containing a small pair of  pin fire pistols, six blank cartridges and a few accessories. Once  again I advise enlarging the picture to see full details (embiggening is, I think  the  professional blogger's term for this).

                                         Considering that this is a  very  old fashioned toy, I'm always pleasantly surprised by the interest shown in it by  our daughters, grand daughters, and the two great grand daughters, both of  whom are well aware that it is NOT to  be  played with, but only admired through the  glass doors. They seem happy too, to stick to the  rules!!

                                        Good Night All.


Computer playing up again.  Took a snapshot or so about the house to experiment with. This  one  was taken in the drawing room. Things seem to be working again, I think. Ann says her little I Pad wasn't working at first today, but is now- as is this machine of mine. Oh well, I'll keep trying.

Tuesday, 23 April 2019


Above snapshot of a lovely Suffolk manor/ farm  house in Suffolk  was taken a day or two ago from the  car window.

The  long case clock on the left  has stood in our middle  hall  here for a good many years. It was made by Thos. Dickinson of Boston (Lincolnshire), during the early 19th century. We found it in a garden shed in Ely in the early 1970s, We had a 'phone call from the owner ,  who said he knew I purchased grandfather clocks and would I care to have a look at this one? He told me it had been standing in a shed in his garden for some years. This  last bit of information didn't bode well  for the clock, but in fact the garden shed was very dry, so the clock hadn't suffered any real damage. We both liked it - it went well in the house we lived in at the time -  so we bought it and kept it, and it, in turn, has kept reasonable time ever since, although I should perhaps say  that I had to do a very fair amount of  restoration on it; no  major  surgery, but it  did  need a good  deal of cleaning.

Monday, 22 April 2019


Reference yesterday's blog entry, the above two horn cups are fairly rare in that they  are very nicely turned items obviously based on georgian wine glasses. The one to the right of the  picture has much the same capacity  as a largish sherry glass . The larger one is late georgian, and the smaller one probably of late eighteenth century date (c. 1780 -1790); both appear to be English.

Above is  another photograph of the smaller of the two cups above,  and a cream jug made from a cow horn. It has a wooden base, and is of a slightly later date (in my opinion).

The two horn cups above are both engraved, quite well but naively, the larger one with a fox hunting scene, and the smaller one with a shooting scene.  Both appear to be of late 18th century date, and of English manufacture.

Saturday, 20 April 2019


Again, I'll have to ask you to 'embiggen' this picture to make much sense of it. It is a snapshot of the top of my bureaux (desk, if I've misspelled that).  We've never consciously  'collected' horn bits, but in view of our surname if we've had nice bits of horn in stock we've been tempted to keep them. The ones shown here are engraved, some are silver mounted, others have rather naively engraved country scenes around them - hunting, coaching, etc.    Some years ago now a very senior antiques dealer showed me a horn cup turned in the fashion of a wine glass, and told me that in his experience it was quite unique - so I showed him our two. Looking back - he took it in quite good part. The one on the right hand end is a cream jug made from a single piece of horn (including the handle), but having a turned wood base. I think I'll try and get close up photos of some of them, for future blog entries.


Sorry - above pome seems to have got in. Hope you can all read it. Amost a straight lift from  Kipling.

Wonder how many remember that old joke.
"Do  you like Kipling?"

"I don't  know. I've never Kippled."

Friday, 19 April 2019

Good Friday.

Yesterday afternoon was  a good  one in that a friend of ours, Sid, knowing that I'm not driving these days, called round with his car and took me for a drive in the country. He and I have similar interests so he drove along the lanes, slowed down for views of early properties, and finally drew into a muddy lay-by where, on the opposite side of the  road (a narrow back lane really)  there was a lovely view into   a blue- bell wood which  is  thick with flower. I wish I had taken the camera with me. On the way home we stopped off at a tea shop in a watermill, which serves, among other delights, English grown tea (grown in Cornwall). We found this out a year or so ago, and Sid was not aware of it. I treated him to a pot of it, which we shared, together with a slice of home made cake apiece.   When we got home, Sid came in for a few minutes, and told Ann that his wife, Rosemary, had suggested the outing- I think she was thinking in terms of  'visiting the sick' - which it would, I suppose, count as.  Any way, a very pleasant break as far as I was concerned.


I   think you'll have to embiggen the above photo in order to read it. Poetry it  ain't, but I'm in the  habbit of jotting  these things down  as they come into my head.  Our son, who is aware of this bad habit of mine, gave me (on, I think my seventieth birthday) a hand made book together with a request that I continue to jot things  down, and let him have a look, occasionally.

Ann has just popped down to my undercroft to discuss lunch arrangements,  so I must pop up to the kitchen for lunch.

More later perhaps.

Wednesday, 17 April 2019


This is  a picture of  an apple cake that grand daughter Freja made for tea a day or so ago. She says it was based on one of Grannie's  recipes and contains mainly apples, sultanas and spices. It was delicious. She served it with cream - didn't really need it but it turned it from a cake into a pudding.

If anyone is thinking of dropping in for  tea over the next day or so - you'll be very welcome, but  there's none of  the  above cake left. As Z might say - totes consumed.

Monday, 15 April 2019


Mystery object. Made of sheet brass. To give some idea of size, it is just less than   three inches across.

Contents of mystery object.  Purpose of mystery  object, when made, country of origin,
. and purpose of 'contents of mystery object' please.


Sunday, 14 April 2019


Been a good day. Ann and I went to Aldham Church this morning, leaving Freja to prepare lunch. It was a superb one. Yesterday Ann took Freja shopping for the ingredients, which was a very fine joint  (I can't remember what it was, but I was told) of beef, and all necessary ingreediments (as Ruth used to call them when little - when  Ruth was little that is, not the  ingreediments).  If I'd known what a lovely bit of  beef was in preparation for lunch, I'd have opened a bottle of red, but  I didn't, so I couldn't, but otherwise it couldn't  have been improved upon. I was pottering about the computer a little earlier when I found the above photy of daughter Ruth and meself in my cellar last Christmas, and decided it would do   to illustrate today's  blog. Looking at it, it's difficult to believe that Ruth is old enough to have grown up daughters, but I counted up her age on me fingers, and she is!!!   I then counted up her age using the year she was born (I can usually remember dates -  this  one was 1965) and she still is - but as you can see - she  really doesn't look it!

I think I must cut this short, as I've just remembered we've a guest coming- a friend  of  Freja's, so  I must go and prepare to welcome him. I have met him, very briefly -  and look forward to seeing  him again.

Goodnight all.

Saturday, 13 April 2019

Saturday (2)

Here is an unexpected photograph I somehow managed to take of myself a little while ago - it's taken in my cellar, on the computer,  and shows the primitive surroundings in which we natives of  East Anglia  live!!! If I'm honest I took the picture - lost it- and bellowed for grand daughter Freja to come and help me find it, which, as you  can see, she successfully did.  I'm lost in admiration for today's youngsters with their skills  in computer communications! On the other hand - my generation has gone in our lifetime from dip-in pens, and an inkwell in the right hand corner of the desk - to complicated computers - it's a  different world!!!

Note the neat and tidy whiskers and hair- newly respectable - thanks to friend Bill the barber's efforts this morning.

Good  Night All.


Snapshot I took in our front hall a few days ago. Bit dark but gives a general idea of the terrain of our home. This morning Ann had to go to a meeting of the Aldham Parish Church Council, and I had to stay in as my barber (and friend) Bill was calling to tidy me up a bit - much needed- it's at least a month since he exerted his tonsorial skills on me. Grand daughter Freja stayed in too - partly to keep an eye on the old man's welfare, and partly to cook lunch - she really is very good about the house. She made us some sort of pasta dish for lunch, Italian - she's travelled a good deal for her age (19).  Changing  the subject - I've  just managed to take my own picture, which I mean to try and use on this blog, and I'm being called up for tea -  so more later (perhaps). Just returned to my cellar and found that  this blog entry is  still  (unexpectedly) in  situ.  Freja will be down in a min  to see if we can  recover self portrait and publish it on blog - fingers (and indeed everything else available) crossed.

Wednesday, 10 April 2019


This morning we ( the three of  us,  i.e. Ann, meself, and  Freja)  motored over to Sudbury to do a little  shopping.  We  drove back via Lavenham, as Freja has never had a good look  round the place. She was very impressed !  We stopped off at Lavenham Church, and had a good poke round the place. It has everything!  carved wood, misericords, stained glass, etc.   We had lunch at a pub nearly opposite the church - a little nearer the town centre though. It was an excellent lunch  and not nearly as expensive as I'd thought it was going to be.  Showed Freja the town, and rather impressed her by standing in the market place, outside the Guild  hall, and telling her that if she now looked round her, every building she could see was standing at the time of the  wars of the roses. Everyone who  visits Lavenham is shown and told this, and I believe it to be  more   or  less true.

We then drove home via the villages, making a detour to show Freja St. James's Chapel (above).  It is  a  tiny thatched church  - no seating and an earth floor. It dates from the 1200s, and I believe one service per year is still held there (I think to keep it in commission as a Church). It was built originally to serve nearby Kersey Castle. There is even less  of  the castle left than the church (traces of the castle mound).  Freja was, I think, very impressed by it. It is very easy to  imagine what life in a Suffolk village must have been like in the 1200s - primitive! I should think.

Tuesday, 9 April 2019

Tuesday 2.

Corners of the garden :- Above are snake's head fritillaries - been a good year for them.  These are lovely -  and unusual flowers- got a few white ones too, but we both prefer the unlikely looking snakes' head ones, and they are multiplying nicely.

Above is a small apple tree, a Red Windsor 'Sweet Lillibet', which I espaliered against the fence near my forge - a lovely apple., and becoming very productive.


As you can see (above photo) granddaughter Freja has returned to us from Sweden, and is staying for a week or two. She's always good fun (and good company) and always more than pulls her weight about the house and in the  kitchen.  At the moment senior daughter Sarah is helping me put up a blog entry, whilst Freja is upstairs in the kitchen  preparing lunch -  Ann is out lunching with friends. There used to be a television programme called "the last of the Summer Wine", and the  thought of  Ann, Brenda, and Judy partaking of a pub lunch together always makes me think of a female version of  "the last of  the  summer wine".

Above is a photo of our front hall, which was decorated with baloons given us by friends, for Ann's birthday a week or so ago. I think the balloons have lasted rather well.

The photo of Ann and Sarah in the garden was taken when Ann was just leaving to join Brenda and Judy for lunch.

Being called up by   Freja for lunch - more later - I hope.