Thursday, 28 July 2016

Ghostbusters At Cineworld And My First Detecting Outing Since The Harvest

The heat wave has continued here in Suffolk for most of the past week and we've enjoyed our time in the sunshine. However there was a break in the sunny weather yesterday and we took advantage of the showers and went to Cineworld in Ipswich.

Our film choice was the latest Ghostbusters. The original was a big favourite with the family in the 80s and we were interested in seeing the remake. It was very much a remake and, whilst it was not particularly original, it was good fun. The four women Ghostbusters all played their roles well and we enjoyed the cameo performances from the original cast. It was interesting to see Chris Hemsworth taking the role of dizzy blonde receptionist - it rammed home how patronising to women some of these roles are. I wouldn't particularly recommend the film but it will make you smile when it comes on TV. For me the final credits with Hemsworth leading a tremendous dance routine to the original and the new Ghostbusters  themes was the highlight of the movie.

We didn't feel like cooking last night so we drove to nearby Brandeston and had a decent meal at The Queen.We've been a couple of times now and it's a very friendly pub with a nice atmosphere and good service. They have a six course tasting menu on the second Thursday of each month so we've booked in for the 11th August and are really looking forward to it.

With the harvest in full swing I decided to drive to a local farm and ask if it was okay to have a try with the detector. 

When I got to the field it was full of oilseed rape stubble. As successful detecting involves swinging the detector as close to the ground as possible, the conditions were not exactly ideal but I gave it a go.

This was what turned up. It's mostly junk but it kept me busy. After looking through it, all here are the sorted finds. 

Jetton or token
The usual array of musket balls

Medieval bronze vessel rim fragment

Small medallion Our Lady Of Boulogne (not very old)

A spindle whorl and two coper alloy rings - all probably medieval

Probable medieval haress pendant
Lead scrap
Medieval buckle fragment
None of this is particularly exciting but I did make one really good find (below). This is a medieval harness pendant dating from the 13th or 14th century. It is a rare shape and it is very rare to find one of these with the pendant still swivelling freely within its frame. It made the hours of difficult detecting worthwhile.

Monday, 25 July 2016

The Holiday At Home Continues

It's harvest time here in Framlingham this week and we've been watching as the combine harvesters and tractors have been buzzing around the fields behind the garden. It's not exactly the most peaceful time but the work's got to be done and, on the positive side, when it's all over I might get chance to get out with the metal detector - it's been languishing in the garage for a couple of months now.

Living close to nature

The spell of glorious weather has continued throughout the week and the exercise classes at Fram Leisure have seen us at near melting point. It's a good job that we've been doing the classes though as the weather has been very conducive to lazing around in the garden and drinking wine or popping down to The Dancing Goat for a cappuccino and cake. (Marion has just pointed out that it is me that has been doing the lazing about - she has been busy gardening). On Wednesday night we went to Framlingham Wine Shop for the regular wine tasting and tasted some very fine wines at very reasonable prices. 

Yesterday we decided that conditions were perfect for a bike ride. For keen cyclists I'm embarrassed to say that this was one of very few ventures out on the bikes so far this year.

We didn't go far before stopping for a breakfast of cappuccino and pain au raisin at 221b in Framlingham. After that it was time to get on our way and we went from the bakery past the castle.

The castle was as photogenic as ever in the bright morning sunshine.

Before long we were out into open countryside with only the birds and the butterflies for company. We headed from Fram to Cransford and then on to Glemham before crossing the busy A12 and through Tunstall Forest to Orford.

We enjoyed some lemonade and home made sausage rolls at the cafe on the seafront at Orford and then went for a look around an Antique fair that was being held in the village hall. After that it was time for a well earned ice cream and to sit beneath the magnificent castle where we attempted to complete Saturday's Times Jumbo Crossword.After a long run of successes we failed miserably this week - may have to cut back on that wine.

Marion at the castle.
Duly refreshed from our stopover in Orford we headed back towards Framlingham at 3 o'clock. Despite our relaxation, the return journey was much harder and we were pretty saddle sore when we rolled back into Fram at four thirty five and poured ourselves a well earned glass of chilled cider. It must have been a pretty exhausting day as we woke up this morning at almost ten compared to the usual eight.

Tuesday, 19 July 2016

A Postcard From Suffolk

We had  great Ruby wedding Anniversary on Sunday. We relaxed in the garden and then joined our super book club friends for a few pints at The Station's beer festival. The festival was all but over when we arrived but we had a good few hours putting the world to rights over some half price beer and cider before heading home for an evening in the garden with a bottle of champagne given to us as an anniversary present by my brother Pete and his wife Val.

We kept our anniversary meal simple with a delicious cold fish platter.

Our fortieth anniversary selfie.

I know that when you are retired you are on holiday all the time but we decided to have a holiday at home this week and explore some of the local places that we've not had chance to visit yet. 

On Monday we drove to the tiny hamlet of Covehithe north of Southwold.

The thatched roofed church built within the ruins of the majestic ancient church is well worth a visit

We saw the church in the best of conditions with a glorious cloudless sky.

There was a lot of wildlife around and I saw a grass snake at the gate to the church.

After leaving the church we walked through fields to the nearby beach.

We shared the glorious miles of sand with just a handful of visitors and had a lovely day in the sun reading and relaxing to the sound of the waves.

Today we decided to head south of Framlingham and, after a couple of exercise classes at Fram Leisure, we drove to Suffolk Food Hall beneath the Orwell Bridge for a late breakfast of coffee and pains au chocolat

After breakfast we drove to the hamlet of Pinn Mill on the tidal stretch of the Orwell and went on a two mile walk through woodlands and farmland. The dappled shade in the woods was a welcome relief from the relentless heat of today.

The walk ended on the river at The Butt And Oyster where we enjoyed a very good pub lunch .

After lunch the tide had dropped so we walked along the river bank and looked at the many houseboats and other vessels dotted around the river. 

A great day's holiday at home.

Sunday, 17 July 2016

It Was Forty Years Ago Today.

And we haven't changed a bit.

Well that's what I keep telling myself as I inspect yet another grey hair, wrinkle or liver spot. But hey, you're as old as you feel and I have to say that both of us feel just as young at heart as we did on 17th July 1976 when we tied the knot at Chatham Registry Office and followed it up with a great reception organised by Marion's mum and dad at the local scout hut. I think the whole event cost less than people spend today on the invitations but that didn't take anything away from the day for us. For us the most important thing was that we were starting off on a life together.

And so far it's been a great life (I hope that Marion agrees). It's hard to believe that, forty years on, we've got two fantastic children and four super grandchildren. I wonder if I'll still be around to blog about great grandchildren - I certainly hope so as I'm not planning on departing this mortal coil anytime soon (not that I've got any control over that.)

So how are we spending this momentous event? Big family get together in a country house? Slap up dinner somewhere posh? Nah. Marion's busy washing her hair, I'm faffing around on the laptop and, if the sun stays out, we may walk down to the Station Hotel here in Framlingham and listen to the music at the beer festival they're running today. Like that first day of marriage, there's no need for grand gestures. We're together and, to be honest, that's all that matters. 

Here's to the next forty with the best wife in the world.

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Back Home Via Southport And Llangollen

Towards the end of our stay in Scotland, Sarah and Duncan kindly invited us round to their house for a special dinner that they cooked for us to celebrate our Ruby Wedding Anniversary which is coming up on Sunday. We had a delicious meal. Here's Marion with Rose and Melody making a toast.

We took the family shopping in Dundee before we left for home. A few years ago Liverpool was inundated by the famous Lambananas and more recently there have been scores of Pigs Gone Wild in Ipswich. Dundee is going through a similar statue celebration and this time it's the famous DC Thompson's Oor Wullie. 

Rose and Melody were impressed by the disco ball Wullie and the punk Wullie.

And enjoyed a drive together while their mum and Marion did some shopping. We left Scotland on Saturday and drove to Southport where we stayed with my mum for a night.

Mum's still going strong and despite having recently suffered attempted frauds by not one but two low life criminals, she's still lively and doing extremely well for a ninety-year-old. She kindly treated us to a very good meal at The Vincent hotel on Lord St. Thanks Mum. From Southport it was on to Llangollen to visit our friends David and Janet who hosted another excellent Eisteddfod lunch. We had some fabulous beef, ham and salmon (not forgetting the wine) before walking down the hill to the closing event of his year's festival.

Janet (centre) and Dave (right) with friends.

Marion with more friends enjoying David and Janet's hospitality.

The final show for this year's Eisteddfod was Jools Holland and his fabulous rhythm and blues orchestra.

We've seen Jools before at Llangollen and his shows are hugely enjoyable - no theme tune could ever be more appropriate for an artiste than Jool's Enjoy Yourself. My favourite part of the session was the fabulous ska duo Pauline Black and Arthur "Gaps" Hendrickson from The Selecter. Another brilliant event.

I'll close today on a sombre note. While we were in Scotland five men were killed in an industrial accident. I caught it briefly on the news and assumed that it was an accident overseas as it was given very little time in the bulletin. I noticed in a very small piece in The Times the next day that the accident happened in Birmingham. How is it that the accident was not a major news story? Okay there's been a lot of politics going on but two poor children who drowned in Scotland a day or so later were front page news on almost every newspaper. I can't remember an industrial accident on this scale that has merited less column inches and have to ask myself if it could be to do with the fact that the five men who died were from Africa. The few bits of information on the internet reported them as "foreign", "Senegalese", "Spanish" and "Ghanaian." Does the fact that they were black have anything to do with the lack of newsworthiness? We see the problems that America has with black people being murdered by the police. Isn't this failure to cover a story an example of the same sort of attitude to the value of black lives?