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It is over a month since I last wrote a diary post.  We haven’t done very much in that time but the days are getting longer and there are signs of spring in the garden and hedgerows.


The central elements on our old toaster had stopped working so we have bought ourselves a new toaster and this new one manages to toast both sides of a slice of bread at the same time!  It has a ‘bagel button’ (though as I have never eaten a bagel I think I would prefer to call it a ‘teacake button’) which toasts one side and warms the other.  We can now re-live the old toaster experience, except in reverse.


Snowdrops in bud


Another excitement has been the emptying and repair of the septic tank.  Only those of you who do not have mains sewage can truly relate to this.  The tank was well overdue for emptying and we knew it needed repairing a year ago but we have been let down by our usual contractor and have had to find someone new.  The new contractor arrived and did what he had to do and was efficient and professional.  An added bonus, as far as we were concerned, was the wind direction on the day.


Hazel catkins in the hedge


We have decided to have all our internal doors replaced and a carpenter has visited and priced up the job for us.  He will be doing the work over three days next week.  Richard will then have to spend quite a lot of time painting the doors, as well as all the skirting boards and the banisters.  We hope to redecorate the hall, stairs and landing and get a new carpet some time in the next few months.


I’m not sure how many hazel nuts we will have on this tree this year. The female flowers have appeared before the male catkins have matured.


At the very end of January we had a morning prayer service at our church of St Michael and St Felix at Rumburgh.  The day before the service Richard and I called in at the church to make sure everything was tidy and to set the heating to come on well before the service.  It was a cold day but inside the church was even colder than out in the open!


I found the first rather bedraggled primroses of the year in a sheltered spot in the churchyard.


I also found my first snowdrops of the year


Rumburgh gravestone

This gravestone has a skull engraved on it.  Richard was asked to see if it was still in the graveyard recently as there had been a report that it might have gone missing.


The west door, which isn’t used anymore.


The west window

Work will start on March the 20th on the new tower screen in the church.  We have been saving for years and years to get the work done and at last it is about to happen.  Once the screen is in place the tower will be shut off from the body of the church and we hope it might be less draughty and warmer.


Black Spleenwort (Asplenium adiantum-nigrum) growing in the mortar on the wall of the church


Elinor has now left the City College but we hope this is only a temporary thing.  As I mentioned in my last diary post she wants to enrol on a one year Art and Design course for older students and has therefore filled out the application form.  We have been notified that the college has received the form and I hope we will hear that Elinor has an interview soon.  At the interview she will be expected to hand in a review of an exhibition she has been to see recently and with that in mind, we went to the Sainsbury Centre in Norwich and viewed an exhibition of 20th century Japanese photography.  Photography was not allowed in the exhibition hall but there is a large collection of world art on display in the main gallery, most of the exhibits donated by Lord and Lady Sainsbury.

Below are my favourites from the main gallery.


Edgar Degas – Little Dancer Aged Fourteen


Edgar Degas – Little Dancer Aged Fourteen


A beautiful Benin bronze – the Head of an Oba; early 16th century


Henry Moore – Mother and Child


Whistling bottles from Equador – one in the shape of an owl and the other is a bird sitting on eggs or pods.  Both 1000 – 100 BC


Another couple of exhibits from Equador


Sketch for a Portrait of Lisa by Francis Bacon


Standing Jizo Bosatsu – Japan (1185-1333)


The top exhibit with the ram’s head is a backstrap from a sword or dagger hilt – India late 17th century The lower exhibit is an archer’s thumb-ring in the form of a bird – India 17th – 18th century


Left rear – Image of the Goddess Kaumari, India 17th century.   Right rear – Shiva as Chandrashekharamurti, South India c. AD 1100.   Front centre – Figure of Chamunda Devi, Nepal/Tibet 17th/18th century


Walking Hippopotamus – Egypt c. 1880 BC


The Sainsbury Centre.  One of the first major buildings designed by Sir Norman Foster, it was completed in 1978.


It is a steel clad building with one face almost entirely glazed.


By the late 80’s the collection had grown so much that Foster was asked to design an extension. He decided to build underground and this is one of the entrances to it.

The new basement has a curved glass frontage that emerges from the slope underneath the original building overlooking the man-made lake.  This new wing can only be seen from the lake but as it was very muddy there and beginning to go dark on a very gloomy day, I was unable to photograph it.


The University of East Anglia’s grounds looking towards the lake


Part of the university. There are many items of sculpture to be seen here.


Another Henry Moore sculpture

The University has an excellent creative writing department and many well known writers have studied here. Tracy Chevalier; Kazuo Ishiguro; Ian McEwan; Rose Tremain – to name but a few.

My music choice today is a song from Katie Melua.

Thanks for visiting!