From Ice Cream To Bread And Butter

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Today was dull and heavy with the promise of rain that never came to relieve the oppression.

I took a trip back to the summer of 1985 through the medium of colour slides which I scanned.

Louisa ice cream 1985 1

Here Louisa tackles an ice cream in the garden of our Gracedale Road home.

Louisa ice cream 1985 2

This has featured before, but it was then taken from a print. It is sometimes difficult to get the melting treat all in the the mouth,

Louisa ice cream 1985 3

but is definitely worth trying.

(Who would have thought I would one day be scanning these into an Apple?)

Sam ice cream 1985 2

Sometimes it’s a race against time before it runs down into your sleeve,

Sam ice cream 1985 1

and you are left wondering where it’s all gone.

Soon after these photographs were taken, Jessica and I travelled with the children to Instow, near Bideford in Devon, for one of the holidays we enjoyed with the Henry Pearson family in those days.

Sam and Louisa, Instow 1985 3

This time Sam enjoys bread and butter,

Sam and Loiusa Instow 1985 2

Sam and Louisa Instow 1985 1

and clambers over a stout, cemented, stone wall in the garden of our borrowed house.

This evening we dined on meaty beef burgers, lashings of onions, chips, and baked beans, followed by chocolate sponge pudding with caramel sauce. I drank Doom Bar and Jackie drank fruit juice.

A Cock-Fight

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On another hot day with a glorious cloudless blue sky, Jackie and I spent the morning shopping for birthday presents for Shelly and for Poppy.

First stop was Otter Nurseries where we bought a couple of skimmias for Jackie’s sister,

Rudbeckia 1Rudbeckia 2

and two interesting new bronzed rudbeckias for ourselves. There are plenty of buds on these latter plants for the Head Gardener to bring to perfection in a very short time.

Otter Nurseries 1Otter Nurseries 2

We felt rather sad at the emptiness of such a large, splendidly stocked, outlet on such a day. This was a clear indication that the seasons are changing.

Sammy Miller’s Motorcycle Museum in Bashley Common Road was the next venue. This, we thought, was a suitable establishment at which to find girlie items for Shelly and for our granddaughter.

You may well be surprised at this, if you don’t know that the outbuildings of the museum contain a number of shops attractive to tourists. Whilst I wandered around outside, Jackie bought a pastel blue quartz necklace for her sister, and another item suitable for a one-year old.

Motorcycle Park and petrol pump

There were many motorcycles parked in their dedicated area. This one is alongside one of the antique petrol pumps that line the walls.

Milk cart and urn

Snacks and drinks were being enjoyed in the shopping precinct which was generously supplied with garden ornaments including this milk cart;

Farm cart

a farm cart;

Farm machinery 2

and various items of farm machinery;

Farm machinery 1

more of which was distributed among the animals on the borders of the site.

Duck

A paddle of ducks welcomes cool shade and a running stream

Goat

Goats

There are basking goats, two of which really stink like their cheese.

Goats and chicken

Chickens seem oblivious to this.

Rooster

A vociferous rooster crows continuously.

Turkey 1

Leaving his lady-love in the shade of his shed,

Turkey 2

a plumage plumped turkey

Turkey 3

made his sedate and purposeful way along the front of the pen.

Turkeys 1

Coming to a halt at a wire window he silently confronted the occupant.

Rooster, chicken and turkey

‘Fight. Fight. Fight’, cried the rooster, summoning the chicken audience

Turkeys 2Turkeys 3

as the confrontation continued.

A farmhand explained the situation. Earlier this morning, there had, indeed, been a cock-fight over the hen. That is why the unfortunate challenger was penned up. These creatures are capable of inflicting serious damage in their duels.

This evening we dined at The Raj in Old Milton. My main course was Chingri Bullet with giant prawns that must surely have been indulged with Jackie’s plant food. Jackie’s was chicken sag. We shared special fried rice, a paratha, and an onion bahji; and both drank Kingfisher.

It Had Been Got At

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This morning was overcast, very humid, and oppressive, presaging the rain that would barely dribble in this afternoon. My reluctant effort was to cut off a few dead tree branches that had been twisted by the wind, but not actually snapped off; and to wage continued war on the invading brambles along the back drive.

Later, the sun emerged, but the humidity had not declined, so I just took some photographs.

Petunias 1Petunias 2

Petunias were among those blooms that required a certain amount of dead-heading before I could make a close-up page without offending The Head Gardener’s beady eye.

Rose Emma Hamilton

Roses Emma Hamilton

Rose Hot Choco;ate

and Hot Chocolate are having another flush.

Meadow Brow butterfly on rudbeckia 1Meadow Brown butterfly on rudbeckia 2

I think the butterfly on these rudbeckias is a Meadow Brown.

Greenfinch fledgeling 1

The rustling sound of a scurrying creature outside the back door alerted me to the presence of this fledgling greenfinch.

Greenfinch fledgeling 2

Looking back forlornly and giving up an attempt to hide behind the can it turned around

Greenfinch fledgeling 3

and made for the closed kitchen door.

The wispy, tufted, Mohican hairstyle was reminiscent of the starling chicks emerging from our woodwork in June last year, but the lack of plumage around its head and neck suggested that it had been got at. Ejected from the nest, perhaps? Or maybe necking with the neighbours’ cat?

Whichever it was, I went inside to discuss remedial measures with Jackie. By this time the poor little creature was cowering on the doorstep. I couldn’t open the door without giving the bird another bash, so I walked round to the front door and Jackie opened the stable door round the other side of the kitchen. By this time our visitor had disappeared. We hope it survives.

This evening we dined on our second helpings of Mr Chatty Man Chan’s fare, followed by lemon tart and vanilla ice cream. Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I drank Old Crafty Hen.

Doing The Hokey Cokey

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We continued with the garden clearing after the storm today. It was so hot that it was a case of ‘In, Out, In, Out’ from the cooler indoors to the stifling outside as we continued with the tasks begun yesterday. Hopefully, we are back to normal now.

Dragon Bed and Shady Path

Here is a view of the Dragon Bed and Shady Path;

Gazebo

one of the Gazebo;

Brick Path

and another of the Brick Path. (the tall plant on the left is fennel)

With minor editing on my part, Wikipedia tells us that ‘The hokey cokey (United Kingdom), hokey tokey (New Zealand) , or hokey pokey (United States, Canada, Ireland, Australia, the Caribbean, Mexico) is a participation dance with a distinctive accompanying tune and lyric structure. Originating as a British folk dance, with variants attested as early as 1826, the song and accompanying dance peaked in popularity as a music hall song and novelty dance in the mid-1940s in Britain and Ireland. The song was a chart hit twice in the 1980s – first by The Snowmen which peaked at UK #18 in 1981, and then Black Lace who reached #31 in 1985.’ It remains today a popular feature of cross-generational knees-ups.

The Snowmen, otherwise known as Ian Drury and the Blockheads, had a surprise hit with their Christmas single in 1981. They, and a bunch of assorted children, entertaining an elderly neighbour at her window, danced their hokey cokey in a blizzard. We, lacking an audience, performed ours in a heatwave.

Mr Chatty Man Chan, of Hordle Chinese Take Away, provided our dinner this evening. I drank Doom Bar beer and Jackie drank fruit juice.

Recovery

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As the wind has dropped and the temperature soared, we now enter into a heatwave.

The recovery work in the garden is under way. Clearing fallen branches, staking up plants, watering, and dead-heading were the order of the day.

Palm Bed

Jackie staked up the nicotiana in the Palm Bed for the third time;

Hanging baskets and Palm Bed

Hanging baskets

Hanging basket

it can be seen through hanging baskets settled back in place,

Gazebo Path

but no longer bends across the Gazebo Path.

Pedestal planter

Standing planters have been set up again.

View from Phantom Path across lawn

I have now dead-headed the phlox in the foreground of this view from the Phantom Path, but not yet cut the grass.

Begonia

Fortunately most begonias did not suffer from wind burn.

This evening we dined on meaty beef burgers, crisp chips, a variety of baked beans, and lashings of fried onions, followed by zesty lemon tart and cream. Jackie drank fruit juice whilst I imbibed Moreland brewery’s Old Crafty Hen.

Interactive Issue

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Although the wind has lessened, it is still not conducive to clearing up. In addition to the breakages,

Burnt begonia 1Burnt begonia 2

this is what windburn can do, for example to the leaves and blooms of a begonia.

We did water all the containers and dead head many roses. Perhaps we will be able to do repair work tomorrow.

This morning I scanned the last few of the 1984 London Transport Photographic Competition colour negatives.

Young woman reading on platform 1984

I hope this young woman was not so engrossed in her magazine as to miss her train. Much research has gone into public signage since the 1960s. I believe the station name Battersea Park is in Gill Sans font, considered to be easiest to read on the move.

Boy and girl kicking cans 1984Boy kicking can 1984

Somewhat out of sequence, here are two more shots of the budding footballers kicking cans in Tooting High Street. I wonder if the lad still sports an earring?

Now, back to transport. It would seem to be a good idea, when in a bus station, such as Victoria, to ask a bus driver for directions. This isn’t necessarily so. I enjoyed speculating about the conversation that ensued when two young women did just that. Perhaps you would like to join me, and suggest suitable captions to this sequence.

Bus driver giving directions 1 1984

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Bus driver giving directions 2 1984

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Bus driver giving directions 3 1984

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Bus driver giving directions 4 1984

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Bus driver giving directions 5 1984

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Bus driver giving directions 6 1984

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Flower stall 1 1984

This flower stall is long gone from the station precinct. Having paused for his photograph,

Flower stall 2 1984

the young male customer may well have said to the stall-holder: ‘Smile, you are on camera’. Or………?

Bus Inspector and pedestrian 1984

Is this weary looking traveller attempting to glean information from the bus inspector seeking the relevant information from his breast pocket? What do you think?

This evening we dined on succulent chicken Kiev, creamy mashed potatoes, new potatoes, cabbage, cauliflower, carrots and green beans; followed by strawberry tart and cream. Neither of us imbibed.

A Competition

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Although the wind lessened somewhat first thing this morning, it soon picked up again and was not conducive to repair work in the garden. Our sole venture in that direction was to buy some more canes from Everton Nursery. Aaron and Robin began building a log shelter in the garden, after I had travelled to Mole Country Supplies with Aaron to buy materials.

Jackie and I watched the final stages of the Olympic men’s marathon.

It was sometime in 1984 that I entered my one and only photographic competition. This was held by Westminster City Council on the subject of London Transport. I can’t now remember which images I submitted, but this afternoon I scanned a batch of the colour negatives from which I made my selection.

Outside the cafe 1 1984

I began with a scene outside a back door to Victoria Station, alongside a sandwich bar. One gentleman sits on a food crate while another studies the menu.

Outside the cafe 2 1984

The seated man smokes a cigarette,

Outside the cafe 3 1984

then engages in conversation. Is the debate about the plated sandwich, I wonder?

Victoria Sandwich Bar couple 2 1984

A middle-aged couple wait outside the Victoria Sandwich Bar for a bus. In those days the gentleman could have boarded with the cigarette, but would have had to ride upstairs.

Bus to Cricklewood 1984

(Barrie Haynes has provided the following information about this bus: ‘The ‘L’ in RML 891 stood for Long as these buses had an extra bit inserted in the middle, a bit like a stretched 747! She was already around 20 years old and about half way through her life although probably not much remained of the original 891 after a visit to Aldenham.’)

This bus sets off for Cricklewood Garage; the young man in the foreground rides a bike,

Taxi 1984

whilst the passenger in this taxi reads one of the still published broadsheet newspapers, unperturbed by the cabbie’s expression suggesting he knows it will be some time before he manages to clear the environs of Victoria.

Victoria Station 1984

Across the road, beyond the bus station, a younger group lounge outside one of the entrances to the Underground.

Asphalt wheelbarrow 1984

In the terminal station itself platform surfacing was being undertaken. This young man wheeled steaming asphalt across the railway line by means of a temporary bridge.

Street scene 1 1984

Venturing into Tooting High Street, thinking to depict traffic on the congested A24,

Street scene 4Street scene 5

I diverted myself with a street scene involving gleeful children and the multi-ethnic nature of the area in which we lived during that decade.

Street scene 3

In those days, I was unaware of what a difficult manoeuvre it would have been for the elderly gent negotiating his way between such boisterous little people, even though they respectfully stepped aside.

Lambeth Salt

Further along the A24 the box containing Lambeth Salt is in readiness for snow and ice that may cover the streets in winter. This is to thaw the precipitation and give tyres a grip.

Women at Bus stop 1

These two women at a bus-stop are classics of a type, complete with hats, handbags and ladylike gloves. The price of a weekly bus pass in those days would take you just one stop on a single journey today.

Outside dress shop

I certainly didn’t include this shot in my competition entries, but the shop and its prospective customers – a different generation from those above – were there, so they appear on my strip of film.

I didn’t actually win anything. Perhaps my take on transport was considered a little off-piste. There are more images to follow, when I get around to scanning them.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s scrumptious sausage casserole; mashed and new potatoes; crisp carrots and cauliflower; and green greens. Jackie drank fruit juice and I finished the Alentejano.