A Near Miss

Although the temperature was a little more than zero degrees today, it was cold and blustery so it seemed appropriate that I had an appointment at the Lyndhurst GPs’ ‘freezing’, or cryo- clinic today.  The purpose of this was to persuade another skin blemish to depart from my left shoulder.

After a hasty drive to Totton’s Lidl and a mad dash round the shop for weekend provisions, we still arrived back at Minstead without allowing me quite enough time to walk to the surgery.  Jackie therefore drove me to Forest Road’s crossing with the Newtown and Acres Down roads, and I walked from there.  She collected me after the cryosurgery.  I was in and out in ten minutes.

Along Forest Road we learned a new road warning signal.  An oncoming driver flashed headlights at us.  Jackie instinctively knew what she was being told, which was fortuitous because around the next bend a good dozen ponies straggled across our path.  They required a bit of weaving through.  The morning’s rain held off for my walk, but began again after we returned home.

Bluebells and dandelions

On this grey day bluebells brightened the verges leading to Lyndhurst; and the  kitchen garden Jackie has now finished planting up, sparkled.Jackie's kitchen gardenShrubbery  Even in the rain the shrubbery that has now bloomed for us to view from our living room is an attractive sight.

Photograph number 17 in ‘Derrick through the ages’ was taken by Elizabeth on 24th August 2007. Derrick 24.8.2007 Hopefully not quite the biter bit, this is more accurately the photographer photographed.  This was the day James Arondelle’s parents got married. Although rather less important than their son, born a comfortable time later, the bride and groom were my niece Fiona and her husband Paul.  My post of 20th March tells of how I am sometimes roped in to photograph family weddings.  One such occasion was the wedding of these two.  Elizabeth wanted to make sure I featured in a few pictures. This one looks as if I might be pondering about something.

The above mentioned post also describes how it is possible to have a disaster on such an occasion.  It was just a week after Fiona and Paul’s big day that I photographed the Notting Hill Carnival.Notting Hill Carnival 07 (8 - Version 2 Notting Hill Carnival 07 19 This was in my pre-digital camera days.  On the first roll of the film I took of that famous regular event in West London are some of my favourite photographs.  Something went wrong with the shutter during the exposure of the second roll.  I only captured half of each frame, and the camera was irreparable.  I was sorry to lose the carnival pictures, but think of how much worse it could have been had the camera not held out for another week.  In fact I only discovered the problem after I finished that particular film in Australia, after Sam and Holly’s wedding, but they had had a professional doing the job, so all was well covered.

A postscript to this is that on that August bank holiday it was absolutely freezing.  As cold as any days we have suffered lately.  Sunny and bright enough for photogenic shadows, but teeth chattering and goose pimply for anyone, like me, who had turned up early enough to bag a place at the barriers three hours before the action started.  Eventually, I remember, my bladder got the better of me and I had to nip home for a pee.  Then of course I couldn’t regain my place, so I concentrated on photographing the crowds rather than the dancers and their floats.  It is those crowd shots that I lost.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s chicken curry and savoury rice.  Brilliant.  I finished the Carta Roja.  Brilliant.


  1. The Notting Hill carnival sounds like an exciting event, Derrick. The cold temperatures would be disconcerting here, if they occurred in August! I enjoyed this post. . . ~Robin

    1. Many thanks, Robin. Unfortunately it has outgrown the tiny streets in which it takes place. A few years ago there was a move to transfer it to Hyde Park, which would have ruined the streets element, so they still pack ’em all in

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