August In December

Yew Tree cottage
This morning, with rain threatening, in order to deliver dry cleaning, I walked to the Village Shop and back. On the way down I met three male walkers seeking interesting birds. I mentioned that there were many rooks around. They pronounced those boring and told me they had seen a chaffinch. Later a robin flitted across my path. I briefly wondered whether that would be boring too.
BT Openreach van
A BT Openreach technician, as is often the case, was working down a hole by the telephone box at the Newtown junction.
I was able to direct the driver of a delivery van to Malwood farm. That made me feel useful.
This afternoon I worked on another dozen negatives from the archives. These required the removal of quite a lot of dust and little hair marks from the scans. Perhaps the fact that I dropped them on the carpet two or three times whilst trying to slot them into the templates had something to do with this. The images were from 1974 and ’75.
Jessica and Michael 1.75Michael 6.74Derrick 25.12.74Derrick 8.74In January 1975, Jessica and Michael pick cabbages in the garden of her parents’ home at Bulcote Lodge in Nottinghamshire.  My freckly son’s head and shoulders are in the Droop Street garden in June 1974, and the two of me are at Lloyd Baker Street in August and on Christmas Day 1974. It would not be easy for anyone at first guess to determine which was which. In the August picture I am sporting what was left of the brown velvet suit. The two 1974 homes are featured in ‘The Cake Is A Lie’.
Later, I finished reading Voltaire’s short story ‘Le Blanc et Le Noir’.  The black and the white are Rustan, the protagonist’s, evil and good angels.  I needed to remind myself that the French philosopher was writing in an eighteen century ignorance of racial stereotyping.Through the device of a dream and a certain riddling, which I must admit lost me, Rustan learns that good and evil co-exist. This is very much an Arabian Nights tale.
This evening Jackie produced glorious chicken curry, splendid savoury rice, and a beautiful bhaji of cauliflower with which we shared a bottle of Wairu Cove sauvignon blanc 2013. Bread and butter pudding with a tot of evaporated milk was to follow.

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