My friend Paul Herbert sent me an e-mail this morning containing a photograph from my Parents for Children consultancy days. This would have been taken in the late 1980s or early 1990s. Paul’s delightful mother, Eve, stands, cuppa in hand, on the viewer’s far left. I am at the back.
One of the problems of a freelance life is late payments. Most agencies make you wait for money for work done. I would send out invoices at the end of the month and sometimes wait another two for settlement. Not so with Parents for Children. This is because Eve Herbert was the finance officer. She settled my accounts by return of post, for which I was always grateful. Eve’s parents were also a boon to the organisation. They cheerfully and regularly carried out voluntary tasks, like addressing envelopes.
My frustrated friend Michael Kindred, also self-employed, once chased up a finance officer with the question: ‘Did you get your salary cheque this month?’. The bemused gentleman said he had. Mike responded by telling him that the outstanding invoice was the equivalent of his salary. Such a conversation would never have been necessary with Eve.
What I find astounding about the image above is its method of delivery. There I was, playing a few turns at Lexulous, when up pops a message alerting me to Paul’s chat. The chat contained the photograph. I, of course, didn’t know what to do with it in that format, so asked Paul to e-mail it. He did. And all this was carried out from my friend’s mobile phone. I was then able to tweak it a bit on iPhoto.
Jackie and I, joined for lunch and afterwards by Elizabeth, concentrated on sorting out the living room. Elizabeth cleaned the knobs from the doors she had scrubbed yesterday. She then proceeded upstairs to work on doors and skirting boards.
Early on this beautiful blue-skied evening, Elizabeth drove us down to Milford on Sea. She and I walked along Hurst Spit whilst Jackie worked on her puzzles in the car.
A huge squabble of black-headed gulls hovered on the air above the car park. They squealed vociferously from beaks which all pointed to the same spot on the sea wall. On the other side of the wall a family were enjoying a picnic. There were no pickings for the foraging birds.
On our way back along the spit, in the face of the lowering sun, we were surprised to see a group of young men backing towards us. Walking towards them was a slender red-haired young man wearing dark glasses. We then saw that the man in the shades was being filmed. This, we were happily informed, was a rising young artiste named Lloyd Allen who hailed from High Wickham. Watch for the name, and remember you read about him here.
The three of us then dined at Bombay Night, on the excellent food we have come to expect from this restaurant. We all drank Kingfisher.