The Walking Stick

This morning I wandered round the garden and did a bit of weeding and dead-heading before delving into my colour slide archives to add a few pictures to the ‘posterity’ series.

This is what the Houses of Parliament looked like in August 1964:Houses of Parliament 8.64

Not very different to today, when, on my trips across Westminster Bridge I am inclined to focus elsewhere.

In that same month I took this reflective photograph of Vivien in 18 Bernard Gardens:Vivien reflected 8.64

In April this sunset across the garden had attracted me:Sunset 4.64

The following month, clutching tightly onto Michael at his baptism, Auntie Gwen seemed afraid she might drop him:Auntie Gwen and Michael 5.64

My sister Jacqueline was more relaxed as she held her son James in August 1965:Jacqueline and James 8.65

Finally, here is another of the photos I took of Jackie on Wimbledon Common in April 1966:Jackie 4.66 2

Before  heavy shower brought us in later this morning, I lopped off the invasive brambles in the back drive and Jackie helped me to take out the final dead trunk from the snake bark maple; to prop that between two other trees for it to carry a mature clematis Montana from one to the other; and to take out a high branch from the weeping birch that was pushing its way through the maple. This latter operation involved standing on the upper platform of the stepladder and hooking the branch down with a walking stick. I pulled down stick and branch together and Jackie held them while I amputated the limb. Fortunately I didn’t need the walking stick afterwards.

Trunk of mostly dead treeJackie pulling down dead MontanaLeaves of mostly dead treeThe stick was, however, to come in handy during the post-shower operation. One of the trees supporting the Montana is half dead. Because of its very attractive yellow foliage, we would like to keep it. One complete side of the trunk is dead and eaten by some insect we have not seen. It was also playing host to a great deal of dead Montana that we had heavily pruned earlier in the year. I took out one long, completely dead, upright branch, and we set about extricating the clematis. Most of that was very high up. This is where Jackie brought the walking stick back into play. Even then, the Montana was very resistant, and we failed to remove it all. But at least the tree, which we still haven’t identified, looks a little more healthy now.

Crab and brie saladsSteak and kidney puddingThis evening, following a recommendation from Giles and Jean, we dined at The Crown inn at Everton. The food was really excellent and the atmosphere homely and friendly, the decor being a good mix of ancient and modern. We both enjoyed our starters – dressed crab salad for me and deep fried brie in a crispy breadcrumb coating for Jackie – and main courses, but had no room for desserts. My main was steak and kidney pudding, and Jackie’s was mushroom pasta. She drank Peroni and I drank Ringwood’s Best. I needed to take a second photograph of my dish after I had cut into what I thought was a neat mound of cabbage. Inside the cabbage leaves were slices of carrot and cubes of turnip. The chips came as standard.

Leave a Reply