He Thought It Fun To Push Me Over

Sightings of foxes have been discussed on Streetlife lately. One person reported six in a pack. Another pointed out that these creatures are loners, not pack animals. I have never seen more than one adult at a time, but have been acquainted with two families, one every spring in the garden of the Phyllis Holman Richards Adoption Society, and a single parent and her children in that of our flat in Morden. These posts were published before I was illustrating them with photographs.

Feathers 1Feathers 3Downton LaneFeathers 2

Are the foxes responsible for the scattering of feathers that are often lining Downton Lane in the morning, or maybe birds of prey?

Does anyone have a view on the loners/packs debate, or on the likelihood of foxes or birds of prey committing the slaughter.

This afternoon I rescanned another batch of colour slides from 1964 and ’65, covering our year in Ashcombe Road, Wimbledon. This was the first house I ever bought.

Here are Vivien and Michael in our garden in March 1965:

Vivien & Michael 3.65Michael 4.65

The following month we celebrated our son’s first birthday. I caught him raiding the vegetable store in the kitchen. That cheeky grin was never far from his face.

Michael 6.65 2


In June, at least, we bathed him in the kitchen sink, where he loved sucking on the face flannel.Michael 7.65 2

Like any other toddler, in July he fed himself, his face, and his high chair in more or less equal measure. In those days I did my own wallpapering, including what appears in the background of this picture. It is probably the only time I would ever have chosen such a geometric design as was then in vogue.

Michael 8.65 1

Michael and I laid turves in the garden during August, when, as I crouched to take this shot, he took great delight in pushing me over.

Vivien & Michael (forsythia)  6.65

When in June, I had chosen to wait to snap a forsythia bush until Vivien and Michael had appeared in the corner of the frame, little did I know that this would be the last image of them together.

We didn’t eat this evening. Neither of us felt like either consuming or preparing anything. I had knocked up scrambled egg on toast for lunch, but that was it. Jackie remains in the grip of a virulent chest confection and I spent the afternoon unsuccessfully attempting to avoid succumbing myself. Between five and nine p..m. I flopped in front of the television watching consecutive episodes of Morse and Lewis, and slowly subsiding into somnolence. (No, BBC YouView has not been miraculously restored, so these were repeats on DTV). I then finished this post and went to bed.

Watch this space.

Published by derrickjknight

I am a septuagenarian enjoying rambling physically and photographing what I see, and rambling in my head as memories are triggered. I also ramble through a lifetime's photographs

27 thoughts on “He Thought It Fun To Push Me Over

  1. Beautiful joyful photo of Vivien and Michael at the top, and then, what you wrote about the last photo being the last one of them together. Heartbreaking.

    Sorry to hear Jackie is still suffering and now you, too. Ugh. Sickness is so hard to be patient with.

  2. On the subject of foxes, I remember seeing large family groups of foxes on BBC Springwatch so perhaps this is what has been described as a ‘pack’. This link shows the background to one of the Springwatch stories … sadly the BBC footage doesn’t seem to be available any longer – http://www.whtimes.co.uk/news/potters_bar_fox_family_stars_of_bbc_s_springwatch_1_1409581

    I agree, the pigeon feathers could be the result of either a fox or a bird of prey, such as a peregrine or buzzard. The way to identify the ‘culprit’ is to take a look at the ends of the feather shafts. If the bird was caught by a fox, the ends of the feathers will be slightly chewed. If it was caught by a bird of prey, the feathers would have been plucked out cleanly and so the shafts would not be damaged. We often see feathers like this in the woods nearby to us.

    Lovely photos of your son – he seems to radiate happiness. I can imagine your photos are very treasured memories.

    I hope you and Jackie are feeling better soon – we seem to have so far ‘missed’ any of this year’s bugs, thank goodness!

      1. You are welcome, Derrick. I was thinking from the feathers, a bird of prey looked likely … perhaps you have a peregrine hunting nearby – that would be exciting!

  3. These photos are precious and priceless!
    They bring smiles and tears!
    I can’t even imagine all that you and Michel had to endure, and figure out, etc., after Vivien died. 😦 Such a tragedy.

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