The Gallery

Jackie is slightly better today, but my turn at the chest infection is cooking nicely. My cough sounds like an endless piercing whistle, as it tears at my groin and reverberates around my aching head.

So I wasn’t up to much activity. I thought I could just manage to say something about number 59 in Elizabeth’s ‘through the ages’ series. This turned out to contain a number of other photographs. In April 1986 I finally left my employment as an Area Manager in Westminster Social Services Department. Jessica brought Sam and Louisa to the office on the day I was moving out. It may have been Pat Charnock who took the photograph.Derrick and Louisa 1986

In those days it was just still possible for the manager to have his own room, which was essential for confidential meetings. Mine, in an old Victorian town hall, was huge. I was able to decorate the walls with family photographs. At top left an eighteen year old Michael practices his golf shots. I took this one in 1982. To his right is one of Sam’s first school photographs, probably produced in 1985. The black and white shot was taken in the garden of a gite in France in 1984. Louisa herself, in about that same year, wears the faux leopard skin garment.

Dad is on the left of the bottom row in my parents’ home in Morden, probably in 1985. This is the photograph from which I produced the pastel painting featured in ‘Would You Believe It?’. Matthew, to his right, was, in about 1983, indulging in his usual activity of delighting his younger siblings. To Mat’s right, Auntie Gwen reads in the early 1980s. This image was the basis for one of  my drawings illustrating ‘Not Lost After All’.

I’m not sure who is hiding behind Louisa’s head. Possibly Becky. The two other obscured photos are of me running in races. That with the yellow mount is of a twenty mile race around Wimbledon Common, perhaps in 1984. The man alongside me had accompanied me, chatting, all through the steeply undulating course. About a mile from the finish, he flagged. I completed the event, then back-tracked to find him and spur him to the end.

Shivering, and aching all over, I took myself back to bed this afternoon and dozed a bit.

A couple of times I briefly came downstairs, but didn’t eat anything.


  1. It sounds like you have a different type of flu from the kind that knocked me out for 4 weeks. If possible, stay in bed and watch tv and give yourself a vacation from all work.

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