The Car Wreck

This morning I scanned a dozen more slides taken at Amity Grove in September 1971. Unusually for my collection, this particular batch had suffered some deterioration, and even a bit of creasing despite being encased in plastic mounts. This resulted in streaks and blobs of blue pigmentation which required quite a lot of retouching.

Through holes in the fence at the bottom of the garden we could glimpse our neighbours’ honesty.

Michael and his cousins James and Mark were hard at work building a ship beneath the apple tree. It is fascinating that each of these boys grew to form their own individual construction firms. In ‘Leaving Home’, I tell the story of how James helped Michael with his first professional building project. As far as I know this photograph shows the nearest my nephew ever came to displaying a ‘builder’s bum’. He was to specialise in plastering, whilst Mark’s expertise is in roofing.

The workers took a tea break in the kitchen, where Jackie broke eggs and Matthew and Becky enjoyed their lunch. Jackie had created the floral murals. She didn’t normally drop the eggs from a great height, but was prevailed upon to do so on this occasion by the photographer. The glass milk bottle on the table would have been left on the doorstep early in the morning by a man driving an electric float.

This afternoon I burnt more branches in the old wheelbarrow on the back drive.

The tits on the bird feeder did not, on this occasion, flit off at my approach. One, of the long-tailed variety, even had the temerity to turn its back on me.

We have unearthed a model car that has seen better days, and are saving it for our friend Barrie’s collection.

Jackie’s superb sausage casserole, always better the second time round, was what we enjoyed eating for our evening meal. It was accompanied by mashed potato and crisp cauliflower and green beans. I drank some Teroldego Rotaliano superoire riserva 2010 from a bottle given to me by Shelly and Ron for Christmas. Jackie drank sparkling water.

By courtesy of Lidl’s mystery shopper, we had twice as many baklavas bearing the label ‘De Luxe’, from which to make our dessert selection. This is how it happened:

Jackie tossed one packet into her half filled trolley, left that in the aisle, nipped across to the next row for something she had forgotten, and returned to her shopping.

It wasn’t where she had left it.

She scoured the store and discovered what looked like her prospective purchases in an unaccompanied trolley some aisles away. Closer inspection revealed her goods beneath a covering of numerous other ‘De Luxe’ items. No-one appeared to belong to the wheeled baskets. The additional items she returned to their shelves and proceeded to the checkout to settle her bill. Whilst totting up she realised she now had two packets of baklavas. I’m not complaining.


  1. There must be a moral to the s’market trolley story – just not sure what it is! I think dropping the opened eggs from a great height looks wonderfully classy – must practise it! I remember those milk bottles with great affection.

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