The potentilla in the front garden is fully in bloom, as are the pansies in Jackie’s window boxes on the wall.
This morning a woodpecker took advantage of its long, sharp, beak to penetrate the suet balls suspended from the crab apple tree.
I took a walk as far as Roger’s field footpath and photographed oak apples nestling in the hedgerow. I had noticed these on a day too dull to produce a picture. It took me some time to find them again.
A.P. Maintenance completed their work on the back drive when Aaron and Robin concreted the entrance.
Today I began replacing the photographic prints Elizabeth had returned to me yesterday. The first album starts in about 1923 and runs to 1978. Before I set them back in their vacant pages I scanned them and put them into iPhoto. One theme running through was that of school photographs. The style and quality of these has changed over the years, but all bear one general characteristic. That is that if they reach home uncreased they are bound to eventually become rather gunged, and many are so badly treated that they never reach adulthood.
My paternal grandparents’ ‘Norwood School for the Sons of Gentlemen’ was small enough not to suffer the fate of other, earlier panned shots of the entire staff and pupils, where some clown would always start out on one edge of the group, and dash round the back to plant him or her self on the other side before the lens reached them, thus appearing twice for posterity.
The form master in the first of these, taken, I think, in 1956, was Richard Milward, who features in ‘No-one Forgets A Good Teacher’; the second, in 1957, Fr Hamer S.J., on whom I focus in ‘Look At That Book’.
That 1957 class can’t be the only bunch of boys who thought it would be cool (‘though we didn’t have that use of the word then) to sign the back of the photo.
These pics, despite having spent most of their life in an album, are somewhat wrinkled.
By 1974, school photograph production was rather more sophisticated. They were now portraits in colour and came in a variety of sizes according to the parental purse. Those of Matthew and Becky have clearly been cut from sheets, probably of four copies which would be distributed among Mums and Dads and grandparents. These bear the stains of an early life partly spent clutched by sticky fingers; partly subjected to spillages one can only speculate at; and possibly twelve months beneath a fridge magnet. I took out as much muck as I could in iPhoto, but cropping was all I could do to rescue this one of Matthew, taken at Holly Mount school in Raynes Park:
and in 1977 at Islington Green school, where uniform was not required.
This evening Jackie drove us to Lymington, where we dined at Lal Quilla. We both drank Kingfisher, and shared an egg paratha. My main course was King prawn Ceylon with special fried rice. Jackie’s was an interesting new chicken dish with pilau rice.
P.S. Here is a Facebook observation from Jackie: