On a warm, sunny, morning, my feeble contribution to the gardening was to bag up a pile of rubble; and to transport earth from elsewhere with which to fill in the hole left by the removal of the pool in a wheelbarrow. Jackie continued with the weeding and planting, and this afternoon I did a bit of sweeping up.
Today I continued the recap on photographic series I insert into my posts. Spanning 1983 to 1985, I scanned more of the borrowed family portrait prints that Elizabeth has recently returned.
On the North Wales holiday on which Matthew had planted Sam on a cow, here he is gently giving Louisa and Sam the benefit of his knowledge about ladybirds.
The Pearson family hold an annual Family Day immediately after Christmas each year. This is hosted by Jessica’s eldest brother Nigel and his wife Judy. Since its inception in the mid 1970s, Jessica and each of her five siblings have added their own children, who have in turn, contributed theirs. Although I took the role of event photographer, this picture of Jessica was taken in the grounds of the venue, Nigel and Judy’s farmhouse at Caxton in Cambridgeshire, in 1983. Maybe sometime I will feature one of the parties.
Our mudlarking period has been featured before. Here Matthew totes a sculptural piece of driftwood he found under Putney Bridge.
We jump to 1985 and Michael practicing his golf shots in the small London garden of Gracedale Road.
My Uncle Norman and Auntie Peggy, of whom I just have one flashback memory, were one of a great many couples who, their minds and wishes for the future having been fundamentally affected by the Second World War, very soon thereafter, emigrated to Adelaide in Australia, where they were eventually joined by Uncle Darcy and Aunt Edna and their children David and Gillian. Here Norman bonds with his great niece Louisa at Rougemont Avenue on Christmas Day 1985.
Present on that occasion were, of course, Mum,
and Dad, seen here playing hoopla with Sam,
then conversing with Louisa on the sofa.
Seeing these two pictures of my father it seems incredible now, that, two years on to the very day, he died of stomach cancer. Christmas Day will forever have special significance.
Why, you may ask, do I skip from series to series regardless of chronology? Well, first of all that is how the spirit moves me. One day I may want to use my carefully ordered slides, and another I might be able to face identifying negatives or having a stab at the date of prints. The real reason however, is that I am reflecting the nature of memory. It is not neat and tidy. Depending on the triggers, it will hop about from period to period of any lifetime.
This evening, lowering clouds filtered the sunlight as I wandered round the garden and photographed
a viburnum on the back drive,
another new allium,
a verbena that has surprisingly overwintered,
and an azalea rescued last year.
We dined on roast pork, boiled potatoes, green beans, spring greens, and carrots, followed by profiteroles. Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I drank Mendoza Parra Alta Malbec.