Make Love, Not War


Now that our garden possesses better flooring than that inside the house, we cannot light bonfires in overflowing, legless, rusty, wheelbarrows any more. On another gloriously sunny morning we therefore went on a galvanised garden incinerator search. Beginning with Otter nurseries we performed a local tour, ending up where we had started. The bin we had been shown earlier had just been sold. The only alternative one was being used to display other goods because it had no lid. The assistant had obviously forgiven us for spurning her earlier offer, because she went hunting and found a lid. This evening, we tried out the pyre, which produced an intense, contained, heat.

Bee on dahlia

Furry bees are stocking up for winter.

Owl, and bess on sedums

Behind Jackie’s new owl they scour the sedums,

View alongside northern border of Phantom Path

Eucalyptus and wheels

as the sun casts its light across the garden.


Weeding of the paths has to be done with a certain amount of circumspection if one wishes to preserve self-seeded violas.

Salinger Wedding 15.9.45 001

On 15th September 1945, one month after VJ day, the date that signalled the final conclusion of the Second World War, escorts of uniformed Wrens and soldiers lined up at the wedding of Miss Daphne V. Mitchell, Wren, with Captain Raymond J. Salinger, R.E.M.E. This took place at St Mark’s Church, Highcliffe, after which guests were invited to a reception at The Walkford Hotel. Throughout the globe, brides and grooms at that time must truly have felt they had been given a licence to make love, not war.

Salinger Wedding 15.9.45 002

Seventy years on, Daphne and Ray, who still live in Walkford, are about to celebrate their platinum anniversary.

This was the event celebrated in the album from which their son Ron has asked me to produce a selection of 10″ x 8″ prints. Because most of the photographs are small, and all need quite a lot of retouching in the scanning, I began with just two today.

This evening we dined on chicken Kiev, boiled new potatoes and cauliflower, and a melange of peppers, mushrooms, onions, and sun-dried tomatoes fried in olive oil. Custard tarts were to follow. I drank Louis de Companac cabernet sauvignon 2014.


  1. I adore retouching old photos! I’ve been using photoshop since 96 and have become it’s master. I recently retouched several family photos from 1890-1907. I could do that full-time!


  2. The garden looks magnificent. I envy you being able to burn the garden waste (we’re not allowed to in Australia) I really like that view of the Northern border along the phantom path. It is very frothy and relaxing

  3. Great photos; it is interesting to imagine how they felt, in the aftermath of war. Relief or anticlimax? They are lovely images and fantastic they still live close by. In the second photo the bride betrays her inexperience (and innocence) of being photographed; my children have no such inhibitions, being easily the most over photographed generation.

  4. Your garden, as usual, is beautiful. So are these wedding pictures. I imagine they felt relief that they had made it through, but maybe not; when you’re young, you do expect to!

  5. I love old wedding photos! I scour the newspaper announcements looking for them and noting the styles and the expressions of the newlyweds. I often wonder how wedding dress makers survived the dry war years. Thanks for sharing these delights.

    1. Her son said that he believed the dress had belonged to the brides mother. Maybe altered to bring it up to date.

  6. The garden has better flooring than the house! ha ha! Those red petals look like velvet in the photo with the bee. I also really like the photo of the violas. It helps that I like self-seeded violas, so that works too. And congratulations to Daphne and Ray for 70 years of shared lives. Imagine how many stories there must be between them.

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