Wiltshire And The West End

Steady rain fell most of the day, so I scanned some more colour slides for posterity. The more observant readers will note that I have converted three to black and white images.

Matthew and Becky, Candles 19.12.79

19th December 1979 was Matthew’s eleventh birthday. Being the generous soul he is, he allowed Becky to blow out his cake candles. I had to be quick to take this shot because these flickering flames were my only source of light.

Just before Christmas Jessica, Michael and I took a trip to Jessica’s parents in Wiltshire.

Standing Stone 12.79

This standing stone must have been photographed at Avebury,

Jessica and Piper silhouette 12.79

above which Jessica and Piper romped on the hillside.

Matthew and Becky feeding pigeons 12.79

Mat and Becky always enjoyed a trip to Trafalgar Square. In December 1979 you were still welcome to feed the birds with crusts of bread,

George IV equestrian statue

which, like the rooks foraging in the turf beneath our New Forest ponies, tried their luck around the sculptured hoofs of King George IV’s horse.

Jessica and Michael 12.79 2

Lord Nelson’s memorial square is a very short walk from what was our flat in Horse and Dolphin Yard, in the doorway of which beam Jessica and Michael.

This Mews Yard lay off Macclesfield Street, between Gerard Street and Shaftesbury Avenue leading to

Piccadilly Circus 1.80
Christmas lights 1.80 1

Piccadilly Circus, photographed in January 1980.

Jackie has abandoned me this evening for a trip to Surrey and a meal with her good friend, Pauline, which they have both been looking forward to. I therefore dined alone on fried eggs, bacon, potatoes, and carrots, with toast. I have never tried the orange vegetables with a fry-up before. They add a certain pleasant piquancy.


  1. Interesting dinner! Sounds pretty good though. The pix of Picadilly Circus are spectacular. I wish I could take photos with lights like that without having to do any special work ;).

      1. Indeed, Matthew must have been a joy to raise. I can not imagine my brother allowing me to blow out his birthday candles. I love photographs taken by firelight. The picture is magical, we are witnessing a private moment captured forever in time. Fantastic.

  2. No Kingfisher?

    I was in Trafalgar Square in February 1980 being hissed at by anti-seal protesters. Hub and I were wearing distinctly Canadian Cowichan style sweaters (West coast Canada) while crazed Brits chanted and hollered at Canada House and then turned on us. Thank goodness for the National Gallery which provided refuge.

    1. I haven’t found alcohol a suitable accompaniment to a fry-up 🙂 I’m afraid many UK protesters don’t care much about the issue at hand – they are just out for the fracas. Our apologies for them. Thanks, Susanne

  3. This recalls my own visit to Trafalgar Square…and Piccadilly Circus, in the 1970’s. I’m sure it has changed, like everything else.
    Love the photo of Jessica and Piper on the hillside, with that bony tree….

  4. The portrait of Becky blowing out the candles has the feel of a Georges de la Tour. She has a very photogenic face, a sort of unbidden mournfulness about it. (Can;t recall if it was her in a pic a few weeks back, where I remarked on a family resemblance i could read into it: you couldn’t see it).
    On a less edifying note, George iV’s (no relation!) horse, with its tail ribboned [invisibly in the silhouette], looks like it’s just about to poop, probably NOT the intention of the royal sculptor who made it (nor the Royal who commissioned it)…

  5. Future generations are going to benefit not only from you scanning all the old photos, but the commentary you provide in your blog.

      1. I don’t, but I was just wondering the same thing the other day. Time to do an online search, I think. If I find out anything, I’ll let you know.

  6. that picture of Jessica and Piper atop the hill is very nice and the motion in George’s horse makes it look flesh and blood for a moment captured in silhouette. And the rest are lovely as well. Your meal sounds good. Glad you cooked yourself up something satisfying.

  7. Lovely pics…love the ones of Piccadilly Circus!! And u made my mouth water with your menu of eggs and ‘taters…love what we, “over the pond,” consider breakfast foods anytime, day or night???

  8. Give me an omelette, eggs sunny side up, or eggs Benedict…OR all of the aforementioned…and a pile of hash browns and I’m good??????

      1. Now carrots with eggs and potatoes is a foreign epicurean adventure unknown to most yanks…to my culinary affections, carrots r best served raw and shredded in a salad but never with eggs?????YIKES!!!?

  9. The beautiful black and white photo and the first part of the sentence “the rain fell for most of the day” were perfect 🙂

  10. You know Derrick, a stroll through memories is beautiful. But you know almost every detail and this is amazing – “Matthew allowed Becky to blow out his cake candles”.
    As always a very beautiful post.

  11. I like the sweet taste carrots bring to different dishes. I am going to have to try them in my potatoes, eggs and bacon, Derrick. My son makes a fried dish called “root vegetables.” 🙂
    I liked your different children’s photographs. Matt and Becky are adorable as youngsters, attractive when older. Beautiful Piccadilly Circus photograph.

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