A New Brother


Jackie, on an even duller day, continued her creative cultivation.  My contribution this morning was a raked redistribution of the now rather rutted gravel on the back drive. In doing so I gained even more appreciation of the efforts of Richard in shifting shingle from his beach hut described in ‘Like Shovelling Water Or Coal In A Bunker’. And the ground I was working was at least level.

This afternoon I scanned a batch of colour slides from June 1980.

Jessica 6.80

This one of Jessica was taken shortly before Sam’s birth, in University College Hospital in Euston Road, on 19th.

Sam 21.6.80

Here is the new arrival at two days old. He must have had decent fingernails, hence the protective mittens.

Jessica and Sam 5

Cradled by his Mum he slept peacefully,

Jessica and Sam 21.6.80 6

then shared his first joke with her,

Matthew and Sam 21.6.80 2

and was introduced into the eager arms of Matthew

Becky and Sam 21.6.80 1

and Becky.

While I was drafting this, the rain having desisted, the light was just good enough to photograph the view from my window including part of the front garden, where can be seen

Tulips bed in front garden

euphorbia, tulips, daffodils, pansies, heucheras, hellebores, borage, with a glimpse of

Crab apple blossom

the crab apple blossom, to the left of which, out of shot, a couple of owls, of course, stand sentinel on the fence.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s marvellous steak and mushroom pie, sauteed potatoes and peppers, carrots, and cauliflower in a cheese sauce; followed by treacle tart and cream. The Cook drank Hoegaarden and I finished the Cotes du Rhone.


  1. Such wonderful pictures of the baby, the siblings, and, of course, the garden. Made me smile to look at them.

  2. Great photos of fond memories, Derrick.

    How can you concentrate on your writing with a view like that? Thank you for sharing it.

    Meat pie…but there’s another hour before sunrise and probably several before the pies heat in the shop. 🙂

  3. Stunning photos! I imagine you are enjoying looking back with them. I love the photo of Jessica in the garden and Matthew with the baby. Your garden, as usual, is gorgeous.

  4. Wonderful shots of mother-to-be, baby and both together Derrick – like Merril I was thinking about the memories that must be evoked with this process. It is wonderful how you have captured the moments of your life. The garden is looking lush!! Go the Head Gardener!!

  5. The first shot is so beautiful. There is always something so special about mothers to be, they look like blooming flowers. Loved the shots of the baby too and those of him with his siblings. Your garden is really stunning. I wish I could plant crab apple and have it survive here 🙂
    Thanks for sharing the beautiful memories as well as the beautiful return to the present.

  6. It’s tulip time here in Ottawa too, which always feels like the real New Year to me. I’m born in the same year as your son, neat! I miss the old slides we used to take. I should dig them up. 🙂

  7. Beautiful memories Derrick, it really is great to look back into the past and revisit precious moments, I can see treasured memories in those pictures.
    Kind regards.

  8. The first time I ‘found you’ it was because of pictures like these. Just make me so happy seeing them. I LOVE the one of Jessica pregnant, that is a blast of past and a gorgeous one, what an absolutely perfect picture. Good grief man, you rival the best, but you must know that. I have seen many good portrait photographs of that era but yours are up there with them. Just lovely. I think what I find so appealing is that you love your family so much and have such pride in them and you describe your life in a way that we care about them too and so seeing the eras of their lives as well as the day to day of present life, is like reading a book with your favorite characters in it. I feel should I ever meet you or Jackie IRL I would hug you like well loved friends, and that would feel natural and right. You give a world to us through your photography and you should be awfully proud of that because it’s no little feat my friend. (I still want to eat Jackies food and you can tell her that!).

  9. This was a wonderful post with the baby’s arrival. I liked the still pregnant photograph of the beautiful mother to be. Then, the one of Sam with his little hands in mittens. I did this, too. For some reason they have very sharp nails and mothers like me, don’t want to accidentally cut them too close so we just cover them up! 🙂
    I liked Matthew’s expression, also how adoring Becky was of the new baby. The garden and meal also had to take a back seat in this collection of valuable, precious memories, Derrick! 🙂

Leave a Reply