On Thin Ice


A couple of nights ago I finished reading the novel on which my views had been sought. Today I e-mailed my observations to my friend, the author. As the book is not my work, I will say no more about it here.

Andrew Day, a local carpenter, visited this morning and successfully completed two tasks left over from our predecessor’s D.I.Y. disasters. There will be more bodges for him to put right.

This afternoon I scanned a batch of colour negatives from December 1986.

Jessica 12.86

The first, of Jessica at a family Christmas party at Caxton in Cambridgeshire, I converted to black and white in an effort to compensate for the graininess caused by fast film and a very small crop.

Louisa 12.86

Louisa took a break from the festivities,

and a short while later, at home in Gracedale Road, was in fine dressing-up fettle, as was Sam.

Jessica 12.86

Here, I think, Jessica was writing up her notes.

This was the last year I remember a decent amount of snow in London. Matthew took his little brother and sister for a sledge ride on allegedly thin ice beside the Waterfowl Sanctuary on Tooting Common. They were accompanied by a neighbour, the lady with the leggings whose name I disremember. Alison Barran, if you are reading this, I need your help.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QNoFbwxbDfs&w=560&h=315]

I have Johnny Cash to thank for the word ‘disremember’.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s tasty beef stew, boiled potatoes, and perfectly cooked carrots, cauliflower, and green beans. On preparing the vegetables I discovered an alien being in the beans. We resisted the temptation to resuscitate the chilled caterpillar in order to rear a possibly exotic butterfly. Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I consumed more of the Fleurie.


  1. Scientists say we’ll be eating insects in the future. There’s just too many people on Earth. Thanks for saving that caterpillar so our future children will have something to eat. (Sorry, sometimes reality sucks. I blame Trump.) πŸ™‚
    “Caterpillars are basically the babies of moths and butterflies, so they don’t reproduce. However, after they mature into their winged adult forms, they’re free to mate and lay eggs that hatch into more caterpillars.”

  2. Great sequence. Nice use of music .
    No snow here yet – what we had has been washed a way. A bear was seen at the golf course the other day. Bears and golfers should be hibernating by now. πŸ™‚

  3. A fun post, Derrick, with “disremember” (thanks for explaining it came from Johnny Cash) and the resuscitation of caterpillars–and of course, your lovely family photos.

  4. I find it hard to imagine [= I disimagine] Derrick Knight as the next George Dubya (mangling his words, if not his meanings). If you checked out Johnny Cash’s lyrics online, you may be fooled by the number of sites repeating the same mistaken lyrics into presuming them to be authoritative. The top five [presented to me come from two different sources. Most lyrics sites are content-furnished by fans, who may copy erroneous transpositions from one site to another (you can see this effect by comparing the most blatant typos on different sites: there are at least two in “Going to Memphis”). As these are transpositions, ie copied down by people listening to recordings (the original lyrics are copyright, so what benefit would an artist’s estate get from letting all and sundry loose on them by posting them on these sites?) they’re usually full of “mondegreens” [humorously mis-heard lyrics, derived from the supposed clash of “[they] laid him on the green” as “Lady Mondegreen”]. I don’t know how clear the words are in Cash’s rendering.

  5. Lovely souvenirs. What a pity the caterpillar stayed a souvenir too or you would have a beautiful butterfly in your dining room this spring.

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