Wet Paint


Today I scanned a few more colour negatives from the Summer of 1986.

Sam Summer 1986 2

The first is Sam in the garden of our home at Gracedale Road.

Jessica and Sam Summer 1986

This is where this picture of him and Jessica was taken.

I cannot definitely locate the sites of the holiday photos.

Matthew and Sam 1986

These of Matthew guiding Sam up a mountain

Matthew and Sam 1986

and exploring the summit, was in North Wales.

Meadow Summer 1986

The full meadow would have been in the same part of the country as the following phone-box sequence; possibly North Devon. Modern farming, and the increase in motorways have put such meadows in jeopardy. It was Dame Miriam Rothschild who led the move to revive them with her wildflower seed mix (http://www.ohllimited.co.uk/the-ashton-estate/wildflower-seed-mix/). The Head Gardener tells me that this woman was in the habit of flinging them out of the window of her Rolls Royce.

Now, what would the average person do when faced with a ‘Wet Paint’ sign on a bright shiny surface?

Jessica and phonebox Summer 1986

I’m sure you know, and would not be surprised to discover that Jessica was no exception.

Jessica and Louisa and phonebox Summer 1986

Neither was she averse to introducing our daughter, Louisa, to risky ventures.

On this occasion she was pleased to demonstrate that she had no paint on her fingers.

Sadly these telephone boxes have, in the countryside, largely fallen into disuse, and, like their companion red Β pillar boxes, rarely bear a coat of fresh paint.

This evening, Becky, Ian, Jackie, and I enjoyed our usual excellent food and hospitality at Lymington’s Lal Quilla. I chose prawn dansak and shared special fried rice and egg paratha with Jackie, whose main meal was prawn dupiaza. The four of us shared onion bahjis. Becky drank red wine and the rest of us, Kingfisher.

PS. See TanGental’s comment below, with its link to the recycling of telephone boxes.


  1. We could do with a Dame Miriam Rothschild here – so many of our roadsides are brown and dead from local bodies insistence on management by spraying. Venturing into the wilderness one finds wild flowers in the oddest of places, happily following their life cycles without the interference of the short sighted grey gentlemen who ‘manage’ our roads. Goodness Derrick, that was my first rant for 2017 πŸ™‚ Happy New Year to you and Jackie and assorted family members. <3

      1. I’m going to start carrying packets of wildflower seeds and fling them from my car (a beat up 2009 Sonata) but I’ll wait until spring. Happy 2017, Derrick. May your wine cellar be always full and Jackie the happy cooker.

    1. when I was in NZ in 2014 I was stunned by the overwhelming displays of lupins until i heard they were yet another invasive species overwhelming everything in your lovely country…

      1. I love the lupins, they are a splash of colour on roadsides wherever they are allowed to stay. They escaped from the early settlers gardens with a glee only surpassed by a dog who finds the gate left open …… πŸ™‚

  2. I love the expression on Sam’s face in the second photo…quite devious. I’ve always loved phone booths, Derrick. Sadly, they’ve gone by the wayside, like so many other things. Happy New Year to you and the family!

  3. Love the wet paint phone box sequence, quite brilliant. The curry and a Kingfisher beer brings back memory pangs, I haven’t had a Kingfisher for months, now you’ve mentioned it I will have to find it here, my mission for today ‘find draft Kingfisher beer in Adelaide’.

  4. Dame Miriam was engaging in guerrilla gardening, always a marvelous enterprise. Glad to see the phone boxes, even if they’re probably extinct by now.

  5. Nottingham City Council cut down lots of the meadow grass and wild flowers around the old tennis courts alongside the ring road when they built new ones. That tidying up was largely irrelevant to the (pretty well unused) tennis courts now there. It wiped out the populations of butterflies…Common Blues, Large, Small and Essex Skippers. With the summer weather we get nowadays I could see butterflies extinct in England within fifty years.

  6. Derrick these are such Happy memories captured forever.. Thank you for all that you share Derrick .. I love taking walks with you among your happy photo’s.. The rock formations are very similar to some found within the Derbyshire Dales too.. πŸ™‚ and brought back a few of my own childhood hikes as I climbed them as a child..
    Happy New Year to you and yours Derrick.. I wish you nothing but Happiness, Love and Good Health..
    Thank you for your well wishes.. I am much improved thank you
    Love and Blessings
    Sue xxx πŸ™‚

  7. I loved all the countryside and summit photos in North Wales. The boys are exploring and having fun in these shots. Of course, I am a big fan of wildflowers and the animals with butterflies who need them. They provide a natural cover for wildlife and it isn’t that difficult to just mow it.
    Tell Jackie I like the vision of the Dame Rothschild flinging flower seeds out of her fancy car! πŸ™‚
    The mother-daughter photos with the red British phone booths are cute and fun. We have lost our phone booths, for the most part and they never were as cool as yours!
    Have a wonderful new year to you, Jackie and your families!

  8. These are such delightful family photos. The photos of Jessica and the phone booths made me smile. Happy New Year, Derrick, to you and yours. Best wishes for 2017!

    1. Thanks, Geoff. And to you and your family. I wondered whether to have mentioned recycling in my post, but I’m glad I didn’t because now I can refer readers to your comment with this link (in a PS)

    2. I’ve seen several ex-phone-kiosks used as book exchanges in small rural villages. Not sure what state the books would be in after several days/weeks in an unheated space, but I love the idea!
      I gather that, where they ARE retained as phone-boxes, BT collaborates with the local parishioners to keep them painted, clean, etc. So they do periodically get their new coats.
      The adopt-a-now-useless-structure principle has been extended to trig. points, too (even in remote mountain areas).

Leave a Reply