Sometimes serendipitous synchronicity surprises. Scanning colour slides from summer 1986 this morning, I found this to be so.

I have mentioned before that we house-sat The Dumb Flea for the Drapers for a couple of weeks that year. We were joined one day by our friends Carole and

Brian Littlechild

Brian Littlechild..

Sam had managed to acquire an army hat. I have no idea whether it belonged with the rifle Brian is posing with. Could it have belonged to Jessica’s father? I don’t have enough knowledge of militaria to recognise the badge. Interestingly Sam, who here acts out his own campaign with the aid of a cricket bat, has inherited a black and white photograph of his maternal grandfather receiving the Military Cross from Field Marshall Montgomery.

Sam and Louisa 1

Sam and his sister loved to race around the lawn.

Louisa 1

It looks as if Louisa was up to mischief of some kind.

She had her own uses for the cricket bat.

Sam and Louisa 3

Back at home in Gracedale road, the two children investigated a skip in the street,

Sam and Louisa 4

and improvised a garden slide with the aid of a ladder and duvets. This idea was to reach maturity a few years later on the wide Victorian staircase at Lindum House.

Now for the synchronicity.

All my children have enjoyed pet rats. This one was called Ratty. Although Sam stuck to one at a time, I believe Matthew’s tally once reached 70 or more. Wasn’t it therefore serendipitous that I came to these pictures the day after featuring Rasputin?

This evening we will be dining at Tyrell’s Ford with Helen, Bill, Shelly, and Ron. I will report on that tomorrow.


  1. Ratty is a sweetheart! We used to have a rat named Nutmeg Noodles that had a brown heart on her back. She was the sweetest pet we’ve ever had–more than dogs and cats even. She loved cooked carrots and kidney beans. I miss her.

  2. Fine looking children, now handsome 40 year olds I imagine.

    How lucky we are to have photographs of our children growing.

    As for the cap badge I couldn’t get a clear enlargement so I’m unable to identify it, shape appears similar to the Suffolk Regiment but it’s not clear and detailed enough to hazard a firm guess/opinion.

  3. My son’s rat was a dear member of our family and enjoyed status at Jamie’s elementary school as well as riding in his shirt front pocket, face out and nose “a’quivering” with such curiosity! 🙂
    Louisa is lovely and photogenic. Sweet and mischievous, I like her dual personality! Sam seems to have similar, attractive features to yours, Derrick. You both have nice eyes. Just an observation and not to be taken wrong. 😉

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