Samuel Beckett Defaced

Knowing we were in for heavy rain this afternoon, Jackie ventured out on this drizzly morning to tackle the storm damage. The idea was that she would free what she could from the entanglements of the fallen tree, then call me to lift it. She seemed to be taking quite a long time, so I wandered out to join her.

She had freed the baskets from beneath the tree which she had hoisted out of the West Bed, and unravelled the still rooted solanum from the trunk

which she had dragged onto the back drive path.

The wicker owl, sans nose, perched on a low stump,

and the hanging baskets found a temporary home on a brick pillar in the recently thinned out Weeping Birch Bed.

The fallen hydrangea terra cotta pot had been righted.

While I surveyed the Head Gardener’s efforts, she furnished the owl with a new beak.

Elizabeth soon came out to lend a hand, which was used to retie the rose Summer Wine.

Jackie had gathered up many fallen branches to add to the few I plucked yesterday. My sister continued until lunchtime when she dripped indoors having cleared the rest.
As the rain hammered down this afternoon, I took a virtual reality tour of the Streets of London, scanning a baker’s dozen of images from colour slides of May 2008.

St Mary’s Hospital in Praed Street, W2 is where, a little over a year later, I would be given a replacement left hip.

Was this a group of student medics? If so, were any of them in attendance at my surgery?

Architectural reflections may be viewed in Bayswater’s Cleveland Terrace W2

The hollyhocks in this garden on the corner of Scarsdale Villas and Earls Court Road W8 suggest that this slide is an interloper and must have been taken a month or two later. I wasn’t cataloguing quite so carefully during this period of one of life’s hiccups. The road mending sign blends nicely with the vibrant blooms.

Nahals Newsagent stands near Westbourne Park Tube Station at 114 Talbot Road on the corner of Powis Mews W11;

Powis Square is not far away;

nor is Westbourne Park Road W11. I wonder whether this fascinating kneeler still stands on the first floor ledge we see.

Nu-Line Builders’ Merchants have produced very professional tromp l’oeil users of their products to mask their windows on the corner of Kensington Park Road W11.

Elgin Mews W11, in a right angled bend, links this road with Ladbroke Grove,

off which we find Bassett Road W10, where there seems to be pruning of plane trees under way;

Faraday Road W10 with its very modern Fire Station;

and St Charles Square W10, on the corner of which someone appears to be in trouble.

Sadly, Samuel Becket had recently been defaced in Blenheim Crescent W11 at its junction with Portobello Road. This 2006 work by Alex Martinez was based on a photograph produced by Jane Bown in 1976. It has now been painted over.

Jackie normally labels pre-cooked meals that she stores in the freezer. When she produced tonight’s protein item she had been distracted from doing so. The crunchy carrots and cauliflower; tender spring greens; rich red cabbage were served with fish, not cottage pie. The meal was, nevertheless, most enjoyable. The Culinary Queen had prepared her splendid beef gravy, but refused to give it to us. She drank Hoegaarden while Elizabeth and I drank Casillero del Diablo Reserva 2016.


  1. No prizes for guessing my favourite photo today πŸ™‚ Mmmmm fish and beef gravy – could be a new version of ‘surf and turf’ ……. And that little bit of Egypt on the ledge is rather intriguing……

          1. Well now, as I knew my nose was alright I might have assumed it was Elizabeth’s friend Pauline – but then when I found out who it was actually got a new nose there would have been another delighted gurgle going on πŸ˜€

      1. Yes – I thought that was clever. It made me laugh that Jackie would not allow beef gravy with fish.

  2. “I wasn’t cataloguing quite so carefully during this period of one of life’s hiccups.” I don’t know your reference, but I understand this exactly. Everything changes during the hiccups.

  3. Hollyhocks reminded me
    Of snapdragons when I first saw the photo in the reader – and so nice
    And that architectural reflection is very cool….

  4. Oh dear. Poor Jackie. You’ve reminded me of a colleague whose husband ate apple pie, gravy and vegetables from the fridge in her absence without realising that there had been a meat pie left for him too.
    The owl looked decidedly unwept until his nose was restored. I love the hollyhocks – they look as if they might have been the ones The Beatles were pictured in, at least in spirit.

  5. Love the way you guys keep yourself immersed into what you like. Your photographs are so descriptive that you really don’t need the words to do the talking πŸ™‚ .

  6. Great post and pictures Derrick of the surrounding area. So sorry that the heavy rains took a toll on your gardens. I know mother nature can cause havoc upon our pride and joy. We just fix and repair and await for the sun to shine once again.

  7. That has got to be one special owl. The replacement beak is symbolic of reconstruction that lies ahead. Those are fascinating London photos. Why would someone want to deface Mr Beckett?

      1. I trust knowledge of Beckett’s work is a prerequisite to appreciate Mr Knifton’s erudite explanation. I fear the author’s choice of French over English may have incited unpalatable reaction in some pro-Brexit natives.

  8. Sad to hear about Mr. Beckett’s face being defaced. πŸ™ I don’t know why people have to do things like that. πŸ™
    Thank you to Jackie for giving the owl a new beak! “Owl you need is love”…and Jackie sure tends to the garden lovingly! πŸ™‚
    I love seeing the people in the windows! πŸ™‚
    It’s nice when a meal is a surprise once in awhile! πŸ˜‰ HA! In college we had some canned foods that were not labeled…so we did have a surprise every time we opened a jar or can!
    HUGS to you and The Gals!!! πŸ™‚

  9. A dual journey in photos this time–garden and London streets. I love the photo of Jackie and the owl. Those tromp l’oeil windows are quite amazing. It’s a shame to have Mr. Beckett’s face defaced.
    I wonder if you will have beef gravy for your next meal? πŸ™‚

  10. It’s no wonder why the garden is a success – such determination and dedication!
    Through your pictures, I get a look at London, thank you.

  11. Jackie and an owl – that’s a lot of wisdom to pack into one photo!
    London, as always, looks fascinating in your pictures.
    And a final unworthy thought – with all your metal joints and the current cost of scrap metal could this be the start of a plot for a murder mystery?

  12. Loved seeing the pics, but am sorry about then storm and the damage it did. But we understand, since we had versions of the same kind of damaging storm. It’s great that you both kept your senses of humor about going through that experience.

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