Pictures From A Life

Louisa wishes to produce a slideshow of pictures of her mother, Jessica, in order to recognise what would have been her 70th birthday later this month. At different spells over this weekend I have e-mailed her a selection, some of which are included here.

These two were produced in June 1974 in the garden of Droop Street.

Here, in January 1975, she picks cabbages in her parents’ garden at Bulcote.

In May that year she is reflected in the window of the Peel Institute Youth Club.

Here she stands with Michael on the threshold of our flat in Horse Nad Dolphin Yard, in December 1979.

Sam was two days old on 21st June 1980;

Louisa joined them in May 1982.

In 1983 there were holidays in Newark, in Devon, and in North Wales.

This trio from 1985 were made in Southern France, in Mousehole, and in my parents’ Morden home at Christmas.

On a visit to Haslemere in 1986 Sam and Louisa made a bid to return to the womb.

In June 1990, James Bird, our neighbour in Newark, brought home this coot which he had found by the roadside, and thought might survive by our pond. It disappeared after a few days.

In the first of these images from Michael and Heidi’s wedding on 5th October 1991 Jessica stands with Becky; in the next two she sits beside Werner, the bride’s father. Matthew took the top table pictures.

In August 1992 Jessica reached the summit of Place Fell. What is more surprising is that so did I – and held my nerve to take the shots.

On 4th October that year we attended Mum’s 70th birthday party. Jessica stands amid Sam, Adam, and Danni. Louisa is just out of shot.

In August 1999 Jessica was present to cheer on the builders of the great sandcastle on the beach at Instow.

While waiting for Sam’s arrival in Barbados in March 2004 Jessica swam with turtles in the Caribbean Sea;

We all greeted him as he tottered off his boat.

This evening Jackie and I dined on haddock cheese-centred fishcakes; crisp Lyonnaise potatoes with succulent onions; piquant cauliflower cheese; and bouncing peas. The Culinary Queen drank Hoegaarden and I drank more of the Carinena.


  1. Your family are fortunate that you’ve made such a wonderful job of chronicalling their life and times.

      1. It DOES, Derrick – I have seen some of the shots before, but this post brings it all together. She’s absolutely lovely. I am sorry for your family’s loss.

  2. That is an armada of memories! Each of those images have the power to whisk away to the rivers of past. Jackie has surely carried her grace and charm over the years with aplomb.

  3. How fortunate your family has been to have someone like you to record those precious moments of life! Photographs reveal people like story telling never can. This is so beautiful!

  4. I’m glad I was able to enjoy your family’s photographs and wonderful memories – it’s very special Derrick. Hello to you and Jackie!

  5. What beautiful photos and memories! πŸ™‚ It looks like Jessica lived a full and happy life! Her smile is so bright and cheery! πŸ™‚
    Derrick, it’s wonderful that you have so many photos to share to help honor her. I’m so sorry she has already passed. πŸ™

  6. Great reflections of a life to look back upon, particularly the one in the window of the Youth Club! πŸ™‚

  7. A wonderful collection of pics of a truly lovely lady. Life has its ‘ups’ and ‘downs’ (and let’s hope yours continues with lots of ‘ups’), but I’m sure there are many many times you must miss her so much.
    Best wishes – Geoff

  8. Lovely woman, lovely photos. As several have mentioned, how wonderful to have this photo chronicle of your family (not only these photos)
    The photo of the climb is stunning.

    1. Very many thanks, Widders. It was quite emotional. In fact I sent Louisa Quite a lot more, but I thought this was enough for the blog – and it was hard work πŸ™‚

  9. More beautiful family pictures. I imagine Louisa will be able to have the slideshow she wants–and what a thoughtful way to remember. Yes, those pictures of the climb are fantastic. I love the colors and the breadth of space in them.

  10. It’s a lovely collection of memories and lovely that your family values the resource your pictures offer them. Although it must be heart wrenching to look through them, I imagine it’s uplifting too, especially to see them presented together like this. The first picture is particularly beautiful.

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