Keeping A Safe Distance

For most of a dull yet warm day I watched the Channel 4 broadcast of the soporific third Test Match between India and England.

Later, I scanned the next three of Charles Keeping’s illustrations to ‘The Old Curiosity Shop’.

‘Grinder’s lot’ are stilt walkers, who were popular entertainers during Dickens’s time. There are a number of modern agencies on the internet, such as https://hire-a-dancer.com/acts/victorian-stilt-walkers/ who provide costumed performers to recreate the experience.

The page was barely broad enough for the ‘Vagabond groups assembled to see the stroller woman dance’

In ‘The dwarf remained upon his back in perfect safety, taunting the dog with hideous faces’, Keeping has ensured that the taut chain restraining the frantic animal keeps it on a different page from its tormentor.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s wholesome cottage pie; bright Brussels sprouts, broccoli and carrots, with tasty gravy. She drank Hoegaarden and I drank more of the Shiraz. New Forest rhubarb and ginger, and salted caramel ice creams were our desserts.

Published by derrickjknight

I am a septuagenarian enjoying rambling physically and photographing what I see, and rambling in my head as memories are triggered. I also ramble through a lifetime's photographs

74 thoughts on “Keeping A Safe Distance

  1. I love the two page illustration of the dog and his tormentor. That is quite brilliant.

    I just looked up “cottage pie” and realize I have just found something to do with leftover mashed potatoes. Love it!

  2. Gosh, your dinner sounds amazing – especially the New Forest Rhubarb with ginger and salted caramel ice creams… who needs restaurants to re-open when Jackie can produce such a feast on a Wet Wednesday evening?!
    Our rhubarb is still some weeks away from pulling… I shall have to use the time to find some Salted Caramel Ice Cream! ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. An intriguing insight to that era Derrick, “โ€˜Grinderโ€™s lotโ€™ are stilt walkers, who were popular entertainers during Dickensโ€™s time.”

  4. The match must have been โ€˜soporificโ€™ to the core. Your deep boredom is evident in description of the fixture as a match between India and India. Iโ€™m not watching!

    Charles Keepingโ€™s illustrations have immense transporting powers to the time and place of the story, brought to our screen assiduously by you.

  5. Stilt walkers have always fascinated me! That’s great illustration! And I love the dancing lady…her outfit, her expression, her movement, the joy she is bringing to others. ๐Ÿ™‚
    Your meal looks colourful and yummy! ๐Ÿ™‚
    (((HUGS))) ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. That evening meal looks delightful. Bright sunshine in the east and the garden responding well. Otherwise a day to forget. I watched the cricket and winced and suffered a second day of negative reaction to the covid jab.

      1. Agreed – and as a former fast bowler I was appalled at the dangerous foot holes our men had to negotiate. Apart from the likelihood of injury it must have bothered them and affected their rhythm.

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