After lunch I progressed enough with ‘Martin Chuzzlewit’ to feature another handful of Charles Keeping’s splendid illustrations to Charles Dickens’s novel.
In ‘The sky was black and cloudy, and it rained hard’, Dickens has used the weather as a symbol of the mood he wishes to create. The artist has reflected this in the vertical slashes across the scene involving horses hanging their dripping heads. There is neither steam emanating from their droppings, nor smoke from the driver’s pipe.
‘Martin drew back involuntarily, for he knew the voice at once’
‘He not only looked at her lips, but kissed them into the bargain’
‘Onward she comes, in gallant combat with the elements’
In ‘They walked along a busy street, bounded by a long row of staring red-brick storehouses’, Keeping displays his skill at depicting a packed street scene with gradually diminishing perspective.
On this warm and sunny afternoon we found ourselves on a drive outside
St Mary the Virgin Church at South Baddesley, photographed by Jackie, who from
her vantage point on the carved oak bench, also focussed on
mares’ tails, Celandine, and cows crunching hay opposite.
I wandered around the graveyard reflecting that the scenes reflected an eternal spring for those buried here.
Most poignant was this angel and child sculpture.
The crochet-embellished post box on Pilley Hill now sports an Easter Bunny. Nearby a sunflower embraces a post, and bluebells sweep down a bank.
For dinner we enjoyed more of Jackie’s wholesome chicken and vegetable stewp, accompanied by bacon butties, with which she drank sparkling water and I finished the Red Blend.