On Bréhec Beach

Last night I began reading

and scanned, in addition to this Title Page and Frontispiece, three more of Charles Keeping’s wonderful illustrations.

‘My very particular friend Miss Tox’ has been depicted by the artist faithful to the author to the very last line.

‘Miss Tox soon returned with the party under convoy’ is again portrayed precisely as the author described.

‘The sun came with the water-carts…. and the people with the geraniums’

This was the one volume of my Folio Society that I thought I had lost, lent to a forgotten person who did not return it. Becky, however, gave me an identical copy she had tracked down for my last birthday.

I received an e-mail request from Sam for an electronic image of

himself of a colour slide I produced on Bréhec beach in Normandy in September 1982. I sent it to him. He is happy for it to appear on this blog. My father had framed an A3+ print for me, and Becky, knowing that her brother was to go on and row the Atlantic 20 years later, captioned it “One Day……”

This afternoon I posted https://derrickjknight.com/2021/10/15/a-knights-tale-51-working-with-families/

Later we took a forest drive out to Bramshaw where

the proximity of a pair of ponies caught my eye.

A helicopter chugged over Penn Common upon which

sheep. ponies, and crows shared the pasturage.

On our return ponies possessed the verges leading back to Bramshaw. The recently clipped tail of the adult suggested that a recent drift had taken place.

Elizabeth popped in for a cup of tea and to check that I had recovered from yesterday.

Afterwards Jackie and I enjoyed our second helpings of Wednesday’s Red Chilli takeaway. My wife drank Hoegaarden and I drank 1000 Stories Bourbon Barrel-Aged Zinfandel 2018, given by Jessie.


  1. Lovely photos as always, Derrick, thanks for the link. I had a good look at how all the ponies are handled and cared for, wonderful! I don’t think this is done over here. You two have a great weekend! ☺️??❤️

  2. Clever Becky. The perfect name for that photo. The first time I tried Zinfandel was at a wine tasting evening event presenting WA vineyards. I heard Infidel. All year I searched for it to no avail. When set on the right track, one bottlo told me it was a rose which I don’t drink. It wasn’t until a trip to San Francisco a few years back I finally discovered it. I loved it, but don’t see much in the shops here.

    1. It is, in my opinion, the best of the American grapes. The people who sold us our house left a book of useful phone numbers. One was for a cab firm called Vallium. This turned out to be Galleon.

  3. In Mr. Keeping’s masterpieces I am especially captured in by the hair and hats today! 🙂
    Horses and sheep and cheeks, oh my! 😮 😛 Love Becky’s caption on the sweet bum-cheeks photo! 🙂
    (((HUGS))) 🙂

  4. Is it my imagination, or are the names of wines getting longer? I’m sure that when I was a younger they were just called “red” and “white”. And “cheap” – that was my favourite . . .

      1. I was amazed to find, a few years ago, that screw tops were now considered respectable. Plus ca change, as they say (well, almost, I can’t get the accent on my keyboard). 🙂

        1. Definitely more convenient. Mind you, I wonder what the French friend who change his corks in his bottles every ten years would say. I can’e get all the accents either. Thanks a lot, Quercus.

  5. I can’t remember ever hearing of Dombey and Son, let alone reading it. The illustrations are fine; I particularly enjoyed the ladies and babes. Of course your own seaside photo is charming, and somewhat prescient, it seems. Lucky the child who comes to love the sea, and doesn’t fear it.

  6. I am happy you managed to lay your hands on another copy of Folio Society beauty, the result of which is instantaneously gratifying. Your post on ‘drift’ was a remarkably engaging account of your investigation into the enterprise where you nearly managed to get yourself branded too! Zinfandel is a favourite but a good bottle is hard to come by in this patch of the planet.

  7. Derrick, I admire your fortitude in reading your way through Dickens. As much as I have enjoyed his novels over the years, I would require a break to explore something very different in between. I am currently reading a delightfully humorous book by Mark Forsyth entitled “A Short History of Drunkenness” – so very different from Dickens!

  8. Love that photograph of Sam ? Dombey is the last Dickens that I read so I remember it well. Those illustrations are marvellous! Exactly as I imagined the characters whilst I was reading.

  9. Wonderful photo with a perfect caption! The book with its evocative illustrations was a very thoughtful gift from Becky.
    As always, the wildlife in your area seem happy to pose for you.
    1000 Stories is a great name for a wine.

    1. At the time, 2004, Sam was the youngest person to have rowed any ocean solo. This was a race organised by the Ocean Rowing Society from The Canaries to Barbados. He actually won it. 3000 miles in 59 days.

      1. Where does a rower sleep? On the craft they are rowing? And are they able to have time off to cook/eat etc?

        Anyway, well done to Sam. An amazing feat!

        1. A small sleeping cabin in a purpose built rowing boat. Dry food taken in packs. Sleeping times up to the rower. Sam slept through the nights and rowed during the day. Thanks again

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