A Deterrent

I have come to the end of my Keeping/Dickens series, but I do have more of the artist’s works. For those who would like to see some I will begin with

This is the cover of a large format book.

My scanner cannot manage a double page spread so I will have to do my best to match up the pages, as in these front endpapers.

Here is the title page,

and the first two pages of text.

Alfred Noyes’s romantic ballad, first published in the August 1906 issue of Blackwood’s Magazine is, according to Iona and Peter Opie writing in 1983, reputed to be “the best ballad poem in existence for oral delivery”.

As is his wont, Charles Keeping, in his own inimitable style, releases the grisly reality of this ghostly tale.

Adding no further analysis as I present segments in forthcoming posts, I will allow the pages to speak for themselves.

There is a triangular section of land at the bottom of our drive which borders onto the care home next door. Vehicles are constantly driven over the beds we plant there. Because of the nature of the establishment neither we nor the residents can know whether the culprits are staff members or any of a range of visiting tradespeople, suppliers, friends, or relatives. Having decided that the time has come for a deterrent, we engaged Martin Bowers to build us a raised bed.

Having prepared the area for its placement Martin cut the heavy timbers with a handsaw.

Holes were then dug for the galvanised pins which will hold the frame steady against buffeting from visitors. Note the solid clay that our craftsman needed to penetrate and remove.

The end grain of the sawn timbers were smoothed

and sealed with a protective coat.

The last stage today was to cut and fit the second level beams.

This afternoon Joe and Angela visited and my brother and I corrected the Probate application forms for resubmission which I will carry out tomorrow. The ladies visited Mr Chan and brought back an excellent range of food from Hordle Chinese Take Away with which they both drank Bucks Fizz and I drank Hardy’s Crest 2020.

Published by derrickjknight

I am an octogenarian 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. In these later years much rambling is done in a car.

71 thoughts on “A Deterrent

  1. I love the Highwayman and your illustrations. Are you familiar with Loreena McKinnett’s song version/https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YGFo0xn4JeY I hope your raised bed does the trick in impeding the vehicles that run over your plants. Good luck with the probate application.

  2. Raised beds should do the trick. Looking forward to seeing the finished project. The more I see of Chares keeping’s work, the more I become an admirer. I just looked him up and had not realized he was practically a contemporary.

  3. It’s amazing how Charles Keeping has captured the atmosphere of the ballad with his stunning illustrations. The gusty moors, the darkness, the trees, the highway and the moon all exude the qualities alluded to by the poet. I have never before seen mere lines doing such magic.

    The craftsman is hard at work. We expect excellent outcome of the enterprise β€”I wish the same for the probate exercise your family is entrenched in.

  4. This is one of my favourite books! I have used it over and again with my children, my pupils and my grandchildren. The illustrations are perfect.

  5. If the raised bed doesn’t work, try a two feet deep hole, concrete lined if possible. Wonderful illustrations by Charles Keeping, especially the wooden shutters.

  6. More amazing Mr. Keeping illustrations! I love anything he envisions and brings to life! πŸ™‚
    YAY for Martin working so hard and creatively! I bet the raised bed will work! Can’t wait to see it in all of it’s glory come the spring and summer.
    I’m glad your brother could be there and the two of you are working as a team to get the probate forms complete and resubmitted.
    (((HUGS))) πŸ™‚

  7. I hope the raised bed does the trick. Seems like some drivers need to re-take their test, unless they somehow didn’t realise your property was not part of the highway.

  8. I hope the raised bed does the trick, and that you and Jackie have no more trouble with people running over that spot. Martin is doing a fine job.

    I very much enjoyed the illustrations, Derrick!

  9. I’m glad the raised bed went a second level. With the first images, I thought to myself, “Oh, they will surely just drive right over the top of that.” But, ah, with the very high raised bed, sturdily built, when they back carelessly into it, they will be stopped. Martin did a very good job. When the Head Gardener fills it with something bright and showy this spring, it will be a warning beacon.

    Once again, Keeping’s work is outstanding. An excellent match for this poem. The Highwayman always makes me think of Anne of Green Gables, in the 1985 for-TV production by Kevin Sullivan.

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