“It’s The Second Of March Today”

Another drizzle day, and Jackie’s cold, kept us inside today.

One of the consequences of retirement for me is that I often don’t know what the date is. That is my excuse for what follows, and I am sticking to it.

When I descended from our bedroom this morning I found this photograph had been moved from its shelf at the window and placed on the table between my chair and a sofa in the sitting room.

“What’s that doing there?” I asked Mrs Knight.

“It’s the second of March today”, was the smiling reply.

“Ah”, said I, rapidly realising that it was the 54th anniversary of our first wedding in 1968. Jackie won’t be well enough to dine out today, so we’ll have to take a rain check on that.

I also have the second one, on 17th October 2017, to remember. Life can become complicated.

This afternoon I began scanning the pages of Charles Keeping’s illustrations to Charles Dickens’s ‘Bleak House’.

The Frontispiece ‘Fog everywhere’ and the next two illustrations demonstrate Keeping’s masterful depiction of elemental precipitations.

‘That leaden-headed old obstruction, Temple Bar’ invites the viewer to peer into the fog.

‘The place in Lincolnshire left to the rain’ makes me wonder whether the artist was inspired for this image by the sight of his car wing mirror on a rainy day.

‘We drove through the dirtiest and darkest streets that ever were seen’

‘Nobody ever was in such a state of ink’

‘A large grey cat leapt on his shoulder’

I will comment on the book as soon as I have finished the task of scanning the rest of these pages, which I hope to achieve by the beginning of June.

Last Saturday, thinking she would be going to Elizabeth’s event without me on account of my indisposition, and that I would have wanted something bland left for me, Jackie had begun preparing a pot of chicken stewp. In fact I accompanied her to my sister’s and she retained the gentle meal for another occasion. Now she had a cold it was just the job for her. I was on jankers today and got off lightly because all I had to do was heat it up and prepare the crusty bread. I finished the Malbec that had been open for nearly a week. It was still drinkable.


  1. As atmospheric as the “bleak” illustrations, ‘Nobody ever was in such a state of ink’ is my favorite. It’s so much better than “Nobody ever was in such a state of keyboard.’

  2. Happy 54th Anniversary. I’m sorry to hear that Jackie is ill — but a postponed dinner will be a nice celebration!

  3. Happy Anniversary. At least you remembered the second nuptials. Hope she feels better shortly. Can you get food delivery where you live???

  4. Happy first anniversary you two!! I look forward to hearing about that dinner when the sniffles allow!

  5. Happy Anniversary for your first wedding, Derrick and Jackie. I hope Jackie is feeling better soon–though it’s clear she’s still sharp-witted! ? “on jankers is a new term for me. Perhaps a special dinner next week.
    I appreciate “Keeping’s masterful depiction of elemental precipitations,” but the “state of ink” was my favorite.

  6. Happy Anniversary! I’m sure you will celebrate ‘properly’ (now that your memory has been jogged!) once Jackie is better… in the meantime, the happy day of your first Wedding Anniversary doesn’t seem the appropriate time for working on Bleak House!?!
    No surprise that the Culinary Queen had inadvertently prepared perfectly, despite the changed plans… 🙂

  7. Hope Jackie soon feels well enough for a meal out. And my philosophy is celebrate early, celebrate often. A very happy anniversary to you and Jackie. Clif and I also have an anniversary in March.

  8. What an exquisite line, that bundles together so many mysterious images Derrick …
    “Nobody ever was in such a state of ink”

  9. Happy anniversary, Derrick and Jackie! Two anniversaries a year sounds like an opportunity for two celebrations, and twice as much good food and wine. 🙂

  10. One of my family members married in the early 80’s. Divorced after 6 children; two passing in early weeks. They started dating again years later when the daughter wanted to meet her father after many fathers day school celebrations with no father. They married again in early 2000 and they’ve been together ever since. Now Derrick, don’t forget October 17th. You need to jump in first. 🙂

  11. I recently forgot my only aunt’s birthday, The good news is that I remembered before a week had passed. The better news is that my forgetting made her feel better about her ‘forgettings.’

  12. Cool drawings, especially the faces in the fog and the view in the side mirror. I hope Jackie feels better soon and you get off jankers. Here’s to celebrating every chance we get!

  13. How thoughtful of Jackie to move the photograph to jog your memory! It seems that your penance was not a heavy one and that the two of you have done well. Enjoyment to come in the future celebration of that event is all the better for the anticipation.

  14. Happy anniversary! 54 is an impressive stretch of time. So sorry Jackie is out of sorts – hope she recovers soon, so you can celebrate with a nice dinner! Fab illustrations as always. I had my own case of “state of ink” today, when a pen started leaking all over me. LOL!

  15. Jankers:

    punishment for those who have committed a military offence.
    “the sergeant put me on jankers”

  16. I think you had a ‘Man moment’ you just forgot!

    Happy Anniversary to you both. I hope Jackie gets well very soon.
    Oh, 1968 was also the year I got married too.

  17. Derrick, I like connecting your anniversary thoughts to Dickens’ Bleak House. I suppose your wife’s illness and not the state of your marriage is the reason for the comparison. We’ve celebrated our 54th and looking forward to the emerald celebration in August. (No gems involved on our budget!) Best wishes for Jackie’s recovery. 😀

  18. Your first anniversary is like vintage wine. I hope you are all waiting for Jackie to recover for the celebrations.

    Thanks for starting a new Charles Dickens book with Keeping’s illustrations.

  19. Happy Anniversary! A bit late, I’m afraid. And I can relate to “One of the consequences of retirement for me is that I often don’t know what the date is.” 🙂

  20. Happy anniversary. Going strong despite intermediate heartache. Good for both of you! I hope Jackie overcomes the cold she has soon enough so you can celebrate

  21. Well, Derrick, I am sure a celebration of the 54th anniversary of your first wedding in 1968 can wait until Jackie is feeling better. She was well enough to put that picture as a reminder right where you would see it, though. Yup, a woman after my own heart! Don’t give the guy a chance to forget. Post a picture in front of his nose. Yes!! I love it!! I’m sorry she was under the weather, though. She’s better by now, I’m sure. You’ll have to determine to beat her to the punch on your original 55th and do something to surpise her a day ahead!!

  22. I was delighted in that state of ink. Which made up for the impact of your statement that “life can be complicated.” Ugh. It CAN be complicated. Hugs to both of you for all the emotion behind having two anniversaries. Being a human is such an adventure.

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