Posthumous Portraits


Today I scanned the last of the Christmas 1985 negatives, and here present a selection.

Grandma, Mum, Louisa, Derrick 12.85

When you lunched at Mum’s you not only fought your way through a massive roast meal, but later, you were expected to consume a plentiful afternoon tea. Jessica must have taken this photograph of Grandma, Mum, Louisa, and me seated at the table.

Jessica, Sam and Louisa 12.85

It looks as if Jessica swapped places with me.

Having entertained Sam with Hoopla, Dad spent some time playing with Louisa on the sofa. It looks as if there was a certain amount of competition as to who would fall asleep first. Mum will have made the knitted doll.

Dad and Jessica 12.85

My father’s reward for his exertions seems to have been to have his daughter-in-law read him a story;

Jessica 12.85

after which Jessica found time for contemplation.

Sam 12.85

Sam, however, continued to daydream about another game with his grandfather.

Joseph 12.85

Joseph was well ahead of the current fashion for young men to wear full beards.

There were two more photos of Dad,

Dad's portrait photocopy

one of which I used as a model for a pastel portrait for my mother, the Christmas after he died. The story of how he helped me is told in ‘Would You Believe It?’.

Auntie Gwen 12.85

Auntie Gwen was also the subject of a portrait. This time in pen and ink for a magazine illustration.

Auntie Gwen 85

This is how I adapted the photograph.

This evening we dined at Daniels Fish Restaurant in Highcliffe. With her chips Jackie chose scampi; my choice was haddock. We both had mushy peas. Jackie drank coffee, and I drank tea.

Canine Companions

Scooby and pheasant 1Scooby and pheasant 2

A day or two before the Emsworth family joined us for Easter, whilst out walking with Scooby, Ian found a pheasant that he gave to their dog who has brought it with him. I have been very remiss in not mentioning it before, but it is probably why Eric and Scooby ignore each other in the garden,


where tulips are now blooming.


The North Breeze magnolia is now looking even more magnificent.

Jackie and I accompanied Becky and Ian on a drive to Curry’s at Christchurch where they bought a new Toshiba laptop charger. Afterwards we visited Stewart’s Garden Centre for coffee. The others also enjoyed scrumptious scones.Carp

Before entering the store we stopped to watch the carp enjoying the sunlight on their large pool.


In the restaurant area I engaged in conversation with a very friendly couple, the gentleman of which sported a beard that the current breed of rugby players would envy.


Towards the exit we met Chica the chihuahua who shared her basket with a fox and a duck. She is thirteen years old and can’t walk very far.Derrick

Knowing how she felt I was given a head start when walking back to the car. I got there first and waited on a conveniently placed chunk of rock.

This evening the five of us dined on set meal M4 at the most friendly Family House in Totton. Jackie, Ian, and I drank Tsingtao; Becky Diet Coke; and Flo Apple Juice.It was very enjoyable.

Christmas In Morden

Possibly because there was no sunshine until late afternoon, yesterday’s progress against the virus slowed up a bit today. The sluggish, heady, start didn’t really improve as it had then. We settled for an amble round the garden looking at snowdrops, camellias, hellebores, and new shoots on numerous other plants such as clematises.Christmas tree lights 12. 82

This afternoon, after a doze, I scanned another sixteen colour negatives of Agfa film from December 1982. A Christmas tree and the ages of the children helped to date these, which was quite useful.

Four generations of the family enjoyed one of my mother’s plentiful teas in my parents’ home in Morden. For as long as they stayed in London one of Mum’s Sunday lunches, with high tea to follow later could always be obtained at Rougemont Avenue. Maybe that’s why they retired to Horndean, and we had to be determined to turn up there on spec from our various London homes. By December 1982 we all had partners, although not all children, all of whom were equally welcome. I was there with Jessica, Sam, and Louisa; Elizabeth brought Rob and Adam; and Joe was accompanied by his current girlfriend.Mum and Dad 12. 82 03

Mum and Dad stand by their festive tree.Grandma and Sam 12. 82 02

Here, my son Sam poses with my maternal Grandmother in the same spot.Rob and Adam 12. 82My nephew Adam surveys the assembled company from the comfort of his Dad Rob’s lap. Sam 12. 82

Sam does the same from the sofa.Louisa 12. 82

Back home in Gracedale Road Louisa had turned her bib into cardboard in the usual toddler manner, by coating it liberally with the soggy contents of her breakfast bowl.Louisa12. 82 01

She changed into a lovely dress for the tea party where she had a great time introducing her biscuit to the carpet.Joseph 12. 82

A couple of days ago, my five year old brother Joseph was featured playing Pick up Sticks with Jackie. Sixteen years on, he was a young adult. With his full beard he would not look out of place on a modern rugby field.

This evening Jackie and I dined on pizza and salad. Neither of us desired a liquid accompaniment.