What Was The Joke?


Today being decidedly dank and dismal I delved into my colour negative archives and found some more from July 1992.

Little Venice canal basin

This first image is of Little Venice canal basin, probably taken from the section of Harrow Road above. The large barge, named Bloom, in the centre of the picture is an art gallery featuring the work of Alex Prowse. Beauchamp Lodge, where I rented counselling space, is out of shot at bottom left. I ran many a mile from there, under the blue bridge, and west along the towpath. The houseboat to the right of the bridge then belonged to Richard Branson.

The rest of these photographs were from the London leg of my 50th birthday celebrations.

Sam, Louisa, Matthew, Tom Littlechild

Here is Louisa occupying her favourite perch on Matthew’s back, flanked by Sam and a family friend.

Paul Montgomery and Carole Shelton

In the garden we have Paul M. and Carole S;

Michael and Wolf 3

Michael, Wolf,

Wolf, Michael, Brian 7.92Brian L

and Brian;

Steve and Becky 7.92Becky and Steve

Becky and Steve.

Heidi (Becky, Paul M)


Heidi 7.92

 had produced an excellent buffet and was able to help herself to some of it.

Becky and Heidi 2

Whatever Becky’s joke was,

Becky and Heidi 7.92

her sister-in-law twigged it eventually.

Late this afternoon, the remortgage loan came through. We drove into a murky forest and took no photographs.

Yesterday’s illustration of a lamb cobbler was taken from the internet.

Lamb cobbler

Since Jackie had made two, and we enjoyed the second one this evening, it seemed only fair that this image should feature today. The dish was served with crunchy carrots, soft spinach, and firm runner beans, to all of which juicy gravy was added. I finished the Ribera del Duero and Jackie drank Hoegaarden..



Our First Open Day


Last night I had several attempts at photographing Jackie’s garden solar lights. She had one preference; I had another.

Garden fairy lights 1Garden fairy lights 2

Only the brave need indicate their favourite.

Knowing the weather would soon change, I took advantage of the early sunshine to wander around the garden and take a few pictures.

Clematis Mrs N. Thompson and solanum

On the front trellis clematis Mrs N. Thompson has joined solanum;

Asiatic lilies and petunias

on the edge of the patio fragrant Asiatic lilies blend with petunias;

Bees in poppy

and poppy plunderers have hind legs like Popeye’s forearms.

We were joined for lunch by Jackie’s two sisters, their husbands, and cousins Pat, Christine, and Olivia.


Jackie laid out the buffet food she had prepared yesterday on the table,

Mushroom soup

and cooked a marvellous mushroom soup.

After several platefuls, and a fairly wide variety of alcoholic beverages, the sun having emerged after rain, we had a tour of the garden.

Pat, Shelly, Jackie, Olivia, Christine, Helen

Our guests trooped from the patio past the kitchen;

Pat and Shelly

admired the wisteria pergola;

Gazebo, Helen and PatOlivia, Christine, Pat and Shelly

and took the Gazebo Path.


Shelly brought her coffee with her.

Pat, Shelly, Jackie, OliviaPat, Shelly, Jackie, Helen, Olivia and Christine

Passing Florence at Fiveways

Helen, Shelly, Jackie, and Pat

Jackie, Christine, Shelly, Pat, and Helen

Christine, Pat, Jackie, Olivia, Shelly, Helen

the group admired the Rose Garden;

Helen, Olivia, Christine

on her return along the Brick Path Helen paused to savour the scent of Wedding Day.

It seems reasonable to consider this our first Open Day.

Christine and Olivia left early in the evening. Helen, Bill, Shelly and Ron remained a while longer, and Pat stayed the night. ( Actually, I took a chance in posting this before Helen and Bill departed. They also stayed the night ).

We all had a second go at the buffet and beverages.


70 Years On

Jackie planting pansies

Jackie spent the morning planting the pansies and spring bulbs in place of the ficus.

Bamboo roots

The bamboo in the Oval Bed tends to send tentacles under the rock border and into the gravel path. At the first sign of a sucker piercing the shingle, excavation has to be carried out. This was my task.

This afternoon, Jackie drove us to Walkford for Daphne and Ray Salinger’s Platinum Anniversary party. Apart from one picture, I recorded the event in Black and White, which seemed appropriate.

Ray looking at album

Here, Ray examines the album Ron had made up largely from the prints I had produced.

Daphne and Ray 1

He then posed with his wife.

Daphne, Ray and Donna

Over lunch They both looked again at the historic photos, the album here held by Donna.


The best way of approaching the splendidly plentiful buffet was to heap your plate with those selections you could fit onto it, then return for seconds of the other dishes.Seated group1

Ben guitarist

The day was warm and sunny enough for many guests, entertained by Ben, a professional guitarist, to sit outside.

Group with Great great niece

The couple’s great niece, her husband, her father-in-law and a great great niece enjoyed the sunshine,

Great granddaughter

whilst Helen enjoyed great granddaughter Imogen.

Ron speech

Ron made a speech in honour of his parents,

Ray speech

and Ray gave a witty reply.

Daphne and Ray cutting cake

He and Daphne then cut the cake made by Shelly,

Daphne and Shelly slicing cake

who helped her mother-in-law slice it.

Group 4Group 1Group 2Group 3

Finally, all assembled for group photographs.

And the one colour picture?

Queen's greeting

Here it is.

This evening I watched the second half of the South Africa v. Japan World Cup rugby match, and the whole of France v. Italy. In deference to anyone yet to watch a recorded version, I will not give the results, but I will say that the last five minutes of the first of these games was as thrilling as any finish I have seen.