A Family Event


This afternoon we attended the third family event in three days. This was Shelly’s birthday party.

Helen and Daphne

Here, Jackie’s sister Helen sits with Shelly’s mother-in-law Daphne.

Ray, Shelly, Malcolm

Father-in-law Ray smiles beside Shelly and Malcolm, probably checking the cricket score on his mobile.

Ron 1

Ron, here taking a break and joining in the conversation,

Ron and sausages

tended the barbecue, providing flavoursome sausages,

Ron tending barbecue

tandoori chicken, and, later, minted lamb kebabs.


His son Anthony distributed hot dogs with onions, while Helen was on hand with mustard and ketchup.


Jane, being Anthony’s sister, is Jackie’s niece.

Reflection and Helen

Reflected in the window behind Helen, is the father of

Immy 1Immy 2


Jackie (Ron's sister)

whose lithe grandmother, Jackie, is Ron’s sister.

David, Neil (Donna)

David, son of Helen and Bill, holding the can and Neil, brother of Anthony and Jane, are cousins.

David and Jenny

Here, probably wielding the same can, David stands with his wife, Jenny.

Pete and Tess

Friends Peter and Tess share a reflective moment.

Jackie's back

Jackie sports two pairs of glasses and a pearl necklace.

Neil, Donna, AnthonyDonna, Anthony, Neil

Shelly and Ron’s sons converse with Neil’s partner, Donna;Jane and Katie

Jane shares a tale with Immy’s mother, Katie;

Jane, Jackie, Bill

Jackie and Jane catch up with each other as Bill makes his way back to his chair;

David, Jenny, Helen, Bill

David and Jenny share a table with his parents, Helen and Bill.

Jackie, Jane, Tess, Anthony, Neil, Donna, Chris, RonJane, Tess, Anthony, Neil, Donna, Chris, RonAnthony, Neil, Chris, DonnaAs the sun lowered its way to the horizon the last few guests enjoyed coffee together. Anthony and Neil are always sure to produce a cricket bat and ball on these occasions. They had earlier enjoyed a few overs on the grass behind them.

Neil, Donna, Chris, Tess, Shelly, Bill

Chris, with the longer beard, is Jane’s partner. Shelly stands between Tess and Bill.

In addition to the plentiful barbecued meats, various ladies had produced excellent salads, trifles, meringues, and cakes. My choice of beverage was Marston’s Amber Ale. We toasted the birthday girl with champagne.

As can be seen this was an enjoyable close family event.





Sometimes serendipitous synchronicity surprises. Scanning colour slides from summer 1986 this morning, I found this to be so.

I have mentioned before that we house-sat The Dumb Flea for the Drapers for a couple of weeks that year. We were joined one day by our friends Carole and

Brian Littlechild

Brian Littlechild..

Sam had managed to acquire an army hat. I have no idea whether it belonged with the rifle Brian is posing with. Could it have belonged to Jessica’s father? I don’t have enough knowledge of militaria to recognise the badge. Interestingly Sam, who here acts out his own campaign with the aid of a cricket bat, has inherited a black and white photograph of his maternal grandfather receiving the Military Cross from Field Marshall Montgomery.

Sam and Louisa 1

Sam and his sister loved to race around the lawn.

Louisa 1

It looks as if Louisa was up to mischief of some kind.

She had her own uses for the cricket bat.

Sam and Louisa 3

Back at home in Gracedale road, the two children investigated a skip in the street,

Sam and Louisa 4

and improvised a garden slide with the aid of a ladder and duvets. This idea was to reach maturity a few years later on the wide Victorian staircase at Lindum House.

Now for the synchronicity.

All my children have enjoyed pet rats. This one was called Ratty. Although Sam stuck to one at a time, I believe Matthew’s tally once reached 70 or more. Wasn’t it therefore serendipitous that I came to these pictures the day after featuring Rasputin?

This evening we will be dining at Tyrell’s Ford with Helen, Bill, Shelly, and Ron. I will report on that tomorrow.