Husky Models

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Today, for the most part, was overcast and dull, although the sun did emerge on our way back from Calshot where Jackie drove us this afternoon. We were positively sweltering in temperatures of 10-12 Celsius.

I wandered among the parked boats and trailers beside the Tudor castle and the modern hangars. One man worked hard to pump up his trailer tyre. He was, like the vessels, reflected in the pools on the concrete.

On the shingle beside Southampton water driftwood and rubble created natural sculptures. Tyres had also been incorporated, sometimes filled with concrete and used as mooring rings. The last one featured here held

one of two memorial seats to Jon Hughes and Norman Ellis. The plaques suggest that these comparatively young gentlemen were both mourned windsurfers, leading to speculation about their deaths.

Three young girls walked along the wall to the castle moat, passing a gentleman seated with a pair of huskies. He was very happy to have his beautiful dogs model for me. Zara retained her interest for longer than Ashka.

A variety of decorative chickens are free to roam in their pen along the outside of the wall of Beaulieu Abbey. When I approached to photograph them,

two gulls that were tucking into the seed in the tray in the foreground of the first of these pictured, rapidly fled across the road past the grazing donkeys. Further over, a riverine garden is home to an intriguing cannon.

The Brockenhurst stretch of Highland Water flowed fast, although scarcely disturbing the reflections of ponies, skies, and trees. Even the banks were filled with reflective pools.

This evening we dined on barbecue sauce marinaded rack of pork spare ribs on a bed of Jackie’s sublime savoury rice radiant with the hues of sweet corn, red peppers, peas, onions, and mushrooms. I drank more of the Azinhaga.

 

 

 

Memory Is Not Neat And Tidy

On a warm, sunny, morning, my feeble contribution to the gardening was to bag up a pile of rubble; and to transport earth from elsewhere with which to fill in the hole left by the removal of the pool in a wheelbarrow. Jackie continued with the weeding and planting, and this afternoon I did a bit of sweeping up.

Today I continued the recap on photographic series I insert into my posts. Spanning 1983 to 1985, I scanned more of the borrowed family portrait prints that Elizabeth has recently returned.

Louisa and Matthew 1983

On the North Wales holiday on which Matthew had planted Sam on a cow, here he is gently giving Louisa and Sam the benefit of his knowledge about ladybirds.

Jessica 1983

The Pearson family hold an annual Family Day immediately after Christmas each year. This is hosted by Jessica’s eldest brother Nigel and his wife Judy. Since its inception in the mid 1970s, Jessica and each of her five siblings have added their own children, who have in turn, contributed theirs. Although I took the role of event photographer, this picture of Jessica was taken in the grounds of the venue, Nigel and Judy’s farmhouse at Caxton in Cambridgeshire, in 1983.  Maybe sometime I will feature one of the parties.

Matthew 1983

Our mudlarking period has been featured before. Here Matthew totes a sculptural piece of driftwood he found under Putney Bridge.

Michael 1985

We jump to 1985 and  Michael practicing his golf shots in the small London garden of Gracedale Road.

Uncle Norman and Louisa 12.85

My Uncle Norman and Auntie Peggy, of whom I just have one flashback memory, were one of a great many couples who, their minds and wishes for the future having been fundamentally affected by the Second World War, very soon thereafter, emigrated to Adelaide in Australia, where they were eventually joined by Uncle Darcy and Aunt Edna and their children David and Gillian. Here Norman bonds with his great niece Louisa at Rougemont Avenue on Christmas Day 1985.

Mum 12.85

Present on that occasion were, of course, Mum,

Joseph 12.85

Joseph,

Dad 12.85

and Dad, seen here playing hoopla with Sam,

Dad and Louisa 12.85

then conversing with Louisa on the sofa.

Seeing these two pictures of my father it seems incredible now, that, two years on to the very day, he died of stomach cancer. Christmas Day will forever have special significance.

Why, you may ask, do I skip from series to series regardless of chronology?  Well, first of all that is how the spirit moves me. One day I may want to use my carefully ordered slides, and another I might be able to face identifying negatives or having a stab at the date of prints. The real reason however, is that I am reflecting the nature of memory. It is not neat and tidy. Depending on the triggers, it will hop about from period to period of any lifetime.

Clouds

This evening, lowering clouds filtered the sunlight as I wandered round the garden and photographed

Viburnum

a viburnum on the back drive,

Allium

another new allium,

Verbena

a verbena that has surprisingly overwintered,

Azalea

and an azalea rescued last year.

We dined on roast pork, boiled potatoes, green beans, spring greens, and carrots, followed by profiteroles. Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I drank Mendoza Parra Alta Malbec.

Honeymoon

Aaron 1

AaronAaron came today to continue completing my work on the back drive. He was as quick, efficient, and neat as usual. This young man certainly gets through a phenomenal amount of work in a day.

Jackie had a better memory of our ‘Engagement’ outing. I appended her Facebook comment as an informative P.S. to that post.

I then spent the morning scanning 36 colour slides from our four day honeymoon in March 1968. In ‘Tales From The Window Sills’ and ‘The Watchers Watched’ I have described and illustrated aspects of this holiday in Ockley. The first of these mentions the deserted house, and the second the fire.

Jackie 3.68 006

 

Jackie 3.68 001Jackie 3.68 016 - Version 2Jackie 3.68 010 - Version 2Jackie and cow byre 3.68Tiled wall  3.68Jackie 3.68 011Jackie's legs and driftwood 3.68reeds 3.68The King’s Arms, where we stayed, is a 16th century coaching inn with attractive beamed walls and ceilings. We took all our meals at the hostelry and spent the days exploring the environment, the farms, the fields, a lake, and the churchyard.Ockley Church 3.68 002Ockley Church 3.68

We wonder what has happened to the deserted house that fascinated us so much.Deserted house 3.68Window of deserted house 3.68Jackie 3.68 018

The one event that seemed to draw out the whole village, streaming past the derelict home, from which it was visible, was the exciting fire which, at first, seemed to be engulfing a rather grand house, but transpired to be burning a shed.Fire 3.68 002Fire 3.68 001

The fire brigade were called and dealt with it quite swiftly.

Fire Brigade 3.68

This afternoon I watched England beat Italy 47-17 and Ireland beat France 18-11 in the Six Nations rugby tournament.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s classic chicken jalfrezi and savoury rice, followed by apple crumble and custard. We both drank Kingfisher, neither of us finishing a bottle. Never mind, we both continue to improve.

P.S. Update on the deserted house, from Jackie’s Facebook comment:  ‘Having driven fairly regularly past this house over the years, I can report that altho’ it has lost some of it’s character, it still exists, and houses on this prestigious Surrey village green cost an absolute fortune (close to £1,000000!). It was a distant village in 1968, but with rail and road connections so improved, it is now considered to be within working distance of London so commands premium prices. It is a shame really as the whole village is now full of very rich people and does not have the character of the 1968 village we knew. Even the wonderful village store, that sold everything (even leather boot laces for farmers’ boots) has been converted into a very posh dwelling.’