A Family Album

Today was the perfect British Bank Holiday. That means the temperature dropped, and incessant rain – ruining all the fetes, including the Hordle and Bisterne Scarecrow festivals that so many people worked so hard to arrange – fell throughout the day.

Chicken jalfrezi being cookedJackie spent a great deal of time cooking a chicken jalfrezi (recipe), and otherwise pottering, whilst Elizabeth and I worked on putting together one set of photographic prints  for our brother Chris, and another for The First Gallery’s Christmas exhibition.

Some of mine have already featured in posts. These are Chris and me wearing Red Indian headdresses with Elizabeth in the background at my 70th birthday surprise party; two of Mum, one from her 90th birthday party, also a surprise, in October 2012, and another in our garden on 6th July this year; and finally one of Joseph and Angela taken at my 70th birthday meal at The Lone Barn in Hungerford Bottom

Michael, Matthew, Errol, Louisa, Derrick, Becky & Sam 5.9.09I contributed a couple of family portraits, the first from Louisa and Errol’s wedding on 5th September 2009. This shows, from left to right, Michael, Matthew, Errol, Louisa, Becky, and Sam. (I’m in there too.) This rather lovely shot was taken by a brother-in-law of the groom. I call it ‘The full set and Errol’.

A couple of years earlier, on 14th April 2007, our sister Jacqueline celebrated her 60th birthday at her home in Boston, Linconshire. Mum and siblings 14.4.07Once again a rare collection was photographed. This featured Mum and all her children: Joseph and Elizabeth standing; with Chris, Jacqueline and me seated. The two standing members would probably claim this to be an example of ‘age before beauty’. A fascinating fact is highlighted in these two photographs. I have five children, as does Mum, and in each group there are eighteen years between the youngest (Louisa and Joseph) and the oldest (Michael and me). I cannot remember who took the second picture, but I do know that the weather was better than it Heidi & Frances 14.4.07Jacqueline 14.4.07was today. Which is just as well because I left my umbrella in a tube train on my way from Bayswater to Boston.

That party of Jacqueline’s produced two more of today’s prints, one of Michael’s wife Heidi with Chris’s wife Frances, and one of the birthday girl herself.

I have referred to Sam’s epic Atlantic Row on other occasions. Chris, Frances, and my niece, Fiona, were with Jessica, Louisa, and me in Barbados to see him come into Port St Sam and Louisa 3.04Charles. in May 2004. A print of brother and sister just after Sam had risen from his boat, seemed a fitting final contribution from me.

Elizabeth’s two photographs featured each of her children and their respective partners. 20.8.11Adam and Thea celebrated my nephew’s 30th birthday on 20th August 2011, at their home in Northwood, in Hawaiian style.

5.10.13Danni and Andy were probably not travelling to that exotic island when Elizabeth photographed them in Southampton Airport on 5th October 2013.

I have been asked for two submissions for the Christmas Exhibition, and have offered a choice of three on which my sister and I worked today. The small picture of Michael and his Teddy Bear originally used in my post of ‘Transitional Objects‘ was taken in July 1967. An A3+ print of a maple leaf carpet is from a photo taken at Exbury Gardens and featured on 12th November 2013. Notting Hill Carnival 8.07One I have not used before has been made from about one third of a colour slide taken at the Notting Hill Carnival in August 2007. Why I was very lucky to have taken this shot is described in ‘A Near Miss’.

Late this afternoon, poor Elizabeth took herself off home with a box of photographs and the aromas of slow-cooked Jalfrezi teasing the nostrils which had no time to stay on to eat any of it. I, however, enjoyed the meal, especially as the accompanying savoury rice was topped with an omelette. Treacle tart was to follow. I drank some Las Primas Gran Familia 2013 tempranillo, and Jackie didn’t.