This morning I worked some more on the old negatives. There were another dozen of Sam, and three of my friend Giles. These latter would have been taken when I was living with him in Claverton Street, Pimlico, in 1973. We were playing chess on his glass board set into a coffee table. The shot was taken from the viewpoint of me, his opponent. Just for the record, he usually won. Maybe that’s why I wanted to stand him on his head. If it makes you feel disoriented to look at it, it may be helpful to stand your computer on its head in order to admire my friend’s face.
Whilst searching my old albums for help to date the Giles pictures, I found a newspaper cutting of a photograph of contestants in the Soho Festival cigar smoking competition and inserted it into the post featuring that event. For anyone wishing to see it, I’m the one with the dirty feet and clean armpits.
The weather today was splendid. Although the temperature reflected the fact that there was no cloud cover, the sun shone from a clear blue sky throughout the day. It brought all human life to the beach at Bournemouth where Jackie drove me this afternoon. She remained on the top of East Cliff whilst I walked along the top for a while, descended to the beach, and walked to the pier and along the length of it and back.
On the way to Bournemouth, I received a photograph on my Blackberry, of a birth that took place early this morning. It is only a few days ago that I wrote about running a race in aid of my nephew Adam Keenan’s day nursery. Now, he and his wife, Thea, have made me a great uncle for the sixth time; and, more importantly, my sister Elizabeth and his father Rob grandparents for the first time. Since it is the prerogative of his proud parents to display their infant to the world themselves, I will publish neither further details nor the delightfully peaceful picture.
In the top left hand corner of the beach scene above, stands the Red Arrows memorial sculpture. When I first photographed it last year the accompanying plaque was not in situ.
Eschewing the East Cliff Lift, which I would probably find more frightening than the steps down, although even they didn’t look too appetising, I took the spiral footpath down to the beach. Slaloming among the other pedestrians, a jogger made a number of runs up and down the steep inclines.
Before descending, I noticed that another birthday was being celebrated in greetings in the sand.
A gentleman paddled a surfboard up and down. Up and down in more ways than one, since he occasionally disappeared beneath the gentle waves that ended their journey sliding up and down the sand in the ebbing tide, only to reform and reform and, like the surfer, repeat the process interminably.
Small families, groups of young people, lovers, dog walkers, and elderly gents occupied themselves in various ways along the sands.
People lined the railings on the end of the pier enjoying watching the sun subside beneath the waves.
During the waning afternoon the vibrant yellow horizon metamorphosed into a pretty pastel pink.
Once we had returned home, Jackie set about preparing a superb chicken and egg curry with savoury rice and parotas for us and Elizabeth, Danni and Andy, with which the rest of us drank Les Courlandes Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2012. Elizabeth said this meal would beat Eastern Nights, which is praise indeed. And true.