In His Element

The onset of rain somewhat curtailed this morning’s dead-heading session. Never mind, I managed to catch up, and it didn’t rain at The Oval where Australia were playing Sri Lanka in the men’s Cricket World Cup. Naturally I listened to this.

One of the pictures of Jessica in “More For The Slideshow” was taken at Instow in August 1999.

Today I scanned another set of prints from that holiday, when we took a trip to Croyde Bay for a

where Sam was in his element.

While drafting this I received a phone call inviting me to the Everton Festival final event tomorrow to receive my prize as Runner Up in the photographic competition

for my print ‘Drinking In The Gorse’. Thank you, everyone, for contributing to my final selection.

It being Danni’s birthday she, Andy, Ella and Elizabeth came over for an Indian takeaway from Forest Tandoori this evening. My choice of meal was king prawns vindaloo; Ella’s was her first taste of paratha. I haven’t recorded everyone else’s choices, but we all shared rices, onion bahjis, and parathas. Danni, Elizabeth, and I drank Galodoro Reserva 2016; and Andy drank Diet Coke.

There was much reminiscing about Danni’s childhood memories of her time visiting us at Lindum House. She was able to describe all the rooms she had known. This prompted Jackie to google the house on

The Magic Circle

Yesterday afternoon I was unable to find my camera lens cap. I searched everywhere, including the garden, to no avail.

This morning I spotted its outline in the hem of my dressing gown. I couldn’t fathom how it had got there, or how to extract it.

Slowly, it dawned on me. Two days ago I had photographed the garden whilst wearing the garment. Yesterday, similarly togged, I had spilt coffee all over myself. This had necessitated the Maintenance Department carrying out a magnificent laundering process.

Clearly I had pocketed the lens cap whilst using the camera in the garden. But it wasn’t in the pocket; and there was no apparent split in the hem –

not until I removed the garment and found a split beyond the neck.

The washing machine had behaved like a member of the Magic Circle and vigorously transported my magic circle.

On a warm and sunny afternoon we brunched at The Beach Hut Café at Friars Cliff.

A surprisingly speedy dredger sped off across Christchurch Bay in the direction of Mudeford.

The inevitable boy threw stones into the water;

a small girl stood by the shoreline contemplating getting her feet wet, took the plunge, and thought better of it;

another, having gingerly negotiated the stony beach, was relieved to feel sand beneath her toes;

others enjoyed digging;

or simply wandering about.

One group dried their clothes on a breakwater, while

a surfing lesson was underway;

and distant kayakers approached.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s delicious spinach soup and fresh, crusty, bread. I would refer anyone who thinks that may not have been sufficiently substantial back to what we consumed for brunch. Mind you, Jackie did drink Wairau Cove Sauvignon Blanc 2017, while I enjoyed another glass of the Garnacha

Birthday Greetings

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. Giles c1973 2 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.
Bournemouth Beach
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.
Jon Egging memorialIn 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.
East Cliff Lift
Eschewing the East Cliff Lift, which I would probably find more frightening than the steps down, although even they didn’t look too appetising,Spiral footpath 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.
Happy Birthday E & G
Before descending, I noticed that another birthday was being celebrated in greetings in the sand.
Paddle surfer
A gentleman paddled a surfboard up and down.  Ebbing tideUp and down in more ways than one, On the beachsince 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.Child splashing
Small families, groups of young people, lovers, dog walkers, and elderly gents occupied themselves in various ways along the sands.
Sunset on the pier
People lined the railings on the end of the pier enjoying watching the sun subside beneath the waves.
Pink horizon
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.