On Thin Ice


A couple of nights ago I finished reading the novel on which my views had been sought. Today I e-mailed my observations to my friend, the author. As the book is not my work, I will say no more about it here.

Andrew Day, a local carpenter, visited this morning and successfully completed two tasks left over from our predecessor’s D.I.Y. disasters. There will be more bodges for him to put right.

This afternoon I scanned a batch of colour negatives from December 1986.

Jessica 12.86

The first, of Jessica at a family Christmas party at Caxton in Cambridgeshire, I converted to black and white in an effort to compensate for the graininess caused by fast film and a very small crop.

Louisa 12.86

Louisa took a break from the festivities,

and a short while later, at home in Gracedale Road, was in fine dressing-up fettle, as was Sam.

Jessica 12.86

Here, I think, Jessica was writing up her notes.

This was the last year I remember a decent amount of snow in London. Matthew took his little brother and sister for a sledge ride on allegedly thin ice beside the Waterfowl Sanctuary on Tooting Common. They were accompanied by a neighbour, the lady with the leggings whose name I disremember. Alison Barran, if you are reading this, I need your help.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QNoFbwxbDfs&w=560&h=315]

I have Johnny Cash to thank for the word ‘disremember’.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s tasty beef stew, boiled potatoes, and perfectly cooked carrots, cauliflower, and green beans. On preparing the vegetables I discovered an alien being in the beans. We resisted the temptation to resuscitate the chilled caterpillar in order to rear a possibly exotic butterfly. Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I consumed more of the Fleurie.

‘Did You See Those Chairs?’


On another dull morning I scanned the last few colour slides from 1980.

Becky pushing pushchair 10.80 1

In October Becky enjoyed pushing the buggy in Tooting Common.

Becky pushing Sam in pushchair / Piper 10.80

Sam 10.80

There was someone in it. That was Sam.

Jessica and Becky pushing Sam 10.80

Jessica was also on the walk.

Matthew 11.804

Here is Matthew the following month,

Matthew and Sam 12.80Sam 12.80

and in December with Sam, who,

Sam 25.12.80 3

on 25th was helped by Michael to open his first Christmas presents,

Derrick and Sam 25.12.80

And, of course, we had a festive tree.

This afternoon we took a trip to New Milton to buy a posting tube for Pauline’s parcel, post it, and take a waistcoat to Johnson’s Cleaners. We began with the tube from the art suppliers. We made up the parcel outside the shop, parked a bit nearer the Post Office, and went our separate ways – Jackie to the cleaners and me to the Post Office.

Garden Chairs

On the way I walked past two garden chairs of the perfect size for me, displayed outside Hand Made New Forest. Following the invitation, I tried them, and found them to be extremely comfortable.

When Jackie met me outside the Post Office a short while later I asked ‘Did you see those chairs?’. ‘I saw them,’ she replied with a broad smile, ‘and I sat in them’. ‘Shall we get a pair?’ was my next unnecessary question. We ordered a couple, of a different colour.

By early evening the weather had cleared enough for us to take drinks in the rose garden, where

Roserie de la Haie

Roserie de la Haie is flourishing;

Rose Garden

and the mirror behind Golden Showers happily reflects the similar hued Laura Ford filling the gap between between the two levels of the climber.

This evening we dined on spicy pork with vegetable risotto, followed by profiteroles. Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I finished the malbec.