Including strimming the grass, Jackie continued with general gardening this morning whilst I scanned the last ten of the photographs for Norman’s book, retouched the images, and made a dozen prints. The quality of these large-format negatives dating back to 1957 is very good.
One could hardly call the creative task Jackie finished this evening ‘general gardening’. She completed a completely new path to the orange shed, obviating the need to deviate through the kitchen garden arch.
This afternoon and evening I burnt more of the heap of cuttings. Having aimed to complete the task, I had to concede defeat.
Fires have a profound fascination for most people. This is why it is a shame that city living in particular militates against the open hearths of my childhood. Watching flames and seeing pictures in them was almost better than the television that, in modern homes, has taken the place of the grate as a focal point.
A bonfire holds a similar amount of interest as the flames lick, the smoke curls, the foliage sizzles, and the branches snap and fall, changing the framework of the image in a flash. My evening bonfire’s thin clouds of smoke were striated by the rays of the lowering sun.
As we experienced during our Ockley holiday in March 1968, what really draws the crowds is an unexpected fire that spells potential disaster for someone. While we were exploring the deserted house featured on the 18th of this month, we noticed crowds gathering around what looked like a rather attractive house on fire. Naturally, there was a certain amount of disappointment when the conflagration was discovered to be a burning shed. Nevertheless, I was there with my camera. After taking a few shots I returned to the upper floor of the empty property, where I could discreetly watch the watchers. Jackie stands a little aside from the others, bounded by an attractive window frame. The fire brigade eventually arrived and the spectators were able to watch them smartly move into action and dowse the flames.
Our dinner this evening was Jackie’s spicy chilli con carne (recipe) with wild rice, followed by gooseberry and apple crumble with custard in my case, and cream in hers. We both drank lambrusco Emilia reservato 2012.