It is a while since I featured a ‘through the ages’ photograph. Here is number 52 which was taken by Jessica at the Soho Festival of Summer 1977, during the spaghetti eating contest. I reported on Michael’s attempt the previous year on 29th June 2013. At that event I also entered the cigar smoking competition. In ’77 my son was not inclined to repeat his effort, and as I struggled through a plateful of pretty dry pasta, I soon discovered why.
I posted this image as a little light relief from the morning’s boring admin tasks, one of which concerned a cheque from Southern Electric. This was a refund relating to our closing account at Castle Malwood Lodge. That contract was in our joint names, but we do not have a joint bank account. The cheque was made out in both our names, and, even if we both signed the back of it, the bank would not accept it. It had to be returned to the utility company with instructions as to who should be the recipient of the replacement. I did this.
I took my usual walk to Hordle Cliff top where, on my approach, rabbits scuttled into the bramble, and, as always, I was presented by a different view of The Isle of Wight and The Needles. As I had said to a woman photographing the scene a couple of days ago, the island looks different every time I walk this way.
On Downton Lane, where Bridge Cottage basked in the mid-day sun, a happy cyclist weaving all over the road sang at the top of his voice. He paused as he passed me and continued afterwards. Perhaps he was more embarrassed than was the very talented comedian I had encountered at Oxford Circus tube station quite a number of years ago. As I walked through one of the passageways between platforms, a most melodious singing echoed behind me. I slowed enough for the operatic voice, which did not pause, to drift by. Apparently oblivious of my presence, there before me walked Paul Whitehouse whose amazing voice has enlivened many of the skits on the Harry Enfield show. One of my favourite sketches from that series features Paul singing Figaro in ‘Harry Enfield – Who’s That Girl on Vimeo’. It’s worth a look.
On Milford Road a car driver used a hand signal to indicate turning left. Many people today would not recognise this, but when I learned to drive this method of alerting following drivers to your intention was normal practice. Now we all have electronic indicators. Some vehicles in those days still bore yellow flags that flipped up either to the right or to the left to indicate which way you wished to turn.
It is important to use hand signals if you have an electrical fault. It must have been more than twenty years ago when I last wound down my driver side window and indicated slowing down. A policeman stopped me for a chat. He was most amused. His opening remark was: ‘It must have been a long time ago when you passed your test’.
Dinner this evening consisted of belly of pork, chipolata sausages, roasted peppers and mushrooms, mashed potato, cauliflower and green beans, with which Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I drank Cuvee St Jaine red table wine.