What We Didn’t Do


Today Jackie and I both suffered a bit of a relapse on the cold front, so we just spent a day indoors.

We had been intending to go to Wroughton where Paul, Danni, and Thea were running a 10K race in aid of Prospect Hospice in memory of Chris. Five hours driving was clearly out of the question for Jackie, so we thought we might manage two of the other events for the day instead. One was the final day of Margery’s exhibition, ‘Hanging Around’, from which would go on to visit Mum on her birthday. We did neither.

The first thing we didn’t do was gardening. Aaron and Sean of A.P. Maintenance did, however, complete their work on the grizelinia hedge and filled a trailer with cuttings which they took to the dump. A further pile of logs has been retained for another of their customers. These young men are ace recyclers, performing community services such as this.

Aaron and Goliath moth

Aaron’s kind and gentle nature is also apparent in this photograph of a Goliath moth he thought we would like to see. The creature is perched on an index finger of his strong, scarred hand.


This afternoon, the race over, Danni sent me an image on a Facebook chat bearing the caption ‘We didn’t think you’d make it?’ It was good to be missed, but nice that my doppelgänger stood in for me.

Frances, Elizabeth, Danni, Adam, Fiona, Paul, Thea, Andy, James and Jasper

Paul then e-mailed me this photograph of the assembled company. From left to right on the rear sofa we have niece Fiona, sister Elizabeth, great nephew Jasper, and nephew Adam; in front we have great nephew James, sister-in-law Frances, nephew-in-law Paul, niece Danni, nephew-in-law Andy, and niece-in-law Thea. Well done the runners in what I gather was an uphill course.

Derrick 26.1.87

I cannot resist posting this photograph made by Mike Nicholson on 26th January 1987. I may look hot and bothered, but the the Fareham 10 mile road race I ran in aid of Adam’s day nursery, when he was not much older than the son he holds on his lap today, was competed in sub-zero temperatures, which is probably why, according to my watch, I managed it in 64 minutes.

Margery’s exhibition is moving on to Southampton City Art Gallery next spring, so, unless it stays on the walls of the Clarke home for a while, we will be able to see it then.

Finally, I settled for phoning Mum, who sounded so much brighter than she had just over a week ago when we last visited her.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s luscious lamb jalfrezi; spicy cauliflower bahji; and colourful onion and red pepper rice. I drank Doom Bar.

64 responses to “What We Didn’t Do”

      • it’s a humorous reversal of the well-known motto and conventional wisdom: Don’t just stand there, do something!

        Quote Investigator on the web says it has been variously attributed to Dwight Eisenhower, Clint Eastwood and Lewis Carroll’s White Rabbit, but seems to go back to an actor and producer named Martin Gabel:
        “At the first rehearsal of Irwin Shaw’s play, “The Assassin,” Producer Martin Gabel noticed a young actress gesticulating wildly instead of remaining motionless. Gabel shouted: “Don’t just do something; stand there.”

        I like the Daffy-Duckism….could be changed to “it’th not the pwinthiple, it’th the interest”…..

  1. Hi Derrick – so sorry to read that you and Jackie are under the weather. That is miserable, but did enjoy seeing the family photographs and your 1987 race. Hope you guys feel better this week. We’ll be off to New England for the leaf season, clam chowder and fresh fish sandwiches ~ our favorite place in the world.

  2. Thanks for the mention Derrick, glad you appreciated your doppelgänger. You were very much missed. Hope you’re both feeling better soon. Lots of love xxx

  3. Oh dear, take care you two. And let’s not start making lists of what we didn’t do, can’t do, don’t want to do or failed at.

    I ‘ran’ my one and only ‘marathon’ for a good cause (can’t remember what it was) in 1967 – it took me four hours to complete 10 miles 🙂 I think I was the only girl in my school who didn’t get blisters on her feet, and I scored a bunch of wildflowers on the way.

  4. I’ve never seen, nor heard of, a Goliath moth.
    Margery’s show, complete with an extra room of work in progress,will stay up for probably another two weeks, unitl my brother comes down (planned for Oct. 13th), so if you were wishing another look, you may well manage it. However, first get those colds off your chests (literally, as opposed to the “literaturely” sense of getting them off your chest, herein). Margery’s show at the City Art Gallery will be almost all different. Only the title will be similar.

  5. Still laughing at the Little Derrick doppleganger photo. That is a true classic. You are so lucky having hair. Julia has just (unkindly) pointed out that a similar photo of me could be taken by drawing a face on the pink ball from a snooker set.

    I prescribe curry for a cold, possibly diluted with a little beer or wine. Do you think you can manage that? (I’m not actually a qualified doctor, but I find that people seem happy with my advice).

  6. Sorry you and Jackie still aren’t well Derrick. What a great shot from 87? A bit different from your doppelgänger! Please give us all a reminder when the exhibition moves to Southampton Art Gallery – I would love to see it.

  7. Not doing things sometimes is a good thing, right?
    A day off is good for body and mind. I hope you both will be better soon.
    Kisses for both of you <3

  8. I like your doppelgänger, Derrick! 🙂 The things you didn’t do can wait or just miss you!
    Hope the relapse will be short and you are both on the men’s at this time. So sorry at my delayed catching up, Derrick. Hello to the chief, cook and gardener! 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.