A Near Miss


Although the temperature was a little more than zero degrees today, it was cold and blustery so it seemed appropriate that I had an appointment at the Lyndhurst GPs’ ‘freezing’, or cryo- clinic today.  The purpose of this was to persuade another skin blemish to depart from my left shoulder.

After a hasty drive to Totton’s Lidl and a mad dash round the shop for weekend provisions, we still arrived back at Minstead without allowing me quite enough time to walk to the surgery.  Jackie therefore drove me to Forest Road’s crossing with the Newtown and Acres Down roads, and I walked from there.  She collected me after the cryosurgery.  I was in and out in ten minutes.

Along Forest Road we learned a new road warning signal.  An oncoming driver flashed headlights at us.  Jackie instinctively knew what she was being told, which was fortuitous because around the next bend a good dozen ponies straggled across our path.  They required a bit of weaving through.  The morning’s rain held off for my walk, but began again after we returned home.

Bluebells and dandelions

On this grey day bluebells brightened the verges leading to Lyndhurst; and the  kitchen garden Jackie has now finished planting up, sparkled.Jackie's kitchen gardenShrubbery  Even in the rain the shrubbery that has now bloomed for us to view from our living room is an attractive sight.

Photograph number 17 in ‘Derrick through the ages’ was taken by Elizabeth on 24th August 2007. Derrick 24.8.2007 Hopefully not quite the biter bit, this is more accurately the photographer photographed.  This was the day James Arondelle’s parents got married. Although rather less important than their son, born a comfortable time later, the bride and groom were my niece Fiona and her husband Paul.  My post of 20th March tells of how I am sometimes roped in to photograph family weddings.  One such occasion was the wedding of these two.  Elizabeth wanted to make sure I featured in a few pictures. This one looks as if I might be pondering about something.

The above mentioned post also describes how it is possible to have a disaster on such an occasion.  It was just a week after Fiona and Paul’s big day that I photographed the Notting Hill Carnival.Notting Hill Carnival 07 (8 - Version 2 Notting Hill Carnival 07 19 This was in my pre-digital camera days.  On the first roll of the film I took of that famous regular event in West London are some of my favourite photographs.  Something went wrong with the shutter during the exposure of the second roll.  I only captured half of each frame, and the camera was irreparable.  I was sorry to lose the carnival pictures, but think of how much worse it could have been had the camera not held out for another week.  In fact I only discovered the problem after I finished that particular film in Australia, after Sam and Holly’s wedding, but they had had a professional doing the job, so all was well covered.

A postscript to this is that on that August bank holiday it was absolutely freezing.  As cold as any days we have suffered lately.  Sunny and bright enough for photogenic shadows, but teeth chattering and goose pimply for anyone, like me, who had turned up early enough to bag a place at the barriers three hours before the action started.  Eventually, I remember, my bladder got the better of me and I had to nip home for a pee.  Then of course I couldn’t regain my place, so I concentrated on photographing the crowds rather than the dancers and their floats.  It is those crowd shots that I lost.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s chicken curry and savoury rice.  Brilliant.  I finished the Carta Roja.  Brilliant.


4 responses to “A Near Miss”

  1. […] I have been asked for two submissions for the Christmas Exhibition, and have offered a choice of three on which my sister and I worked today. The small picture of Michael and his Teddy Bear originally used in my post of ‘Transitional Objects‘ was taken in July 1967. An A3+ print of a maple leaf carpet is from a photo taken at Exbury Gardens and featured on 12th November 2013. One I have not used before has been made from about one third of a colour slide taken at the Notting Hill Carnival in August 2007. Why I was very lucky to have taken this shot is described in ‘A Near Miss’. […]

  2. […] ‘When I lived in Sutherland Place until just four years ago it was our gardens that were used as public conveniences, but Westminster council did a good clear up job. I thought the carnival had had its day then, largely because there were far too many people crowded into the small locality. If I left my flat and went through barriers to the shops in Westbourne Grove, I had to prove where I lived to get back again. The police then had much happier expressions than those anxious ones you photographed, Alex.  Most of the residents of our street disappeared for the whole holiday weekend. What was to admire was the efforts that went into the marvellous floats, although the volume of the music was literally painful to the ears’. Reports on this year’s event were very different to that I experienced in 2008 when, by the skin of my teeth, I produced one of my favourite sets of images. […]

  3. The Notting Hill carnival sounds like an exciting event, Derrick. The cold temperatures would be disconcerting here, if they occurred in August! I enjoyed this post. . . ~Robin

    • Many thanks, Robin. Unfortunately it has outgrown the tiny streets in which it takes place. A few years ago there was a move to transfer it to Hyde Park, which would have ruined the streets element, so they still pack ’em all in

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