A Sneaky Weekend

ScoobyA photograph of a very guilty looking Jack Russell cross of some sort arrived in my mailbox late last night.  It seems he has been named and shamed, having been a sneaky little Scooby.  Like all canine creatures he is capable of guilt, but only when caught, and a minor reprimand will not suffice to prevent him from repeating the misdemeanour.  I just thought I would extend the publicity his owner clearly sought to warn others who may wish to hang onto their confectionery.   I imagine if he could talk he would be sent along to Bagdelvers Anonymous with a prepared script.

Whilst awaiting the call to inform us that the car was ready, I spent some time arranging for the removal of the last of my belongings from Sutherland Place.  Andy, who moved us from Morden on 12th November last year (click here to see post), will empty the flat and move the furniture to Graham Road in Wimbledon and the books to Castle Malwood Lodge.  Jackie, much better today, began the mammoth task of cataloguing the cards for The Firs Studio, which opens on Saturday.

Early this afternoon we travelled by cab to Ringwood, collected the car, did some shopping, and had fry-ups in Bistro Aroma.

Derrick and Dad

In the early summer of 1943, my Dad may have been on official leave from the army, in which he spent the war years and a couple more.  It is he in whose arms I seem to be struggling in photo number 25 of the ‘through the ages’ series.  Mum, who was there at the time, assures me that I knew Dad well and was fond of him, so I must just have been distracted as the picture was  being taken by my maternal grandfather.  It is not every child of those years who had the opportunity to form a relationship with his father.  I will always be grateful for that, and for the efforts my parents went to to nurture it.

Grandpa Hunter not only held the camera, but he developed the film and printed the shot in a complicated darkroom process.  This of course was long before four year olds like Malachi, his great-great-grandson, who has his own WordPress blog, could take a colour photo with a mobile phone, download it, and post it around the world on the very same day.

My parents met when Dad was billeted next door to Mum’s family in Leicester where they occupied tied housing that went with Grandpa’s job as an engineer for the prison service.  It is in the garden of this house that the photograph was taken.

I could only guess at my age and in which of my grandparents’ gardens we were posed.  I relied on my mother for clarification.  Despite the shoes I was, at less than one year old, not yet walking.  This dates the picture.

In the first paragraph of this section of today’s post I say that Dad ‘may have been on official leave…’.  He may also have been what the authorities would have called AWOL (Absent Without Leave).  Mum tells me he took every opportunity when in England to get home to Mum and me and, later, Chris.  This involved nipping off for what she calls ‘a sneaky weekend’.  Apparently he found all kinds of means to do this, often involving the railway services.  On one occasion when he couldn’t find any sort of train he walked all through the night from ‘somewhere in Yorkshire’ to Leicester for the pleasure.  Dad himself has told me about marathon nocturnal walks to Leicester.

Mum’s part in the subterfuge was to keep a lookout for redcaps, as were termed the military police, one of whom was her elder brother Ben.  I do hope he isn’t reading this.

I like to imagine that  photograph number 25 was made possible by ‘a sneaky weekend’.

Early this evening we made another card which cannot be shown at the moment, since it is for a special birthday.

Sainsbury’s vegetable samosas supplemented Jackie’s tandoori chicken and special fried rice.  I finished the Roce des Chevaliers, and Jackie drank Blue Moon which is an American version of Hoegaarden.

16 responses to “A Sneaky Weekend”

  1. […] I have today become Facebook friends with my cousin Yvonne Burgess whom I have not met since we were small children. From Spain, where she now lives, she sent me a photograph of her parents’ wedding, taken some time around 1940, coincidentally the possible date of the Statuesque Beauty picture.  My mother is the standing bridesmaid, and my maternal grandparents are on the left, Grandpa Hunter stands behind my seated Grandma. Uncle Ben was a Military Policeman during the war, so Dad had to be very circumspect when he went AWOL whilst courting Mum. […]

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