|Karen, David, Kim and Silas|
|Me, Sue, dogs and Karen|
Reminiscing is something we do now and then, and the towns of Essex brought back memories of old friends. My daughter was born in Epping, and so is a true 'Essex' girl, but her father was killed in a road accident when she was three, so there we were, a single parent family, so these photos are for her, a quick look back into the past.
Above is the old mill house that belonged to my friend Sue and her husband Michael, who also restored pictures. Polaroid dissolves so quickly, so that perhaps capturing this in the medium of the computer is the only way to record the moment. Memories fade fast, when Sue lived in London, we would go up for a couple of days and stay at her flat and sleep next to large paintings in need of restoration, a somewhat frightening experience.
Then she married Michael and they rented this folly mill which belonged to Rousham House in Oxford. A Xmas visit brings back memories of the enormous tree in the tower part of the mill, the salmon covered in cucumber scales in its kettle, and the boxes of avocados and tangerines. Her brother John would come down as well and fish for the native crayfish in the river Cherwell at the bottom of the garden.
I can see Karen standing like a little Victorian child in the doorway, three dogs scamper around, my old labrador Kim, David's Silas and Sue's dog.
I had met the Hammerbeck's as they were then in Dunmow, their mother Lois had a small antique shop in the town, and a cottage in a village outside Chipping Ongar. We were to live for a time in this village in an old freezing cold cottage, me still working for my grandfather in Dunmow, driving home at lunchtime, not for lunch but to walk Kim and stoke the rayburn which was very temperamental, and often gave me ashma as it belched out foul fumes.
The photos look like Victorian ones, but must be about 37 years old, and you can see why polaroid never took on, apparently they tried to reduce the chemicals, remember the time when we took our kodak film to the chemist for printing out.
|It looks better nowadays, a Cotswold cottage pretending to be a folly.|