Welcome to my blog, where I take pleasure in words and pictures, be they my own or those of others. I'm a creative individual, and the crafty side I explore on my 'other blog', Picking Up The Threads, which I hope you'll visit too. I'm sure you understand that I have sole copyright of my original work and any of my contributions, so please ask if you want to use them. A polite request is rarely refused. So, as they used to say on the BBC's 'Listen With Mother' radio programme, many years ago: "Are you sitting comfortably? Then we'll begin."

Saturday, 5 July 2014

Sitting on the Fence



That’s my big brother on the right, sitting on the fence; a gate, to be precise, into a field surrounded by a fence. If we’re being pedantic though, Alan suggested a possible theme from today’s Sepia Saturday prompt picture could be children sitting on a fence. I think it’s a wall in the picture but that would have spoiled Alan’s clever political point so we’ll let it pass.


I don’t have any pictures of politicians at all. I’ve a few of local dignitaries; mayors, mayoresses, bishops and other 'movers and shakers’ (but not of hands); none interesting enough for Sepia Saturday. Anyway it’s my big brother’s BIG birthday; today he is 70 years old, and these days no-one could ever accuse him of sitting on the fence; he has very strong opinions and he’s always right. I’m being generous because it’s his birthday, but we have been known to fight like cat and dog since we were kids, and we still fall out quite regularly - but only for a few moments. The trouble is I have very strong opinions too, and of course I’m the one who is really right!

That photo would have  been taken by our Dad, who was great at posing us in unusual places or catching us in certain lights. He would have found it amusing to sit my brother and his little pal straddling their privates on a gate marked specifically for the purpose. Or perhaps we are meant to think they’re two naughty ‘scrumpers’ making for the orchard. They don’t look very comfortable, so I hope he didn’t keep them there too long. The other photos in the set reveal what they were really up to; it wasn’t apples but a fruit of a different kind. It looks to me like blackberries, foraged from the English hedgerows of which there were plenty back in the 1950s. I believe they were in fact rosehips, gathered to be made into rosehip syrup by the Delrosa company for whom my Dad worked.



Two little boys with jam jars showing off their pickings. Let’s hope this was at the beginning of their jaunt; not enough for a pie or jam-making there and it wouldn’t earn them many pennies from Delrosa either..


I bet it was a great little trip, though I wonder how long would it have been before these two got bored and wanted to do something more adventurous; in my brother’s case he’d have been itching to kick a football around with Dad. So, one last dangle from the gate then before heading home for tea.


Oh yes, and a fence is a great prop for a game of make-believe too.


He could have been channelling Roy Rogers; but perhaps not, didn’t Roy sing? I know Gary Cooper was a favourite, so perhaps that’s who it was.

Since he retired my brother has enjoyed being a magistrate sitting, not on the fence but, on the bench. Now he has to stand down from that too, as 70 is the statutory retirement age. He still enjoys acting, though not as a make-believe cowboy; he directs plays in the local amateur dramatic society. He still supports Nottingham Forest football team and attends the matches when he can. He will keep just as busy as before, perhaps spending more time chronicling our family history. I’ve often been indebted to him for providing the facts for my blog. We’ve a long way to go yet though and we need to keep him from under his wife’s feet, so let’s hope he gets on with it! He’s a keen photographer himself and takes very ‘arty’ pictures of the Spanish architecture he sees on his holidays, and then uploads them to Instagram for us all to admire and ‘like’, so that fills some more of his time. He’s a news-junkie, and we all know how that can kidnap time. As well as playing with his grandchildren, he makes sure our 93 year-old widowed Mum is OK. Who said “What will you do when you retire?” I’m sure I’ve missed some things off the list, but this was supposed to be a special birthday dedication post for my (very much older) brother, so........

 Happy Birthday ‘H’. Have a good one!

When you’ve all finished singing “Happy Birthday”, you may like to visit other Sepians to see whether they’re shaking hands/fists/throats, hob-nobbing with the political set, or climbing the wall. Catch them all here at Sepia Saturday.

13 comments:

  1. What a lovely toast to your big bro on his birthday. He sounds like a person with plenty of interests who will have a great retirement. I envy you having a sibling to collaborate with on your family history. Two heads are definitely better than one when it comes to memory as we age. Great photos!!

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  2. As far as I know magistrates are not known in the Dutch legal system, it certainly looks like an useful function.

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  3. A fine birthday salute. That last buckaroo snap is the best.

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  4. I always wished I had an older brother. My friend had an older brother in the service when we were around12 (don't remember which branch of the service, however) and I thought it was so romantic when he'd come home on leave to visit. Alas, I was the oldest child, so I had a younger brother. He turned out to be a pretty good brother, though!

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  5. I found myself singing, You;ll be sorry when you see me, swinging on our garden door Do you remember that song ? Great photos.

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  6. You made me smile with "very strong opinions and always right". Yes there are several in our family who you have also described!

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  7. Not so much Roy Rogers...perhaps Tex Ritter or Hopalong Cassidy...such a great photo! Happy Birthday, indeed!

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  8. I thought you said you were struggling with this prompt. Doesn't read like it. Wonderful birthday salute to your brother!

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  9. Love the Roy Rogers pose! Great outfit too.

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  10. Such a delightful collection of photos! I've fond memories of picking rosehips with mum - haven't tried the syrup for years, but know it would take me straight back. Happy Birthday to your busy bro :)

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  11. I hope your brother likes your tribute. I guess the word scrumpy as in very rough cider is connected to your word scrumper, which I hadn't heard of before.

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  12. Great lead in from your first photo to an interesting post about some of your family. Maybe you could get the big brother started on a blog of his own to share some of the family information.

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  13. Ohhhh, a buckaroo. That's quite fun!

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