Tag Archives: memory

Backwards glancing…

When we look backwards what do we see? Times gone past. Childhood. Memories bubble up. Rocking back and forth. Here and now, then and gone. We wind our way, on, on. Seize the day! Make it pay! Squeeze the essence and live every moment. So our mind’s eye can see and not forget…


Memories of childhood

A long glance backwards


The winding path

The winding path


Making memories

Making memories





Angels everywhere, literally….

OK, I know this is a bit weird, but I’ve spent the afternoon in a Victorian cemetery. Abney Park in Stoke Newington to be precise. It was a photography course, and I had in mind to make some moody, gothic, black and white pictures. But the light was soft, the colours gently autumnal, so I ditched the B&W, and let the colours shine. It all became rather uplifting…

No straight verticals here.

This is a very Victorian place, and of course the Victorians would definitely have come here to walk about as in a modern day ‘park’. Not a convention we follow today. But not a bad one to do once in a while. Momento mori and all that.

Soft and hard

Leaning on each other for strength

What on earth could be uplifting in such a place you may wonder? Well, the faint memories that linger here are sad, but positive. The greening words on the stones are about love and remembrance, fondness and farewell. And the care that went into the preparation of these stones… Just look at the fonts and the scripts …

We remember you

We love you

Beloved Mary

Never forget you

Joseph, too young


In the middle of the Park is a ruined Church. It has a modern sculpture placed in the middle, a simile for the feelings that inhabit such a place.

And because this is Victoriana, we have angels everywhere. Guardians maybe…? actually no. Bringers of peace and soft love represented by hard stone . How wonderful is that.

Young angel

Soft stone

Ivy necklace

Aha! a classic guardian

The last picture, slightly Hardy-esque. A beautiful name, beautiful weathered stone. Someone has tidied this stone relatively recently, so Angel can be remembered again…

I saw an angel in the garden

If you look very carefully, in the background, hiding amongst the grasses, you can see an angel, hovering in the garden at my parents’s house.

A guardian angel

Why would an angel live in the garden at my parents’ house? Because she was invited to, of course, out of generosity and charity when a helping hand was needed. And now she lives in gentle repose, watching quietly. Is this not what gardens are for?

A place for relaxation and togetherness. Occasionally we still whack the tennis/cricket ball about, but more so we chat and spend time together.

The garden has become more magical with time. Strange mystical creatures flutter here and there.


My daughter adds her own personal belongings, echoing the loved toys of kids that have gone before. Tibby here, now very clearly a dog, was called Ollie 30 years ago, when he was an elephant. Poignant repetition.

Ollie and Tibby, kids then and now. Such thoughts keep us warm.

holding hands

And amongst it all is the angel, watching and smiling over us.

A garden Guardian, fleeting and beautiful

Beethoven catapults me through time…

I went to my daughter’s school concert this week. The Chigwell Junior School concert in St Mary’s Church. A beautiful setting, an hour’s worth of music by the 8-13 year olds. I thought it was going to be light and frothy: indulgent parents and over-eager kids. But then it turned into something else. I was catapulted into my own past, and because I wasn’t ready, it was quite a shock.

How I best remember my Mum

One of the girls did a piano solo: Beethoven’s Sonata No 2 – the Moonlight Sonata. I was thrown back 30 years or more, to when my Mum used to take me to piano lessons, and I used to hack my way through the same piece.

But the power of the memory! The details – piano (the wonderful Boesendorfer), teacher (Mrs Johnstone – very patient, long slim fingers, very cool dry touch), my Mum marking school papers whilst I did the lesson next door.

Parental dedication and time: The weekly lesson at St John’s College in York, Mum ferrying me and my brother back and forth. We used to finish at 5.30, and listen to Just A Minute with Kenneth Williams on the way home. Shared laughter. Shared time.

Younger days

On her wedding day

Deep inside I’m sure that my Mum must remember these times too. I will ask her next time I see her, try to bring our shared memories back up to the surface. I should play her the Beethoven piece, although probably not on the piano…


And then the young girl finishes the piece at the concert, and I snap back to the present. Nothing light and frothy about that, she played it beautifully. Way back then, if memory serves me right, I did not… But I do have the memory, and for that I thank my mother and her dedication.