Back in prehistoric times when the world relied upon snail mail, we developed overseas friendships by correspondence. Before computers, email, etc we actually wrote letters by hand; addressed an envelope and stuck stamps on it to communicate, yes I am a relic. My Uncle Dick, an interesting character in himself so more about him later, returned to UK after Maude won the lottery. They returned with a penfriend for me, a young girl also about 8 yo.
So we started a correspondence that eventually culminated in a meeting when I arrived in UK. Meanwhile she had married Gary a concert pianist and lived in Southampton, some small distance from her home village of Leigh-on-sea. Due to Kerry’s epilepsy, frequent grand mal seizures, Gary had become a music teacher from home and they had both become keen photographers and bird watchers.
They had won quite a few national and also international competitions. This was well before digital cameras and the majority of their prizes included updated photography gear … better cameras, lens, tripods, printing paper, etc. They had their own darkroom to develop their films and thus inspired me to try a bit harder.
Needless to say as their fame rose they got more requests and we enjoyed some joint adventures writing up the steam trains of Wales. Which included climbing Mount Cader Idris, and plenty of bird watching. Being photogenic, I quickly became their photographic model for hairdressing and millinery advertising. No payment as they really needed the funds to keep his family home running.
We had a great time together and the friendship was cemented. She was one of five children from a very talented family. Growing up by the sea they were all keen sailors. Her elder sister did a lot a sailing in the tall ships. Her father in the tiny sailboats and her twin brothers competed in the wind surfing competitions in dry suits … a completely new phenomena for an aussie.
Walking beside the river one day I spotted a serene scene of a cockle man carrying the baskets across his shoulders. I called K to look and soon after she took me to her father’s current art exhibition. He was a well-known local artist in watercolours and there was the ‘picture’ I’d spotted. He’d apparently painted it from K’s photo … so all three of us had been drawn to this ‘typical’ photo of their home village. I gifted his artwork to my parents.
Salutations and respect to Thich Nhat Hanh, a fascinating writer, meditator, a truly enlightened man … you made our world a better place!
Between the Tonga explosion and high seas my beach walks have been fascinating … masses of sea foam right up the entire 3km of beach. Most of it knee-high but some waist high, with a width of 1-3 metres … looked amazing. Plus plenty of coconuts in their husks from Tonga no doubt; loads of shells rocks and squeegies with heavy rain and wild winds. Been getting a good workout and there is nobody about when the weather is wild … maybe a few surfers daring to catch the huge waves.