This week, my Sepia Saturday offering might seem a little out of the ordinary. Not a person in sight. No visible family member, no ancestor posing for the camera. Just a snap of a garden path, lined with trees. And not a particularly good snap, either.
I have other photographs of this scene, sharper, in colour and taken at a time when the flower borders were better developed, more vibrant. However, this little snap takes me where no others can.
The hedge to the left is laurel. My maternal grandparent's house was called
I can't look at this path without the memories coming back. I remember when it was laid, in concrete, from the conservatory door to the well. In fact, you can just make out the housing for the water pump, at the far end of the path.
I see my grandmother walking along its length, with a waddle caused by her arthritic hip. I can feel the newness of the surface under the soles of my child-sized shoes.
There was an incident that occurred on that strip of grass, between the apple trees and the laurel hedge, on the left. As a small boy, I trod on a garden rake that I hadn't noticed. The handle came up and struck me, soundly, on the forehead, and I let forth with all the mysterious words I knew adults used in moments of crisis or shock. It was my secret, or so I thought. Only years later, did my grandmother's elderly neighbour, Mrs Cooper, confess that she'd heard my outburst, as she had been working in her garden on the other side of the hedge. She had wanted to ask me if I was alright but, was so doubled up with stifled laughter, it was impossible to call to me.
My grandfather was proud of his old apple trees. Beauty of Bath and Worcester Pearmains to the left. Russets (his particular favourite - and mine) to the right. He learned how to graft, and eventually had a number of trees bearing two or three different types of apple.
There were other paths. They skirted around the greenhouse, the potting shed, the orchards and various plots and, they, like the lawns, were all neatly mown.
How many times did I walk this path? Called for tea by the warmth of the fire. Plodding along after feeding the chickens. Casually strolling with an apple in hand.
Yes, a simple and, on the face of it, a fairly nondescript snap. But, when allowed to tell a story, it becomes a treasured slice of my life.