This slightly out-of-focus photograph of my maternal grandfather, Asher James Gregory, is one of my favourite images of him.
The grandfather clock was working then, and as the time was almost 10.15, Asher had probably just finished a cup of tea, before returning to whatever he had been doing outside. Our daughter has the clock now and, even though the hands have long since stopped, I can't help hearing the slow, regular swing of the pendulum, in my memory.
The table that's showing off one corner is now in our home. There is history to it. My mother used to sleep under it during the war. We have sat around it, as a family, for countless meals and celebrations. Now, my granddaughters sit around it when they visit, and the eldest - Speckly Woo! - draws her world in coloured crayons on it, just the way I did.
The room Asher is standing in, is the dining room. Although, it was always referred to as the 'kitchen'. The room adjoining, is the kitchen but, always referred to as the 'scullery'. Out of shot, in the top right hand corner of the scullery, sat a holding tank, full of spring water, pumped up to the house from a well in the garden. When I look at this picture, I can taste the sweetness of that water.
It looks as though Asher is ready to leave now. He's about to put his jacket on.
As I sit here, watching him, I know the exact smells, sounds and peaceful surroundings he's experiencing in this captured moment. The timeless magic of treasured family photographs.
© 2010, copyright Martin T. Hodges