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Friday, 29 May 2015

Missing my Sepia Saturdays

I'm away on holiday and haven't got access to my photo collection, but I'm missing the discipline of weekly blogging, so thought I would flick through the years of photos saved on google+ and see if I had anything to contribute to this week's kitchen - based theme. The workroom of a kitchen isn't really a place we normally take photographs,  but I did manage to find a few kitchen related non-sepian shots that you might enjoy.

The photo above and the next two were taken on a visit to Hampton Court Palace a few years ago, and show the basic but naturally large, well-equipped and working palace kitchens. Those are real pork pies in the photo, that visitors could sample in the cafeteria. 

The next picture shows an old kitchen in the reconstructed village at Den Gamle By in Aarhus, Denmark, which we visited in 2011. Those big cast iron Aga type stoves were always the heart of the old kitchens. It's a fascinating museum of old buildings transplanted from around the countryside and collected together here. 

To 2002, and here you see into the galley style kitchen of the last house we owned in Sydney, complete with chef, dishing up dinner for the guests at our daughter's 22nd birthday party. It was 12 months after her 21st birthday, when she had been studying overseas, and was the one and only time we hired a catering service so that we could relax and enjoy the party too. The chef was probably not overly impressed with the kitchen facilities, but at least it did include a double oven, and I think most of the dishes had been pre-prepared.

You don't often take photos of the leftovers, but these two photos above and below are a little bit different, because they're not real leftovers - all the food scraps and everything on the table bar the plates and glasses is made out of icing sugar! You can watch an interesting video clip about this 2013 exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria and the ladies who created it here:

Our son Strahan looked the part in the professional kitchen while taking a cooking unit as part of his business degree in Hotel Management, but unfortunately he didn't go on to make a career out of it. 

Finally, here are my late mother Jean and Velella, one of her granddaughters, in my sister Louisa's kitchen in Kerikeri NZ, showing off their gingerbread creations for Christmas 2010. Jean always made gingerbread for Christmas, but it didn't always look quite so fancy.

That's it from me, but for more photos of classic kitchens and tasty treats, check out Sepia Saturday # 281 at

Thursday, 7 May 2015

Found behind the Mantlepiece

Damaged photographs are the subject for this week. The following two examples from my collection were discovered behind the mantelpiece in a bedroom of my grandparents' former home in Christchurch NZ, when some new owners were preparing to do some renovations.  Jack Morrison built the family home at 2 Aylmer Street in about 1925 and he and his wife Mona brought up a family of six children there. They both passed away in the 1970s and since then ownership of the house has changed several times. A couple of years ago I happened to notice that it had been on the market again, and I thought the buyers might like to know a little about the history of the house and its first occupants, so I contacted the agent, who said she would pass on my details. The new owners were interested and we exchanged several emails and photographs. When these two photographs were found, they kindly posted them over to me, and my mother Jean was immediately able identify the child on the right as her younger brother Derek, who was born on 15 March 1929 and passed away in Wanganui NZ, shortly before his 76th birthday in 2005. The photograph is not is bad condition, considering that it had lain hidden where it fell for at least forty years and possibly much longer. Young Derek grew up, married and became a father of three and grandfather of five. I haven't tried to photoshop the photo, but have forwarded copies on to Derek's daughters, so they could do so if they wished. Sadly he didn't see very much of them in his later years, as he and his wife were no longer together and she and the girls had all moved to Australia.

 The photograph on the left is is very good condition, and is of a little boy called Keith, according to the inscription on the back of its folder : "Kind Regards. Keith aged 19 months". Apparently Keith was the son of  a friend of my grandmother Mona Morrison, but that is all I know about him.

Young Derek has featured in a few of my blogs on the Morrison family, and I think have shown this picture before somewhere, but it is one of my favourite photos, showing him playing cricket in the garden at Aylmer St with his older siblings on Christmas Day, 1932.  For more about the family home at 2 Aylmer St, click here.

Here are Derek and Jean together  in Wellington NZ in 2002, which was probably the last time they saw each other. To see another nice photograph of Derek with his older sister Pat, click here.

One more damaged photograph comes to mind here. It is of my great great grandfather Charles Young, 1818 - 1898, and was found languishing in my aunt's garage after she passed away in 2011. It was printed on what I would describes as a large glass plate, which was cracked in several places and was threatening to fall apart if moved. It could not be glued together effectively, so something needed to be done to save or preserve the original image. The husband of  a distantly related cousin in New Zealand who works in digital design very kindly offered to fix it up for me. All I had to do was email him a photograph of the original plate in large format and you can judge the result for yourselves from the before and after shots.   Charles in all his original glory is now framed and hanging proudly on the wall beside his wife Jane, as you can see here from an earlier post. Thankfully Jane's original matching photograph was not printed on a matching glass plate.  Thank you once again, Kim and Zane Fletcher-Purdom, from Rangiora NZ!

Charles Young on the original glass plate

Charles Young, 1818-1898, after digital restoration

More blogs on photos in less than perfect condition can be examined at Sepia Saturday #278.