|Winter Refit - James Dodds|
Two summers ago, The Curate and I wanted some art work that reminded us of the River Blackwater in Essex (in the south east England)- where we originally met. We searched the art galleries in Maldon and we could not agree on any one piece - until I spotted a few frames turned against the wall. They were waiting to be hung and I asked if I could look at them. Immediately we recognised the location in 'Winter Refit' as being a very familiar old haunt on the River Blackwater. There is was - the picture chose us!
On researching the artist, it appears that James Dodds served his time in the shipwright's trade in a yard where they refitted and rebuilt the huge wooden sailing barges that were familiar to the River Blackwater. Then I remembered my mother had given us a copy of 'The Shipwright's Trade' by Rudyard Kipling and illustrated with wood and linocuts by James Dodds. I looked at it again and discovered that the foreword is written by The Curate's old form teacher.
|The Curate's Study|
Last Sunday, I accompanied The Curate to two churches in our rural parishes. As I sat in the pew in the second church, a lady joined me and we started to talk. It turned out that she too, had grown up in the same village as The Curate and she had gone to the same school. This time, the lady had left in the mid 50s - a little before The Curate was born.
One teacher was a common link for both these ladies and The Curate. One particular teacher had begun his career when the lady from the North Coast went to Maldon Grammar and he retired while The Curate was still at school. These unexpected coincidences are a gift to us, as they have helped both The Curate and myself get to know new people in new places and those people get to know us.