Thursday, August 17, 2006

Fond Memories from a Nephew and God-Son

When my mother, Vi, was 16, she took time off school to look after her newly born baby brother David. So I guess it was fitting that when I was born, David should be my god-father. I really loved David - and still do. He used to come and visit on my birthday every year, and transform the house with his anecdotes and laughter. We'd sit up talking until way past my bed-time, and then David would stay up much later still, reading novel after novel and eating the box of chocolates Mum & Dad always gave him. The following morning he'd get up late. I'd be eagerly waiting, because when David was there we could have a cooked breakfast! (But no Laver-bread - that had to wait until going to one of David's famous Welsh Breakfasts many years later)

Daivd would give me presents on my birthday - one that sticks in my memory is a candle-making kit he could ill afford. As a young adult he gave me a couple of his photographs, one of Dorothea and one of arches and windows at night in Venice. Photography was his greatest gift to me - I remember visiting him in his flat in London for the first time, sitting and looking through his book of Dorothea Quarry photographs, and being amazed. I've never followed his exhortation to buy a medium format camera, but I remember his tips on holding the camera steady. He's somehow there every time I press the shutter.


Andrew Leng said...

I found your reference to the photos your grandfather took of Dorothea quarry. I am aware of the two photos of the quarry in the Goverment collection but was not aware that these were the tip of the iceberg. Is their anywhere that your uncles photos of dorothea can be viewed. I ask as I have a particular interest in the history of the quarry

Shakya said...

Hi Andrew, good to hear from you. Its not at all easy for you to view the photos - but if you email me shakyakumara at googlemail dot com I'll see if I can help, Cheers Shakya

Roy Marriott said...

Hi Andrew, I'm delighted to say that the National Museum of Wales have acquired David's Dorothea Quarry exhibition. They've promised me that it will form part of an exhibition at the Museum at some stage, but I've not heard anything about when.