I’m glad the rain does not raineth every day..

EPSON scanner image

…but I stifled a cry of pleasure as I awoke to the welcome drumbeat of heavy rain which sounded like a heavenly annunciation that I would not be spending my day, as a latter day Sisyphus, endlessly filling and emptying a wheelbarrow with sand and cement. So now, I sit as a stranger at my keyboard, regularly casting nervous looks over my shoulder to confirm that the blessed rain, as seen through my office window, shows no sign of abating. In a comparatively short time I have been conditioned away from writing, cooking and, above all, taking pictures. My back aches less and my fingers are beginning to articulate without pain. How quickly we adapt. Maybe this only comes with age as I have distinct memories of my first efforts at being a “labourer” in the early 60’s. I had not long left boarding school and, although equipped with a rounded education, was not worldly wise. As was the tradition in those heady days I had “left home” and was living in a depressing “bed sit”. Earning money has never been my forte but an effort had to be made to pay for my new found liberty and I duly presented myself at Hampton Court Municipal Water Works where I had been told that there were openings for “labourers”. Not having any conception of what “labouring” entailed the first day’s work came as a surprise. One lasting memory entails unloading a lorry of bags of cement. I had no idea what cement was, let alone how much it weighed, so I happily joined the line of men waiting to be given a bag of cement from the lorry. It didn’t seem too taxing a job, from a distance, as the man on the lorry easily lifted a bag of cement and placed it on the shoulder of the waiting man who then strolled off chatting affably to his mates about fucking this and that as everyfuckingthing was somefuckingthing, but this lingua franca was new to me at the time. And then it was my turn and I smiled up at the man on the lorry who smiled back at me whilst putting a bag on my shoulder that was apparently filled with lead weights. My knees buckled and I was immediately much shorter. I was on my knees. I was fucked. I was fired. I do remember that labourers had good breakfasts as I spent my wages on one such “fry up” as I  joyfully returned to the liberty of my depressing “bed sit” to listen to a man called Bob Dylan who had just made a record that celebrated being a “rolling stone” which seemed to be a pretty good career choice and which I felt needed looking into.

English breakfast Cropped copy

About Food,Photography & France

Photographer and film maker living in France. After a long career in London, my wife and I have settled in the Vendee, where we run residential digital photography courses with a strong gastronomic flavour.
This entry was posted in 2015, Art photography, Breakfast, Childhood memories, Digital photography, Eggs, Emotion, food, Food and Photography, Food photographer, Fried eggs, Humour, lifestyle, Memory, Photographic Prints, Photography, Uncategorized, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

56 Responses to I’m glad the rain does not raineth every day..

  1. lyndaadling says:

    Remember having those days when we lived in Spain except for the cement carrying bit 🙂 Back in the uk now. Enjoy your weekend

  2. Misky says:

    My first job was secretary for an honorary Belgium Consulate. In a town where no one knew where Belgium was. The man was a misery. A Poirot sort of man.

    Good morning, Roger. It’s spitting rain here, too, which does no one and the garden any good. >

  3. ardysez says:

    We have one gorgeous, sunny day after another here. No brag, just fact. I love a good rainy day, just for the relief it provides from the gorgeousness. 🙂

  4. I love a good “fry up,” it’s morning here in the States and and my taste buds cry out for one like that pictured above. I too would skip the beans and mushrooms, they just take up space where another egg could snugly nestle.

  5. Vicki says:

    What superb light in these images.
    And the food/coffee looks totally delectable. Gosh, it must be about 25-30 years since I’ve had a ‘fry-up’.

  6. thomas peck says:

    My Dad tells a great story about his first job (at a brewery on the Thames) where the workers, all Irish, would discuss “fuckingthis” and “fuckingthat” and “fuckingeverything”. He also notes that everyday the first barrel off the line was always opened so the men had a constant supply of beer. At lunchtime, they all went to the pub. Of course.

  7. The coffee and breakfast look absolutely fantastic and exactly to my taste. However, I am afraid that if one is going to eat like that, one has to engage in the kind of labor you described.

    Boy, it sure rang a bell with me. I was in high school and got a job driving a truck and doing odd jobs for a construction supply company. My wake-up came when my boss told me to take the truck and off load that railroad car filled with bags of cement……..

  8. Glad the rain gave you a break from your labor so you were able to share this “fry up” story. I had to chuckle though when I read you were fired. Sorry. I love the little 1/2 tomato and three mushroom slices sitting in your pan…

  9. Good looking fryup and a cracking story as always.
    I said it before and I’ll say it again – fuck cement 🙂

  10. Eha says:

    OK: first task for a busy day – figure out the conversation twixt you and Mad . . . well, it won’t be the first time but laughter attendant does make it worth while 🙂 !

  11. Somehow I really relate to your experience , when you knees go down lifting that weight, except in my young life back in Germany it was tons of books I had to schlepp, as a professional book seller. Quickly I moved to a management position, but the weight of books didn’t lighter, instead now as I am aging my body let’s me know what I did to it in the past. Later on becoming a professional photographer after immigrating to the U.S.A, the pain moved up to my wrists and shoulders. But ” je nais regret plu vue…..?????Short on my French, as I just started to listen Edith Piaf’s old songs, to freshen up my French and old memories. But hey always up to a scrumptious breakfast like, without sausage please.

  12. Note to self: It is always a mistake to read your posts at midnight. I shall now go to bed hungry.

  13. You keep teasing us with mouth watering pictures of the perfect fry up. I have to admit, I’m glad today is threatening rain which means a quiet day to putter about. The sun will be out soon enough for the gardening. 🙂

  14. My first time of lugging bags of cement around was but a few years ago as I was rapidly approaching 50 – I almost wish I’d had a bit of practice earlier as it was a huge shock to my worn out old body 😦 Mind you, we did have a few fry ups over the course of the renovations!

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  16. platedujour says:

    I got my first job when I was about 14. It was a huge greenhouse and we were picking the tomatoes! 6 months after I still had nightmares and couldn’t eat tomatoes- I already knew how to make them red so no thank you…beautiful picture of your morning coffee☺

  17. Sally says:

    Those bedsit days … so full of hope… so glad I’m not in one now. Have an Elizabethan sonnet running round my head now. You cannot imagine how exciting the rare sound of heavy rain is here in Dubai. Great fry up.

  18. catterel says:

    That coffee photo was irresistible, pulled me in – and your “full English” has me feeling full just looking at it. Sure I’ve gained 6 inches round the middle (can’t call it a waist any more) just drooling over these. Thanks!

  19. Beautiful photo, great story with your special humor and outlook on life. Just saw Bob Dylan here in Nashville two nights ago! The first time was in 1964! …like a Rolling Stone…indeed!

  20. Looks delicious! Please visit my blog https://enjoybypaula.wordpress.com 💚💚💚💚💚💚💚

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