Garden Photography Challenge : Winter…

Jude of “ the earth laughs in flowers” is challenging us each week to submit garden themed photos and for January the theme is “winter”. For those living in the Northern Hemisphere that is not a problem, they are enveloped in a wet, white world of snow, sleet and constant rain. But down under in a sun blessed country, when the seasons all blend into each other, with not a snow flake in sight, to find some wintry photos I have to dig past the archives of technology and into the dim past of my archaic photo albums, that old style receptacle of memories of a long ago era. I lift them out of the dark, dusty cupboard in the corner of the garage, bringing them back into the light of day. 

Those yellowing photos bring the memories flooding back. I am transported back 25 years to England, the country of my birth, that I left in 1961 as a naïve 19-year-old. In 1990 I am back to spend a year here. I find a dream job as housekeeper for Douglas Bunn the famous creator and master of the International Hickstead Show Jumping Arena in Sussex. I thumb through the albums lost in time, remembering the people I worked with, the many international show jumpers and TV, media and show business celebrities that attended the parties and stayed as guests. I lived there through the 4 seasons and the winter of 1991 was spectacular.


This is a news paper cutting I had pasted into my album. It is January 1991. But out in the country side the snow is a beautiful sight, coating the world in mystical white.


It was my first experience of a white winter in 30 years.


I lived in a 2 bedroom cottage behind the main house. Hickstead House was a magnificent mansion that was a monastery in the days of Henry VIII.

This is the view from the front door of my cosy cottage.

I thoroughly enjoyed my time in the UK, but after a year I was ready to come home to New Zealand, where I was living in 1991.

The winter spent in UK was an interesting experience, but I would not like to be there every year in those conditions.


Thanks Jude for giving me a reason to go back through my photo albums. Now to see more present day winter conditions head over to Jude’s post.


Categories: garden photography challenge, Hickstead Place, memories, photography, winter | Tags: , , , | 27 Comments

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27 thoughts on “Garden Photography Challenge : Winter…

  1. What a life you’ve led – as I think I say often!

    • I don’t look at the photo albums very often so it was a good exercise going through them and the photos are in reasonable condition.

  2. I don’t blame you for now wanting to be in this weather. We had 36 inches of snow in a day and half of a continual storm. I know other places get more but they can have it!

  3. How cool to see this after you and I were just chatting about some of the old archival stuff we have! And it seems you have been the photographer for quite some time- love the before and after shots – and looks like 91 was a fun year-

  4. That must have been an interesting year after being away for thirty. I love the before an dafter pics and don’t worry we rarely get much real snow!

    • When I was there they told me it was the first time in years they had a white Christmas. We had fun building snowmen…

  5. We don’t have many winters like that today PP, but I remember that kind of snow as I was living in Yorkshire then and travelling to Sheffield which always got a lot of snow! Driving to work in a blizzard was not a whole lot of fun on one New Year’s Eve! But the kids had fun with building snowmen and snowball fights, I can almost smell those wet woollen mittens drying on the radiators! You have a wonderful past Pauline, so many memories. I really think you need to start sharing more of them and I am thrilled that the challenge motivated you into digging out those albums 😀

    • Climates have definitely changed over the years and I shudder to think what is in store for us in the next decade or 2,after that I don’t think I will be around to worry about it…

      • Seeing the news about the Trump madness in the USA and the migrant crisis in Europe and ISIS in Afghanistan and Putin in charge in Russia makes me shudder as to what kind of a world we are creating. Very worrying times.

        • But before all this it was the “commies” and the reds under the bed, and before that it was the world wars and before that……… Will we ever have a “perfect” world? I don’t think so…

          • You are probably right, I just feel that during the previous 20 odd years life was looking a bit more settled for everyone, but perhaps I didn’t have the time then to mull over things.

            • I do think the media also exaggerate, making things, in some cases, worse than they are. Many parts of the world are just getting on with life quite optimistically…

  6. Fascinating story! I don’t remember that year being bad, but maybe it wasn’t in Scotland. Our weather isn’t always worse! I remember bad ones in the late 80s which prompted a decision to change jobs and work nearer to home, which I did in 1990.

  7. Heavens, Pauline! That was a shock to the system! No wonder you don’t want to come back 🙂

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