Welcome to Breakfast in America

My photo journal is an eclectic mix of things; there’s no guiding theme or topic. It is whatever happens to catch my attention, what I’ve been thinking, doing, and whatever my current obsessions are. At the moment, they are clearing some of the backlog on my ‘honey-do’ list, backpacking, hammock camping, and, I’m always, taking pictures.

Recent posts

  • Bennett, Goring, Allman

    Bennett, Goring, Allman

    I’m pretty sure this was the year Bob and Ann turned up unexpectedly.

    But it is so long ago no one can remember.

    I went to college with Bob and Roy, and we’ve kept in touch ever since. In fact, for at least twenty years we met just about every New Year’s Eve to celebrate the New Year together. Unfortunately, that tradition had to come to an end when I moved to the US.

    All Left to Right. Standing: Bob, Roy, and Gary. Sitting: Ann, Jan, and Elaine. Kids: Liam, Dee, Robert, Lynn, Toby and Keith.

    August Bank Holiday 1991 / 1992 (ish)    

  • Robert’s ‘Official’ Christening Picture

    Robert’s ‘Official’ Christening Picture. Copyright © 1985 Gary Allman, all rights reserved.

    The Christening of my eldest son Robert — Christening was the CofE’s term for baptism at the time, I’ve no idea if that has changed.

    I found this picture a couple of days ago (2019) and set about restoring it. I just wish I’d had a higher resolution original to work with.

    I remember the photo session, I used one of the studio Hasselblads and my own lighting, which was high wattage incandescent lamps. Hot! I borrowed the Hasselblad from a fellow photographer at the studio where I’d previously worked weekends shooting weddings — Thanks Geoff!

    This picture captures what a cheeky chappie Robert was (and remains). The Christening gown must have got lost in the divorce, which is a shame, as here in Missouri I see a one-hundred-year-old christening gown doing the rounds, and this one is only 40 years younger.

    My notes on this picture say:

    [Taking this picture I used] My Photo lights which I ditched years ago (why?) And [this was] the only time I got my hands on the studio Hasselblad.

    Robert is wearing my christening gown. Unfortunately, when the time came, Keith was too big to fit into it.

  • Old cuttings of my father

    My Father (second from left) at the Eastney Gas Engine House
    My Father (second from left) at the Eastney Gas Engine House

    I’ve had these pictures for years

    I thought it’s about time I posted them. Above: Taken in the late seventies, my father volunteered to help keep the old Gas engines going for the local museum at Eastney.   

    C1973 Father giving some gearbox maintenance training for the benefit of the local paper.
    C1973 Father (right) giving some gearbox maintenance training for the benefit of the local paper.
  • The Power of Mnemonics

    Hadham Hall School – Form 5T. Last day of school, July 21st. 1972. Form teacher Jack Doyle – crouching, center. Copyright © 1972 Gary Allman, all rights reserved.

    A friend posted a mnemonic on Facebook for the sequence of the royal houses of England in chronological order — Neighbours Actually Persuaded Lovely Yvonne To Shut Her Window (Norman, Angevin, Plantagenet, Lancaster, York, Tudor, Stuart, Hanover, Windsor. He’s a history Prof., a Brit, an expat, and he has an excellent aircraft blog, so we can forgive him — or should that be thank him? — for a historical/intellectual Facebook post. 🙂 ).

    It was a great reminder to me of my uncle John (long gone). Way-back in the late sixties uncle John taught me a totally non-pc and unrepeatable mnemonic for remembering electrical resistors’ color codes. The colors and their order gives the resistance value. I can still recall the order thanks to his little rhyme:

    Black, Brown, Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Violet, Grey, White.

    As I said the mnemonic is not repeatable in polite company. I hope I got the order of the colors correct, with green and grey having the same first letter it plays havoc with one’s memory, and I refused to check it online. It’s probably been over 40 years since I last had to recall that!

    I also have to thank my biology teacher — Jack Doyle for ‘Kinky Pat’s Crazy Over Fred’s Gumboot Socks’ (Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus, Species). He also got me to memorize (I had to pause there because I could remember the text but not whose text it was … ) Archimedes Principle. Which put’s my math’s teacher’s SOHCAHTOA (Sine = Opposite over Hypotenuse, Cosine = Adjacent over Hypotenuse, Tangent = Opposite over Adjacent) to shame.

    Mind you I still remember it, so it can’t be that bad.

    What mnemonics/childhood memories does that trigger for you?   

    Hadham Hall School – 5T July 1972 – Relaxing after ‘O’ Levels.
  • Hadham Hall School, October 1968

    Hadham Hall School, October 1968. From original scanned images provided by Jeremy Andrews. Originator unknown

    Back at the beginning of the 21st century (I couldn’t help myself from saying that, it sounds so grand!), Jeremy Andrews, a former classmate, sent me a copy of an old official school photo. It was fairly low-res and in three parts. It’s been stuck in my hard drive(s) ever since. Today (April 11, 2021), spurred on by an email I recently received from another alumnus, I did a quick stitching job on the pictures. Unfortunately, neither Photoshop nor Lightroom’s auto stitch could merge the images, so I ended up doing so by hand. As the image is low res, and time is short, that was the extent of my repairs to the photograph.

    I’ve studied the pictures many times over the years, and while I can identify a dozen or more people in it, I’ve never found myself, though I’m pretty sure I remember the day this photograph was taken, the date I’ve picked for this post is a guess, but I went for a Wednesday as that was sports day and the most likely time for it to be scheduled.

Scroll to Top