Friday, September 7, 2012

Working the Land

This photograph of Gay and Arthur - working the land - is one of my favourites. The bleakness of the land can easily be seen. The shelter belts on the northern boundary are not evident. And yes Gay really did work this hard along with Arthur until her arthritis no longer enabled her to do so.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

The House on the Prairie

This gives a very strange perspective to the finished house. My guess is that they are stock in the foreground and I am certain that the mature tree to the right hand side is a large beech tree that used to be in the farmers field at the top of the farm lane.  There was no chimney in those days - how I wonder did they ever keep warm!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Arthur - Working in the Vegetable Garden.

I love this picture of Arthur hoeing. Again the date of the photograph is unknown to me but the mature shelter belt along the northern boundary makes me think that this was the early 1950s.  I wonder if his verge of wild flowers was to increase insects to help the pollination of the fruit growing on this edge of the plot.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Arthur & Gay - Young Adults

This delightful photograph of Arthur the young man, is another that I cannot date or place. If this were a family history site I would be encouraging you all to ask to look at all the old photos and get the senior members of your family to try to date and identify them before it is too late.  Was this Arthur's dog?  Was this taken in his back garden? Or the back garden of the home that he and his mother lived in before Gay and he was married?

This picture of Gay was taken at Lord Portland's ponds - date 1934 the year she was married to Arthur.  With her is one of her students. It was during this period that she did supply teaching at a couple of schools in London.

I love the image. She looks far from elegant but she is so beautiful, and happy in a job she loved.

Monday, September 3, 2012

More from the Early Years

As with so many family pictures there are no dates for many of the black & white photographs.  This one of Gay tending to a calf was probably taken in the early 1950s.  This assumption is based solely on the growth of the trees in the background and I can confidently say that it was taken in the northern part of the garden. 

Sunday, September 2, 2012

The Early Years

Copyright Penelope S Hellyer

The people behind the story The Haphazard Gardener are initially my parents Arthur and Grace (Gay) Hellyer.  Shortly after their marriage in 1934 they began to build themselves a wooden framed house based on the design of a Dutch barn.  The photograph on the left shows Arthur, I think contemplating his next move. 
Copyright Penelope S Hellyer
The photograph on the right shows them some time later balancing precariously on the roof of the house – the figure nearest is Arthur one of the other figures is Gay – the other two were friends that were occasionally roped in to help them.  The house took approximately five years to complete. What would health and safety have to say?

The copyright to the text and these photographs remains with Penelope S Hellyer.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

A Brief Overview

I didn’t fulfil my wish last month to post more regularly; will try to do better this month.  But I’ve scanned lots more pictures.  I believe that the book is selling well and within the first week of selling on Kindle I had sold 3 copies with no returns; I am assured this is an excellent result for a memoir which is being self-promoted.

Thanks to Anita Andrews for featuring me as Author of the Month through August, and to Patsy Collins for interviewing me on her blog as well as giving me some good advice about word verification.  Maybe this will encourage more people to leave comments. I must admit that I too have several attempts at word verification and often give up and abandon my comment on other people’s blog.

Joanne Phillips has been an absolute star again this month – thank you for all your help and advice.

If you have bought the Haphazard Gardener please leave me a review or tick like at

I am blogging again tomorrow and that’s a promise.

Follow me on Twitter - @penelopehellyer