In 1976 my parents took a new job as carers at a children's home. My sister, brother and myself were still living at home with them and as it was a live-in job we all moved to Bromsgrove in Worcestershire from Warrington in Lancashire.
One of the children in the home, either there when we arrived or arriving not long afterwards, I don't remember, was a local blind girl called Tina Lunnon. She had a few birth defects and was rejected by her family. Over the years my parents worked at the home she became very attached to my parents and even after they left the children's home was a sort of honorary member of our family.
When Tina left the home too she took her own life in both hands and made her own path; she changed her name to Anne Marsh, got herself a guide dog and her own accommodation, and led as independent a life as she could. After the death of my mother she and my father became closer, supporting each other: she needed help and my dad, having retired from a life in caring, needed someone to care for, if only on a part time basis. They spoke on the telephone several times a day and dad visited her at least once a week until his recent cancer surgery. Things had returned to normal early in 2017 when dad was allowed to drive again so could return to his weekly visits.
On New Years Eve I had a message from my sister saying Anne had been rushed to hospital where she was put into an induced coma; she had pneumonia and sepsis. She died in the early hours of New Years Day 2018.
Rest in peace Anne. The struggle is over and we will miss you.
On my walks to work there are a number of people I meet on a regular basis, mainly out exercising their dogs. One of these is Pat Shepherd, who often stops and asks me if I have taken any photos this morning. Occasionally she has her own camera with her.
With blizzards forecast last Friday I decided to wear my bowler hat as it was less likely to get blown off in any high wind. After the heavy (for Devon) snowfall the previous day and overnight there was little traffic about and the walk was a good cardio workout, requiring high steps, especially where the snow had drifted.
When I reached The Plains I stood in the centre of the road and took a picture, noticing Pat stood at the end of the road over the bridge holding her camera. After snapping the conditions on The Plains I let my camera, which was attached to a harness, drop to my side and walked towards Pat, at which point she raised her camera and took this photo of me.
I get regular messages on upcoming events from the Dartington Hall Trust. In a month's time, then once a month until October, they are advertising "goat yoga", which from what I can tell is ordinary yoga but allowing small goats to climb all over you at the same time.
November 1978 and the Gayton family pose for a portrait photograph to celebrate the 25th wedding anniversary of my parents. My sister was 23, I was a month short of my 21st birthday and my brother was 19. The cat is Jason (pedigree name Dinwoody Moonfleet); I'm not sure where his brother Simon (Dinwoody Moonlight) was.