I'm not good at sending Christmas cards. So on Christmas Eve I was delivering a very late card to some friends of mine in a road close to the house where I grew up.
We moved there in 1966 when I was nearly 4 years old. For 53 years, it was the home for our family until my mothers dementia meant she had to move into a care home in 2018. As well as being a happy family home it was where my father had created thousands of original works of art, including hundreds of oil and watercolour paintings and probably thousands more pewter figures.
It was where all of the Chas C Stadden Studios 85mm range was sculpted by my fathers hands, and where countless assembled castings were painted by friends and family.
I hadn't driven past for a year or so, but you have to take a look, don't you. Just to see what the new people had done to the place.
But it wasn't there.
It had been demolished.
Ready to be replaced by a much larger house on the same site.
Quite a shock on Christmas Eve.
A few weeks before I'd had a Chas C Stadden Studios figure in for repair. The musket was missing and paintwork damaged, nothing unusual. From the photo I was sent by email it looked very skilfully painted. However, when I received the damaged figure in the post it had my mothers signature 'B A Stadden' painted in gold low down on the back of the base.
One of my fathers figures, painted by my mother in our family home.
And now repaired by me and sent back to its owner.
Both events brought back many memories. In the end, that's all we have.