Haze's strangers: No.143: Peter

Peter, together with his wife, Frances, whom he met in West Berlin during his army career, runs a B&B in Hythe which is where I met him. He cooks a 'full English' par excellence. I wondered if he would consent to be in my strangers' portrait project and the answer was yes. I took my photos in the dining room. The image on the wall behind Peter shows Loches in the Loire where he and Frances still maintain her family home.

I asked Peter what he did before running the B&B and he said 'I was a singer'. This intrigued me of course and he told me that soon after he joined the army, a private in the same regiment overheard him singing in the shower and asked him to join his ensemble in a folk music concert. Singing has been a lifelong passion throughout his army career and beyond. Peter's repertoire soon included other genres of music besides folk music 'anything I thought people would like to hear' and he still gives the occasional concert, the most recent being in Scotland with all his family in the audience, including the youngest grandchild aged 6 months.

Childhood was spent in Lennoxtown, a small village north of Glasgow. Peter left school aged 15, not wanting to stay to take the final exams and told me that he has no formal paper qualifications. During the four years after leaving school he had no fewer than nineteen jobs in diverse areas, two of which I remember: a furrier and a welder. As a Catholic he sometimes found a little difficulty finding employment.

It was the village policeman who suggested that Peter might like to join the army, which he did and never had any regrets. He joined as a clerk in personnel and served his time in the army in Germany and Holland, indulging in his love of singing whenever he could. He left with the rank of sergeant and during his 10 years 'reserve time' was fortunate to secure work in Saudi Arabia, at the time a newly emerging country, as an administration professional. He was glad of this with the Falklands War imminent in which he sadly lost some good pals and with which he did not agree. His final post in Saudi Arabia was as Director of Personnel in the establishment of a new hospital.

Peter is a Celtic supporter and told me he also loves reading, often waking up at 5 a.m. and, after making a cup of tea, becoming engrossed in a book for a couple of hours.

I am sending him a couple of photos via email, also the link to this post.

At the conclusion of our chat, I asked Peter if he has a favourite song. He thought for a minute and then said 'Annie Laurie', an old Scottish song.

and with more associated photos on my Flickr account:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/150442566@N07/40407088910/in/dateposted-public/
Fascinating synopsis, Hazel. Thank you. No loss of form...for either of you.
posted May 19th, 2018  
Wonderful photo of a fellow b&ber, he looks like he enjoys his calling & B&B is a calling! An interesting life he has led & he will have more interesting stories of B&B life, I know he will!
posted May 19th, 2018  
Awesome portrait.
posted May 19th, 2018  
Another success.
posted May 19th, 2018  
What a lovely thing to do....making strangers feel so special. I enjoyed so much reading about Peter and his life. Each life is special but we seldom take the time to let each person we meet know that. What you are doing is a lovely thing!
posted May 19th, 2018  
you've done a great job here haze, glasses can cause reflections and eye focus issues but you did well
posted May 19th, 2018  
Another lovely stranger story. Peter sounds like a chap full of character.
posted May 20th, 2018  
Great portrait and story.
posted May 20th, 2018  
@phil_howcroft

Oh thanks, Phil. Had to do a little processing. There was some light from a window to Peter’s left. He did offer to take off his glasses but to me they were part of him.
posted May 20th, 2018  
That is a super portrait. I love the picture in the background and you seem to have caught the essence of the character here. I love your stranger shots and interesting bios.
posted May 20th, 2018  
@stownsend

Suzie, thank you so much for your heartwarming comment. I do so enjoy this aspect of my photography and am always grateful to Phil @phil_howcroft for having encouraged me to begin it. He currently has some amazing portraits on his page!
posted May 20th, 2018  
Such an interesting write up and a great portrait too.
posted May 20th, 2018  
What an interesting chap.
posted May 20th, 2018  
A nice portrait and info, he certainly has had a busy life!
posted May 20th, 2018  
You've caught Peter eyes in such a way that evokes warmth and kindness. Fav.

A most marvelous man and story to share. Please share with him know how much we enjoyed learning about him.
posted May 20th, 2018  
@quietpurplehaze @joysabin thanks for the lovely words about my portraits and strangers haze . Much appreciated 😂
posted May 21st, 2018  
So perfectly photographed (again!). Wonderful portrait. Fav
posted May 25th, 2018  
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