A vibrant painting by Jan Gordon, made in London, probably in the mid 1920s to early 1930s, shows a daffodil seller in a bustling street.
A lady sits next to her stepped display of daffodils, the flowers being held in four vases to a row. A man strides past with a box on his shoulder and other hat-bearing ladies and gentlemen walk along the street or stop to chat.
Admiring the daffodils is a smart lady with her daughter and younger son, the latter wearing a sailor's uniform. There's nothing to prove it, but this trio is very reminiscent of Doris, Pamela and Denis (W.D.A.) Smith, friends of Jan and Cora Gordon since WW1 days. Perhaps the partially obscured "SMITH & Co" above the shop door on the other side of the street supports this notion.
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Jan and Cora Gordon visited Albania in the summer of 1925 and in 1927 published the book " Two Vagabonds in Albania ." Two phrases from this book resonated when I first read it: " Now and again a wolf howled from far away, and somewhere a kid, lost or smelling some wolf-taint in the air, bleated with persistent terror " pg. 138. and " As we came down into the cultivated fields of the valley we found ourselves walking through clouds of red-winged grasshoppers, which sprang up on all sides with a clattering flight ." pg. 139 The book begins with "Don't stay in Durazzo." From Durazzo they made a clockwise loop to the south, passing through Tirana, Elbasan, Berat, Kelcyre, Permeti and Gjinokastro before returning north to Tirana. The second leg of the journey was an excursion to the north, from Scutari up into the mountains. Map of prominent places visited on the southern loop described in "Two Vagabonds in Albania"
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