The ISO was 1600 as it was a very dull day and there was a lot of shadow and shade about.
As ever you were spot on about the metering and the focus mode...together, the way I was combining them without much thought, they were a recipe for disaster.A question of a little knowledge being dangerous. I had a mini photo session later and I tried the other metering and focus mode options and these were encouraging me to lessen the light which was a far cry from my usual range of adjustments which usually had me fighting for light. As these shots were only taken in my back garden late in the day they are of not much use.
I have taken everything you have told me on board and I have applied the suggestions. My next serious session should see some more improvement.