Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Old photos

Bloggers have recently been posting pictures of themselves as children. My photos are small, battered affairs, some of them now a rather ancient brownish colour. I can remember my father developing them in the kitchen sink! My elder brother is due to go on holiday next month to celebrate his birthday and I sent him this image of us on holiday in Cornwall. He's the character in the sunglasses. Some style!!
I'm paddling sedately with the skirt of my dress held clear of the water. The two Stuart's are being obliging and posing but I am obviously having none of it. Awkward, moi? 
St Michael's Mount is in the background, somewhere that I've returned to many times since.
Here I am with my parents a few years later on another Cornish holiday. I've got a large umbrella across my lap. That's summer in Blighty for you folks! I can recall my mother's dress exactly, a red polka dot with white trimmings.
But we've been looking through our old photos for a sad reason, the unexpected death of my husband's younger cousin. The funeral is tomorrow and we are taking a selection of photos that might be of interest to his sons and grandchildren.  This photo shows three young cousins at the seaside. We were all war babies. I think it's 1945 somewhere on the Yorkshire coast, you can see a man in soldiers uniform in the background. There was probably a roll of barbed wire strung along the sea shore because the children don't look as though they intend to go swimming. Himself is the child with brown hair and the cousin that we mourn sits beside his mother to the left of the photo.
It was always expected that you wear black to a funeral and I still continue to do so unless there is a specific request to wear bright colours. But formalities have broken down these days and people seem to wear whatever they like to any occasion. Generally I think that is a good thing but, for me a black outfit feels like a mark of respect. Have customs changed where you live?
In the evening we watched a programme to mark National Holocaust Day and it was as heart-rending as always to hear the testimonies of survivors and listen to such beautiful music. I am always grateful that our family survived intact, father and uncles all returning safely home.  


  1. Oh how I love old photos. You were such a cute little girl. Of course you were. Because you're a cute grown up girl! That first photo is wonderful. It is so bittersweet to look at photos of those who have left us, isn't it? I'm heading up North to my mother's house this summer and I hope to be able to find the big box of family photos. I haven't seen them in ages.

    1. I hope you will post a selection of the photos from your mother's big box, Connie.

  2. I love browsing through old photographs. I brought home a large box of photos after my dad passed a few months ago. I think going through these photos can help in the healing process. Condolences to you and your family.

  3. Thank you, Bonnie. Old family photos fascinate me, they tell me so much but also withhold even more that I would dearly like to know. (Just that little glimpse of polkadot seen on my mother's dress in the photo above and I can recall the whole outfit!)