Monday, June 27, 2011

family history

Here's a terrifying one - terrifying, not least, because of how old it makes me feel.   It's worth zooming in on ...   Easter '56, says the back of the tiny snapshot, in my father's writing - which makes me presume that he was behind the camera.   Huddersfield.   We'd been to visit Auntie Ethel, my grandmother's cousin, who fed me cheese biscuits (which I vaguely remember, and which probably instilled a life-long lusting after the things), and gave me a silver napkin ring (which I don't remember as a gift, but I rolled my napkin up after dinner to place it in it this evening, according to custom).   She's on the left - the one with a truly Victorian face.   Next to her, at the back of the group, my Auntie Jess, who was getting some kind of medical training in France when the first world war broke out (or that's my memory), and went off to nurse in the field - and then worked as a pharmacist in Dewsbury Infirmary until she retired.   Probably that's a selective version of her career.   On her other side, Mittid, my grandmother, who always looked like Queen Victoria in photographs, and then, on the right of the picture, my mother.   And how to interpret her expression?   She may just be suffering from what look like the world's most uncomfortable shoes.  I seem to be moving as far away from her as possible, whilst actually holding onto her hand, practising the kind of look that might be better employed in chairing meetings, and looking rather small for my new plaid pants.   I hope my clothing taste has improved just a little since then.  Ours has always been a family of Determined Women, and this picture makes that point rather forcefully.

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