Tuesday, 2 June 2009

A blast from the past.


Dominic Rivron (see my blog list) put a photograph of himself in his twenties on his blog and suggested a meme - that we should post an old photograph of ourselves and write two hundred words in the present tense about it. Patteran has already posted a photograph of himself as a youth -fascinating read there. So here is mine:-


I am posing for a studio portrait in my new dress. My sister bought the dress for me; it is blue with a tiny embroidered daisy in the front and I love it - particularly because it has blue matching knickers and you will see I am carefully showing a bit of knicker so that everyone can see that the dress has accessories! My hair has been freshly washed and is very shiny and I seem totally preoccupied with my pose.


I am certainly totally unaware of the gathering storm clouds of the Second World War - Chamberlain, Appeasement, Munich, Troop Movements - all these are unknown to me. My parents have done a good job at keeping upbeat when I am around and my beloved brother, soon to be sent to France, is still at home.


School is the only thing other than my appearance that fills my head, for I am soon to start at the village school. I have already been for half a day and have met Miss Smith, who will be my teacher. I am much taken with the dolls' house and the rocking horse and I love the big, open fire with the nursery fireguard. Miss Smith tells me that in Winter if my gloves and socks get wet on the way to school I can take them off and poke them into one of the holes in the fireguard so that they can get dry and warm again. I like that idea.


My friend, Janet, is starting on the same day and I am going to call for her on my way. I can already read a lot of words so I shall be able to help her with her reading (yes, I am afraid I was one of those little busy-body girls that every infant class has!). I am sure I shall like school, but if I don't I can always come home again (I did - at playtime - and was taken back with a flea in my ear).


A month later my brother went to France with what I think was called the British Expeditionary Force - was later at Dunkirk - was at the relief of Belsen - survived the war and came home to a heroes welcome. He had carried a photograph of me in his pocket throughout the war. I have it still, tattered and battered but intact (rather like him). He died in 1986.

26 comments:

jinksy said...

What a self-possessed little madam you were, to be sure! delightful picture and story...

gleaner said...

Weaver the photo and story are absolutely gorgeous. I do love old photographs/portraits and wrote recently about this on my blog.
I also love the way we can go back in time and remember as children...
wonderful post!

Heather said...

Oh Weaver, what a lovely post. The photograph is beautiful and the words activate all the emotions. So glad your brother came home safely and that you had such a good relationship with him. It is odd how the memories of childhood seem to become clearer with age.

Rachel Fox said...

The photo is so similar to the up-to-date one in your sidebar in some ways. Your eyes are so determined!
x

patteran said...

Entirely wonderful, Pat. What poignant innocence - that little girl's absorption with change in her own immediate world, all within the context of change in a wider world about to give such lasting resonance to names like 'Dunkirk' and 'Belsen'.

Dick

Mad Aunt Bernard said...

What a wonderful post - I love the part about the gloves drying in the fireguard. I shall have to have a go at this myself and see what happens. Like you I had a much older brother who left for the forces but returned safely, thankfully. Thankyou for sharing it!

Reader Wil said...

Thank you for sharing this post with us! You must have been a very lovely child. I am glad your brother survived the war. I showed my photos last year in a post about my life. So I don't think it will be interesting for you all.

Derrick said...

Hello Weaver,

There is always a world of innocence and wonder in a child's photograph, as well as something in those old snaps that make the sitter seem older, whatever their years. You were certainly "all set" with that pose! I may have a go at this.

Gramma Ann said...

What a cute little girl you were and really you haven't changed all that much. You look much like you did as a youngster. The story was delightful and I enjoyed learning a little more about "The Weaver of Grass."

Cathy said...

You were adorable. The story is so sweet. I love hearing stories like this. I have had to google fireguard!

Raph G. Neckmann said...

What a delightful post, Weaver - it is lovely to learn more about you. And how wonderful to have the photo that your brother carried round with him throughout the war.

Welcome To Wilmoth Farms said...

What an adorable little lady you were! How sweet for your brother to carry your photo!!!!! Lovely post about yourself!!!
I've finally gotten back on the computer to update myself with everyone, and boy have I missed a lot! Your last several posts are truly lovely with all that green! Looks like farm work is busy just like for us!!! The horses are my favorite though...of course you already know I'm partial!!! Glad you are doing well!

Elizabeth said...

You haven't changed a bit!
I think that our characters are pretty much the same at 7 as at 70!
A lovely description of the village school.
Yes, I remember drying things by poking them through the fireguard.
Re your brother
my uncle, with the RAMC, was there when they opened up Belsen.
The grandmother of one of my students here in the US was a prisoner there and later worked at a British service people's club.
She was very pro British.

Leenie said...

Everybody has already said it. Fun to get to know you better. Glad your brother survived the war.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Thanks to you all for the comments - hope you all feeling like doing the meme.

Tomorrow is the anniversary of Dunkirk -69 years. I wrote a poem remembering it - not very good but it does remind me. I shall post it tomorrow along with the actual battered photograph my brother carried with him.

Dominic Rivron said...

There were one or two things there I didn't know! And which photo did Jack carry though the war?

willow said...

You haven't changed a bit.

Barbara Martin said...

An excellent story behind the photograph. The memories of childhood have a previous gift to others when told. Thank you.

Dave King said...

That's a really fine post. Great photograph and an excellent text to go with it. As good as it gets.

Eleanor said...

This is a delightful little vignette. I am so pleased I popped in today to find it. And if I may I shall post a similar post later this week. Now I am off to choose a photo!

The Weaver of Grass said...

Do hope you will all manage to do a meme on this theme - I can't wait to see photographs of you all when young (but you are still young, aren't you?)

Cloudia said...

A privlege to read. Thank you, little girl

Janice Thomson said...

Such a sweet picture of you with an impish little smile...:)

hope said...

I strolled over from Rachel's blog after I met this challenge. :)

I swear, it doesn't matter where you live or how old you are, there must be a Haircut Manual for Mothers of Girls. I had the same haircut!

Thanks for sharing your memories and I'll be back to visit.

Linda Sue said...

Adorable child, grown so fabulously well.

Kathleen said...

Weaver of grass (what a lovely name!) -- I'm so glad I followed the breadcrumbs Willow left. I was so touched by your brother's gesture. You must have been very close. I'm just seeing your blog for the first time. I'll have to dig a little to see if you've written more about your life during those incredibly hard times. Thank you for doing this meme. I just may have to give it whirl, if I can figure out how to scan a photo!
Cheers!