Exactly six months ago, on February 16th, 2008, this happened:
Emily and Gareth, getting married in Tenby. They've just gone back to their house in York after making sausage sandwiches in the kitchen at our house and then going to visit the Communist in the nursing-home. It's a pleasure to see them enjoying these everyday things.
"Gareth!" exclaimed Emily after lunch. "Where's my pony?"
"What pony?" enquired Gareth.
"Well, I asked where my eye-liner was and you gave me some money to buy some eye-liner. So I was hoping that the same thing would work with a pony."
"Gareth," I asked, following her lead, "Where's my narrowboat?"
Anyway - prepare yourselves - exactly twenty-eight years ago, on August 16th, 2008, this happened:
Yes, Stephen and I got married, and this photo was taken in Roundhay Park, Leeds, because we had our reception in the Mansion there. And, like Emily and Gareth, we had great weather. Though I think they look rather more stylish than we did. Oh, those glasses
! Deirdre Barlow would be proud of me.
Yes, 1980. I was a child bride, obviously. - - Oh, all right then, since you can always check on my Blogger profile, I'll confess that I was twenty-four and Stephen was my toy-boy of twenty-one.
The following year - knowing he'd lost all chance of marrying me, of course!! - Charles married Di. Yes, it was that
long ago. Though my dress was rather less over the top than hers
I always, as I've often said, prefer everyday photos to ones of special occasions.
The special-occasion ones make you think, though, about the people in them and what's happened since. If you click on the photos they will enlarge.
In this photo, on the far left is my grandmother, my mother's mother, born in Lancshire in 1898 and here, at eighty-two, looking much older than my mother does now, at eighty-four. She lived to be ninety-three and died in 1991.
Then we have my brother Michael, who was fifteen then, and has lost several stone in weight since those days. He's been with his lovely wife Deborah since he was about twenty, and they have two delightful children, Daisy and Flo. And he's lived in Amsterdam since he was twenty-one.
Third from the left is the Communist, then aged fifty-five: that's how I remember him looking for years and years. I don't know why my mother isn't on this photo!
And next to the Communist is my other grandmother, who was born in Lithuania and had the strangest Eastern-Europe-meets-Leeds accent that you have ever heard! She didn't ever quite know how old she was, as she came to England aged about fourteen with no birth certificate, but she died in 1990, aged at least ninety-six.
Then me (oh! glasses! oh! hair! aaaaaaaaaargh!) and then Stephen, who was then a thin strip of thinness, and, I have to say, isn't that much fatter now. And one of the reasons that I hate it so much when women complain publicly about their husbands or partners is because Stephen has always, always supported me in everything I've done: thank you for the last twenty-eight years, Stephen!
Then Stephen's mother Iris, and then his stepfather, Derrick. They'd been married for about three years then. And twenty years later, Derrick very suddenly told Iris that he was leaving her for a childhood sweetheart whom he'd been forbidden to marry at the time, and Iris has never got over it.
Yes, old photos, they do make you think.
And finally, another make-you-think photo:
Ah yes, let's guess who's the actor in this photo! On the left, my dear friend David Robertson
: we'd been friends for about eight years when this photo was taken. I wonder what happened to him
? - - Well, since you ask, he's in Italy at the moment on holiday, I spoke to him on Thursday, because he's still my dear friend. And next to David is my brother Michael again.
But the original of this photograph is small so I hadn't noticed the couple in the background: my cousin Lynda and her husband Campbell. In 1982 Lynda, an expert diver, was killed in a cave-diving accident just a few days before Christmas and I can still feel the shock of it.
So, have I changed in all that time? Not much, personality-wise, and I think you'd recognise me from the photo if you met me today - though my glasses have got smaller, and my hair's got shorter, and I've got a bit wider. And I still value my family and close friends above everything else. So, looking at the photos, I feel just the same.
Inside every fifty-something is a twenty-something wondering what happened.