Now, I REALLY clearly remember Golly. He had a bright red coat and soft hair, both of which I really liked. I’m sure children aren’t allowed Golly dolls anymore and probably quite rightly, but it certainly didn’t turn me into a racist.
I remember this next photo being taken. It was Christmas and Shan and I had just been given candles. I can clearly recall sitting in that chair next to my brother, clutching the cold wax of my candle snowman and being told to ‘smile’.
I also remember our first family pet, Nikki the grey and white cat, arriving in our lives though I don’t recall this photo being taken (and I have no idea who the little brown-haired child is). We brought Nikki home in a shopping bag and she kept popping her head out of the top. I walked alongside my Mum as she pushed Shan in his pram and made sure our brand new toy, er, I mean companion animal, didn’t make a premature bid for freedom. Nikki lived to a great age, dying peacefully when I was away at University. I cried like a child.
Ah, and now the advent of colour photography. Or at least, now my parents could afford colour film…
I do vividly remember this photo being taken. I can still feel the scratchy ferns and the slight sense of unease at being asked to go and stand over there, away from everyone else, in amongst the undergrowth where all sorts of things might be lurking to ensnare the unwary child… As you can see, my mother was still cutting our hair and I was already picking up botanical specimens at every opportunity.
This last one is a cracker. I remember it being taken, indeed, I have fairly clear memories of the whole day. We were visiting my grandparents in Ireland (from Germany where we were stationed at the time) and we’d all gone to the beach for a picnic.
I can’t imagine the Irish sun was that strong but my ridiculously delicate skin was being well-protected against it anyway. I remember the elasticated belt on that swimsuit with its plastic fake buckle and the cap that seemed to be made out of a cloth which felt like thick paper. And I still have to wear sunglasses pretty much all the time when outdoors – otherwise I squint at the most trifling ‘glare’.