Photographic nostalgia

A few years ago, my dear departed friend, Pete Medway, sent me a CD copy of some grainy cine camera footage. It was taken in 1967, in the garden of my parents’ home in Bexley Village, a suburb of London. It lasted only a minute or so, and took me back to that time, when I was fifteen years old, and all my adult life stretched out ahead of me. It included a still photo, snapped as I sat in the conservatory. I can recognise myself of course. The wavy hair, bags under the eyes, a ready smile, and youthful enthusiasm. All evident from that grainy dark photo.
Pete J in Bexley

More recently, my old friend Roland sent me an email, and attached a photograph that he had found somewhere. I am with my good friend Brian, and it is more than ten years later than the first picture. As I am wearing a wedding ring, that dates it as after 1977. My shawl-collar jumper, a favourite back then, places it firmly in the late 1970s too. So I am guessing it is 1978 at the earliest, and no later than 1980. My face is leaner, my hair already receding, in my late twenties. (It stayed much like that for another twenty years.) The eye bags are more prominent, and the smile less youthful.
Bri & Pete.1

I have many photos of myself over different decades of course. Hidden away in the loft, or stored in boxes in the garage; rarely rediscovered, almost never viewed. But these two photos in particular, showing the differences in one decade, make me return to them frequently. In the age where countless images are taken on mobile phones and digital devices, many deleted immediately, or later discarded, it is of great interest to me, to view these old film snaps. Moments in my personal history.

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32 thoughts on “Photographic nostalgia

  1. You were a little heart ❤️ breaker at fifteen Pete..
    and ten years later you still have that handsome face with a more forehead…
    And now you are all 💀…
    Hahahaha..
    still handsome though!!!!!

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  2. Well hi! there you are in glorious technicolour! Changed but still the same I think. You already know I’m a fan of vintage/retro photo’s. I print photo books, but found colour reproduction in Blurb vastly inferior, so I now use mixbooks which have a lot of options and reproduce the colours really well.

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  3. With all the possible manipulations one can apply to digital pictures these days, I wonder if in the future anybody will know how anybody really looked. Mind you,there are videos and other things… But I agree that real pictures are different

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  4. I haven’t changed much at all since the 1970s. The hair, of course, has a lot more gray in it. And my neck tends to crinkle when I look down. But other than that, I’m the spittin’ image of my former self. Of course, big changes may be in store for me as I navigate the remaining years of my seventh decade. One can only cling to a youthful appearance for so long, after all.
    https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/Msp3-7pO6xFRQzkeWwjnr1Pk8QEDDcR0i–5BilWwBRCN6fl4aIDj1izWEcwOfxmplaVcQ=s85

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    1. You do have a satisfyingly ‘retro’ look, David, that has stood you in good stead for decades. I have a feeling you won’t change that much, in the next ten years or so.
      Best wishes, Pete.

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  5. I just love looking through old photos Pete. I recently did it with my Nan and it was really nice looking at how people change over the years and how they reminiscence on things.

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  6. Nothing like discovering a treasure via photographs. They’re proof of whatever perception we hold of ourselves.Often mistaken. Surprisingly nice. I recently returned from visiting my mother and while in the basement, I saw on a shelf about six photo albums. Within were shots I’d sent her from 25, 30 years ago and had completely forgotten I took them. Also, shots of myself as a little girl, in a wedding dress, in my thirties. Wow.
    I love to study the details around the focal point. That old house, yard, tree, toy, remodeling project, clothes, and neighborhood flood in with another set of memories.
    Thanks for sharing, Pete.

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