When we were holidaying in Kent last year, we made a happy arrangement. After lots of emails and phone calls, I managed to get a considerable number of my family to meet up with us, as we were much nearer to where they all live. The occasion was quite poignant, as I had not seen some of them since my Mum’s funeral, though I had managed to meet with some in Norfolk the year before, when they were holidaying in the area.
So we decided on a neutral location, a very old pub and restaurant with a good reputation. It was close to Orpington, just on the south-eastern edge of London. An aunt, cousins, and their partners and children were able to attend. We had an exceptionally enjoyable meal, during which we looked through many old photos of our family, and discussed the physical similarities of our male line, as well as the sad fact that we are rarely able to all get together in one place, these days.
Having spent so long looking at photos of family groups from as far back as the 1920s, it seemed appropriate to take some more of the same. We retired to the pub garden after the meal, and arranged ourselves around some tables. The first shot was taken by me. Julie is in the centre, with blonde hair and glasses. The second shot was taken by Julie. I am the one in the middle, wearing shorts. They are all clickable to enlarge should you wish to do so, but I understand that they are somewhat personal, so of less interest perhaps.
I hope that my family hang on to these photos, and treasure them in the same way that I have done, with the vintage snaps in the old suitcase. The situations remain the same. Only the style of clothing, and the expressions change. I love the way that they are sometimes not ready for these photos, and get caught out. The same thing is apparent in the similar photos taken decades earlier. Over the years, the one thing that remains true to me, is that family is all. First and foremost.