Thursday, 22 September 2011

The Dust Thickens...

My old friend Hugh read my last post and responded by sending me a couple of pictures he had been sent recently. They were taken at Keswick Hall College of Education in the hot summer of 1975. In the picture from left to right are Richard Hubbard, his then girlfriend (?),  Chris Sugden, Yours Truly and Hugh Lupton. My response was a slightly horrified, "Children, just children". In 1975 I was twenty years old - two years younger than my daughter is now. Richard's response when I emailed the pictures on was, "What did we do with all that hair?"

I loved that hat, a proper Panama from Dunn's. You could fold it and roll it up without any sign of the straw cracking. It formed the crowning glory of what, I recall, I termed my "tropical vicar" look. Some years after this sartorial phase my mother recalled the evening when she and my sister had come to pick me up from the Mill House at Keswick, where Hugh and I were living at the time, to go out for a meal. As they sat waiting I came round the corner - a vision in a cream jacket, cream jeans, white tennis shoes and cravat, hair washed and flowing... and the hat of course.  Aghast my mother exclaimed "What does he look like!" After a pause my sister responded... "Well at least he's clean."

I'm laughing now recalling the story and looking at the picture - though I rather doubt I would have done so at the time had I heard those comments.  Which begs the question that old photos so often ask: if I could meet my younger self, what would we think of each other? When she was 10 my daughter, Kate wrote a letter to her 18-year-old self. When she opened it at the given age, she found it extraordinarily dull - full of concerns and enthusiasms she no longer cared for.

If, as we are told, everything that goes on the internet is stored there somewhere, what a goldmine that will be for social historians. On the other hand it could just be extraordinarily dull...