Another day of enforced rest required my rambling to be among the archives. We have now reached photographs numbers 31 and 32 in the ‘through the ages’ series. These tell two parts of a story, but are not in the correct sequence, so I will write about number 32 first.
I assume my Grandpa Hunter took this picture. Maybe with the Kodak Box Brownie he was to give me about nine years later. The reason I speculate about this is that, not then understanding parallax, I was always in danger of cutting people’s heads off, like the scalping of me in this one. That Kodak model was the standard popular camera before the single lens reflex became the norm. I am not a proficient enough scientist to explain parallax, but this phenomenon required the old-fashioned photographer to make adjustments in framing the picture because of the camera’s lens being on a different level to that of the human behind the camera. Later viewfinders provided an etched line to avoid accidental decapitation.
Where was I? Oh yes, photo number 32. This was taken in my grandparents’ garden in Durham in April 1947. Chris and I had just learned of our sister Jacqueline’s birth in Wimbledon. We had spent some months there because Mum had severe back problems. It was on that stay that the incident of the caterpillars occurred, so maybe Grandma was as eager as we were for us to travel down south to meet the new arrival. I didn’t think the pram in the background was for Jacqueline, because it belonged to my grandmother.
Our attire needs a little explanation. Chris’s footwear was a requirement imposed by his having broken his leg some weeks earlier. When I wrote of this on 16th October last year, I described him as a ‘toddler’. This picture demonstrates that my brother was rather older than that.
Hopefully it is our night wear that we are sporting. I hasten to add that our normal clothing was being preserved against accident by Grandma who was preparing for the journey for us to take possession of the new infant. Chris looks a little less sure than I do. He and I were enswathed in our grandmother’s pink silk petticoats.
Probably the very next day we were back home in Stanton Road, SW20; I was sitting proudly in the garden with our baby sister in my arms; and photograph number 31 was snapped. Chris doesn’t look any more certain about things.
This evening Jackie produced a delicious lamb jalfrezi with savoury rice and tasty mini paratas from a small Asian shop in New Milton. I drank Cobra with this. My late friend Janice used to call a very hot curry a sinus clearer. Tonight’s, with the addition of naga relish, would have fitted her bill.