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August 22, 2006

Old pictures, old memories

Ahh, the portrait of the blogger as a young man


Whilst I was staying at my parent's house back in the UK, they turned up a packet of old photos that I'd taken with some hideously primitive camera back in the 1980s. That's a younger me above, wearing an England t-shirt form the very early 80's when the FA thought it was a good idea to have a cartoon bulldog promoting the image of England fans abroad. Nice one.

It was quite a sobering thought that whilst my Flickr photstream has nearly 6,000 photos taken over the last three years, this wallet of physical prints had around 60 photos, and looked like it also covered about 3 years, possibly more. But what a blast from the past they turned out to be!


I think the girl on the left in this photo is called Hannah. We met at a holiday camp when I was just discovering girls. If it had happened today I'm sure we would have been txting each other and using MySpace or Bebo to send each other pictures of our underwear, but back in those innocent days we became penpals for a while, and she sent me a small print copy of her latest school photo.

There were also some pictures of an early school trip to France.


On the left is a girl called Keren who I went out with for a little while, when going out meant passing my friends notes to pass to her friends, and very occasionally kissing when you weren't sure quite why you were doing it but it seemed OK. The girl in the middle is Sarah, who I had a terrible crush on for a good few years after this - which, no offence Sarah, in retrospect looks fairly inexplicable given the sole evidence of this photograph.

It is amazing how one picture can bring back such a mix of emotions. The picture below features a few of the guys on the coach from that same trip wearing nappies on their heads. Someone on the trip wet themselves, and so obviously it was totally hilarious to buy a packet of nappies at the next stop and then wear them for the rest of the journey. The memory of that still makes me laugh a lot. On the right of the picture is John, who I was in a band with for a long time, and that still makes me smile.


On the left though is Situ, and he died suddenly in his sleep when he was at university in his twenties. I was in Leeds when it happened, back in an age before mobile phones. During my second year I didn't even have a phone in the house, and instead I got a letter from my mum saying can you give us a call, went to a phone box, and then she had to break the news to me that a guy who I had been at school with for six or seven years had died, and that I should come back down to London for the memorial service at our old school.

He still occasionally pops up from my sub-conscious into my dreams - and the thing I most remember about him was that he was a huge fan of Talk Talk's "Colour of Spring" album, but couldn't stand the follow-up "Spirit of Eden", bemoaning whoever had let the dischordant guitars in to spoil the party.

There was also plenty of evidence that I'd already developed my habit of taking pictures of mundane industrial or rural "things" rather than pictures of people.


And finally, just in case you didn't really think these pictures were from the 1980s, there is this one...


Yep, doing that Rubik's Cube jigsaw puzzle was obviously significant enough at the time to warrent taking a photograph of it and then paying for it to be developed into a print.

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Do you remember where you got the jigsaw puzzle of the rubiks cube? We had one when I was young and would love to get another one for my kids.


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