Tomorrow morning my sister and I are going to a baby shower for her daughter in law. Each guest has been asked to bring along a photograph of themselves as a baby. With the building work still in progress and our lives now restricted to the kitchen and bedroom and office work taking up to ten hours a day, I had a moan about having to dig deep into dusty cupboards and boxes to find a baby picture of myself.
My parents owned a Brownie Box camera and I've seen beautiful photographs taken with these cameras but, unfortunately, they weren't taken by my folks. To find a picture where a third of the baby wasn't cut off or photographed from a distance was a fairly difficult exercise. After paging through three albums full of photos of people I couldn't identify I found this picture which I rather like, mainly because of its simplicity - just a smiling baby dressed in vest and nappy lying in a deckchair.
I know from seeing the clothing I was dressed in that it must have been an exceptionally hot and humid day and from the old-fashioned beachchair I know that we must have been visiting my grandparents. In an instant memories of childhood holidays spent at my grandparents' home flooded back. My sisters and I waking each morning to the smell of freshly baked bread, grandpa having risen early each morning to bake; watching the cows being milked and marvelling at the little calves with their beautiful, gentle faces; hiding under the large wooden table on the back verandah eating stolen oranges; delving into a brown paper packet filled with a tempting variety of old-fashioned sweets (candy?) which grandpa always kept for us in his office drawer; lying in bed at night and drowsing off while the flickering little flames of the dying fire lit the room enough to allay our dark night fears.
I guess you could say that my rather ungracious agreement to find a baby picture actually turned into a happy trip back into childhood memories and, with any luck, the start of a project to digitize the best family photos if only I can find them. My sisters are going to be getting some phonecalls this weekend!