Bob Dylan, 1964. It seems like yesterday. I must confess, for a moment I had to think twice, mixing this song with Mary Hopkin's offering in 1968 (Those Were the Days, my Friend.) So what brought on this nostalgic post, this urge to reminisce. It was indirectly the result of our recent Blackpool extravaganza, the rush of blood and my subsequent dizziness as the wife spent my hard earned kudos. Now my wife is a fairly 'with it' modern lady, well versed in the main concerning today's fashions; the result of having daughters rather than sons. Daughters, expensive family attachments at times, but useful advisers as to what is and is not 'in', so to speak. Consequently my wife is usually more 'wag lady' than 'bag lady'. (Though Charity Shop coat bargains are seldom passed by, consequently she has more coats than Marks and Spencer's.) All of which brought to mind life in my younger days, and particularly what my grandmother and many people like her wore at roughly the same age as my wife is today.
I have fond memories of my grandmother. Born in the 1870's, widowed in the 1930's, a mere four feet ten inches tall, she nevertheless dominated our family with her very presence. Wise beyond words, God fearing, chapel going, she raised eight children, a hard working class existence typical of many. I remember her well in the late forties, fifties, sixties and seventies, a frugal, uncomplicated individual, dispensing home made sweets and kind words in equal measure. There is much I have written elsewhere concerning Granny Hudston. (See post dated 23rd April 2008 Anyone Out There.) Although the photograph in the picture shows Granny Hudston in her 'Sunday best' it is typical of an era not over impressed or influenced by the fashion industry. (For many reasons, including financial restraints, the unavailability of 'fashionable' clothes and no pressure from media advertising.) Fast forward to the photograph of my wife, November 2010. God bless her! Any comments concerning your own or families 'fashion statements' of your past youth welcome. And just to prove the point, 'My how time flies,' 'Those Were the Days, My friend' and 'The Time's they are A-Changing', my wedding photo and the dress worn by my grandmother on her wedding day. The whole thing is surreal. My grandmother is part of my almost recent past. At least in my eyes, not someone from times long, long gone. Except that to my children, and my children's children, I am probably reminiscent of a far distant era, perish the thought. So we all get old together. But, as Maurice Chevalier said, 'Old age isn't so bad when you consider the alternative.' And Red Skelton can have the last word. 'I don't let old age bother me. There are three signs of old age. Loss of memory...I forget the other two...'