Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Blast from The Past No Six

I have chosen this particular 'blast' because of a conversation I had with a female cousin this week. We talk frequently concerning the autobiographical work I have been engaged with for some considerable time.
If we have known people, relatives or acquaintances for many years, we presume to know them well. But is this really the case?
My grandmother died, aged ninety-nine years, over thirty years ago. Tiny, religious, inoffensive, I presumed she was an unworldly lady of the highest order. My cousin has taught me otherwise.
The past is often referred to as mild compared with today's more violent times. A picture ingrained in today's psyche, true or otherwise. Janet explained to me, granny, little old innocuous granny had shown her, when Janet was a teenager, how to defend one's honour against random attack on the streets. (Often aimed at the terrors of the town rather than sleepy old Ockbrook.) Janet was shown how to thread a hatpin into the lapel of a coat so as to be invisible but available. An awesome, deadly weapon immediately to hand in an emergency. And go for the eyes was the advice given, bruises fade but hatpin inflicted injuries are forever. An amazing lesson, fortunately never needed. Do we really know people, in spite of our closeness, or is there behind, inside everyone, another person in fact. Perhaps we are all multiple personalities; what an awesome thought.
The gradual clearout of the loft is ongoing and still turns up trumps.
Amongst the many photos of times long since gone one in particular stands out. Not grandad in his grandeur as Sunday School Superintendant. Not grandma with her brood of eight around or not too far from her tiny feet. Not the weddings of the brood, safely despatched over the years. that is, not of each wedding, faithfully recorded, but only, God forbid, one in particular.
A wedding photo is retrieved, one wedding in many. The bridegroom, smiling, as bridegrooms should. The bridesmaid, shy and demure, as bridesmaids were expected to be.
The bride, I know who, but I'm not telling. Carefully cut, and I mean carefully from the wedding scene. Cut undoubtedly by a sister in law, my aunt who obviously disapproved of the marriage to a favourite brother.
I make no comment as to the rights and wrongs; for all I learn in life is that despite increasing age I know nothing. But look at the careful cuts involved and wonder. Aren't families strange, and isn't life in general even stranger.


Shammickite said...

I think an accurately weilded hatpin might inflict horrible damage to a would-be attacker. But where can you buy hatpins these days?

Daphne said...

So strange that she's cut round so carefully! Tearing the bride off the photo in a moment of anger would be more usual. I think it shows affection for the man - - and a REAL dislike of his wife!

tony said...

I just dropped by via Occupied Country.Greeting from The Peoples Republic of Yorkshire!

cheshire wife said...

Now that illness and old age are prevalent in my family, friends and relatives have confirmed some of my suspicions, relating to what appeared to be a happy family, but wasn't.

Grumpy Old Ken said...

Very true. You would have to be pushed to use one but you only have to watch Crimewatch.

I'm sure you areabsolutely spot on. And I wonder if the other person had any inkling.

Grumpy Old Ken said...

Have visited and will be back.

Cheshire Wife
Isnt it all very sad but repeated many many times I fear.