M and I have never really celebrated Valentine's, but our wedding anniversary is Feb. 12th so that gives us an excuse, if ever we need it.
And being the day between our anniversary and Valentine's, what else could I post but a wedding photograph?
This is a slight cheat as I've posted this photo before, but there are two reasons I'm re-posting it :
first, because its the wedding of my nan and grandad who have featured in the last couple of Sepia Saturday posts.
Second, because its a particularly special photo. My mum's family don't have too many old family photos - certainly when compared with my dad's family. My nan and grandad weren't great ones for keeping things, and they came from working class families with little time and money to spare. So there are no photos of my nan and grandad themselves before around the time they got married, none of them as children. A few of my mum as a child.
And we thought there was no wedding photo.
Until this was found at the back of a photograph of my great grandmother.
My grandad gave the photo of his mother to me, in its old heavy dark oak frame, when I was a teenager and he saw that my walls were covered with sepia photos. (Mixed in with the David Bowie, David Essex, Pete Duel, David Cassidy). Its a wonderful photo and my grandad, my uncle and my mum all look so like her.
Which means that probably I do too.
I was so delighted to receive this treasure from little grandad and it was on the wall in our first two homes. But it wasn't until about 15 years later when we moved to this house in London that I took it out of its frame to clean it all up.
And so, I found this other lost treasure.
And a further treasure is the memory of my mum's expression when I gave it to her.
Its now been copied and passed around the family, and my uncle Vic has annotated it for us.
Only 6 people unknown from the group of 35.
Its the only photo we have of their wedding, and also the only photo we have of various aunts as children - my nan's younger sisters sitting at the front of the picture to the right. Aunt Daisy - from my last 2 Sepia posts - is right next to my nan, and my grandad's mother, whose photo he gave me, is 2 to his left with the hat with the white feather standing up. She's noted down as "Granny Walker (single name unknown)".
Don't they all look fine? my mum was so proud, looking back, of the way they'd pulled out all the stops to look fine and celebrate.
This was going to be a short post! I'm short of time! was in a hurry!
but this is one of the things I love about Sepia Saturday - the way these faded faces draw out stories from the past.
The final words in this rather wordy post are by Carol Anne Duffy, I love this poem and had planned to use Valentine's day as an excuse to post it.
And in fact, it somehow seems so appropriate to thinking about my dear grandparents. Hard working and unsentimental, not often demonstrative and so very loving.
Here they are arriving at my wedding, 26 years ago, both in their late 80's:
I remember during the service they made us smile, my nan saying something rather loudly about his hearing-aid, he shushing her.
and here is "Valentine" by Duffy:
Not a red rose or a satin heart.
I give you an onion.
It is a moon wrapped in brown paper.
It promises light
like the careful undressing of love.
It will blind you with tears
like a lover.
It will make your reflection
a wobbling photo of grief.
I am trying to be truthful.
Not a cute card or a kissogram.
I give you an onion.
Its fierce kiss will stay on your lips,
possessive and faithful
as we are,
for as long as we are.
Its platinum loops shrink to a wedding-ring,
if you like.
Its scent will cling to your fingers,
cling to your knife.
more Sepia Saturday posts over here