Sunday, 7 October 2012

Friday 5th October - Autumnal Album Leaves

 I've played a number of piano pieces with names like "Album Leaves". I can think of one each by Schumann and Grieg for a start. They usually have a plaintive, nostalgic melody, in a minor key. I think of yellowed, faded photographs, days gone by, times past....

It's been very apposite just recently. Moving house means tripping over all sorts of photograph albums, ornaments, cups, clothes, that trigger memories that have been buried for many, many years.

Like this one, of me, and my grandmother, back in 1960 something.


Where was this, I wonder? I vaguely remember the day: I am wearing my "party dress"; grey Liberty silk, with little white daisies all over, and a little grey bow at the waist made from a couple of loops of grey and red silk. Everyone still wore gloves; I went to a convent prep school, and we all wore white gloves to school in summer (and straw hats, and blazers). I might be smiling for the camera, but inside, I was feeling mortified because I had spilt something on my dress.

Whose wedding was this? I remember a river nearby - the Thames? Was it in Henley? I have a picture of the bride and groom and best man and bridesmaids, but I have no idea who they are.

What should I do with the photographs? It seems rude to throw the bridal party into the bin, even though I don't know them. I wonder if they are still together, if they have been happy, these past forty or fifty years? 

Autumn leaves in the afternoon sunshine. The weather all last week was very kind to housemovers.

I have enjoyed looking through family photograph albums. There they all are, my parents, aunts and uncles, friends and family, at weddings, night clubs, parties... They all so look so incredibly glamorous, as though they are on the set of a James Bond film. "Oh, I remember that dress," says my mother. "It was beautiful, I loved that dress..."

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