Scrap Book: Charmouth

Here we are, with ‘Uncle’ John Druker – you know, one of those family friends who ends up being an uncle. I am two and a half years old, Peter four and a half, and we are holidaying in Dorset, on the Jurassic coast. Peter looks not too pleased. I’m starting my interest in photography young, which looks like it basically involved lots of twiddling. Apparently I liked twiddling. Especially doorknobs. I really like this picture of Mum and Dad – Mum looking sweet and Dad very smiley. I think the dog was Snowy – belonging to the Drukers. Blue wellies for the boys and a proper old school canvas rucksack.

Scrap Book: Dad, Aunty Wendy and I, at ‘The Island’

Here I am, aged 1 year and 2 months, at The Island across the fields with my Dad and Aunty Wendy. The island is really just a marshy pond with some grass mounds. In winter, one of the mounds would become a small island, accessible only by risking a wet footer. A wet footer was about the worse that could happen; water coming over the top of your wellie. No, worse than a wet footer was the boot getting stuck in the mud and you continuing to step, sock into the squelch. It’s a long way home with soggy socks. Before I knew its name, the place everyone else called The Island, to me was called ‘London’. I thought everywhere that wasn’t home or Broughton Gifford was London.

Rocking the brown balaclava, hair blond back then. I still wear brown cords like these.

Scrap Book: 1973, Boundary House

Here we are! This is my father aged 29, working on the house my parents have recently bought, having moved from the suburbs north of London to a quiet, spacious Wiltshire village. It’s good to see him looking so fit and well. Next to dad is Peter and I’m at the front, aged 2. And there’s Pixie the cat, later to be killed by the hounds of the hunt. And there’s Peter’s tricycle. And what I’m guessing is a stone for getting on a horse. This was the good life, growing up in Broughton Gifford. I still wear T-shirts like this one.

Scrap Book: Rocamadour

November 2006, Caroline and I visited my mother in France. On one excursion we went to the impressive town of Rocamdour, built into the cliff above a river. From the top of the cliff you can descend through the white-stoned town, winding down steps and into courtyards, pretending you are in Lord of the Rings. Hundreds of years ago, pilgrims would ascend to the the churches on their knees.

Scrap book: Azores Surf Trip

October 2006 found Derek, Francisco and I far into the Atlantic in the Azores. The conditions weren’t the easiest. The main beach on the north coast had huge rollers preventing us from paddling out:

So we sought shelter, finding a secret spot along the coast. Probably not a secret, just a half-hour hike down the cliff (and a killer post-surf climb back up). Derek made the most of the seclusion:

Overall I found it a strange island, often misted up, and away from the towns very rustic. On one tour we ran into these fellows:

Pink for boys, blue for girls

Boys and girls used to wear white dresses (yes, even the boys) until age six or seven when they got their first hair cut. Then…

The march toward gender-specific clothes was neither linear nor rapid. Pink and blue arrived, along with other pastels, as colors for babies in the mid-19th century, yet the two colors were not promoted as gender signifiers until just before World War I—and even then, it took time for popular culture to sort things out.

For example, a Ladies’ Home Journal article in June 1918 said, “The generally accepted rule is pink for the boys, and blue for the girls. The reason is that pink, being a more decided and stronger color, is more suitable for the boy, while blue, which is more delicate and dainty, is prettier for the girl.” Other sources said blue was flattering for blonds, pink for brunettes; or blue was for blue-eyed babies, pink for brown-eyed babies, according to Paoletti.

In 1927, Time magazine printed a chart showing sex-appropriate colors for girls and boys according to leading U.S. stores. In Boston, Filene’s told parents to dress boys in pink. So did Best Co. in New York City, Halle’s in Cleveland and Marshall Field in Chicago.

Today’s color dictate wasn’t established until the 1940s, as a result of Americans’ preferences as interpreted by manufacturers and retailers. “It could have gone the other way,” Paoletti says.

So the baby boomers were raised in gender-specific clothing. Boys dressed like their fathers, girls like their mothers. Girls had to wear dresses to school, though unadorned styles and tomboy play clothes were acceptable.

via When Did Girls Start Wearing Pink? | Arts & Culture | Smithsonian Magazine.

Scrap Book: Tunnel Visions

Five years ago, April 2006, we were regularly heading to Croyde Bay to surf. Francisco, Trevor and I had just bought identical sized mini mals from Tunnel Vision in Newquay. Doug had his new bodyboards. Things change and we haven’t been to Croyde in a long while, and none of us have these boards any more. Trevor is back in the UK having been in Australia a few years, Francisco is in California and Doug is probably moving on in the summer. I was surprised to hear you can surf in Italy. Croyde was never really good for us, usually huge walls of white. It was only when we headed round to Putsborough that our surfing picked up. There’s talk today of a reunion session next month…

Scrap Book: Mexico Weekend Surf Trip 2006

While staying in California three of us took a weekend surf trip down to Mexico. The first night we stayed in the crappiest campsite, a car park basically, just somewhere to sleep before heading further south:

We drove all the next morning in the intrepid VW. The sign says ‘What have you got to risk?’

After a crazy bumpy track we arrived at the crazy bumpy Campo 4 Casas hostel, right on the cliff over the surf spot:

We surfed that afternoon and next morning we headed back north, looking for a sweet spot:

With armed checkpoints:

We piled back over the border late on Sunday all Mexico’d up

Scrap Book: Trevor, Arne and I: The Old Men of Coniston

In January 2006, at the summit of the Old Man of Coniston, having hiked up through the ice and snow. I have a yearning to climb more mountains. In the late 90s I lived at the foot of these fells, at the youth hostel in Coniston village. This photo was taken by Virginia, the fourth member of our party, the others that year having opted for a valley walk.

Scrap Book: Dell Cottages

Here’s a picture of Dell Cottages, back in 2005. We lived in the right hand of these two, on the upper floor. The view was expansive, over a long meadow flanked by two lanes and a wood. In the wood are ancient burial mounds. This was the second of four homes at Brockwood. First Dean, down by the A272, then Dell, then a flat in the centre above the laundry and kitchen, and now a flat above the reception area. By far this current one is my favourite, yet Dell had its charms, not least a garden surrounding the whole building, reaching into the woods, the woods reaching into the garden.