You may remember that at the weekend I came home from my mother's house with lots of photos. In fact hundreds if not thousands of them in three suitcases and a couple of boxes. Today I pretty much sorted through just one of the suitcases - ruthlessly ditching a couple of armfuls but still left with over a hundred individual photographs that are now arranged in family distribution piles on our dining room table.
The discarding process was sad but necessary. Photos of mum's holidays in various places - Jamaica, Malta, Turkey, Canada, Majorca - holiday friends, harbour scenes, apartment blocks, swimming pools, belly dancers. She was very evidently amateurish behind the camera. Photos of village events at the school, the sports club, the Women's Institute. Photos of various people I didn't know - weddings, babies, banquets. All gone - now jumbled in a big blue "Sakis" menswear bag ready for the recycling bin.
Amongst all these photos - the snapped evidence of a lifetime ceased - there were occasional pictures of my brilliant father, Philip, who was heart attacked to death in September 1979 though it really does seem like yesterday. In my early twenties he was my best friend - I am sure he saw the image of himself in me - and I still miss him. I feel quite sad that he wasn't at our wedding and never got to meet the grandchildren Shirley and I produced too late for him to know.
But those three paragraphs above are all just preamble. The main purpose of this post is simply to share with you two photographs I found in the first suitcase. They were taken on October 24th 1981 - our wedding day. Location - St Martin's Parish Church in Owston Ferry, Lincolnshire. In the first photo, moving from left to right there's Simon, my younger brother and best man, my Nana - Phyllis Morris who died in 1988, Mum, me and Shirley, Shirley's mum Winnie who passed away in 2008, Shirley's grandma Minnie Anderson and also my father-in-law Charlie who succumbed to cancer in 2000 and finally Carolyn, Shirley's sister and maid of honour.
Taken a few minutes later, there's me and Shirley with my three bearded brothers. To the right there's Paul of the Irish fiddle in County Clare and Robin of the motorbikes and French gites - way down south near the Pyrenees. Time marches on. How shall we meet tomorrow?