Wasn't it Paul Simon who wrote: "I have a photograph inscribed with memories" ?
My father loved dabbling in photography. He taught me how to develop film and then how to print pictures. In his improvised dark room there was a red light and there were big brown bottles of chemicals. One was a "fixer".
He took posed pictures of old men from our village smoking pipes or drinking pints of beer and he left behind a photo of Pentewan in Cornwall taken in 1958. Lovely Pentewan where we went for long summery holidays from 1957 to 1963 or 4. We had a Lynton Triumph caravan. A heavy, ugly pre-war beast but all six of us slept in her.
They were magical days. The sun shone. Me and my brothers - we spent hours on that beach. To the very left of the picture there was a stream that meandered from the nearby china clay works at St Austell bearing slippery white kaolin. How delightful it was to paddle in that smooth white clay or make temporary dams. And we would swim or splash in those pleasant Cornish waves.
There was "Kelly's" wonderful honey-coloured ice cream to relish in crispy wafer cones and warm Cornish pasties from the village - fist-sized traditional pastry parcels filled with seasoned minced lamb and chopped potato and carrot. You couldn't buy exotic foodstuffs like these in faraway Yorkshire.
There were excursions to Land's End, The Lizard, Fowey and Truro but mostly we loved just frittering time away around the beach and the caravan site. As a four and five year old I was well-known for wandering off - just walking away and becoming totally lost. For those summers, they often made me wear a label round my neck with my name and holiday location on the reverse side. It was a hard plastic label with a chain and on the front side, the legend "Castrol" was printed in red-white on a dark green background. Of all my brothers why was it me who wandered away? I like to think of this as a clue to who I would become.
Pentewan last year