Sunday, 1 January 2012

Storytelling Sunday 2 ~ A Very Different Christmas

Before I started writing my Month in Numbers post yesterday, I had no idea what I was going to tell you about today, for Sian’s Storytelling Sunday. I wanted to tell a New Year tale, but I always find it easier if I have a picture as a starting point and I couldn’t think of any in my albums. I mentioned that it was 25 years since I last had any sort of fringe and I wondered if I had any photos of that.

I found this one.

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It shows me, aged 17, on Christmas Day 1985. I was in India with a group of school friends and we had just opened our presents. My gifts included a beach mat, a tin mug (which I still have), joss sticks and a bar of sandalwood soap. My Secret Santa was very imaginative and did amazingly well with the small amount of rupees.

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We had left a Poste Restante address, in Kerala, with our families and friends, as we would be there for a week between Christmas and New Year. I was lucky enough to receive several pieces of mail, including the Christmas card I’m holding. As you may have noticed the sender has attached a balloon, to help us celebrate. The silver disc is an Extra Strong Mint, something he was well known for having about his person at all times. There was also a lovely long letter inside, added to by almost all of our Sixth Form friends. I still have that too. I can’t tell you how special it felt to have those words on a Christmas Day so far from home.

We saw in the New Year at a hotel across the road, which was much posher than the accommodation we were staying in. I remember drinking some locally brewed spirit and dancing to Talking Heads Road to Nowhere. Whenever I hear that song now, it takes me right back to that night.

We travelled further north by train and visited lots more amazing places, before we returned home. I love that there were repairs being carried out, while we were in Agra, because it makes my shot of the Taj Mahal a little bit different from the standard touristy images.

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Here’s a closer look at that scaffolding.

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There seemed to be quite a few repairs in progress while we there.

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It’s funny the things that have come back to me looking at that first shot. I had completely forgotten about those gifts and without the photo would not have remembered them.

So when Uncle Dave says, "You've got to persuade them! It's so important!” You really should listen to him, because he’s absolutely right. Get your stories down on paper, or on your blog, before they are lost forever.

20 comments:

Sandra said...

Wow Fi, you really have lived life to the full :)

Jennie Hart said...

What a superb picture and great that it brings so much back to you.
That sounds like an amazing journey.

Happy New Year :)

Maya said...

What a great story! Happy New Year!

scrappyjacky said...

A really different christmas....and a great story.

Scattychick said...

Wow what an amazing experience to have had thank you for sharing it with us Fi xxx

Sian said...

Wow, what an amazing Christmas that must have been! I'm so glad that you thought of these pictures because you have told a fantastic, fascinating story with them. I love it.

Thank you for joining in again in 2012 and a Happy New Year to you all

heart.hearth.home. said...

It certainly was a very different Christmas! It's great you have all those photographs, they really do add a new dimension to your story.
Have a very Happy New Year!

Ali said...

Wow some amazing photos and memories Fi :) Sounds like a brilliant way to spend xmas and new year xx. Must dig out my photos of sri lanka I must have been there 6 months before ( or after ) you were in India!

Deb @ Paper Turtle said...

What a great adventure, Fiona! And the photos to go along with your story are awesome.

Jo said...

Wow, that is a great story, sounds like you had a fab time x

Mary Ann said...

I'm the family genealogist and I wish more members of my family had written stories about themselves and their everyday lives. As I do my family tree I write down as much information as I can about each person on the tree so that my children will have a written history long after I'm gone:) In this day and age of instant communication so much is lost so I think it is so important to write your story down somewhere!

Alison said...

What wonderful memories of a very different Christmas!
Alison xx

alexa said...

Lovely to read about your adventuresome self :).

Beverly said...

Photos start the stories flowing in my head as well and I am trying to be better about documenting the words. I love that your Taj Majal site is so obviously personal sometimes I feel I might as well buy a postcard.

Lizzie said...

Great story Fiona! Fancy spending Christmas and New Year in India - how fabulous. I love your photos - and it was great to read your memories.

Helen said...

What an amazing Christmas - and the photos are great. I loved that the card had the gifts as well - so clever/thoughtful

Cheri said...

I also love starting with photos to tell my stories. Yours was great - thanks for sharing!

Gail said...

What great memories you've shared and to think all because you found that one picture. Happy New Year

S said...

What a unique Christmas you recalled for us. Thanks for sharing. PS I like the way music can take me back in an instant too - like Taking Care Of Business by Bachman Turner Overdrive from my high school years.

Missus Wookie said...

What a great adventure thank you for sharing it with us. Love the scaffolding and the music memory - Talking Heads Road to Nowhere is a great track. :)