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.
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.
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.
Here’s a closer look at that scaffolding.
There seemed to be quite a few repairs in progress while we there.
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.