The photo has been lying around in one of my many boxes and folders for some time. I usually smile when I come across it - when looking for some other photo or when just tidying up.
Today it turned up again, but this time I turned it over and saw, for the first time, the writing on the back.
"Katie - at her Open Day at the Girls' School - showing her sewing (N.B. less of it than the other girls have). She was in the maypole dance and loved it. Will you return this photo and keep the other one. Love, Chris".
Chris - my mother. What did she mean - I had less sewing than the other girls? That's me on the right. I scanned the photo in and blew it up. Perhaps I did have less but why point it out? And I HATED being in the maypole. I have no sense of rhythm and have never been comfortable dancing. Look at my haircut with that short fringe. I actually remember that cut and remember hating that short fringe.
Mothers and daughters .... Strange why the writing on the back of the photo would bother me as much as it did. I must get all my 1950s photos together. There's something so very gray and depressing about them. I'll put them all together and throw away the key.
But today I was in a masochistic mood. I looked at each and everyone. Hoping to find something to contradict my vision of the black and white world of Australia in the fifties. Oh look, here's one of me and my brother on our way to the beach. We look more like we are fulfilling a duty rather than about to have FUN! And I still have that bloody aweful fringe!
We grew up. Times change.
From the fifties in black and white to color. I remember in 1964 when the Beatles came to Melbourne. I went to their concert. The world turned to color.
I've turned over the last fifties photo. I keep going.
I find a late photo of me and my brother. The fifties are behind us.
And we are actually smiling.