This is my 100th post, so I have chosen to feature an object that links back to my first. Today is my parents’ wedding anniversary; they would have been married for 61 years. This time last year I wrote about the last anniversary they spent together, their 40th. This sliver locket, about the same size and shape as a 20p piece, was Dad’s gift to Mum on their silver wedding anniversary in 1977. Mum placed 2 miniature photographs of them inside, and wore it often (in fact she can be seen wearing it in the photos on my previous post, taken a few weeks before she died). I now wear it to events that they would have attended: family occasions, political demonstrations, etc. The last time I wore it, sadly, was at my cousin Sandra’s funeral. I think of this as “taking Mum and Dad along.”
I remember their 25th anniversary well, even though I wasn’t there (I was 15 and away pony trekking at the time). They didn’t make a big fuss or throw a party or anything like that – it wasn’t their style – they probably just went to the local Indian restaurant as they usually did on their anniversary, the only day of the year on which they ate out. Their 3 children, however, did make a bit of a fuss, as we surprised them with a special gift: a small, silver, mother-of-pearl lined oyster-shaped bowl and spoon. This had been chosen by Brother 2, who also presented them with a framed copy of this photograph, which he had taken in our garden not long before:
The same garden in which they had held their wedding reception 25 years previously – in fact they are posed in exactly the same spot:
The small fig tree in the corner in 1952 has taken over half the garden 25 years later!
I recently came across a box in the archives full of their wedding mementos: telegrams and greetings cards from family and friends, invitations and place cards, and a few wedding favours:
I remember Mum telling me about her first trip to Glasgow with Dad to meet her future in-laws, shortly after they were engaged; perhaps they bought the ring on this trip. She talked of her deep trepidation in facing this ordeal, only to be overwhelmed by the warmth and kindness with which she was welcomed into this large, loving Glaswegian family. Bringing me neatly back to my first post, which featured this precious ring.
So, am I going to stop here? To be honest, even though this is my 100th post, it isn’t my 100th object. Some posts, like this one, have featured more than one object; some none at all, unless a letter or photograph counts as such. When I started this project back in January 2012 I thought it would take me 6 months or a year at most. Here I am, a year and 8 months and 100 posts in and I am still raking through the family archives, discovering interesting objects with stories to tell. I’m far from done yet. So, although the blog title may have to change, there are many more objects to come…watch this space!
With special thanks to Owen Llewellyn for the micro photography.