Saturday, July 20, 2013

Old polaroid photos

Karen, David, Kim and Silas

Me, Sue, dogs and Karen

Reminiscing is something we do now and then, and the towns of Essex brought back memories of old friends.  My daughter was born in Epping, and so is a true 'Essex' girl, but her father was killed in a road accident when she was three, so there we were, a single parent family, so these photos are for her, a quick look back into the past.
Above is the old mill house that belonged to my friend Sue and her husband Michael, who also restored pictures. Polaroid dissolves so quickly, so that perhaps capturing this in the medium of the computer is the only way to record the moment.  Memories fade fast, when Sue lived in London, we would go up for a couple of days and stay at her flat and sleep next to large paintings in need of restoration, a somewhat frightening experience.
Then she married Michael and they rented this folly mill which belonged to Rousham House in Oxford. A Xmas visit brings back memories of the enormous tree in the tower part of the mill, the salmon covered in cucumber scales in its kettle, and the boxes of avocados and tangerines.  Her brother John would come down as well and fish for the native crayfish in the river Cherwell at the bottom of the garden.
I can see Karen standing like a little Victorian child in the doorway, three dogs scamper around, my old labrador Kim, David's Silas and Sue's dog.
I had met the Hammerbeck's as they were then in Dunmow, their mother Lois had a small antique shop in the town, and a cottage in a village outside Chipping Ongar.  We were to live for a time in this village in an old freezing cold cottage, me still working for my grandfather in Dunmow, driving home at lunchtime, not for lunch but to walk Kim and stoke the rayburn which was very temperamental, and often gave me ashma as it belched out foul fumes.
The photos look like Victorian ones, but must be about 37 years old, and you can see why polaroid never took on, apparently they tried to reduce the chemicals, remember the time when we took our kodak film to the chemist for printing out.

It looks better nowadays, a Cotswold cottage pretending to be a folly.


8 comments:

  1. Thank goodness for photos, even Polaroids. My father left us in 1964 when I was six months old and died in 1985 before I ever got to know him, so what photos I do have him are very precious. Those years must have been so hard for you Thelma. Thanks for sharing your lovely memories.

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    1. Hi Ems, thanks for sharing that as well, the problem with photos is that they bring back the past not always happily, so my dream last night was about Moss (no longer here) being stolen and ransomed by gypsies.

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  2. I can only echo Em's words. I think if you take your old photos into a proper camera shop, they can copy them for you onto disc, as well as printing a "paper" copy for you to keep. I can still remember the smell of the Polaroid chemicals . . . Wet nappies came to mind!!!

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    1. Well the good thing about the computer is that you can enhance their faded appearance, they were quite cumbersome those cameras - but the newest thing out...

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  3. Memory Lane, Thelma, thank goodness for photographs of whatever quality. Although whenI look at some of the really old polaroid ones I have they seem so very old fashioned nowadays.

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    1. Is memory lane good though I wonder? It brings so much more on its tail, but I did find the old wedding photos which my daughter 'confiscated' from me several years ago because she thought I wasn't capable of looking after them. Wanted them to hunt down the church and cottage we lived in at the time - still haven't found them!

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  4. I've had time the past month to merely skim your posts quickly, but promised myself a return to read and enjoy the travel posts in proper order.
    I know nothing of archaeology or the restoration of rare treasures, so can't comment in an intelligent way.
    I've been enjoying the photos and descriptions of your travels. I gather that tramping about to view historic mounds, barrows and henges may not be for the physically unfit, whatever the season. So many of the places in Britain that I've read about for years and will now never visit, seem to have been swallowed up in commercialism or damaged thoughtlessly.
    Wildflowers, however, return to many a spot and I can recognize most of them in your photos.

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    1. Hi MM, don't worry, most of my blogs are just records of what we see, I do so love the blogging habit, it is very much like keeping a diary, and totally impressed with your blog because apart from a busy life you manage to write about it as well.

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