Wow… doesn’t each birthday come around quickly? To think, that 40 years ago today my mum was cradling me for the first time. After raising three boys she was in total disbelief that she’d given birth to a little girl. She kept checking my nappy to make sure I hadn’t sprouted anything!! (So she told me – as I certainly can’t remember that far back!)
I’ve been going through old photographs – and seeing as you’ve popped in for a visit – do you fancy coming for a trip down Memory Lane with me? I’ve scanned some random photos to share with you…
Let me introduce you to my parents, Len and Grace. Don’t they make a lovely couple? They were both Londoners, in fact Dad was a “pure” Cockney – as defined by being “born to the sound of the Bow bells”. Dad was from Bow and Mum was from Dagenham. Dad was considerably older than Mum by about 15 years. They had my three brothers and then 11 years later, I came along.
Here I am at just Four years old, cradling my nephew; my eldest brother’s first babe. By this time my family had moved from Stevenage to a new town called Milton Keynes (in England) and we lived in the middle of a row of terraced houses. Can you see the washing drying on the lines in the background? Gardens were always a sociable place to chat to neighbours. In fact, my youngest brother married the girl next door!
Wow – check out the frilly nylon dress!! What a crack up! This is my very first school photo at age Five. I’ve never worn a school uniform in my life. At the time, the High School I went to was the only one of its kind in the country to not have a dress code. We called our teachers by their Christian names. It was the norm for us, and therefore never an issue. I was never a trendy kid so it didn’t worry me to keep up with fashion, and being shy as I was, it suited me to blend in to the background (yes by then I had ditched the eye-catching frilly purple number!!!)
I love this photo – what a scruffy little urchin! I had sensory issues when I was young and because I complained so much about having my hair brushed, my Mum would never allow me to grow it long. She wasn’t cruel, she was just saving the family (and me) from all the extra moans and groans. (A whinging Pomme? Me? Never!!!)
I’m jumping ahead a few years now to 1984. Here I am aged 12 years old, in the back garden again, cuddling my first dog. Our next door neighbours had two Yorkshire Terriers and I used to get paid One Pound each week for taking them out for a walk each day and grooming them. We went to dog shows and I won a ribbon on one occasion. The Yorkies had two puppies and I watched them being born. Have you ever had the experience of seeing an animal born? It’s so humbling. I desperately wanted to own one of the little pups and was begging Mum and Dad for one. In the end, my Mum relented and advised me to bring the dog home for my Dad to meet… she obviously knew my Dad well because he gave in pretty quickly after cuddling the pup himself!
I was at work here, and the wonderful staff made a big fuss of my 21st birthday. In my mid teens I lost both of my parents to cancer within 18 months of each other; when I started working at this place as an office junior, the older women in the office took me under their wing and mothered me. This was my first ‘proper’ job. After art college I worked as a trainee for a couple of photography studios but it wasn’t for me. I then worked in an Aged Care facility for a short time as a care worker, but got too upset when the residents passed on. So it was then that I decided to get some qualifications in Office and Administration work. I stayed at the same organisation for 12 years… working my way sideways and upwards until I found my niche in the Marketing department. I only left when emigrating to Australia.
But during the course of my working there, I was the regular “drummer” for the company dragon-boat team.
I joined the local town’s dragon boat team as well and was drummer there for a couple of seasons. Being of a quiet nature, the guys in the boat couldn’t quite believe how loudly I could yell at them! I think the pure shock of that alone kept them concentrating on keeping in time! I was also ‘poached’ on a few occasions for other teams when they couldn’t find a drummer. During one of the “finals” the Women's crew from British Airways grabbed me to drum as their lady had fallen in “the drink”. Lucky for me I never fell in, although I do remember being pushed by a sneaky team-mate on one occasion!
I also used to enjoy hill-walking. This is Scafell Pike in Cumbria.
If you ever get the opportunity to visit The Lake District in England, then I highly recommend it. Even if you don’t go hill-walking, the views and scenery are breathtaking. It’s one of my favourite places. Mind you, I was lucky with the weather on this occasion (above) – it’s unusual to see views like these from the top of the mountains. On some of my endeavours I couldn’t see more than a few meters ahead of me, like on this occasion at the summit of Ben Nevis (Scotland):
As I started approaching my thirties, I met Mr SUDs and life started to take a new direction.
Gosh we look so young in this photo! It was taken at a Christmas party back in 2002. Scott and I are both homebodies, but we would enjoy going away at weekends whenever we could. The UK is so small compared to Australia (are you impressed by my Geography?! ) so it wouldn’t take that long to drive to some place new. We took our travels to Europe on occasion and also had a lovely family holiday in Lanzarote with young Master SUDs. I love this next photo, how cute is my little man?!!! I just adore that sleepy world of contentment he’s so obviously in… worn out from a days’ play in the sunshine!
We moved out to Australia in 2004, and had our sweet daughter, little Miss SUDs, the following year.
Then, two years ago Mr SUDs and I made it official and after 10 years together, we decided to marry. It was a truly wonderful day!
These days I’m not climbing mountains or banging drums or cavorting to historic places in the UK! I’m usually found like this…
Surrounded by toys and covered from head to toe in children and pets!! If I’m sat down then nine times out of ten I’ve got “the two girls” on my lap! They appear from out of nowhere, battling for prime position.
In closing, here’s a few little quirky things about me:
- I was pulled out of the audience at the famous Blackpool Circus when I was 18 to perform some tricks with the clown - and my knees LITERALLY knocked together! (I thought that only happened in cartoons?!)
- I have skidded over on a banana skin in full visibility of everyone eating lunch in the school dining hall (just call me Wile E Coyote…)
- I have dined at a restaurant while my halter-neck dress had inadvertently slipped down to my waist, unbeknownst to me – but certainly beknownst to the teenage boy sitting on the opposite table. (If you need to ask… no I wasn’t!) That was the single-most embarrassing moment in all of my life!
- I believed myself to be a pure genius on receipt of my ‘A level’ school results and seeing two “A”s on the creased paper docket. My elation and pure mystification shattered on smoothing out the said docket and discovering that the A’s were in fact two “N”s (near misses)… ahhh… genius-ness is short lived!
- In the 1980s I collected erasers and I still have a collection of more than 1,000… the story was featured in the staff newsletter where this next photo is taken from:
On my 30th birthday my boss (and friend) had a card made for me using this image… and the punch line read:
“It will take more than a few erasers to get rid of all those wrinkles!”
Ten years later… and you know what I’m thinking? “No s**t , Sherlock!!!”
Happy 23rd May everyone! Hugs! Vikki xo