I could’ve been a star…

Posted in response to the Daily Post weekly photo challenge. This week’s them ‘The Road Taken’

To this day I don’t know why Dad was so furious when I told him I was learning to play the tambourine.  Well, I know it wasn’t particularly the tambourine side of things he didn’t like, I mean, who doesn’t like a tambourine, it was more where, and by whom, I was learning to play.

To be fair, most people don’t need lessons.  I understand that.

In a way it was his fault.  He was a collector of tat, and one day bought home a red tambourine, complete with long red, blue and yellow ribbons attached.  They swished as I banged and rattled. It was a joyful thing.

I don’t think my parents thought of it as joyful for long though. I’d march about our huge ‘over a shop’ flat, singing along to the tuneless bang rattle. 

I knew about marching.  We lived on a main road, so main that there was a bus stop right outside our front door, I used to have to navigate queues of people to cross over the road to the sweet shop to by my weekly jamboree bag.  I used to love jamboree bags, the blackjacks and the mojos, and the surprise cigarette card, sometimes a sugary lollipop, it’s a wonder any child of the 50’s has any teeth left at all.

Anyhow, pretty much every other Sunday morning a parade would pass by our flat and the sweetshop and the garage and the pub over the road.  I never really knew where they marched from or to, or why, but the people were all ages, dressed in uniforms, marching smartly while being led along, by a pied piper of a brass band.  Some of them were scouts, some girl guides, but the band were special, smart black uniforms, shiny instruments, and… tambourines, four or five playing in unison.  Women with their arms waving, making shapes with the ribbons… across, down, up, across, down up, across, down, up…

This was the Salvation Army band in all it’s glory.  We could hear them coming for a good five minutes before they passed our door.  My sister and I would watch them from the eyrie of our second floor bedroom window, still listening even after they’d disappeared from view.  Oh how I wanted to march like that, all smart, and in a troupe, all in time… left, right, left, right…

As it happens, the Salvation Army headquarters was next door to our house.  It was a dingy long low building stretching back off the road, separated from our backgarden by a fairly rickety six foot brick wall.  I couldn’t see through the grilled windows, but occasionally heard singing coming from inside, other than that it was an off-limits mystery. 

Nevertheless, I snuck in one day when the big red doors were open.  I don’t really remember what got into me.  I must’ve been about nine.  The people there were lovely and welcoming. I told them I lived next door and that I’d got a tambourine, and that’s when they told me I could learn to ‘play it properly’.   So I had lessons. Two of them. Before my dad found out.

Goodness, he was spitting nails when he heard.  What he didn’t call those poor people, who had after all, treated me very kindly. He was thoroughly ag’in religion in any shape or form, and the Sally Army was, in his mind at least, one of the most heinous sects imaginable. I was forbidden to go anywhere near them again.  I’m quite sure I was punished too, but my main memory is my anger and disbelief at the injustice of it all.  He never did explain his reasoning to me.  Dad never needed a reason for anything.  He was his own man.  So without further ado my road to tambourine greatness ended.

I still remember the ‘Cricket stump’ move though (across, down, up etc..) and can play a tambourine with the best of ‘em. And every time I see a Salvation Army band playing carols at Christmas time (actually, the only time I ever see them these days) I remember the grim dark hall and the silk ribbons of my shiny tambourine.

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Not the Salvation Army! This was taken at Easter in Sorrento some years back 🙂

 

 

 

 

Close, but no cigar…

Posted in response to the Daily Post weekly photo challenge  – this week’s theme ‘A Good Match’

My twin daughters at about two years old.  They’re a pretty close match but not identical.  People often used to think they were, and were always getting them muddled, but really if they had taken the time to look properly they’d see many differences.  For instance, I could tell them apart, even from behind, just by the shape of their heads!

Amazingly to me, they will turn 30 this year, and though they live at different ends of the country, and have had different experiences, they are still the best matching pair I know!

 

Seeing double_1

Where the heart is

Posted in response to the Daily Post weekly photo challenge. This week’s theme ‘Solitude’

home

Oh I do enjoy a bit of me time now and again.  In front of the fire, with a nice cuppa tea in my favourite cheery uppy mug, slippers on, feet on the table (oh I know, what a rebel), remote, ipad and phone all within reaching distance. What could be nicer?

Look at the birdie…

Posted in response to the DailyPost weekly photo challenge.  This week’s theme ‘Graceful’.

Early Morning Mist

Yeah, I know, I know, I’ve used this picture before, but I honestly couldn’t fine a more fitting example for this challenge.  Oh, I had lots of nice birdie and animal pictures, and more graceful arching branches than I could count.  But, this photo of the most graceful building in the world, the Taj Mahal, caught by my goodself in the (very) early morning mist (yawn…) says it all.

We all think we know about the Taj Mahal, but no photograph or tv picture in the world will ever capture it’s vastness and purity of structure and form.  It glows in the sunrise with quite breathtaking beauty and grace.

Shame the bloomin’ bird got in the way… hehee.. 😉

Only  joking. Just look at the gorgeous sweep of those wings!

 

Kicking K

Posted in response to the Daily Post weekly photo challenge. This week’s theme ‘Names’.

K twiglet (2)

This is not a name, it is a letter, I hear you cry.  I beg to differ. 

For some reason best known to my parents they decided to call me Kaye (with an ‘e’).  It doesn’t matter at all that they decided to call me Kaye (with an ‘e’) because Kaye (with an ‘e’) sounds just like ‘K’.  An initial, a cough of a name.

I’m not a Katy, or Katherine, or Kelly, or Katrina, I’m just Kaye (with an ‘e’). 

You’ll notice that I’m reminding you of the ‘with an e’ bit everytime, that’s because whenever I am asked my name and I say Kaye, people say

‘your full name?’

And I have to say yes, that’s Kaye (with an ‘e’).  ‘K. A. Y. E.’. would be so much easier to have a proper name.

I’ve always wanted a name with more than one syllable. Something nice and musical like Gwendoline, or Isabella.  Nice soft romantic names. Names that don’t sound like they’re just initials.

Nice as they are though, I will never find a twiglet in the shape of those.  And, it’s quite cool to be known by an initial these days I suppose. Look at ‘M’ in James Bond, and of course, don’t tell anyone, but I am one of the Men in Black!

The Edge of the Day

Posted in response to the Daily Post weekly photo challenge. This week’s theme ‘Edge’

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Lots of soft mountain edges as the sun rose over the Annurpurna range in Nepal.  I had to get up very, very early in the morning and take a treacherous drive for this…hope you appreciate it!!  It was the most gorgeous and unforgettable experience though 🙂

 

As you see me

IMG_0312Posted in response to the Daily Post weekly discovery challenge – this week’s theme ‘Portrait’.

Ok, I’ll fess up… I didn’t take the portrait, but I did take the picture of the portrait, if you see what I mean!

When my daughter told me that she’d received an old polaroid camera for her birthday, I was quite jealous. Enchanted by the idea of ‘instant pictures’ I remember badly wanting one when I was younger. Of course, that was way, way, before the digital camera age and now photographs are ten a penny and disposable so  I was surprised at how excited she was.

The film thingy’s are very expensive, and she was still getting used to the camera, and she warned me that the results were not so much ‘sharp’ as ‘interesting’ but in fact I love this shot.

I love the fact that, although you get the gist that its me, my features are blurred, and that she’s captured my expression of thoughtful bemusement at the world exactly how I would like it to be captured.  To put it bluntly – how I want other’s to see me.

The thought has been growing in my mind ever since it was taken.

I’ve always had problems trying to find a ‘suitable’ profile picture which encapsulates my overall demeanor without showing me baring my wonky teeth in an insane grin, or wrinkling up my eyes, or losing my real chin amongst the others.  Problem is, in my head I am still youthful, slim, and lovely so it’s always a bit of a shock to see the reality captured in a snap.

I have the same problem at the yoga studio, the one where there is mirrors.

‘oh blimey, who is that baggy old biddy who looks like a squishy sack of potatoes?’

‘oh poop, it’s me.’

I guess a lot of people of my age feel the same, and really, I’m fit and healthy so I shouldn’t worry about what I look like, right?

It sounds like a cliché, but speaking to my friends I gather I’m not alone in still feeling young on the inside whilst my body tells the bitter truth in photographs. It’s depressing.

So from now on I’m steering clear of the lens and you’ll just have to take my word for it that I’m a happy soul who moves my sylph like body with the grace of an angel and whose face is as blemish, and wrinkle free as an Egyptian sheet in a five star hotel. 😉