So, here I am... an orphan now. It's an odd business...I'd got quite used to only having one parent (that's been the case since 1973 after all) but now the two of them are gone. Here's a rather blurred picture of my Mum and Dad together, taken in 1965 (two years before I was born). I think they are holiday snaps but goodness knows where they were - it looks like a quarry in the background or something.
I don't have many pictures of both of my parents together – there are their wedding shots from 1962 (the second wedding for both of them of course) but my Mum was 38 when they married and someone had dressed her to look much older so they're not my favourite images of her. She was never hip in my lifetime (she never once had a pair of what she would have called 'denim jeans') but she wasn't overly frumpy either and the least I can do (for a woman who didn't really like parading herself publicly) is only show her best sides to the worldwide web.
One very unexpected thing that I found when clearing Mum's desk were letters she'd received from my Dad (written in 1961-2, before they married). I'd never heard about these letters (and we talked quite a lot, Mum and I) and not having known my Dad at all well it was quite exciting to read these letters and, in a sense, hear his voice. I've read some of his poetry before but it's quite stilted stuff (a bit affected, even, for my taste) and you don't get much of a sense of the man from it. The letters however are quite different – funny, personal, anecdotal (he was a GP – lots of great subject matter). I'm not sure I'd call them love letters really...but there are terms of endearment, some affection and a hope for love, I think. The line from the letters that amused me the most was this one:
"I am not a real intellectual – don't be misled by a certain facility for the use of words."
San Juan and Masca
1 hour ago