Ladies Camera Club

12 Jan 2008

Best two days

Im back to a lubbly clean house (but still messy from decorating... even wallpaper is being peeled off as we speak which is freaking me out).

I flopped on the sofa with mark after a 2 hour journey home from Momma's and my fammus lunch. We caught up on three Shameless episodes from season one. I'm seriously loving the writing of that programme and the raw and gritty portrayal of life up north. Its pure class.

So my lunch? Well, I wasn't a lady wot lunched in Harvey Nicks after all. I arrived in Leeds (late) due to some fair built trucker trying to change his wheel on the hard shoulder with his bum crack putting me off my concentration. As I was being all ladylike and snooting my nose up in the air I pretended I was in a nightmare from the previous night. So I arrived to find that my business associate had wandered off to find herself a moderately priced coffee house. I hadn't even taken my mobile as I couldn't find the damn thing and the charge had run out (you so know the scenario, don't you?). I had to then ring home, get mark to log on to her website to get her number. Then I rang her number as found she was a fair walk from Harvey Nicks at coolio number at Cafe Roma. Why is my life such the drama? We sat sown and went through some cool stuff and I mean uber damn scrapability coolioness. Our mission then was to hunt out some packaging solutions. So it was back to Harvey Nicks to go on a spying mission. We considered having lunch whilst there but with Foie Gras this and Chatuea neuf vin du pap that at £30 a head (twas not my idea of fun - even if it proved my fur-coat-no-knickers theory). I'm a northern bird, I cant pretend that I have balsamic vinegar and crunchy rock salt on my french fries (I have salt and vinegar on me chips instead) nor do I have truffles with my eggs and bacon. I is what I is - a northern bird. And besides, I prefer to cook all that schmancy stuff for less at home. Anyways, we ended up slumming it at House of Fraser which still made me cough at the price of a fancy toastie. It was all good in the end.

I got to my Mommas at tea time Thurs where she had my favourite Pork in Cider dish ready for me. Its so good to have my momma to myself. Normally I have belle with me (with whom she smothers) and I don't get a look in. My momma sure knows how to pamper me. Also had a good old cosy on the sofa and fab convo with dad. We are so passionate about memories in our house, Im constantly begging them to regale me of their youth. So much so that my Poppa has started to journal his days in the Navy. I kindly gave myself permission to take these photos whilst he was at work (cheers dad!!!). My Dad was telling me about how, when he went to join the navy he sat on the train with lad he met at Manchester station. There were a ton of Nozzers (new lads) travelling down together but he and this lad were chatty from the start. It turns out this lad was in the next bed space to him and a year or so later, when my father joined HMS Ark Royal who was there to greet him? yep - the same lad again. I just LOVE listening to all the stuff both my parents got up to.

Both of them had completely different upbringings. My mother's upbringing was under the rule of an angry father but shadowed carefully under the loving wing of her mother who was paralysed down one side from a stroke. I remember both my mothers parents. I do remember my grandfather being a very headstrong man who liked a beer or two. And my darling grandmother who adored her grandchildren and who allowed us bake the BEST Christmas cakes, bath in her Belfast sink in the kitchen and give us the best cuddles you could ever wish to receive. She died when I was 5 but I have beautiful memories of her. My grandfather died when I was 19 and although he was a very strict, angry if not bitter man - I have memories which I hold dear.

My father lead a more privileged upbringing and in his younger years was brought up by his own grandparents as his parents suffered a messy divorce. My father idolised his grandparents who in turn thought of my father as the "apple of their eyes". My father doesn't go into too much detail about his youth, which is a shame as one seems to think that he also suffered the hardships of a bitter divorce. My feelings are that the adult life is just reminiscent of days gone by and its the "holding on to your youth" that shapes your life as an adult. Both my parents divulge as much as I ask and this week I begged them to jot down their memoirs for me. I'm desperate for these precious memories so that I can sit Belle down and glorify their history to her. I think its vitally important, don't you?
On Friday i had pretty much a lie-in of all lie ins. Mum brought me tea and toast in bed - I swear I thought I had died and gone to heaven. By lunch time we ventured out down to a notorious coffee house in Bridlington to chat. Tophams coffee house is over 60 years old with original features both in and outside. The glass painting on this mirror had only been painted over once since it first opened - i just love how these features are so well preserved.
The owner went on to tell us a ton of stuff about the history of the gaffe and told me a little bit about this tiny piece of glassware here. This is a penny licker. And........?

This is just so cool. Years ago, before sugar cones or cornets - ice cream houses served ice cream in bowls. But for a penny you could have a wee scoop in this "penny licker", lick it off and the vendor would wash the licker in readiness for the next kid with a penny. Its just oh-so-cool that the owner would part with such memories of his famous parlour. I love that the original clock STILL works, I love the kitsch blue paint and the mosaic mirrored splash backs on the "knickerbocker glory" glass shelves too.

You can feel the era of the joint as soon as you walk in. If ever you are in Bridlington, hunt out "Tophams" ice cream and coffee bar. And if Im ever in Bridlington and you are there too, Id love to take you there myself (Im there next week actually, as Im off to the Johann Strauss concert with mum).

So I arrived back home Friday and Saturday I was expecting a visit from my sister and her two kiddlies. At about 11am I got a call from my brother asking if he could come over too with his wife and unbeknown to my sis, came he did. I was so excited because its is so RARE for all three of us to be together. We spent a few brief moments together at his wedding last year and even fewer moments at my nephews christening the year previous. I am not going to disguise the fact that we have all had our quarrels over the years but last year I made a promise to myself to hang on to the ones I love. Life is too short for silly fall outs and misunderstandings. We all had a great 24 hours playing with the kids, on the Wii, playstation Buzz, eating a monster chinese take out. Nothing fancy, no time spent slaving over meals, the time was best spent just chilling out. I got the pictures I wanted but I cant share the ones of my sister as she is averse to public identity (no, she isn't on the run!). I got this smashing picture of belle in all the proceedings. Im getting a bit used to this peculiar face she keeps pulling but seeing is she is the cutest thing on this planet, I'll allow her to keep pulling it!

Also when I got home there was this monster box of delights waiting for me, shrouded in a glow of light and tingling from beauty locked from within. To those that subscribe to Studio Calico or indeed thinking about it. Let me tell you this (and I now I say it EVERY month but......)






Charlotte said...

Show us yer penny licker!

Rae said...

I SO know what you mean about the importance of getting your folks to write that stuff down! About 2 years ago my dad gave me and my sister a CD each. On it was a text document in which he had recorded his memories of growing up in urmston and of his family. He was very close to his mother who died from cancer years before I was born. I cant tell you how much it meant to be able to read sbout her and to feel like I could know her and love her, like she is a part of me although we never met. My mums mother is still with us but unfortunately her mind is gone and I am devastated that I never asked her to tell me those things to that I could record them for myseld and my children. It is so important, belle has a right to have those wonderful memories, I wish I had realised the importance a few years sooner than I did.

maz said...

Oh you Northern Birds are just priceless daaahling! We do enjoy to read of your lil adventures down here in the south(west...)
Keep it up doll xxx

Jo said...

wish you could take me to tophams.....think your dad and I might come from the same mould!!!! :) xx

Charlotte said...

Incase you thought I was being a bit wierd I made that comment as I couldnt see the pics *just had a worry come over me!!* xxx

D@nielle said...

wow lovely post to share ! The ice cream parlor looks fab ! I must say you look really good on that pic with the box, it must be because you know all it brings lots of yumminess ;) btw the boys want to come to the UK and see you, they are working on their english ;)

Di said...

Yep. Get the family memories thing. Been wanting to get more of that from my family. And Steve's started a unique family tree for us - unique in design. But that's him. I love reading about your family get together. I'm also one of 3 with a sister and brother. I'm the eldest. And life is too short for the quarrels and misunderstandings... and so often we just forget what the argument was about?! Anyway, glad you had a good couple of days. Love the photo of Belle and your dad's writings. x

Terrie B x said...

Ooh I loved reading Dad too was in the Navy & I am a Northern Girl (class)& i` m sooo glad you had a great time....feel as though I`v been there already!!!!

tjc designs Blog said...

Love the pics and profound statements - I recently hada bit on photographs on mine.... I am so glad you are felling much better have been meaning to call but you know what it is like which is why I am leaving this message at 2.30am!!! huge hugs to all x

Brook said...

What an awesome trip you must have had filled with such wonderful revelations and discoveries. I am so glad that you dad is writing things down for you. You and Belle will love reading them. I hope your week i great cheers!

Barb said...

Okay. . . so much to say.
So many beautiful photos.
Love that you had a day with your parents all to yourself.

And. . . I just added Shameless to my queue at Netflicks. Can't wait to check it out.

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