Monday, 24 August 2015

One Woman on a Pursuit of Justice and Perfection.....




Me, St Bride's College, Masterton, NZ 1974 


 

There are those of you out there who understand a life like mine, and it's simply because you lived a similar one.
There I am, with new ribbons, and a second-hand and too-big wool blazer.
There's a lot of my life where I am in the correct clothes but something's either too short, too long and rolled up, or the clothes are mostly right but my eyes are closed or there has been a particularly awful hair-cut that week. Rarely are there perfect shots of me.
1971 trip to London 
London was considered Terribly Important. If you went to London, you went Because You Were Important. Being from "Up-North", London was quite a trip.


We went on a Brit-Rail Weekend Away staying at The Grosvenor. It was  considered an Important Thing for me and my brother to "See London". Indeed we did see it. When I asked if we could go to Madame Tussaud's the answer was a firm"No" -The reason? -Too Low Class for you. (Don't Ask.) There are those who understand.


Auntie West, me and Auntie Pat 1963.
 
For some adults, the war was only a few years gone. Auntie West lived through it serving as ....a Wren I think. Look at how straight her back is, and she was in her sixties in that photo. This firm woman taught me to knit.

There were certain norms and rituals that came with my life. 

May Day Parade 1975    
May Day was when each village crowned an aspiring model as their May Queen. Somewhat pagan and sexist, but there we are. My mother was asked (as the Doctor's wife) to crown the May Queen one year. This was a very special and high social honour. I watched with the other important people. Later, under strict supervision,we all went to the Fairground. I lowered the tone of the occasion by being caught singing along to a T-Rex song on the dodgems....
 
There were some certainties in my life. Again, some of you will understand. 
 
You waited and said nothing until you were asked.

You ate what was put on your plate.
 
You said "Please" and "Thank You"and "Sorry"

Television was not turned on until "Blue Peter" was screened.
Doctors were always right.

Reporters were invented to fight injustice.
 
Teachers liked you if you worked hard.
 
Scientists were going to save the world.
 
The BBC was almost as important as The Queen.
 
 The police would always catch the Bad People.
 
One could Tell a Rude Person Off and be certain of one's intentions in doing so.
 
Sigh.......
Curacao 1975    
Eventually we did move on, at least geographically.
We did a two-year run in NZ and came back via the Panama Canal. We look a bit more relaxed and bronzed in that photo...plus there are flowered shirts.
 
Sometimes that certainty though is very appealing.
 
 
I wish all The Rude People Could be roundly told off.....that would be Justice.
 
 I wish everyone would understand that Tories are Ill-educated...
 
I wish that everyone would stop accepting the lowest common denominator otherwise you end up with Tories and Laissez-Faire governance.
 
I wish more people would take a stand....that would be brave and good.
 
Just sometimes...I wish The Seventies were back.
 
The cousins and me Kilsalagh, Westport, Ireland 1971.
 
Except for the knitting, the Seventies was a Just and Interesting time. Here I am in a  nasty acrylic number (my brother too). Accepting that this was summer, my Irish cousins are better dressed than we are.
 
Thank You,
 
Take care,
 
Fiona MacBride



 

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