|Mum & Dad on their Wedding Day - 1st August 1970|
Mum and Dad renewed their vows in 2000 to mark their 30th Wedding Anniversary in a lovely event, which was a little more lavish than their earlier wedding, but very moving. To see your own parents restate the vows that, for them, hold religious significance, as well as personal import, was a lovely experience. In 2010, on Dad's 60th birthday, and their 40th Wedding Anniversary, they held a big party for all their friends and family on a friend's farm. A local band played, we danced to some of their favourite music and everyone bought picnics to enjoy together, sat on hay bales. It seemed a very appropriate reflection of their original day.
|Mum & Dad dancing|
at their 40th
Wedding Anniversary Party
Dad worked as a photographer and film-maker for many years during my childhood, before retraining as a lecturer and working in Further Education for most of my teenage years. He was a very caring and calm figure in my childhood, always keen to encourage us, always finding time for our stories and activities and mediating very well in disagreements. I spent many happy Saturdays 'helping' him with his wedding photography business - his own business that he managed to run alongside working full-time. Teaching full-time myself now, and without even having any children to consider, I know I couldn't manage it. Again, I don't know how he did it. He now runs his own production company and works for an Examination Board, training other teachers in the delivery of courses and monitoring the marking and grading of a number of qualifications. He is in charge of checking the quality of the same course I currently teach and I've done work for the same exam board, which makes for lots of in-depth discussions that bore everyone else when we have family get-togethers. Dad is currently enjoying the fact that a lot of his work is taking him all over the world - to India, Africa, America and all over Europe. He has written a number of textbooks and teacher guides for qualifications he has worked on and, in 2008 we co-wrote a book for students of a new Diploma qualification.
|Tom and I (AKA Tweedledee & Tweedledum)|
town he lives in. He has such an eye for a shot, influenced, no doubt, by the training behind the lens we both had from Dad in our childhood. We spent a lot of our younger years bickering, despite the fact that I was overwhelmingly excited at his arrival - suggesting the name 'Escalator' as an ideal moniker for my new brother and 'helping' a lot when he arrived. However, I was the model of a bossy big sister and my adventurous, and slightly naughtier, little brother had to endure years of being 'told on' by a goody-two-shoes. We get on really well now, we've plenty of shared interests and I love spending time with him, but I'm sad to think of the years I wasted being petty and irritating.
|Tom and I in the|
|Mum's accidental hat is the charm in this one.|
|A shot only Tom really comes out of well.|
|To be fair, this one was all my fault...|