This post has taken me a while to put together, simply because my life has been taken over by essays, my dissertation, and trying to plan for life after university! Anyway, on Easter Sunday, my mum’s side of the family all came for lunch, and my parents decided it was the perfect time to sort through huge boxes and suitcases of photo albums and other memories that have been filling up our garage. The collection has grown as we have acquired collections from my grandparents and from great aunties, so going through them with the whole family present seemed appropriate. At the gathering was me, my sister and my parents, my Auntie Anne with fiancée Will, Auntie Jane and Uncle Bill, Auntie Elaine and Uncle Mark, and Great Auntie Jane with husband David. A lovely full household of Tophams (my mum’s maiden name).
Baby Sophie, looking like I'm wrapped in a cloud
A picture I now love which I discovered of me and my lovely grandparents, who are no longer with us. Very, very special!
The actual sorting and dividing up of photographs was pretty pointless. I think everybody left with a tiny handful, because we all got carried away just looking at photos rather than being organised and sorting them between households as my parents had intended. In fact, when I was at home last week the old suitcases hadn’t even been returned to the garage, they’re just waiting in the dining room! What did come of the afternoon, though, was a lot of laughter and memories. There were baby pictures of my sister, me and our cousins. There were childhood photos of my aunties and uncles, along with amusing pictures of all the couples when they first met – my dad used to model a rather impressive moustache and interesting fashion choices. There were also wedding albums, and memorabilia from events such as Charles and Diana’s wedding.
Me as a baby with my dad
Royal wedding memorabilia
My mum as a beautiful, beautiful baby!
My mum at graduation, which now for me is only a couple of months away...!!
What I found most interesting, though, were the things relating to my grandparents and great aunties and uncles. They are things that I have seen far less frequently, and some of what we uncovered were true historical documents, like letters and postcards.
A collection from a tin of beautiful old letters
Arguably my favourite discovery of the day was my Great Auntie’s scrapbook from a trip to Paris in 1961. It was absolutely beautiful, so neat, and had been kept immaculate. There were photographs, ticket stubs, postcards, coins and a tiny collection of journal entries from the friend she had been travelling with.
Selected pages from the scrapbook
Despite the fact that most of the photos are now still sitting at home, which wasn’t really the idea, we all had such a special afternoon of laughing and remembering, and sharing family stories. I can’t think of many better ways to spend an Easter Sunday.
Easter cake! Made by my sister... yum