Such is life; shadows and sunbeams

I have been very weary and a little down-hearted these past few weeks; mainly on account of my lingering cold/cough, the cold grip of winter weather and a general lack of sunshine. And let’s not forget the ever lasting wait for builders to appear. But just when I  feel that the daily shadows are becoming far too long for comfort, life suddenly throws  out a wondrous ray of sunshine that makes me beam with joy. Such was life today.

I was looking for some photos to illustrate a post I had in mind when I came upon this  gentle gem from my distant, distant past.This is my brother caring for me when I was about four and a half weeks old.   He has been doing it ever since; and he hasn’t dropped me yet :).

And the caring love begins

And the caring love begins

I also happened upon these sweet photos. I have certainly seen them before but, until today, I hadn’t truly noticed them, or absorbed the information they contain. They are photos taken on my christening day, which, I learn from the writing on the reverse of the pictures, was on 11 July. Which means that last Thursday was the anniversary of my christening.  They also show me that my maternal grandparents were present at my christening. I am surprised to learn this. It is not  unusual for grandparents to be at a christening but these grandparents had to travel by ship from Christchurch, New Zealand to Lautoka, Fiji for my christening. Quite a journey, in those days.  I also see that Janie, my dear Janie, was with me from the very start of my life. Even though I remember her well, I didn’t realise that she was with me from the beginning. No wonder, I was deeply sad when she left us to marry. I couldn’t understand why being married should require her to leave me. I don’t think she did either but it seems her husband  insisted. How I missed her warmth and her cuddles and her gentleness. They are with me still.

The one photo that holds few surprises is that of the christening cake. It is set on a table in our garden because my christening took place in our  home garden; there being no Presbyterian church in our town; and only the occasional visit from  an itinerant Presbyterian minister.  I think the cake  was iced by my father, who had considerable skill in the art of cake decorating. ( He always made us the most wonderful birthday cakes.)  I expect the cake itself was made by my parents. The only real surprise is the travel rug under the cake? Was that a christening gift? It doesn’t seem a very elegant table covering for a christening. And the cake looks as though it is close to falling off the edge of the table! Was the cake tipsy? Surely not at a Presbyterian christening.

Those were my smiles for today; my little taste of sunshine. Dear parents, I enjoyed being at my christening; thank you!

© silkannthreades

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54 thoughts on “Such is life; shadows and sunbeams

  1. Mrs. P

    Beautiful photos and memories. I especially like the one of your brother holding you in his arms…with joy in his eyes.

    Reply
  2. lagottocattleya

    Oh, and last winter – when I felt all hope of spring was gone…you were the one who encouraged me and said spring would soon come. So, now – Spring is on its way! Soon more rays will shine on you and make you strong and happy again!

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Yes :). You are right, and usually by the first week of August we see some cherry blossom appearing. That time is not far away at all! In the meantime, I do enjoy your photos of summer and warmth and colour.

      Reply
    2. Gallivanta Post author

      Yes :). You are right, and usually by the first week of August we see some cherry blossom appearing. That time is not far away at all! In the meantime, I do enjoy your photos of summer and warmth and colour.

      Reply
  3. lagottocattleya

    We all need lovely surprises. And yours seem to have come right when you needed it the most! There’s love in his eyes, your brother’s eyes, when holding you. How wonderful that you still have each other and treasure that. I wish I wasn’t an only child. It would have been wonderful to have such a brother – or sister…or both.
    I hope you will recover very soon now! i try to send you all the best through the air all the way down to NZ.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Thank you, I am on the mend; almost completely recovered, in fact. I feel blessed to have a brother and a sister. It is hard for me to imagine the life of an only child because I am the middle child and have always been surrounded, so to speak. It’s lovely to have your perspective as an only child. I appreciate your comments.

      Reply
  4. Mike Howe

    I’m glad you found the ray of sunshine. Don’t let the winter get you too down, the warmth and light of spring is on it’s way. We had a tremendously long, grey, torrentially wet winter which was very hard on body and soul, but it’s high summer now and life is good again, and so it will be for you soon 🙂

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      And so it will, and so it will. I appreciate your encouraging words. Today we had about 30 minutes of sunshine flooding in to the house. It was grand 🙂

      Reply
  5. teamgloria

    quelle glorious pictures!

    loving that tartan rug – the sort that Miss Fisher would have put over her lap if she was sitting in the back of a daimler on her way to solve another crime!

    your mother looks lovely. like elizabeth mcgovern in downton abbey…..non?

    Reply
      1. teamgloria

        off to sleep now on This Side Of The World

        but so happy we saw your christening occasion

        and most especially that rug (the cake looked yummy – bravo, papa)

        Reply
  6. Sheryl

    The pictures are wonderful. I especially like the one of your brother holding you. You can just see the love you have for each other in your eyes..

    Reply
  7. Clanmother

    Take good care, my dear friend! Thank you for sharing your celebration. July 11th was my parent’s wedding anniversary. So now I have two event to celebrate! Hugs!!!

    “Nothing is ever really lost to us as long as we remember it.”
    ― L.M. Montgomery, The Story Girl

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Ah, July 11th is an auspicious day it seems! Thanks for the hugs. I think we should give some virtual hugs to L M Montgomery, too. She lives on through the generations.

      Reply
  8. Pride in Photos Photography

    I so hear you about being downtrodden with being ill….it is amazing when are bodies are not performing like they should how much it affects us mentally. But oh, these precious photos could brighten anyone’s day!!

    Reply
  9. YellowCable

    Memorable photos from your early days. How nice. I particular like how you put them on the shelf without frames. Taking pictures of them in different orientations are artful.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Thank you. I was trying to find a place in the house with more light. Those shelves used to be in my bedroom when I was little so they seemed like a good place to display old photos in a new light!

      Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Glad you liked them. My brother does look delighted, I agree. The photos really need some retouching or photoshopping but I decided I would show them just as I found them; a little the worse for wear!

      Reply
      1. Tracy Rhynas

        I think the photos are charming as they are 🙂 I touched up a couple of old photos with photoshop for my husband when he was doing his family tree – just took out some dark marks, nothing fancy. Do you have a family tree? (My husband claims a shared lineage with William the Conqueror…..!)

        Reply
        1. Gallivanta Post author

          Thank you 🙂 I have made a start on a family tree several times but I don’t get very far before everything seems to be in an incoherent pile, either online or on paper. William the Conqueror….well….anything is possible 😉

        2. Tracy Rhynas

          🙂 If you compute it, we all have 2.8 billion 28th great grandparents – so I think we are all related to William the Conqueror….and just about everyone else on the planet!

  10. Virginia Duran

    I loved the pictures and the story behind them. How you hated Janie when she had to leave and how you think about it differently. It’s funny how the same story changes meaning over time, isn’t it? Do you know where is she now? On the other hand, love the pictures with your brother. Hope the cold is getting better, take care!

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Oh, I didn’t hate Janie, I was just very sad and couldn’t understand all that well. I was so little at the time. I don’t know where she is now. She did come and see us again; I think perhaps to introduce her baby. I feel I am finally beating this cold. Thanks for your concern.

      Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Thank you. That photo was such a joy for me to find today. Do you think we loved each other from the moment we set eyes on each other? 🙂

      Reply
  11. melodylowes

    I love it how life gives such gentle little surprises, just when we need them the most. How delightful to come along on your reminiscing journey, back to the island you so loved. Was Janie your governess, then? Just wondering…

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      It was such a lovely surprise because it wasn’t what I was looking for at all. In fact I didn’t even know the photos were in the place I was searching through. Janie wasn’t a governess. She helped my mother with housework and also helped to take care of me. ( I was one of those sleepless babies!) And I think she may have helped a bit at my mother’s kindergarten. In the language of the British colonies Janie’s job description was ‘housegirl’.

      Reply

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