I don’t have many pictures of me as a kid or teen, which is sad, because I know there are definitely pictures of me around somewhere. My parent’s always had a camera and snapped at will, especially on holidays, and I had a snazzy pink camera from Boots for my tenth birthday- I remember that because I won a school photography competition when I was eleven.
Obviously, back then taking photos was a far more expensive business than now. There were no digital cameras with handy mega Gigabyte memory cards to stick inside them. You had to buy a roll of film which took 24 to 28 pictures and hope that all 28 came out properly, and that you’d remembered to plonk the flash on. You couldn’t let the film get wet, be exposed to light, and you couldn’t leave a film half used in a camera or it went out of date and you ended up with an expensive roll of film all weirdly coloured and over exposed. You had to pay a fiver, at least for processing, and the cheapest option took 4 days to get back to you. There was nothing instant about it. There were no camera phones either.
Recently, Elder’s brother brought him a pile of photos of his youth, and he had a nice time showing The Bratlings the photos, and telling them who everyone was. It made me pine for my own happy memories via photograph, but for me it’s not as simple as phoning an older sibling to get my hands on them.
Just as I was about to get in touch with my parent’s, I found out some catastrophic news, and it was neither the time nor place to stamp in and demand copies of all the albums they have that I feature in.
I also know my ex had pictures of me, as he had quite an expensive camera, but I’m in no way going to ask him for these either. My friend Lou had some too, but when she moved out under a cloud, they all got binned.
Basically, I have photos a plenty of the Elder and I years- including the flat days before kids. I have next to no pictures of me as a kid though, bar one of my Grandad, my sister and me in my grand parent’s back yard when I was about 5 or 6- it’s definitely eighties as I’m wearing a maroon cord dress with a white blouse that has the most enormous bow at the neck. That sits on my dressing table.
The great thing is, being such a geek, I had hoped that I’d find old newspaper cuttings from school events etc, but my school doesn’t have an archive and the newspaper from my old home town has been less than helpful despite me emailing them.
Then, I hit the jackpot. My youth parliament days.
I love my Home-Medway Pin board on Pinterest and had been searching google for images for it, and, what should pop up but the current Youth Parliaments website. Complete with an archive, featuring yours truly in photocopied front pages.
They were slightly blurry, so I sent a little email over to the site, I wasn’t sure who was running the parliament or if they’d even remember me age 16/17/18. I was so happy when an email popped up from Jackie, who very much remembered me and, better yet, said she’d dig out some originals to copy for me and post them up.
It was so nice to come back from a kids party yesterday to find an envelope with photos as promised (and hi to Jackie’s daughters if you are reading this!), and I really hope to pop in on the new members in the summer, and tell them what it was like to be the very first Youth Parliament (and scare councillors in my goth clothes- the parliament used to meet a few doors down from the goth club I went to, and, as it was held on Friday nights, I often used to come to meetings in full goth splendour, including black lipstick and fake lip piercing).
So, here I am, age 16, when I was picked as Vice Chair, in January 1999:
|I’m in the purple and blue shirt!|