“On the rare occasions we meet up with my step-brother, some time is always set aside for a conversation whose loose theme is ‘humiliations inflicted on us by our parents’. It is a right of passage that all off-spring mull over numerous parental failings. During this particular chat, the subject was ‘what they made us wear’.
“My sister, Emma, and I were quietly confident we would win on account of what I describe as the ‘double-whammy Granny outfit’ my mother would insist we wore on special occasions. This consisted of scratchy, uncomfortable, red polo-neck sweaters, hand-knitted by one Granny, worn under red felt dresses decorated with embroidered flowers (material we’d up to that point only seen when playing Fuzzy Felt). These dresses were sent by our Hungarian Granny and they stuck out in an un-yielding and highly unattractive fashion. We could move about as much as we wanted, but the dresses stayed put. This is is a picture of us, aged around 6 and 4, in these hideous outfits, looking absolutely desperate. As far as we were concerned, nobody else on the planet had worn such an ensemble and in our opinion, the need to fit in far outweighed the need to please the Grannies.
“Unfortunately, this opinion was not shared by our mother. So, as I said, we were confident we would win the ‘what they made us wear’ competition, particularly as Emma then had to wear my dress when I grew out of it and was thus subjected to torment for more years than me. However, we were reckoning without my step-brother Peter’s trump card – he told us his dad used to make him wear lederhosen – in Cumbernauld! Of course, Peter was declared the outright winner.
“All these years later, I still get a horrible shiver when I think of poor Peter venturing out in Cumbernauld in the 1960’s, decked out in an outfit meant for the Austrian Alps. To add insult to injury, his dad wasn’t even Austrian, he was Hungarian. Lucky for him, Childline wasn’t around in those days.”
Beccy is an active member of the Final Fling Family and has been a great support since Fling’s labour days. This is one of those photos she has posted in her Memory Box to share with family and ensure the happy memories stay alive.
We urge you to spend a bit of time over the festive season thinking about important photos – records of the past- that you might pass on and share with your nearest and dearest with a line about the moment captured and why it matters.
Also – if you have great old pics like this from ‘back in the day’, do share with us. We love to keep the retro vibe of happy days going on Fling.