old photos

This weekend I started going back through my blog archive, for boring technical reasons which I actually DID start to write down here, but then deleted, because seriously, WHO CARES? Anyway, I discovered two things from this exercise:

1) My photos used to be really bad. Like, REALLY bad. Like, “here is a blurry photo of what may or may not be a lipstick – and you’ll never really know for sure! – which I took in the dark, when I was drunk. Also, it’s the size of a postage stamp. Enjoy!” THAT bad. I cringed to look at them, and then I cringed some more when I realised that some of them were photos I was actually quite proud of at the time, which means one day I’ll probably look back on the photos I post NOW, and cringe some more. The humanity!

2) I used to do a thing called the Friday Five, in which I (and a bunch of other bloggers), answered five questions every week, which were set by this Livejournal Community. I used to quite enjoy The Friday Five, so I had a look, and it turns out it’s still going strong (As is Livejournal, which I was ALSO surprised to discover…), so even although today isn’t Friday, I decided to do it anyway, because you all know how much I enjoy the opportunity to talk about myself. (Well, and also because I like answering questions sometimes: they can be useful writing prompts for those days when I can’t think of anything else to write about…)  (Speaking of which, I’ve added a ‘Spring Me’ box to the sidebar, so you can ask a question or suggest a topic for a post… I used to have one of these before and got some really great ideas for posts out of it, until people started thinking I was a shop, and all of the questions were along the lines of, “Do you have the red shoes in a size 7? How much is shipping to Germany?” I’m hoping that won’t happen again, but we’ll see…)

These questions are actually from last week, because the latest ones weren’t up when I wrote this…

1. Can you remember being a very young child?

I don’t know how young counts as “very young”, but yes, I can remember quite a few things from my early childhood, and have really vivid memories of the first house I lived in (which we left when I was about 5). I have some very hazy memories which are possibly from when I was around three or four, but my earliest clear memories are from when I was five years old, and visited my uncle and aunt in Canada. It was the first time I’d been on a plane (as it took off, during those tense moments when everyone is silent, I started singing ‘We Are Flying‘ at the top of my lungs. I was quite a hit, apparently…), and I can remember quite a lot about that trip, during which we drove down into the US through the Rockies, and spent some time in a cabin in the woods in Montana, where there were giant bear traps and all kinds of things I’d never seen in my life before. Fun times, people, fun times.

2. Do you remember the first day of school?

Much to my annoyance, no, I can’t. I can remember tons of stuff about my first year of school, but no specifics about the very first day. With that said, I’d spent the year prior to that attending a nursery class which was held in the room next door to my first classroom, and most of my classmates were in nursery with me too, so I’m guessing the first day of actual school wouldn’t have felt that much different from my usual routine. I do, however, have this photo, which I until recently (By which I mean “until this weekend”) believed to be from my first day of school, but which actually turns out to be from my SECOND day of school:

second day of school

Apparently there’s no photo from Day 1 because “the camera was out of film,” so this was basically an action-replay. I KNOW! If this had happened nowadays, my parents would probably have been shunned by their peers for not posting 15 million photos on Facebook to document this momentous occasion, but times were different back then, and not only did they neglect to check the film situation in the camera (we had cameras with film in them then: imagine!), they also managed to content themselves with this photo of me standing there with my mouth half-open and my eyes screwed up. As you’ll have gathered, I was a big fan of the “double-pigtail” hairdo, which we in Scotland call “bunches”. Without fail, I would return from school with my “bunches” all askew, having attempted to re-do them myself at some point, and ending up with one side much higher than the other. I’ve never been good with hair, really.

3. Did you love or despise your siblings, providing you had them?

Do imaginary siblings count? Because I totally had imaginary siblings. I mostly liked them, but sometimes we’d fight over who got to ride all the imaginary ponies, so that was a pain.  (Yes, I’m an only child. No, I wasn’t spoiled or lonely.)

4. Do you remember the name of your first friend?

Yup, it was Jenny: she of “glasses” and “God, I wish I was a ballerina,” fame.

5. Would you journey back to your childhood (as an adult) if you could?

Definitely – if only so I could see my grandparents again, and give my younger self the heads-up about some stuff. Like how the North Pole is a real place, and women are totally allowed to drive. That kind of thing.

As I said, I answered these mostly as a writing prompt, but I think this kind of thing can be a nice little “getting to know you” exercise, too, so if anyone would like to answer the questions themselves, I’d love to read your answers!

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23 Comments
  1. Hi Amber, first you look so cute as a little kid. *squeeze cheeks* – Sorry that probably embarrassed you!
    Secondly, I also do Friday Five on my blog and I answered those questions, the one with the sibling, well my sister went mental at me! No sooner did I post my blog post and said something along the like ‘I’m in different’ (when it come to sibling) I got a FB message (cause you know texting or emailing is to much effort!) saying how dare I mention her (sister) and she demanded I write something else. I was jeez-louise chill out, no one going to know who you are no-one would really. I will end by saying she a LOT older then me and we really do not get on at all. I also changed it to keep the peace. //Sorry for the mini rant/essay.

    1. Oh dear… I’m guessing she probably won’t be very pleased if she happens to see this comment, then? My rule of thumb is not to talk about people online in a way that’s likely to upset them: it almost always causes trouble!

  2. I Loved this, my friend and I are looking at setting up a blog and the Friday 5 seems like such a fun concept 🙂

    Looking forward to reading more of these.

  3. What a lovely wee girl, Amber! 🙂

    I loved being a very young child seeing as I stayed in North Berwick. And I was an only child until the age of 9, at which time my mum had remarried and I’d all flitted to London to join her.

    I do remember my first day at Law Primary in NB when I was a bit disappointed that we were all playing games. I think I’d expected to walk into an Enlightenment-age library or laboratory, or whatever I’d imagined being studious was all about. I have a lovely photo of my mum and I decked out for that day – it’s in black and white though!

    1. Ah, yes, I also remember feeling a bit let down that “real” school was so similar to nursery school at first – I thought we were supposed to be beyond such childish things!

  4. Ah I like this kind of post – I guess because I, like most humans on the planet, am inherently nosy! My first friend’s name was ‘Carly’. Now, as that’s my (real) name too, there’s no prizes for guessing why we were friends. When you’re 5 it’s a much simpler time…

  5. Hello, I love your blog and have been reading for a while now but don’t think I have ever commented. Thank you; I really like your mix of fashion, lifestyle and your humour. I also like your bunches and always seemed to have them as a child too!

  6. Omgosh such cute photos! My mom was a fan of putting me in pigtails, plus bangs (which she cut herself so they were always crooked). How lovely that your hair has stayed the same color. I was born a redhead, which changed to blond, and is now brown. Make up your mind hair!

    I have five siblings so sometimes I get a bit envious of only children!

  7. You look so impeccably groomed, even at that young age! In most of my school photos I look like I’ve been dragged through a hedge backwards, with my hair all over the place! Love the way you have matching ribbons in your hair and tied around your collar. That would surely have been the height of sophistication in those days, especially in brown. I had a pair of brown corduroy pedal-pushers which I absolutely adored and I distinctly remember wearing them to a primary school party, teamed with a cream blouse and a brown ribbon tied in a bow around my collar. I reckon we must be a similar age 😉

    1. I wish I could take the credit, but the outfit would’ve been my mum’s doing, and I can remember teachers having to try and fix my hair before every school photo, and scolding me for having ruined it! I was the kind of kid who would be sent to school looking immaculate, but return with skinned knees, my hair in knots and ink all over my face. I also used to regularly lose clothes, much to my mum’s amazement: the bell would ring for the end of classes and I would just stand up and walk out, leaving my coat and schoolbag behind!

  8. I can’t get enough of those photos!!! Ridiculously cute 😀

    I remember my first day or nursery, not school. The main thing I remember was grabbing on to my mother’s dress while she tried to leave, and some teacher pulling me in the other direction, while I screamed at the top of my lungs. Good times!

  9. You were such a cutie! Especially in those big photos.
    Can’t remember much about when I was a young child. Not the first day of school nor my first childhood friend. I do remember pieces of when I was in nursery school, and of course a lot more when I was a bit older.
    I have an older brother, and we used to fight a lot as children but I don’t think I ever despised him. And I’d love to relive some of my childhood moments. 🙂 And see some of my family members that I’ve lost, again.

  10. I’ll give the 5 questions a go, I love talking about myself!
    1. My dad was in the Navy when I was young so my memories are very specific in age since they’re tied to where we lived. My earliest memories are at 3 because we lived in Rhode Island. They’re like fuzzy snapshots. Getting stung by a bee and my mom giving me half an onion to put on the sting. (what was that about? I wish my mom was alive to ask her). They are much more clear from 5 on when we moved to Alabama. I’ve always been fascinated by that and birth order. I even bought a book about “What your earliest memories say about you” not surprisingly written by the guy wrote the Birth Order book I read! Both were very interesting.
    2. First day of school – I have a picture but I can’t say definitively that I remember that particular day exactly, I just remember the new school experience. It’s tricky because I’m a twin and also one of 6 children so alot of my memories are all mixed up with the memories/stories of my siblings.
    3. I’ve very, very close with my twin and my oldest sister is next in my affections. I live with my twin and vacation regularly with my oldest sister. As for my other two sisters and my brother (yep, 5 girls, 1boy), we’re not fighting but I don’t pick up the phone to call them very often or ever really because they call me. Different states, different interests. Being siblings gives you a bond and an intimacy that you never really lose but it doesn’t necessarily make you best friends, either.
    4. The name of my first friend – that’s a tough one. It actually took me a minute because, hello, I have a twin, which is a built in friend! But Cindy Vaugh from Ringgold Elementary. I have pictures of the three of us playing on her swingset. I was apparently a late bloomer because that was second or third grade which was spent in Tennesee. Apparently I had no friends in Alabama and first grade because I can’t remember a single name except for ‘George’ and he was a boy in my class. I only remember him because when the teacher left me in charge I always wrote his name down for misbehavior as it was the only one I could spell since I was only in first grade. I hope he really did misbehave or I’m going to feel really guilty about that.
    5. Would I go back to my childhood. I don’t think so. It wasn’t a bad childhood but I was very happy to become an adult so I could do what I wanted or really mainly it was so I could buy whatever I wanted instead of having to ask my mom for it since she invariably said no. I still – many, many, many years later – appreciate going to the grocery or discount store and being able to choose whatever I like and buy it. Hmm I think I’m getting to the root of my shopping addiction…

    1. This is so interesting! I’m particularly interested in your second answer because Terry is one of 5 siblings, and he has hardly any early memories at all – I wonder now if his are all mixed up with his siblings, too? I do sometimes wonder if some of my very earliest memories are actually just memories of being told about them later (I *think* I have some vague memories from when I was around 3, for instance, but I’m not sure if it’s just that my parents have told me the stories so many times that I’ve imagined it happening, and now I’m remembering *that*, if that makes sense!). In Terry’s case, a lot of those old stories are a bit muddled in terms of people not being able to remember which sibling it actually happened to, so I wonder if that’s one of the reasons his memories are so hazy!

      And I know I shouldn’t, but I did have to chuckle at George – poor George!

  11. The sibling one really interests me. I am one of four, and the only girl! And for some reason every time I tell someone that they always ask if I’m the youngest.. I’m not, I have a younger brother. I would say that I am not particularly close to any of my brothers but when we’re together we all get on fairly well. My mum and I are very close though, she’ll listen all my girly dramas where the boys simple aren’t interested that I’ve bought a new skirt or whatever yarn I’m telling my mum haha. Great post though xx

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