The Palmer family are a close bunch. My Dad is an only child, and my Mum’s two brothers have lived abroad all their lives. We grew up without really knowing our three cousins who lived in Canada. My enduring memory of any family occasion, is my Mum taking pictures and at least one member of the family making a face. She would get so livid and we’d all just giggle! Hence the photo for this post. This photo was taken one weekend when (amazingly) we all managed to get back to Bristol to celebrate my Dad’s 60th Birthday. My brother (plus his latest toy, a SLR) was in charge of making a permament record of the event, and we all reluctantly trooped out into the garden on a cold March afternoon. And high spirits took over and we all pulled faces! However, let me introduce the players…
Mum / Pauline (looking pissed off / stressed cos we’re all mucking about)
The Birthday Boy / Dad / Martin doing his Abraham Lincoln (or Abe the Sea dog) impression
Jenn (Chris’ then fiancee, now wife)
Alan (darling hubbie)
Kate looking about as normal as Palmers go
Snoopy the dog (trying to get guidance from his Master, ie my Mum)
The history of pulling faces in photos goes back a long way. There’s a perfect photo of the three of us at my sister’s Christening. We’re all sitting on our Parent’s bed, and Mum is trying to take “The Christening Photo”. So, Kate is a babe in arms, Chris is 2.5 and I’m 5. Myself and Chris have been giggling, mucking about and generally trying my Mum’s very short patience. Finally we decide to call a truce and we smile angellically (at this age we are very photogenic golden haired children! Shame it didn’t last…) It’s at this point that trapped wind or bad temper gets the better of Katharine, and as my Mum clicks the shutter (thinking no doubt, “perfect, the 2 devil children are finally smiling!”) Katharine pulls the most perfect grimace. Cue giggles and nonsense and the end of the photo session.
My poor Mum, all she ever wanted was nice photos of her family and we spoiled nearly every one. We’d only ever behave when she had NEARLY lost her temper! And now I’m all grown up and now that I’m taking lots more photos, I feel very guilty and ashamed. I’m beginning to realise the benefiting of documenting a family’s history and I just wish we had more perfect family photos and less rejects!