Wednesday, 23 July 2014

56 Up and 55 Down

Last night I caught the end of  Michael Apted's fascinating documentary '56 Up'.  I have always been particularly drawn to this programme because the children originally chosen were just a couple of years older than me.  So I've decided to join in.  On Friday I celebrated my 55th birthday - I am now old enough to cash in my pension - how did that happen?  Apted films his subjects every 7 years so I'm going to do the same in photographs, but go backwards in 7 year blocks. Indulge me, readers, if you are still here.


55 in 2014.  Chester.  Mother of teenager, part-time English teacher, still married to Paul. Missing my father who died in November last year.


48, 2007. This photo of me and Kate aged 8 was taken on holiday to Venice.  We'd moved to Chester in 2001- Paul's job again - and I'd spent a bit of time as a full-time mum before returning to part-time teaching. Here I am enjoying life again after a bout of serious illness in 2006.  Loved being a mother, but missing my own mother who died in 2004.


41 (Well actually still 40 here), 2000.  Diss, Norfolk.  Evening of the Millennium.  A happy time - the baby we'd hoped for eventually arrived.


34, 1993.  Actually I think this photo might be 1994.  We'd moved again my then to East Anglia with Paul's job. I'm with my mother at UEA Norwich receiving my MA in Education.  Career success - I was about to start a new job as Head of English at Stowmarket High School. But not a happy time - longing for a baby but no success.  


27, 1986.  Saltersland Presbyterian Church and then Moyola Lodge, Castledawson.  I got married to Paul who was from Liverpool and the friend of my sister's boyfriend.   I had been teaching English, a bit of French and some Drama since 1984, after a short spell of working for travel companies in London which I hated. Office work not for me.  Started to teach in London then moved to Luton where we could afford to buy a house.  It cost £25,000 and had one bedroom.  We sold it a couple of years later for twice this and moved to Burnley in 1988.


20, 1979 Photo taken in Paris on Bastille night.  I was spending six months there as part of my joint degree course in English and French at Salford University.  I had a great time but didn't learn much French as I spent all my time with English friends, also in Paris.  Sadly I've lost touch with these two. Those purple dungarees were my favourite item of clothing at the time.  Oh dear!  


14, 1972 Ballyronan. With sisters Diane and Pamela.  Actually it can't be 1972 as Pamela looks about 3 so it's more like 1974.  But it's the closest I could get.  Note the 'bell bottom' trousers as we called them.  I was studying for my 'O' Levels at the Rainey Endowed School in Magherafelt.  But I was more interested in hanging around the marina in Ballyronan with my cousin Lorna looking for boys.


7, 1965 On holiday in Portrush.  I'm on the right with my sisters Diane and Sylvia, the one sticking her tongue out.  This photo clearly illustrates our family roles: I was the good girl (look at how I am crossing my arms); she was the naughty one.

That's taken me all morning: dog unwalked, bathroom not cleaned, garden unmowed.  Would anyone like to join in my 55 down project?  If I was clever with technology I could set up a linky thing.  But I'm not, so I'll leave it to you.




16 comments:

  1. Brilliant post!! I turned 55 in June. Not sure if I could find photos like that to go back through the years. I'll see what I can come up with. Posting anything takes me ages!! Currently trying to do a post about a wedding I was at yesterday.

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    1. We must have been growing up at the same time not so far form each other. Looking forward to seeing your post. Also I'm pleased to find another blogger the same age as me.

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  2. Oh - I was the good girl in the family too!

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  3. What a lovely idea! I do rather like your purple dungarees :) You look lovely in all the photos. I might have a look through my photo box on Sunday when I get home. Cx

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    1. Would love to see your post on this. You are having lovely weather for your holiday - hope you are enjoying it.

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  4. It's a very good idea for a post, Doris. I remember watching the original television programme as part of a school project when I was 11.

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    1. Gosh that makes me feel old! Hope you are enjoying your holiday. Despite living in Ireland for a big chunk of my life, I have never visited Galway.

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  5. I finally found you!! What took me so long? I am so useless. This is a great idea for a post and one that I may borrow (with all due credit of course). I have watched quite a few of those programmes. It is fascinating. Often sad too. I love the flares. They are too good.
    Leanne xx

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    1. Nice to see you here Leanne - your blog is among my favourites. I've had some pretty shocking clothes over the years. Noticed this as I was looking.back at photos for this.

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  6. I love reading (auto) biographies and absolutely loved reading this, Doris. xxx

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    1. Thanks - was a bit wary about revealing so much but no one in the family has objected yet. Haven't told my sisters though which is probably a bit unethical.

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  7. Happy Birthday. Great idea for a post and lovely to see your photos. It's always fun to look back at old photos, and a little sad too.

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  8. Love this post! I adore the 7 Up series. I almost feel like they are my personal friends by now, but then probably everyone does who watches it, and grew up in the same era. I like your personal timeline of photos.

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  9. Watched the last episode last night with my daughter. She reminded me that there has been another programme like this in the UK called Child of Our Time with Robert Winston about children born like her around the time of the millennium. She has been as fascinated by this as I am by the 7 Up series.

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  10. I missed the recent episode, didn't realise it had been on. I loved the episodes I saw, I particularly remember Tony, from Loverpool, who was very vulnerable, and in the last programme I saw was living alone on Skye. I must see if I can catch the episode on I-player. Great idea for a post, that photo of you and your sisters standing against the fence in the snow reminds me of so many of our family photo's! I had dungarees in the early 80's, my absolutely favourite garment for several years, they eventually fell apart....! X

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  11. Love the snapshot of your life! I an about 10 years behind you, but I do remember the dungarees phase! Mine were denim, and I wore them with a blue check shirt.

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