The Professor and the Girls

Inscribed on the back of this photograph is a moderately barbed comment – it is in my mother’s hand: The Professor and the Girls, a reference, no doubt, to the ostentatious pipe.  My mother takes centre stage flanked left and right by Aunt Bet and Uncle Ed.  My dad is behind the lens. They were not actually related, just good friends brought together by the bombs that fell on war-torn Manchester; nor was Uncle Ed a professor.  Girls doesn’t quite ring true either.

This is Morfa Nefyn, north Wales in 1956 (finally, the correct year) which puts them in their mid-30s.  In not so many years I will be twice their age but they remain the older and wiser grown-ups.

The Prof

The photographs were printed as contacts from Kodak 117 negatives.  Scanned at 1600dpi, they reveal detail not apparent in the originals.  I am clutching a tennis ball, presumably keen to resume the interrupted game of cricket.  My sister has a half eaten banana in her hand, presumably keen to to resume feeding her face :-).

On the beach

The many-roomed house is where we stayed – a self-catering holiday home with me posing outside.  I have a wooden bat in my hand, part of a Slam! tennis trainer set, a wholly ineffective device which, if inflicted on a young Roger Federer, would have killed his brilliant career from the outset.  I remember nothing of the inside of the house except for vague memories of the attic, a place deemed out-of-bounds and ‘haunted’ just to add spice to the ruling.  I spent quite some time up there.  Looking closely at this photograph I can see no ghostly faces in the attic windows but there are two at a lower level.  I had never spotted these ‘apparitions’ before o_O.

Haunted house
(click on the images to enlarge)


  1. LaVagabonde · July 4, 2014

    I enjoy your old photos, Robin. These are so full of nostalgia for summers of days gone by.

  2. Photobooth Journal · July 4, 2014

    Only a brother would say “resume feeding her face” and I like the fact you spent a lot of time in the attic when it was supposed to be out of bounds. I think you must have been a great kid! (Love the photos and the story)

    • northumbrianlight · July 4, 2014

      Especially a younger irritating brother 🙂 As for ‘a great kid’, I think big sister would disagree 😀 Many thanks for taking the time to read my self-indulgent ramblings – much appreciated.

  3. restlessjo · July 4, 2014

    Interesting looking back, isn’t it, Robin? Funny how those olders and wisers remain so. I doubt my Mam was ever wrong in her life! (God bless her- she’s long departed and all I have is the memories) 🙂

    • northumbrianlight · July 4, 2014

      That was one of the facts of life Jo – ‘mother is never wrong’ 🙂 Mum and Dad are gone too but Aunt Bet and Uncle Ed are both still with us and clinging to the wreckage in their nineties. Great that they still have each other.

  4. Tish Farrell · July 4, 2014

    Oh gosh, Robin. Remembrance of Things Past!

    • northumbrianlight · July 4, 2014

      … but over a thousand pages shorter which I think counts in my favour 🙂

      • Tish Farrell · July 4, 2014

        Absolutely. Nor do you put me to sleep as a page of Proust usually does.

  5. easyweimaraner · July 4, 2014

    It’s great to see a time long before I was born! Many thanks! Even the half eaten banana is captured now for all eternity :o)

    • northumbrianlight · July 4, 2014

      … and my sister’s gluttony 🙂 I just know you were more refined as a puppy 😉

      • easyweimaraner · July 4, 2014

        not really… I was a mix between a mole and a sea cow :o)

  6. suej · July 4, 2014

    Oh, brilliant. I love these entertaining rumblings!

  7. suej · July 4, 2014

    Oops – meant to say ramblings

    • northumbrianlight · July 4, 2014

      I think you were right the first time 🙂 Many thanks Sue – that’s very reassuring – it feels a little self-indulgent at times.

      • suej · July 4, 2014


  8. Cindi · July 5, 2014

    I enjoyed your trip back in time! We’re about to embark on that journey with my husband’s many negatives. I’m curious what I’m going to discover about his past? 🙂

    • northumbrianlight · July 5, 2014

      Thanks Cindi – enjoy your voyage, it is the closest we get to time travel.

  9. Malin H · July 7, 2014

    Lovely post, Robin. I really love it. Thank you for sharing memories and fantastic images. ❤

    • northumbrianlight · July 8, 2014

      Many thanks Malin, glad you liked it. I am never sure if these meanderings have any merit so your comments are much appreciated ❤

  10. Mélanie · July 8, 2014

    oh, nostalgie, quand tu nous tiens… 🙂 GL = gient like for your impressive post! ❤

    • northumbrianlight · July 8, 2014

      Many thanks Mélanie – so pleased you liked it. Not Le Grand Meaulnes – that comes later 🙂 ❤

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