Welcome to my blog, where I take pleasure in words and pictures, be they my own or those of others. I'm a creative individual, and the crafty side I explore on my 'other blog', Picking Up The Threads, which I hope you'll visit too. I'm sure you understand that I have sole copyright of my original work and any of my contributions, so please ask if you want to use them. A polite request is rarely refused. So, as they used to say on the BBC's 'Listen With Mother' radio programme, many years ago: "Are you sitting comfortably? Then we'll begin."

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Love All

It’s time for strawberries and cream, rain, Pimms, tantrums, grunts and celebrity-watching. Yes Wimbledon Fortnight is underway. In its honour we have a Sepia Saturday photo prompt of Dinah Shore and Burt Bacharach playing in a 1971 tournament.

I played tennis at school, because I had to, but I have to admit to not being very sporty and my main interest in the game when I was younger was for the drama created by attractive and brilliant players like Ilie Nastase. There was also the tradition of the gentle commentary of Dan Maskell , the 'Voice of Tennis’, who covered the tournament for the BBC from 1949 to 1991. His catchphrase was “Oh I say!” which was about as excited as he got. I don’t even bother watching it these days and prefer to wallow in those golden memories.



 I have no pictures of celebrities in my family albums but here are my parents striking poses with their rackets. The pictures were taken in Nottingham at the Trent Bridge School courts, where you could pay a small fee to play. They were in their late teens, just before the start of WW2 and wouldn’t have had much in the way of entertainment. This would have provided them with a cheap pastime and helped them to keep fit. They were also both very good dancers and played in bands with their accordion (Mum) and drums (Dad).

Still in Betjeman mood from my last post, I’m reminded of his poem,’A Subaltern’s Love Song, which you can read in its entirety here. For Mum’s 90th birthday in 2010 I put together an anthology of poems suggested by family members and illustrated with photographs, old and new. This was my husband’s choice for her as he thought she would appreciate something lighthearted. These were the pictures I used to illustrate it and used some of the lines of the poem as captions. Here are the first few lines:

Miss J. Hunter Dunn, Miss J. Hunter Dunn,
Furnish’d and burnish’d by Aldershot sun,
What strenuous singles we played after tea,
We in the tournament, you against me!


Love-thirty, love-forty, oh! weakness of joy,
The speed of a swallow, the grace of a boy,
With carefullest carelessness gaily you won,
I am weak from your loveliness, Joan Hunter Dunn.

He goes on to describe her ‘stongly adorable tennis girl’s hands'. He was a man who was clearly in love, and so were my parents; they celebrate their 70th Wedding Anniversary next month.

For more racket sports, or celebrities caught on camera, visit Sepia Saturday and see what other participants have found in their albums. New balls please!!



27 comments:

  1. Pimms???
    I remember that, once getting drunk on it.
    Great stuff but nasty morning after...
    Nice that they could keep fit in such a nice way, enjoying the outdoors together. I especially like the pics through the net.
    :)~
    HUGZ

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  2. I've been a fan of Wimbledon for more years than I care to remember. We spent a perfect day there, about 8 or 9 years ago. Even the queuing was not to be missed. Now we have decent coverage of the French Open, you'll find me glued to that, too. It's a golden era just now, especially in men's tennis. But your photographs are from a different, and more personal golden era. Your parents look so happy and relaxed. Obviously the secret of their long partnership. Here's to them, real champions!

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  3. Great personal photos,Nell. 70 years together is a long love match.
    Betjeman is a favourite of mine especialy the one about seaside golf.

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  4. what adorable parents! Wonderful photos!

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  5. I think the only time I showed any interest in tennis was back in the days of the handsome Mr Nastase! Your parents were quite the elegant couple, far smarter than the overly casual sportswear we see these days. x

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  6. Fun pictures, and 70 years is a mighty long time, I'm impressed!

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  7. The poetry idea is a really really good one! I might have to try that! Wow, what's it like living in Lanzarote!? My Mum loves it there- she's always wanting to go back there. I only went once as a child but I loved it!

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  8. They look like they are enjoying themselves. I hope they continued to do so throughout the 70 years.

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  9. Interesting to compare your reminiscences with my own, which from school days consisted almost entirely of the head preaching sermons about the immoral influence of players like "Gorgeous" Gussie who was wowing Wimbledon with lace and frilly knickers. Standard were going to pot!!!!!!!

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  10. I Am Struggling To Get My Head Around The Concept Of "Aldershot sun" !

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  11. 70 years! That is wonderful. What a neat idea to make them an album full of poems with their own corresponding pictures. They sure do look happy.

    Kathy M.

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  12. Those make tennis look like fun. The only kind of tennis I can play is table tennis. I never felt like running around in the sun.

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  13. I wish my parents were still around so I could make them a book with photos and tennis poems. What a great idea. I'll bet they were thrilled.
    Nancy

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  14. Photos and poems -- what a lovely anniversary gift. Your parents are so cute with their poses and action shots.

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  15. Some great photos there. I was terrible at tennis. I had a school PE teacher tell me "You would be good at tennis if you could hit the ball"

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  16. Marylin, love the photos of your parents, young and a happy time before the terrible war years. I loved to play tennis and watched certain games. Not anymore. I do not think it is the same gracious competitiveness anymore, it has become ugly and it is actually not sport anymore, just business!

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  17. What marvellous photos it looks as though they had as much fun with the camera as tennis. I remember those divided skirts we had to wear those for hockey at school.

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  18. There were no tennis players in my family, nor interest in tennis, really. But I love these photos of your mom and dad. I especially like that they are "paired" - both through the net, both with rackets in the air. Congratulations to them on their 70th anniversary!

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  19. What fun photos of your parents. Seventy years of marriage is quite an accomplishment - I'd love to know their secrets for a long and happy marriage.

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  20. A wonderful post! It's nice that part of your parent's limited entertainment included a camera.

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  21. Congrats on the 70 years they have been together. I love these photos. My mom and dad separated after only 8 years and I have no photos of them together. Not even a wedding photo. I do not watch tennis much but I cannot leave the screen when there is a golf tournament on I never played tennis but loved to play gold so that tells the tale.
    QMM

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  22. Lovely photos of your parents! Happy 70th anniversary to them next month!

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  23. What wonderful photographs! Thanks for sharing them.

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  24. These are just lovely family photos! What amazing parents and such happiness, you are a lucky girl!

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  25. Remembrances of "gentle commentary" (we could use more of that in all media!) and an anthology of poems, along with such vivid court pictures...excellent post.

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  26. great pix. tnx 4 sharing. they looking like they are having such a wonderful time!!

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  27. How amazing to have these photos of your parents playing tennis and even more amazing that they were together so long!

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