Monday, 10 December 2007

The Past Is A Foreign Country

A friend of mine from a long time ago invited me to see his facebook album today. He is someone who takes lots of photos, and when he was a student the wall of his room was covered with portraits of his friends. He has now scanned and uploaded over a hundred photographs of us all at University, including some of me. The photo at the top was taken after a formal dinner in the month of May, when I was 21. I wasn't sure it was of me at first, but there were some others taken at the same time which show what I am wearing, and I recognise the dress, which was white cotton with flowers painted on it. I remember it because I spilled red wine on it that very evening and I never wore it again.
I think I look quite calm and collected in that photo, as if I knew what was going on and where I was going with my life, but in fact nothing could be further from the truth.

There are also some other photographs of the college, this time taken in winter. I had forgotten that it snowed in winter in those days, but looking at these photographs I remember the biting cold, freezing feet trudging through the snow, wearing layers of thick sweaters to keep warm and toasting bread on the end of a fork around the gas fire.

"The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there."
L. P. Hartley ['The Go-Between', 1953]

1 comment:

Seahorse said...

Very impressed that you were at Kings!

Snapshots of the past are curious things, I think!