I'm not a great lover of Christmas and all its surrounding gimmickry. The falling number of Christmas cards delivered each year is a sad reminder of how this bah humbug attitude has manifested itself over the years as I've neglected to keep up with people via the obligatory exchange of cards. However on my return from Australia I was delighted to find not just a Christmas card but an invite to an old friend's wedding. We lived down the road from each other as teenagers in our original home town of Swansea and despite both having moved to different parts of Sussex have failed to see each other over the last twenty years with every Christmas card promising a meeting that has never materialised.
The wedding invite contained the message "I'd like you to be there as my oldest friend. I've never forgotten that party we gatecrashed and spent the night dancing to the Groundhogs 'Cherry Red'!"
That night must have been something of a teenage epiphany as I also have it photographed in my mind as if it was yesterday - despite the fact that my vision would have been blurred with over-consumption of babycham and brandies, Cherry Bs, Ponys and the obligatory pints of cider. I can even remember exactly what I was wearing.
I have no idea of what to buy for a wedding present so in the interim I thought it would be nice to dig out my old slide photos of us from 1971, scan them, clean them up and present her with an envelope of embarassing teenage pictures she no doubt hoped to forget.
Whilst digging through the archives I found a picture of the dress I wore to the "Cherry Red" party (above). I made it from some lovely floaty Indian silk sari material that had been given to me by a colleague of my fathers. The posy preraphaelite photo was taken at Clyne Castle gardens which remains one of my favourite places ever. I can safely post this picture knowing that no-one would recognise me from it now!!