Slap bang in the middle of that lot:
My daughter Millie: “Can I have an ice cream?”
My wife Jen: “I need a wee.”
Two conversations, within five minutes, with my eleven-year-old daughter Millie:
When seeing Amanda Holden on television.
Millie: “My friend Sienna has met Amanda Holden.”
Me: “So have I.”
Millie: “Really? You’ve met her?”
Me: “More than once.”
Me: “Yes, I’ve met Sienna lots of times.”
Feeling the gap caused by a recently lost tooth:
Millie: “You know like I’ve lost a tooth? This girl in America was on YouTube and she put a tooth under her pillow and got a hundred pounds off the Tooth Fairy.”
Me: “No she didn’t.”
“Millie: “Err yes she did!!”
Me: “I bet you she didn’t.”
Millie: “Okay-shake on it then.”
Me: “Alright. If that girl in America got a hundred pounds I’ll give you fifty quid. If she didn’t you have got to do every job I give you for a week.”
We shook hands on the wager.
Me: “In America they don’t have pounds they have dollars.”
Yes goodnight Millie! Sleep well!
Taken in the early 1880’s, this is one of the earliest images of the East End of London.
I love the way the children appear insubstantial and ghost-like, which in effect they are. Lingering echoes of lives long lost, wandering along now vanished streets.
. . . my children in our local shopping centre. Take it away, kids!
In 2012 my daughter was off school ill, fourteen days before her fifth birthday. What follows are just two of the many conversations that pushed me right over the edge:
Millie: “Do you like my necklace? Derek bought it me.”
“No, Eric bought it you.”
“Eric? And he took me to The Wiggles.”
“No Derek took you to The Wiggles.”
“And bought me this necklace?”
“No. Eric. There is Eric. And there is Derek.”
“Where did Eric take me?”
“Eric took me to the cinema. Did Derek come? With the necklace?”
Andy picks up his phone, calls school. ” I think I will chance her in.”
Millie:”Is it my birthday in the morning?”
“There is night and there is morning. Is it my birthday after that?”
“The night and then the morning after that?”
“Is it my birthday after that?”
“After the night?”
“After the morning?”
“Is it my birthday?”
Andy picks up his phone, calls the adoption agency.
Another one of those old photographs that I love. A young woman standing on top of a wash tub. At first glance it appears from her stance that she is displaying no little attitude.
But close up you see a playful smile.
Maybe she stands on that tub to fit into the shot the plant on the window ledge behind her.
Of more interest, though, is the little girl in the background: the spy; the photobomber; maybe awaiting her turn.
Next in line for a photograph now lost to time’s censor.
However here she survives, perhaps only here: the eternal spy; the photobomber; the girl who intrudes. Pushing herself forward for 21st Century eyes.