Fifty days from today is my 50th birthday. Yes, Five Zero. This is the first in a series of blog posts to celebrate that milestone.
I’m not quite sure how this will unfold, except that each day I’ll find a photo or object or concept that relates to the year of my life in question — in this case that’s, erm, gulp, 1960 — and see what emerges.
Today’s photo was taken when I was just six weeks old.
That’s my father holding me. He was 35 years old. Yes, rather old for that era, but he’d been married before and had a daughter. The fact that he divorced and re-married was so scandalous in rural South Australia that the daughter was taken away to live with her grandparents and they cut off all contact with him. The first time I met anyone from my father’s side of the family was at his funeral a decade later.
And yes, dad is smoking around the baby. Different times, eh? Not the ever-present pipe I remember him for, but a black Bakelite cigarette holder.
The dog’s name was Toby.
The photo would have been taken by my mother using a Kodak Box Brownie camera in the back yard of our house at 43 Adelaide Road, Gawler. The house is still there, but with what looks like a really low-grade renovation.