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."

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Mr and Mrs Foley Go Camping

Mr Foley and Mrs Foley of Sweetbriar Terrace, Waterford, camping in Tramore
Thursday July 11th 1918


The Foleys shut up shop and turned the ‘OPEN’ sign
to CLOSED, They packed their bags and filled the travel chest: 
Her novels, sketchbook, pens, his fishing rod and line,
Their walking shoes and sticks and Sunday Best;
Her dress, her lacy ‘smalls’ and Summer hat so fine,
His boater, suit and tie, his drawers and woollen vest.
Then last, the caged canary, dog and flowers, were stowed,
The caravan was ready for the open road.

© Marilyn Brindley 2017


The above charming photograph is our prompt image for this weeks Sepia Saturday challenge, and comes to us courtesy of The National Library of Ireland via flickr Commons. The poem is a flight of fancy; I’ve no idea whether the Foleys (if the lady is indeed Mrs Foley, there is a question mark on the caption of the post in flickr) had a trade. Nor do I really believe that the caravan was towed, complete with flower pots,  from Sweetbriar Terrace to Tramore. 

 I haven’t any similar bucolic scenes in my family albums, but we recently acquired a photo of my husbands’ grandparents taken two years later. They too are on holiday, in Colwyn Bay, in August 1920 and are similarly attired. Alice wears her best dress and a style of Summer hat which matches Mrs Foley's, whilst George too wears a smart three-piece suit, just as Mr Foley does. Last week we saw him in a bowler and a trilby, but here he favours his golfing cap. Those were the days when people really did dress up on holiday.


And the shy teenager on the right is my own grandmother in 1916, wearing her Summer hat at a similar jaunty angle to Mrs Foley's.























Join us this week on the Sepia Saturday caravan, to see how other contributors were inspired by the prompt image.

20 comments:

  1. The grandparent photos are lovely, and your poem is clever, talented, and fun!!!

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    1. Thanks Gail. It’s my first poem for ages - and writing to a particuar form always makes the brain work harder.

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  2. Oh my this is a lovely post, and your poem is perfectly written, but their photo together dog and all is very eye catching!

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    1. Thank you Karen. I enjoyed the challenge. When I saw the photo I knew we had to have it for an SS prompt. Are you tempted? We miss your SS posts.

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  3. Looking more closely at this caravan, it looks like it is not meant to travel the open road, the porch and awning look like they are stationary.

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    1. Kristin, I thought that too. I think these days it would be called ‘glamping’. The poem is a flight of fancy, as most of my poetry is; I don’t suppose Mr and Mrs Foley (if indeed that is who she is - there is a question mark in the OP) were shopkeepers either.

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  4. Hats off to the Foleys! I believe David Cameron has recently taken delivery of similar. It's a place where he can write, in his garden. The Cameron-free version in your picture, is far more appealing.

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    1. It certainly is Martin, and probably cost a fraction of his, even by today’s standards.

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  5. Well now I know it's not a photo backdrop. Did you get the 'long suffering eyes' when you left your Lucy at the kennel?

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    1. Gayle, Lucy is Alan’s furry friend, not mine. I don’t have a dog, though I’d love one.

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  6. Lovely attire for vacationing! How people must have been uncomfortable in the heat, which I imagine was just as dense as it can be today...only no antiperspirants! Oh my, what a world we had before the 20th century. Love the poem!

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    1. Thank you Barb, it’s been a while.

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  7. A wonderful evocative poem!
    My theory about old time summer fashions of wool and layered linen is that they had considerably less activity especially during the hottest part of the day. Out ancestors lived with humidity and heat, and coped by using shade and breezes, both natural and artificial.

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    1. Thank you MIke, and you’re probably right. The Foleys are camping in a nice shady spot too!

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  8. People's ideas of relaxing didn't include casual clothes back then. Perhaps the men only took off their ties and the women their stays when they retired for bed. Lovely photos!

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    1. I know Jo, Even in the fifties there are pics of my family with the men wearing ties on the beach!

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  9. Perfect poem to spur our imaginations!
    Interesting that you focused on the clothing as that was my first idea (which I abandoned). I have some photos of women in similar belted suits but didn't know what to say other than to point out the obvious. Had I the talent to craft a poem, I might have stuck with it.

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    1. Thanks Wendy - I enjoyed it. I bet you could craft a poem - a clever lady like you.

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