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."

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

That Look

I’m not sure what 'that look' was; lost in admiration, besotted, lovestruck? Who knows? I had just become a teenager and was beginning to look at boys rather differently. This was the big brother of my Austrian exchange friend with whose family, near Vienna, I spent most of my Summer holidays that year.

He was very kind to me, I remember, and when I visited again three years later, we were all a bit more mature. The 1968 invasion of Prague, a few kilometres over the border, actually took place whilst I was staying there on that occasion. It was quite a frightening time as my friend’s brother was completing his National Service and the family were anxious.  It was also quite exciting, as we had soldiers billeted with us too. Fortunately my parents had accompanied me for part of the time and were there to chaperon. It looks as though I only had eyes for my friend’s big brother, but the next picture shows that we were not alone, having a cosy tête-à-tête.

'That look' in the second picture is of one who has imbibed too much of the fruit punch on offer, but as I was only thirteen it is unlikely to have been the alcoholic variety. My friend’s mother was amused by it anyway. There is one other brother squeezed into the cosy corner. He was only seven years old, but a little charmer himself.

What are we doing? Being very silly, that’s what. Those are saltsticks on the table and little brother and I are sharing one, starting from different ends, and ending up rubbing noses. Very amusing when you are a seven year old boy. We look very serious but ended up in fits of giggles.

In the last picture ‘that look’ is me not paying attention to the person wielding the camera. I’m making eyes at someone else. I wonder who.

Our Sepia Saturday prompt this week is of Dizzy Gillespie staring adoringly at Ella Fitzgerald. 'That look', you know, we’ve all done it - haven’t we?


  1. Perfect match for the prompt. Oh, you are so good at this.........

  2. Can't say I blame you having 'eyes' for big brother - a rather handsome dude! How much older than you was he at the time? I remember at 12 having a terrific crush on our 18 yr old next door neighbor. Never amounted to anything, of course, but I wrote him letters while he was stationed in Alaska with one of the services and too his credit, he actually wrote back. What a gentleman. I like the way you centered on the lovesick - Dizzy?

  3. I didn't think of matching the look. I did have a good one for that. I enjoyed yours.

  4. Such a great take-off on the photo! Thanks for sharing the looks you were giving in your own photos! They are great!

  5. Yup. You're smitten. No question...

  6. You All Look Really Happy in All The Pictures here.
    Having visited Soviet era Poland around the same time ,I remember the "otherness" of the Iron Curtain.
    Not terrible in any way ..people adapt in order to be comforable...which you certainly do!
    A Wonderful Record of remarkable times

  7. Lovely photos. Good interpretation.

  8. You started us off with such a good match to the adoring looks in the prompt photo. How great to have actual photographs, though, of your youthful memories.

  9. Excellent spin on Dizzy's "look". It's what makes Ella's photo stand out for me. Did you sepia-tize your snaps?

    1. No Mike I didn’t sepia-tize. I took a black and white film and some colour slides (which have now all faded too!). These pictures would have been taken by my Austrian friend’s family.

  10. Full of the joys of spring. It's the only expression that fits! :)

  11. Are you still flirtatious? I think the photos are grand and that you have such fond memories when you look at them.


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