I’ve been tagged by a few people with the favourite photo meme – thanks to both Emily at Maternal Tales and Sandy at Baby Baby.
So the idea is to share with you a favourite photo and tell you why I love it.
I have millions of photographs. With my job, I’ve travelled a lot and met a lot of people and since I have a memory like a sieve, often photos are my only reminder that, yes, I have actually been to New Orleans and what’s more, I did drink the famous cocktail they serve there. Actually, not surprising that memory’s a bit hazy, is it?
Anyway, lots of people have chosen great photographs of their kids. I thought about it but then I realised I can look at Flea pretty much whenever I like, so although I have lots of photos of her, they’re not the pictures I treasure most. So here’s my favourite photo:
That stunning girl with supermodel potential on the left? Me, aged six. And sitting next to me is my older brother, Ross, aged nine.
Sadly, I can’t see Ross whenever I like, because he died at the age of 27 from a brain tumour. So I treasure all the pictures I have of him. But I like this one especially because people used to look at it and say, “Oh, don’t you look alike!” – which given that I was his foster sister at the time, used to make me feel like a ‘proper’ part of the family.
It also reminds me what good friends we were. As kids, we used to creep into each others beds at night and play a game of drawing pictures on each other’s backs and guessing what they were. I think Ross knew I didn’t like sleeping in my own room (which was the rule in those days, when you were in foster care). I fell asleep in Ross’ bed every night for years.
We played together almost every day, creating huge imaginary worlds of Playmobil and Star Wars figures, and toy soldiers. I remember how my Mum cried the year this photo was taken when, on Boxing Day, she saw that Ross and I had stripped out the dolls' house she'd saved up to buy for me – to use as a base for the Star Wars figures.
As we got older, we remained very close friends. As teenagers, we often met up in clubs, each with our own friends. Ross would walk me home and when we got in, he’d make us a cup of tea and we’d sit and listen to records, and chat. Ross used to come and visit me every term at uni, and apart from his infuriating habit of sleeping with my friends and making them completely fall for him, we always had a fantastic time.
Like most older brothers, of course, he teased me remorselessly. The story of how he pretended to be trapped in the microwave and shouted for me to help him (yes, I looked) is the stuff of family legend. Then there was the time he put on a hooded top, sneaked out of his bedroom window, knocked on the front door and asked me, “Is Ross in?” I then spent 10 minutes looking for my brother while his ‘friend’ waited patiently on the front door step. Sheesh.
He always loved practical jokes, and for that we called him Peter Pan. We always said he’d never grow up, and we were right.