I am very fond of this picture of my mum. I've been thinking about it since early this summer when I suddenly got a bit of a passion for turbans but just couldn't put my hand on it, then it turned up one day when I was turning out my cupboards. There she was on "the grass" outside the flats where her dad, nan, granddad and six brothers and sisters lived (a couple were married and gone by then).
I love the way she is looking so directly at the camera with such frankness and confidence here. She was young when it was taken, far too young to be smoking, but she left school when she was fourteen and, like most of her sisters, had started work in a local dressmaking factory. If you were to ask her, she would be able to tell you exactly where that tailored coat came from, its colour, and the fabric it was made from. But what about that turban? Look at the size of it, its exuberance, its complete "don't mess about with me" message. She looks so full of pluck. She still is.
It was her birthday today and she declared that she had a lovely day. We only had one candle on the cake, though. I doubt if there would have been room for one for every year. And she wouldn't have had the puff to blow them out after those years of smoking.