25 September 2011

all about the turban


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.

10 comments:

Lucy said...

It is, indeed, a statement style turban. The handbag is a statement style handbag too. Happy Birthday to your mum - and congratulations!

(Where are the flats?)

monix said...

A very stylish lady! I bet she still likes to look good.

colleen said...

Lucy -The flats are about a five minute walk away from the Tower of London. The family moved in just before WW2 - mum, dad, nine kids, nan and grandad; two flats to fit them all in. Mum and Dad also had a flat there when they got married and we lived there until I was about eleven.

Felix said...

It is a magnificent turban and this post is a very fine tribute to its wearer! I love this post and your description of your mother and her attitude and dressmaking skillz.

colleen said...

Felix - I am hoping that the lovely picture you took of me wearing the green turban will survive the course as well as this one has!

Anonymous said...

Hi Colleen,

Are those flats Stephen and Matilda House? I was born in those. No chance of a blue plaque since the one I was born in was knocked down!

Best wishes,

Joan

backlanenotebook said...

I really love the confidence with which she looks into the camera lens. The last thought on her mind would be that the picture might get blogged in 2011. I also love turbans.

colleen said...

Joan - These flats back on to Ellen Street, off Backchurch Lane. I know Stephen and Matilda well - my dad used to work for W Badger and I sometimes used to go with him to put his lorry away. Blimey, that walk down Thomas More Street took forever.

Anonymous said...

Colleen,
When I read your comment to my mum she sighed in recognition at your remarks about the long walk down Thomas More Street. She has many memories of walking around those streets with my sister and I in prams and the high dock walls looming.

Best wishes,

Joan

jeannette said...

thank you for all the postcards, i have been missing you. and happy birthday to the turban sultana.