By Paula Ramos

Since the box had arrived it remained in the hall for months.

I loved my grandmother and didn’t feel prepared to open her mushy box.

Yesterday, I decided to open it and what a lovely surprise! Family photos. Wedding and birthday parties, Christmas and Easter parties. Many travel photos and lots of photos of babies. All of us, I suppose.

I really loved the wedding photo of my uncle Oscar and his wife Esther. They seemed so young! My uncle Oscar was a very handsome man. He was a very tall and tanned man. His blond and bushy hair made him very attractive. The bride was pale but glamorous with her long white dress. Her curly brunette hair was pulled up and ornamented with flowers. It was a very fancy hairstyle.

My grandmother was there. She became a widow at a very young age. Grandma seemed to be a very tender woman, but she was so courageous! She took the family business ahead. In the photo, she wore a clean black dress and a pearl necklace. So elegant! And her sweet smile…

The guests were on the church stairs and it was a very heterogeneous group. They seemed to follow their own fashion. It was the 60’s. Some skinny and round ladies wore mini skirts and sparkling shirts and exhibited hairstyles dyed with strange colours. The old ladies wore old-fashioned quaint dresses. Men wore very long hair but there also were bald ones. They wore wide pants on the bottom called flared trousers.

The box had, of course, photos of people celebrating, drinking and eating. Why are banquet tables photographed? There are lots of them and the food seems to be tasty. The tables of the winter celebrations had lots of warm meals, especially roasted meat and spicy dishes. The warm weather celebrations had mainly ripe fruit, steamed food and savoury seafood. And the desserts… what delicious pleasures!

At the parties, there was certainly no stale or rancid food. People seemed happy and they were toasting with alcoholic drinks, house wine or iced champagne. Children toasted with fizzy drinks. People say it’s bad luck toasting with tap water.

In the box I found photos of all of us, the family babies: photos of myself, my father, my brother and sisters, uncles and cousins. All adorable and beautiful babies. Chubby and tender babies with rosy skin. Blond, brunet or bald babies and my ginger twin uncles. Shy babies and babies with lovely smiles. Wide-eyed babies with the glamour of the Christmas party and babies with dirty sticky faces by mushy fruits or crunchy cereal in milk.

Objects are important when they bring us good memories. One day I hope I smile when I find another box – the English Affair Tea Pack… obviously empty!

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