Dog cart. What on earth does this have to do with Grace Kelly?


Sepia Saturday – where we are inspired to use old photographs for new reflections.

I found this photo while hatching a cunning (up till now secret) plan for an adventure for Mr ImagesPast and me. It’s wheeled transport of a sort, only dog-propelled.

Dog cartI don’t know exactly where this was taken, but here’s where it was taken from:

Album Cover Douglas & Elsie

Douglas and Elsie were my Mum’s parents and Gordon was Douglas’s brother. Along with Douglas’s sister-in-law Betty, they went on an epic road trip from Scotland around parts of Europe in May/June 1955, which is almost 60 years ago.  Time to celebrate their Diamond Anniversary of their holiday.

Here’s a photo that I haven’t identified yet, so there’s a bit of research to be done while I have the map out trying to follow their route.

who knows
My brilliant idea is to recreate said road trip (and photos) as a surprise and I’m looking forward to Mr ImagesPast’s reaction which, I am sure, will be huge excitement followed by a packing spree.  It will also be a way of him justifying the bespoke luggage he recently ordered to fit in the boot of his car.  We will, of course, need to take his car to fit in with the idea of me as Grace Kelly.   Oh, now, there’s another thought, what a lovely souvenir a diamond or two would make.


(Photo courtesy of

Please send petrol money and we’ll send you a postcard.  I know how Alan likes a postcard 🙂

The Silly Girl’s Project continues here…

Zoom off to Sepia Saturday to see where everyone else is going.

Posted in Douglas & Elsie's 1955 Road Trip, Photos, Sepia Saturday, Silly Girl's Project | Tagged , , , | 18 Comments

My Life with Machinery

I’m bouncing back at Sepia Saturday’s inspirational photo, if I can remember how to put a blog post together – the transport theme continues but this photo reminded me of my very VERY first blog from 18 August 2010…

2015.03W.09 Sepia Saturday 28 March 2015

My Dad was a farmer and he had an interest in vintage tractors and farm equipment. Over the years this became increasingly important to him and his enthusiasm seemed to be without limits. The rest of the family did not necessarily go along with this. In particular, one tractor was almost grounds for divorce… For my maiden blog, I scanned a variety of postcards which had been pinned to the wall in Dad’s office for years. I’m not sure how I ended up with them, or why I kept them, but finally they had a use – a rather dull post with only a minor breakthrough of humour at the very end. No one read it and no one commented on it, but don’t feel sorry for me – was I discouraged? Noooooo! For insomniacs, you will join the other 411 people who are still sleeping it off after reading it sometime in the four years since.

I have a newspaper cutting showing Dad with the actual “grounds for divorce” piece of mechanical financial drain at the Royal Highland Show but I couldn’t put my hands on it so I googled and found a splendid and relatively glamorous version of the tatty implement Dad bought in the US and had shipped all the way back to the UK. You can imagine my Mum’s total jubilation.

“Advance Rumely Oil Pull” by Doug Coldwell – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons –

Such was Dad’s love of this soot-spewer that we kids had our annual “family photo” taken with it. Again, deep joy and happiness, rust streaks on the good dress and tears before bedtime. And that was just my mother. You can just imagine 4 well-dressed and scrubbed children pretending to look overjoyed at their annual photography punishment.

However, all this exposure to mucky, noisy farm equipment must have had an effect on me because I seem to have been surrounded by things on wheels ever since. My racing pram obviously came first (and well before the days of the Rumely) but I was starting off on the right track, as it were.  Fellow Sepians will have read about my pram in Sepia Saturday 134 but here it is to remind you.

me & mum March 1965

The years rolled by, I leapt on and off motorbikes at every opportunity, travelled in and drove some terrible death traps.  The cars rolled by and finally I was 21. I didn’t want the big party and the fuss so the Mechanical Genius came up with his best idea yet. This..

21st birthday Mini and balloon bashing

I couldn’t have wished for a better 21st birthday present. It had superwide wheels, a white leather steering wheel and rather attractive brown nylon upholstery. Yay, me!

Thousands of happy miles and numerous cars later, I chanced upon this outside a bar in Tenerife and it made my holiday, as you can see…

Tenerife poser

Mainly because it was a break from the kind of industrial equipment I was working with at the time.

Rab and Johnny B messing about

Another few years down the line and it was time to pretend to be sensible but I had a special guest on my wedding day, and even Mum thought it was funny. My favourite of Dad’s collection – his 3 wheeled John Deere.

John Deere wedding

I’ve written numerous other posts which include vehicles of one kind or another, but my favourite is probably the post for Sepia Saturday 101  which shows some photos from Great Granny’s album.  It’s mildly amusing and a couple of those photos led me to do a little research on cars made in Scotland by ladies for ladies – now there’s something I heartily approve of!

Get your skates on and whizz over to see what the other Sepia Saturday contributors made of this week’s prompt.


Posted in Great Granny's album, Photos, Sepia Saturday | 9 Comments

Sepia Saturday 161 – how bazaar!

This weeks Sepia Saturday post is inspired by a photo of a shop with its exterior festooned with all sorts of produce.   I don’t have any old pics of shops or markets, however I can share the following with you, from our Christmas trip to Istanbul in December 2005.  We’re a bit “bah humbug” about Christmas so we took off to a non-Christian country for a change – and what a change it was!  We saw the Blue Mosque under snow, visited the Topkapi Palace and had dessert in one of the famous Pudding Shops (that’s all they serve) and generally had a ball.  One of my favourite places was the Grand Bazaar

Grand Bazaar Shopping

You can buy virtually anything there – food, slippers, astrakhan hats, jewellery – you name it, they have it, and of course haggling is obligatory.  It was in an old beautifully-tiled building, albeit a bit beaten-up, and rather loud and garish but I loved it.

Grand Bazaar China Stall

Mr ImagesPast seems particularly delighted to pose in front of this fine display of plates, pots and vases 🙂

3 Grand Bazaar Lanterns

I particularly liked the stained glass lanterns which seemed to occupy every restaurant we went into – I wish that I had brought a few of the small ones back with me.  I don’t regret not buying one of these though…

Genie outfits

Belly dancing outfits!  You can also buy more run-of-the-mill items here, such as

5 Grand Bazaar Fruit and Veg Stall

Fruit and veg and

Tripe andTrotters

What on earth is this?  I thought it was a laundry at first, and that they also happened to sell logs (you can see a row of “logs” under the “laundry”).  Wrong – it’s the Tripe and Trotter stand.  When the penny dropped, Mr IP couldn’t get away fast enough, but I had to stay for the photo opportunity.  Bizarre indeed!  🙂

Trot off to see what my Saturday Sepian friends have made of this week’s theme!

Jo 🙂


Posted in Photos, Sepia Saturday | 39 Comments

Sepia Saturday 154 – water and boats

Being rather pushed for time, I’ve recycled a post from January of last year.  It features water and boats.  Apologies for the blatant cheatery, but I don’t think my Saturday Sepian  friends will have seen this one before as it was written for a Geneabloggers meme.

I hope you are all having a good weekend – it has snowed here and is icy, but the stove is going well, so I am cosy.  Hopefully you are keeping warm too 🙂

Visit my Sepia Saturday pals with your hot water bottle and check out what they came up with from the inspirational photo for this week.  Remember to leave a comment if you are entertained/amused/appalled!


Posted in Photos | 9 Comments

Sepia Saturday 145 – beach treasure

Well, it’s Saturday night and time for a Sepia Saturday post before I miss the boat.

This week’s inspirational photo is of young boys with football boots.  I thought that I had a photo of Army personnel playing footie in a field of tents, but on close inspection, I couldn’t see a football so decided to go with the general theme of youngsters.  On checking Great Granny’s album, I was struck by this photo

but what's the little person in the background doing/

This is Granny – the one you all know from her previous antics.  She would have been about 32 but seems to appear much older due to the way she is dressed.  Check out the ankle socks and brogues :-).  Auntie has found a piece of fascinating beach treasure and is desperate to show it off.  There’s another little hand trying to grab Granny’s attention.

Granny is holding what I think may be a camera, but what on earth is Dad up to in the background?  Tsk.


Get your football boots on and head over to Sepia Saturday and see who has scored goals this week.

Posted in Great Granny's album, Photos | 25 Comments

Sepia Saturday 141 – the Lads’ Wild Day Out

The inspiration this week at Sepia Saturday is a photo of a wall-mounted clock in what appears to be some kind of workshop.  I couldn’t find a photo of a clock, but I thought of “workshop” and “work” and remembered these 3 photos from my granddad, Douglas’s, collection.  It seems to be a Works Outing, probably from somewhere near Dunfermline, Fife – I’m not sure where he worked at the time.  Here we are getting off the Magical Mystery Tour bus – I wonder if there was rowdy singing on the way?

Getting off the bus at the start of the trip

and here are some of the Lads on the ferry – I wonder where we are going?  At least no one is hanging over the side.  Yet.  Billy Bunter’s off to forage for buns, but someone else forgot to bring his teeth…

On the ferry.  Billy Bunter's off to forage for buns but someone else forgot to bring his teeth.

We’ve reached the next stage of our journey, but Bert is too much of a weakling to allow us to continue so I hope East Arms is a pub.  However, there is extra good news

Mush! Mush!

there are THREE (yes, dear reader, three) clocks in this photo 🙂  That’s Douglas in the Commodore in the middle, trying to control his homies.

I hope they all had a good time, and that everyone got home safely, but I’m curious about where they went.  I can’t find a place called “East Arms” using Google, and we don’t have  half-timbered buildings in Scotland, so I suspect they ventured further afield.  Any ideas?

I’m off to check the time on the other Sepia Saturday posts!


UPDATE!  Thanks to Mike Brubaker and Michael Inkpen, I now know that the lads were far from home.  It can’t have been a day trip as they were at East Arms, Hurley, Maidenhead in Berkshire, 435 miles away from home.  Here’s how it looks a few decades on

It would take at least 7 1/2 hours to get there today – wonder how long it took them in their coaches before motorways?


Mike Inkpen emailed me to say “I’m pretty sure this is the place where the coaches are drawn up.

It’s Thames Side, Henley on Thames. Look at the building facing us and
the skyline. The river here is used for the Henley Royal Regatta and the
mooring mid-stream and the judges booth all add up.”

I think he’s right.  So was it a Works Outing to the Henley Regatta, or did they just happen to pass through at the right time?  It’s a long way to go, so I suspect they were on a bigger trip with a bigger purpose.  It could also have been a Masonic Lodge trip, as Douglas was a Mason.


Thanks Mike – he has found the place that the Lads probably boarded the ferry, at Thameside.  It looks quite similar to where they got off the buses

Posted in Photos, Sepia Saturday | 25 Comments

Sepia Saturday 140 – the Rebellious Bridesmaid

You are invited to a Wedding reception at Sepia Saturday.  The theme this week is based on an old photo of a bride and groom.

I tried to think back to my earliest memories of weddings and found this photo of me, aged 3 years and 9 months dressed up as a flower girl for my Uncle’s wedding.  Cute huh?  Don’t be fooled.

In order to look this cute, I had to spend all morning at the much-hated  hairdresser getting the full works – hair cut, rollers in, back-combing and the stinking hair spray. Then back home to get dressed, then back in the car for an hour long journey to Dunfermline Abbey.  My parents both had roles to play in the proceedings, and tempers were frayed.  During the photo shoot, I was bored and fidgety and I remember Dad threatening me with some punishment and holding me still while we posed.   I’d had enough of weddings by that stage, and I hadn’t even had a whiff of the promised cake.  You know what’s coming now, don’t you?  Yep – I got away from his grip and took off round the hotel grounds like a rat up a drainpipe.

and she's off like a rat up a drainpipe!

Any further photos of me were “action shots” as I hurtled through the rose beds with the photographer and my Dad in hot pursuit.  I don’t remember a public smacking.  I do remember being under the table with my little brother during the meal.  My Grandfather, Douglas, was trying to keep us quiet with “wedding cake”.  It was like no cake I’d had before.  It was awful – full of raisins and booze and covered in marzipan.  We ate the icing and abandoned the rest.

I guess Mum had her hands full with two small children on a massive sugar high and no doubt there were tears before bedtime.

Yes, my uncle and his bride forgave me, but I still hate fruit cake 🙂


Posted in Photos, Sepia Saturday | 31 Comments