Tuesday, April 24, 2007

My parents wedding photos...

Yesterday I received a letter from my Nanna. It contained three photos - most contentious photos... My mum has often told me about these photos. They were from her receptions after she and Dad eloped. She had had them, amongst a quite a few others, including photos of me as a baby, and had asked my Nanna to take care of them while mum and dad lived in Iceland for a while. When they got back to Australia, my Nanna had claimed she never had them in her care, and therefore could not return them to mum... Mum was always sad and angry about this... Anyway, so yesterday I received three of the many photos my Nanna claimed never to have had...

Here they are...


This is my Langamma (great grandmother) Síta, my mum's paternal grandmother. She was the matriarch of the family for many, many years and a formidable woman! She died, aged 93, in the June of 1988, outliving three husbands and her only child, my grandfather... She didn't like Australia (lving here with the rest of my mum's family between 1969 and 1971, so the whole family, excepting my mum who had just married and had me on the way, had to move back to Iceland with her. They all missed Australia and all wanted to come back at some point (one of my Uncle's went to great lengths to train so he could move out here, but was turned down), but she didn't like it here, LOL...

ETA: I just noticed, right in the background there, there is the face of a man in profile. That man, I think, is my Uncle Paul (Dad's second brother) who died on his twentysixth birthday, about 10 years after this photo was taken...
From the left (back row); My amma (grandmother) Inga, Afi (grandfather) Haraldur, Grandad Bob, Langamma Síta, Uncle Jói (I think, could be Magnus, don't know if he was taller than Jói at that age), Uncle Pétur.
From the left (front row); Aunty Sýta (Langamma's namesake, different spelling), Aunty Helga, Aunty Gróa, and my dad's youngest brother, Uncle Robbie (who recently turned 40, hehehe)...


I wasn't really sure if I wanted to post this picture. I have mixed feelings about it. It's taken on May 8th, 1971, three days after my parents eloped, but the day they were supposed to have their big wedding. I believe my parents loved each other in a romantic sense, but the married was also a desperate bid for independence according to mum (at least, Dad doesn't talk about it, he says he loved mum, but then his actions towards her weren't loving, yk)... Dad got a bit pished at the reception, as you can see here. I can bet my bottom dollar he's telling mum how much he loves her, and I bet she's wondering just what she'd let herself in for... This was the beginning of 13 turmultous years, the first five of which were good, apparently (though there were very hurtful and sad things happening even then), the last eight, which I remember all too vivdly as not very nice at all... This is a bittersweet photo for me, they look like they're clinging to one another, more than hugging, and mum is holding dad up (which she did, emotionally, I think, though he always thought he was in control)...

Another thing that strikes me about this photo, besides my mum being so young, just 20, is she is wearing a red dress. I never saw her wear a red dress when I grew up. Red is the colour of vibrance and life, and my mum is full of life!. In this photo she was wearing a dress that was stylish and modern (for the times), it was SHORT, and spoke of confidence! This dress was like the last vestige of her youth. After this she was a wife and mother, then a single mother and full of responsibility. When they were married dad held the purse strings and mum could only buy clothes on sale from Kmart, and often bought neutrals because she could mix and match them better than the bold colours, often only getting one new item a year than had to fit in with a wardrobe already dated...

Of course, mum was still always fairly stylish (in my eyes), and made do, and eventually could afford to buy better stuff and more bold colours, but by then she was middle aged...

It's funny what old photos bring up, isn't it...

2 comments:

casso said...

You're right, there really is something odd and disturbing about that last photo. I wonder what it was that made your Nanna bring out the photos after all this time of denial?

And omg if that first photo didn't frighten the hell out of me! I would have stayed in Iceland too, she looks like something straight out of a horror film (*ahem* no offence intended! but she does look formidable to say the least).

Sif said...

Yes, I think that first photo might be scaring a few people as I haven't had a comment before now, and that post has been up for a whole 24 hours! Hehehe...

My Langamma was a very, very smart woman, she came from what might have been considered Icelands Royalty, her Grandfather wrote the music to the National anthem, for example.

She was the first woman in Iceland to cut her hair short, and made the front page when she stepped of the boat from Scotland with a 1920s short style!

She worked as a nurse while pregnant with my Grandfather, and strapped her stomach so no one would realise she was pregnant and prevent her from working, I think that had to be painful, but she was determined to work as long as she could, though she didn't need the money!

A determined woman, I like to think I inherited some of that... But not the scary bits...

Teenagers and the failing parent...