Saturday, 30 January 2010

turning back the clock

Since Steve's diagnosis, I often think how much I would like to turn back the clock to the time he was exposed to asbestos - whenever that was - and stop him breathing in those fibres. Sadly, that's not possible.  

However, I can take you back though the years to show you a portrait of the artist as a young man....the journey starts in the here and now, with Steve's most recent passport photo, taken just a few days ago.  

What a pity you're not allowed to smile these days for your official mug shot.  Steve usually looks a lot happier than this, in spite of everything - honest!  We searched high and low in the city centre to find a photo booth, without success.  So I had to try my hand at portrait photography, and here's the result.  No specs allowed, which explains why he looks just a little unfocussed. Or perhaps it's the strain of keeping a straight face! Renewing his passport is a good sign that Steve is thinking positively.  When the new one arrives, come spring, we'll be ready to roam!

A decade earlier this time, 1999 - getting ready for the new millennium. Jack and Katie were still at home, and I still worked at Oxford City Council. Everything has change since then! 

This is a scan from Steve's last passport photo taken in a booth. As you can see, he couldn't keep a straight face then either!

Time to turn the clock back again, this time to 1989:

Check out those glasses!

Katie was born that year. Steve boasted that when he was 60, he would be walking out with a beautiful 18 year old young woman - which he did...

Back another decade, and we've gone into black and white.  Steve assures me that they are NOT the same glasses.  

1979 and we were DINKies, in our first (and still only) house of our own. It would be another two years before Jack would be born. We are now in the Glossies era!  Some of you may remember our little shop in North Parade Avenue, where Steve produced brilliant silkscreened and airbrushed images of his own design on window blinds made to order, and I contributed a few "soft sculpture" cakes, applique cushions, painted silk scarves and mirrors.

Turn back the clock again.........It's 1973, and that hairy man is the chap I had married the previous year.

Yes, it really is Steve under the flowing locks, beard and mustache. Hadn't quite grown out of being hippies - well he was still a student at that time, although I had started work initially at the Poly, then on to the City Council. We lived in a flat on Iffley Road and had some very good parties I seem to recall....

Back to 1969 now - the hair is not quite so long and has yet to adorn the face.  This is how I remember Steve when I first met him...and thought to myself what a weird name, little knowing that some three years later I would be sharing it and spelling out the letters for others.

Remember those Indian silk scarves? I think we still have the one Steve's wearing in the photo - somewhere!

Coming towards the end of the rogue's gallery now....

It's 1967......Steve had left school and started as an architecture student at Oxford Poly (now Brookes Uni).  And here he is in his student ID card - looking remarkably smart, don't you think?

I didn't know him at the time - I was still living in London, at school doing my A Levels. But I have no doubt that I would have fancied him, had we bumped into each other!

And so to the last picture in this series (don't worry, I'm not going to get the baby photos out!)

It's 1965 and guess who's a mod?  

Why Steve, what smoldering eyes you have! 

Steve was 18 years old at the time. Actually he hasn't changed that much with the passing of time...

Looking through this gallery, we decided it needed updating, with a picture of Steve wearing his specs and looking normal with a smile on his face. But that will have to wait for another time!

While we're on a photographic theme, I have two things to report - a man called Howard Grill has paid me a nice compliment on his photography blog Motivation.  He likes my mono work! 

...and I've had an image shortlisted in the International Garden Photographer of the Year Competition, but it will be a while before I know whether it makes the final selection. Not holding my breath, as the same thing happened last year, but I fell at the last fence. Still, it's pleasing to get this far!

One of the reasons I filled today's blog with a photo gallery (other than wanting to entertain you) is that there is no news on Steve's health front. The tingles in his fingers and toes continue, but haven't got noticeably worse. Apart from that life goes on as normal....

Don't worry about long silences on the blog in the next few's simply because I will be working away from home for much of next week, and the week after. As Steve will be on his own, please do send him the occasional e-mail so he knows he isn't forgotten ;-)

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