Wednesday, 14 November 2012


My Canadian cousin visited in the summer.  My Canadian cousin is the daughter of my aunt, my dad's sister who emigrated to Canada in her twenties, got married, got pregnant, was diagnosed with breast cancer and died soon after her baby daughter was born.

My cousin visited London for the first time ever and had a little East End tour with my dad and his other sister. He hauled out all the old family photos for her, including ones of his parents, which  I had never seen before. I hadn't ever seen pictures of my grandparents, they died before I was born, so I made him get them out to show me.

Here is one I discovered, Teh Photo of Awesomeness, it is of his grandparents, my great-grandparents, looking like Mother Russia. Like something out of Chekhov. If you could hear them speaking, they would be saying something like "I dress in black to match my life, Alexei Petrovich."

I especially like the lady on the right, my great-grandmother.  


  1. One of my wife's friends married into a family from Azerbaijan and they had a genuine babooshka. I met her at the wedding, she was brilliant. She knitted our friend's first baby a pair of booties using a couple of twigs from the garden for needles.

  2. The guy at the front, with the flask, looks like some sort of dangerous constructivist poet, who doubled up as a bare-knuckle boxer and probably had an affair with Edith Piaf at one point.

    You're going to tell me he was an insurance salesman, aren't you?

  3. Bloody hell what a brilliant photo. Would your Dad enjoy any of the family pictures framed as a Christmas gift (re your last post)?
    Masha - crush. In youth I used "I am in mourning for my life" when asked about always dressing in black. Completely wasted of course.
    Will prob keep sneaking back here to look at them.

  4. Artog, the babooshka sounds magnificent. These skills are lost, what a pity.

    Tim, uncanny. He was a constructivist bare-knuckle boxer poet. (Not really. He is my dad's uncle, but I stupidly didn't ask what he did. Guessing by the rest of the family, a tailor or possibly a gambler.)

    Thanks Arabella. We burst out laughing when Masha came out with this line, wish I'd known it as a teen. That's a great idea - presents all bought, but will keep in mind for next year.

  5. I like the cut of your great-grandmother´s jib, she looks like she enjoys sitting on the ground as much as I do and is making no concession to elegance, it´s uncomfy and this is the only bearable way! Great find. PS - tea or wodka in the cups do you think?!

  6. Thanks Em. Haha! Yes that made me laugh a lot, everyone realising at the same time that they'd never liked picnics! Great granny was clearly one of us. I'm hoping wodka.