My dad started the whole posing with fake animals photography nonsense - he bent over and put his bottom in front of a rhino's horn and had a huge grin plastered on his face. I've - somewhere - got a very oddly posed picture featuring me and a giant badger that best friend took and then sent to my father. Hilarity ensued.
The abuse stuff - well, it does me good to get it off my chest. But what it all meant and whether blame should or should not be attached and to whom, I don't suppose a pat answer will ever present itself. That really is the story I never tell so just putting the words out there is something of a release.
More adoption stories to come. They've been crafted over a number of years, but can bear the retelling I think. Also, husband makes a heroic cameo appearance.
Albion - the poetic construct of Blighty. Nationhood expressed in art, letters and song. I was talking to husband and explaining that, to me, England has that extra dimension whereas Australia does not. I'm never reminded of a snatch of song or a line of poetry as I go about my day here; whereas at home it's a constant underlay, providing depth and texture underfoot. Crossing London Bridge? TS Eliot: 'A crowd flowed over London Bridge, so many. I had not thought death had undone so many'. Walking along Bond St? Virginia Woolf: 'Mrs Dalloway decided to buy the flowers herself.' Travelling to the North on a train? George Orwell's The Road To Wigan Pier:
The train bore me away, through the monstrous scenery of slag-heaps, chimneys, piled scrap-iron, foul canals, paths of cindery mud criss-crossed by the prints of clogs. This was March, but the weather had been horribly cold and everywhere there were mounds of blackened snow.
I know the landscape as a tapestry of literary and historical allusions that is, to me, richer and more verdant than the geography. The whole country is like that from Hadrian's Wall all the way down to Freshwater Bay on the Iggles (home of Julia Margaret Cameron, photography pioneer and Virginia Woolf's great aunt).