Posted by Tania Kindersley.
The snow is still top-of-the-gumboots deep and the stalactites hang off the gutters like something out of a fairy tale by the Brothers Grimm. It is utterly quiet. I adore Sundays. The only tiny fluttering fly in the ointment is that I have a sudden urgent desire to read my copy of Lord Melbourne by David Cecil, and I can't find it. (I watched The Young Victoria yesterday, and was rather dazzled by Paul Bettany's tremendous performance as the wily Lord M.)
I'm not going to give you yet another picture of the whiteness, although I can't guarantee what will happen tomorrow. So, today's pictures are a little nostalgia trip. I have old photographs and postcards stuck up all over the walls of my office and I like to look at them while I work. We moved around a lot when I was young, and when I was sixteen my mother and I were living out of a suitcase and our things were stored in a warehouse which burnt down. All my mother's wonderful photograph books were lost. But somehow, miraculously, I have still a few old pictures, I have no idea quite how.
Anyway, this is one of my absolute favourites. There is my mother on the left, and my very naughty father looking just as naughty as he was, on the right. The handsome man with my mother is Dave Dick, a great steeplechase jockey who won the Grand National in 1956. Judging from how young they look and how much champagne they are drinking, this might well have been taken in that glory year. I'm not sure who the blonde lady on the right is; I hope it is Mrs Dick. They were all together in Juan Les Pins, years before the new Russians got there, when you could still find the ghost of Scott Fitzgerald haunting the pine avenues:
And this is my old dad, posing his head off. This was taken by a proper photographer called Dmitri Kasterine, who used to come and stay at our house when I was small:
And here is my mother, with my sister and brother. Check out those hats. Only my mum could wear a hat like that and still manage to channel Grace Kelly:
And here she is again, very young, just married, all hope and blonde hair, working the country lady look: