Sunday, 13 March 2011
My best friend
Moving swiftly back about 20 years from the last photo I posted to my very early days at school.
It's obviously spring, so I'm around four, or five, or say six at the most.
This is one of those rare photos where I look vaguely relaxed at having my pic taken - and the only ones where I ever look like that are with my best friend Tarquin.
We were much the same age, my parents got him about six months after I was born. He was of course, a pedigree boxer, as my parents were rather aspirational. In the absence of brothers and sisters or nearby schoolfriends, Tarquin, Wizard of Skelder, was always there for me to play with, to talk to, and console me when I was in trouble and had been a naughty girl.
He was the hero in my bedtime stories. Whenever my dad told me a story - Good Dog Tarquin would always come to the rescue.
When it was time for me to walk down the path at coming home time, he would be jumping on his chair to look for me out of the kitchen window. The chair had to be reupholstered more than once because of his claws digging holes in the fabric.
And yet, the day he died, I never even noticed he was missing. We must both have been into double figures by then, and I was full of school stuff, whether it was boys or homework or gossip I have no idea.
My parents eventually plucked up the courage to ask if I wondered where he was. Then they told me.
Still feel guilty to this day that I hadn't missed him.
Navy blue (winter) school uniform, little knitted kilt thing and cardigan with light blue bands. Looks like I'd ripped the the shirt and tie off. Beige socks and Start-Rite shoes. I think they were my indoor ones. It was the sort of school where you had indoor and outdoor shoes and woe betide you when you forgot your shoebag on Monday morning.
Long, blonde and pony tail, no doubt with a navy blue ribbon.