It was my mother’s 80th birthday this week. A former ballerina, Dalia still keeps fit and goes to the gym several times a week. A few days ago I posted a short video to Facebook where I filmed her dancing at her birthday tea party which was viewed to a quasi-viral level; her glamour and vitality are still stunning. Here are a selection of photos I took of her as part of a college project circa 1990.
My mum posing with her old photograph album in her bedroom; I particularly like the sentiment embroidered on the cushion as it seems very appropriate to her. Unlike many people she has always been upfront about her age; in fact often flaunting it as people respond with incredulity to her youthful appearance:
Some more portraits- this one is a composition with lots of silk:
At her dressing table:
Here she is looking at the aforementioned photo album:
This is a double portrait of me and my mum at her dressing table:
I was revisiting the book My Name is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout and noticed I’d highlighted a couple of lines: There is now a large interest in ancestry, and that means names and places and photos and court records, but how do we find out what the daily fabric of life was?
Below are a couple of photographs that do not feature my mum yet by extension represent something about her identity. The image below was taken a few years ago in her ground floor loo. She folds the toilet paper like this herself – it is not done by a cleaner. To me this represents her perfectionism, hospitality and love of homemaking. Her attention to detail is channeled into this neat fold:
This is my mum’s magazine basket, a cornucopia of nostalgia and pride in her Israeli upbringing:
I have an ongoing project on Ancestry on this website which includes some amazing old images from my family’s archives- here’s the link.
And this is a clip of my mum dancing solo on her 80th birthday, then chivalrously joined by her husband, who is well into his 80s:
Also published on Medium.