Only one

It’s strange being an only one. Or an only child. Or, in French, je suis une fille unique, which I thought was a rather nice way of saying it.

No idea if there is an equivalent in Spanish, it’s probably ‘No tengo hermanos’ (I have no brothers/sisters). Of course the Andalucía tourist board had a slogan at one point that went ‘Andalucía, solo hay uno.’ Andalucía, there’s only one. But I digress.

But here I am, one child, two grandmothers. No grandfathers as they were dead by then. Not sure how old my grandmothers were in this pic – early 70s say? They died around 80ish. Both of them lived longer than my parents. That says something about austere living being good for you I suspect.

I wrote about my grandparents (and other family members) over on Clouds.

Over there, I said my grandmothers were like chalk and cheese, as you can see in this pic. My maternal grandmother is on the left, and my father’s mum on the right. Grandma has a shapeless comfy dress on and slippers, Nana has a smart suit/dress on and dressy shoes.

I guess I’ll end up looking like the fat one rather than the pretty dainty one. I’m already wearing similar glasses to my grandma, still have long hair (hers was in a bun), but I’m not fat. Yet.

As for little roughseas, I’m guessing this is a prep school pic, ie I’m 6/7. Hard to tell as I always looked older than I was. Anyway, it would be late 1960s. It was summer, you can tell by the blue sky (shock! horror!) and the mesembryanthemums behind Nana (on the right).

Most of my childhood summers seemed to be endless with lots of blue skies. And that’s my summer school uniform, and I vaguely remember that’s the design for the young kids in prep school. I’m sitting cross-legged because we seemed to spend an awful lot of time sitting like that on the floor at school.

While my grandmothers may not have been fond of each other, I loved them both. You can tell, because, apart from photos with Good Dog Tarquin, I rarely used to smile on photos but I look quite sunny and happy on here.

It’s a slight twist on the WordPress weekly photo challenge of ‘One’ but rules are made to be broken bent.


13 comments on “Only one”

  1. What a brilliant take on the ‘one’ theme 🙂
    I love the photo too, so typical of a family shot from those days.
    Your grandmas echo mine too, my maternal grandma (nan) always dressed ‘comfy’ while my dad’s mum was the smart one. They too both lived into their eighties.
    I wonder if summers were better in those days, or if it’s what our memories prefer to remember, as my summers always seemed to be long hot days.
    What is it about schools making children sit cross legged. I could never get my legs to bend that way, though they would bend the other way perfectly, still do in fact. LOL.
    Nice colour from WP too.


    • Thanks V. I thought it might appeal to you 😉

      I’d been thinking about putting this one up for the ‘Grand’ theme, but didn’t do anything for that in the end. I looked at the Daily Post page and what they actually wanted was one thing that stood out in a photo, which actually doesn’t work for this but sometimes I think it is more interesting to look for a different take on their challenge than the obvious one. Probably because I’m a words/ideas person.

      I think my summers were certainly longer if nothing else. Our school always broke up before the state school and went back after so we usually ended up with a couple of weeks extra 🙂 Plenty of time to get a little bit of sunshine in eight full weeks. And of course – you aren’t going to take happy family shots outside/at the beach etc if it’s bucketing down, so our photos will always end up reflecting the good weather.

      I can’t do the cross-legged thing any more, I’m surprised I did it back then, but obv I did by the pic. I could never do lotus things either, not sure if that was all my ankle accidents though.

      I assume the DT colour reflects the darker bricks in the wall and grandma’s dress. I was worried I’d end up with some sort of sludge given all the different colours, but it works quite nicely I think.


  2. i saw both Vicky’s and your comments in my corner and thought i would come here first. a great interpretation of the word ‘one’ here! i cheated bent some rules as well, as you noticed.
    first of all the colour – you managed to avoid grey, so kudos on that! this reminds me of a colour that grandmothers would wear, at least some of them, so it fits perfectly.
    how nice that you got to know both of your grandmothers. i only ever met my maternal grandmother, Omi i called her, as my paternal grandmother, whom everybody always talked about as Oma, died when i was about one or two years old or so. Both of them lived in Germany so meeting them was not an entirely predictable thing.
    But my Omi came to Canada for a year when i was two and i actually have a few distinct memories of her from that time. probably closer to the end of her trip. somehow it seems i may have mentioned her in a comment on a previous post of yours. or maybe that was Vicky’s?
    in any case, she was sweet and kind and the kind of grandmother any child could hope for. so although i apparently missed her and kept asking about her for a couple of years after that (don’t remember that part) it was a treat to know her and when i was old enough to have learned to write, we corresponded.
    she always began her letters to me with the equivalent of, ‘my dear Chris’ and so of course when i wrote my very first letter to her, i very matter-of-factly signed with the German equivalent of ‘your dear Chris’.
    anyhow, i so love the mood of this happy time with your two grandmothers. how brilliant that kids are able to see beyond the differences in people and just appreciate them for who they are, whether they go for trendy or comfortable, whether they are casual or dressed up, or whether they look like their age or much younger. one of the joys of living seems to be in the relationships we are able to foster. i think that those are poorest are those who have no one to connect with, even with thousands or millions in the bank. your smile speaks of that.
    what a rich moment. thanks for sharing.


    • Thanks P&K. I think when you are ‘an only one’ the word one always makes you think of the description. The other thing ‘one’ reminded me of, is a song by Nilsson, ‘One is the loneliest number that you’ll ever do..’ And of course being an only child can be lonely, or you can feel alone, or you can become self-reliant and independent.

      I didn’t think it was going to do grey, thought it would have been more sludgy so this was a pleasant surprise. I even wondered if I would have got dark mustard! Yes, grandmas did sometimes wear these sort of lilacy colours. Someone bought me a similar coloured top a few years ago, it’s still at the bottom of the drawer. It’s on a par with soppy baby pink.

      Not sure if you mentioned Omi to me or not, but I do remember a relative coming from Germany that you didn’t see very often so maybe that was her?

      Although I was aware that both my parents were not exactly fond of their MiLs, I had no idea why, they were just my nice grandmothers who were always kind to me, and I loved to see them. Like many things in life, best to accept people on face value, even as a child, and my parents’ problems shouldn’t be mine. So they weren’t 😀

      Thanks for your lovely warm comments.


      • oh, no problem. happy to share the link and spread the fun 🙂
        Omi only ever came to Canada the one time when i was 2, and i don’t think i have blogged about her much, if at all. one of her daughters, my unforgettable Tante Ulla, was the one who came to Canada a total of 9 times, and i wonder if you are thinking of her. she has appeared on my blog a few times – with her garden, and her artwork of painting eggs, etc.
        i can’t say i have ever listened to the entire song, ‘one is the loneliest number’ so i gave it a listen on youtube. very sad indeed….
        Timmy would argue that one however. he is quite content there are no other cats around. apparently he does not do well with other cats. so he would sing, if a cat could sing, one is the happiest number you could ever do 🙂


  3. I came looking too, because of the comments on Pix and Cards. This is a great post! I come from a family of 7 kids, so can’t even begin to imagine what it would be like as “one.” Suspect that there are some distinct benefits, though. Full attention of grandmothers, for example. Love the photo, the stories, and the viewers’ comments, too.


    • Thanks Diana, it was kind of P&K to provide the link.

      And I can’t imagine one sibling, let alone 6!! I think I wanted a sister at one point because my best friend at school suddenly acquired one, and I thought it would be fun to have someone to boss around a playmate. Plus I liked it when my two cousins came, one a year or so older than me and the other similarly younger than me, and they seemed to get on ok. But after my temporary desire for a baby sister, I never thought about it again. I found my own amusement/entertainment. Still do. As well as the grandmothers’ attention it was pointed out that I would have to share my father which didn’t go down too well.

      Thanks for the visit and the comment.


  4. You cutie-bug… what happened? 😛
    On a serious note, I really love the pic. You most certainly are je suis une fille unique
    How about Soy única hija for Spanish? 😉
    You look really happy. 🙂


    • Cutie bug indeed. I’ve never been called that before. It’s an interesting pic. Yeah, that would work, or even Soy hija única, just that most Spanish families have more than one so that may explain why I’ve never heard it. Yeah, I liked my grandmothers. Don’t we all?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Well, you have now. 🙂

        That’s what I like about Spanish; you can say things backwards and it still holds the same meaning. lol

        I would like to think so. 🙂


        • Reminds me of ladybug. I had to double check they were ladybirds. Can’t remember which you used originally in Miedo.

          Spaniards speak backwards anyway. If there’s a long winded way to say something they’ll do it. Or repeat it three times using different words.

          Maybe. I never knew my grandfathers though. Shame. I liked all my ‘great’ rellies, maybe it’s that generation gap relationship thing.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Oh, I definitely use ladybird… never liked ladybug. There are somethings you cannot change in a Brit. 😉

            Very much the same with Mexicans… they are definitely, without doubt, related. Everything you tell me about the Spanish just reminds me of the Mexicans. (I’m sure both sides would deny such associations with unrelenting passion.) 😀

            Yes, I agree.


  5. What is it with Grandmas that they seem polar opposites? We men marry our mothers they say but there it stops as my mother and my mother in law are not just polar opposites but from different galaxies. Mum, btw would be the one stretched on the lounger. And I suppose the only qualification on blue skies is real snow – 62/63 when the sea at Herne Bay froze. I was reading a teacher’s blog the other day when she talked about the joy of snow days, when the schools close at the slightest flurry. My no doubt fallible memory is of schools staying open Do you recall?


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