Fab Feb Photo Festival -Day 4 – Baby books and birthdays

4 x 7UP collage

This is a photo from my 3rd birthday with my new doll, Ann.

This is a photo from my 3rd birthday with my new doll, Ann.

Birthdays and parties seem synonymous these days but were they when you were growing up? Certainly mine were pretty much always low-key affairs as I explained a while ago in another post.

While I had a few friends and family over for each birthday, with party hats and presents, there was none of the hoopla that seems almost compulsory for many children these days, with reciprocal gift bags for the guests, clowns, jumping castles and the like.
For the first few years of my life, Mum kept a baby book for me so I’m going to let that speak to this photo from the collage.


An extract from my baby book written in my mother’s immaculate handwriting.

I'm guessing this is the doll, Thelma, that I got for my 2nd birthday.

I’m guessing this is the doll, Thelma, that I got for my 2nd birthday.

It’s really lovely to read some of these notes because it tells me who gave me my little gold bangle. While it has little commercial value, what I now realise is this was my last present from my maternal grandmother who died suddenly a few months before my next birthday. It probably also explains why my baby book ceases with this birthday. Looking back what’s conspicuous from these notes is how my paternal grandparents appear to have been excluded from the celebrations even though they lived next door. Nor does my maternal grandfather feature although he would still have been at work full-time. The other thing I now notice is that my grandmother’s name drops the Mc…which is exactly how it was when the family lived in Ireland -funny how things stand out from the distance of time.P1190441

page 6 txt baby book - crop

Dolls were obviously a regular present option as I got one for my 2nd birthday as well and I know that some years later I also got a tall walky-talky bride doll which I named Mary.

Fab Feb imageFamily Hx writing challenge

This post is part of the February Photo Collage Festival and the Family History Writing Challenge.

123rd Carnival of Genealogy: Birthday Parties

I’m not a big party person but birthdays are special and always a great reason to celebrate with close friends. My baby book records that I spent my first birthday quietly…which set the theme for others to come I suspect. By my third birthday I had three little friends, Mum and her friend.

My birthday is inconveniently in the midst of our summer holidays and frequently as a child the friend-supply would be a little light on for partying. However my non-holidaying neighbourhood friends would be invited as well as occasionally my cousins. Mum always made delicious cakes and biscuits which was certainly a bonus and we had a good time! I think that’s why to this day I much prefer to have a small gathering of close friends and cringe at the thought of even a medium size group of party-goers.

Pauleen looking cute (!) in blonde curls and a bow. It looks like the 3rd birthday party because it’s the right group of children.

There was one birthday as an adult when I nearly came a social cropper. A friend and work colleague had invited us to a dress-up party celebration. The day rolled round and it all seemed more trouble than it was worth to get gussied up and party on. Social responsibility eventually took over and off we went – only to discover on arrival that it was actually a surprise birthday party for me! How embarrassed would I have been if we hadn’t bothered going?!  We had such a good time that we didn’t get home until the wee hours –something which scandalised our teenaged children and took some living down!

Happy birthday to Jasia whose November birthday inspired this Carnival of Genealogy theme.