A Blue Coat For Christmas: Gone, But Not Forgotten

One Christmas morning while staying with my dad and his new wife, I couldn’t believe my eyes as I tore open the wrapping paper.

There it was, my heart’s desire, the most wonderful gift I could ever have hoped for – a wool, midi-length, navy blue coat befitting the military style of the early 1970s with brass buttons and red stripes on the cuffs and pocket flaps.

It was the coat of my dreams.

During my stay that Christmas, I remember walking down the stairs from Dad’s flat in Brighton, resplendent in my new coat, thinking how with it I must have looked, as I headed out to the seafront with my brother.

There, we strapped our roller skates onto our shoes and skated up and down the promenade for hours while Dad was at work.  Life was as normal then as it would ever be.

When tired from roller skating, we gathered up what loose change we could muster from our pockets and whiled away the afternoon hours playing games at the arcades on the old pier before heading back home in time for tea.

We didn’t know it then, but that was our last time playing on old West Pier: Dad moved away from Brighton the following year and it would be another thirty years before I was to return.

Shut down in 1975 for safety reasons, it remained unused for decades.  When it burnt down in 2003, it became derelict.

West Pier, Brighton, England (c) Sherri Matthews 2014

West Pier, Brighton, England 2012
(c) Sherri Matthews

West Pier was further damaged in February this year due to the severe battering it received from the storm surges that assailed the south coast all last winter, splitting it in two.

What will become of what remains of this historical landmark looming out of the English Channel overlooking Brighton Beach?  The pier of its golden days is gone, but not forgotten.

My coat stayed with me: I was in love with it and wore it everywhere.  I must have gone on and on about it, never realising for a moment how much it pained my dear mother who could not have afforded such a present.  How could I, as a girl of eleven or twelve, understand such things?

I would soon enough but not then, not then.

She only complimented me on how nice it looked. I wasn’t used to such lavish Christmas presents; it was the most extravagant gift I ever received.

The following year, my brother and I were fortunate enough to go on a field trip with our school to France and Belgium.  I wore my coat with pride, but I wore something else: my beautiful, lilac patterned midi-dress lovingly made for me by my mum.

I still remember the softness of the cotton lawn material with its ruffled hem falling to its fashionable length of mid-calf, the drawstring ties at the front of the bodice and the long sleeves, gathered at the wrist.

I absolutely adored that dress.

Matched with long, white socks and blue, sling back shoes with the merest hint of a heel, I was ready to go.

Something from Mum and Dad.  Can’t be bad, the best of both worlds.

Looking the Part. In Belgium, 1974, Brother and Sister (c) Sherri Matthews

Looking the Part. Or so we thought. In Belgium, 1974, Brother and Sister
(c) Sherri Matthews

The coat; the dress; the shoes. All gone, but not forgotten.   Just this photograph and my memories as a warm reminder of a time in my life very much defined by the style of the day.  Not to mention my brother’s nifty little ensemble.

When he said he didn’t mind me posting family photos on my blog, I hope he realised what he unleashed.

Actually, I like to think he enjoys these trips down memory lane, blue coat or not.

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This post is in response to the Weekly Photo Challenge: Gone, But Not Forgotten.

About Sherri Matthews

Sherri has been writing full time since 2011. Currently working on her memoir, 'Stranger in a White Dress', she has been published in a variety of national magazines, websites and three anthologies. Sherri raised her three, now adult children, in California for twenty years and today, lives in England’s West Country with her hubby, Aspie youngest, two cats, a grumpy bunny and a family of Chinese Button Quails. She keeps out of mischief blogging, gardening, walking by the sea and snapping endless photographs. Her garden robin muse vists regularly.
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120 Responses to A Blue Coat For Christmas: Gone, But Not Forgotten

  1. cardamone5 says:

    Lovely, Sherri, both the pic and the writing. What a haunting pic of the West Pier.

    Love,
    Elizabeth

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  2. Rajagopal says:

    Lovely reminiscences of your childhood years and places, sherry. Will connect to read more of your posts…best wishes…Raj .

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  3. Rachel M says:

    That coat looks really nice. Timeless. It would work well even today, some 40 years later. I can’t really see the dress but I’m sure it’s nice too.

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    • Sherri says:

      Thanks Rachel, I would wear that coat now, don’t think I’ve ever found one I’ve liked so much 😉 Funny how fashion comes full circle isn’t it? The dress was typical 70s with the gathered waist and at the sleeves too, I loved it and wore it for special occasions, when I wasn’t wearing my jeans 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. You were the ‘bee’s knees’ for sure! Don’t you find the older we get the more vivid and precious those memories become?

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    • Sherri says:

      Haha…thanks Jennifer 🙂 One reason I love doing the weekly photo challenges is that when I revisit some of my older photos, I am amazed at the memories that come flooding back. Great writing prompts 🙄

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Marie Keates says:

    Lovely coat and dress and wonderful memories.

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  6. bulldog says:

    Oh you do need to finish your book… your writing is so good

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  7. Allison says:

    Oh Sherri! I love this beautiful post. I love your coat and your smile and that lovely dress and the way you remember the feel of it all. And I love the pier. It’s a haunting yet warm description you affer . . . I sort of feel the ghosts in it (of it? with it?) . . .you have such a way with words and stories and memories. All of it.

    Love, love, love reading your works! No matter what you write about, it seems, you write in “Sherri” – and I dig. 🙂 🙂

    Blessings, light, love, peace and joy, joy, joy to you this day, my brilliant love!!

    Allison xxxooooxxxoooo

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    • Sherri says:

      Oh lots of ghosts, in memory, in time, of, in and with, dear Allison, you have nailed it, as you always do. Who would have thought that three decades after roller skating my way across that pier, my life would come full circle and my grown boys would one day live in Brighton? And that after being born and raised in California! When I sit on the beach now with them during our visits, and look out across the sea at that derelict pier, so many ghosts of a past life revisit my memories, but I also relish the moment, the now.
      I’m thrilled you enjoy my writing so much, wow, I can’t say enough what this means to me, you are a great encouragement and support to me, I hope you know that my friend 🙂 I love your exuberance, your energy, your shining light. Blessings to you too, and may joy, peace and light surround you this day dear one, and always, because you are a star ⭐ xoxoxoxox 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Yolanda M. says:

    Wonderful memory Sherri and wonderful writing (you look very official in your lovely coat) 🙂 The 70s were something else weren’t they? When I look at old photos from that time it seems I only wore bell bottoms! I started wearing dresses in my early teens about the same time it was obvious I was ‘becoming’ a young woman otherwise if I remained flat-chested I suspect I would have never tried on a dress.

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    • Sherri says:

      Thank you so much Yolanda, your lovely comments always make me smile 🙂 Haha…yes, I do look rather official don’t I, 😉 Oh yes, the glorious 70s!!! I wore mostly bell bottoms too, I slashed the seams up to my knees and sewed in flowery material to make them even more ‘bell’ like and also added a few patches to the pockets, including the ‘smiley’, of course 😉 I remember wearing this dress for special occasions and feeling very grown up in it but I was flat-chested as all heck 😛

      Liked by 1 person

  9. So poignant! What we didn’t know and didn’t realise about permanency and relationships and all that adult stuff – so beautifully intertwined in this memory. I have a story of a coat too, but I was older than you and the coat was a black woolen duffle coat …… worn with high, fur lined, black Italian boots…… Ah, memories! 🙂

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    • Sherri says:

      Ahh, thank you so much as always Pauline for your lovely comment. Oh yes, and perhaps in a way it was just as well we didn’t fully understand, although we come to that full realisation soon enough…Your coat and boots sound so elegant and classy, wow, what a beautiful image I have of you! The clothes we wore ‘back in the day’ bring such strong associations don’t they? Hopefully, they are mostly good ones 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Oh Sherri, you know I always love your posts, but this has to be one of my top ten favorites. “It was the coat of my dreams.” That sounds like me when I got my first pair of Jordache Jeans. 🙂 Your memories of the coat and the dress made by your mum are so beautifully expressed. And the picture…your brother’s expression is completely opposite of yours…I love it! How cute you both look! xo

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    • Sherri says:

      Oh Jill, you are such a sweetheart ⭐ Love your comment, thank you so much as always, and wow!! Now you’ve brought back an amazing memory for me – Jordache Jeans!! As soon as I read this, I almost jumped off my sofa (good job I didn’t drop my laptop, ha!) and blurted out, “I had a pair of those!” I haven’t heard that name for so long! They were all the rage weren’t they? Haha, yes, as for the photo, it tells a lot about our personalities now that you mention it. My brother, although younger, was always so much more confident than me…it took me much longer to find my way 🙄 xoxo

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      • I bet somewhere you have a picture of yourself in those Jordache Jeans, Sherri. 🙂 I remember saving up my babysitting money to buy my first pair. I thought I was so cool…ha ha!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Sherri says:

          Haha…well, maybe Jill, who knows! I do have a huge box of photos that I always ‘meant’ to sort into albums over the years but never did. I need to scan a whole load in but when will I ever get the time? I know once I start sifting through them all I’ll be up in the loft for days, weeks even 😀 Ahh…I bet you looked ultra cool in your Jordache Jeans Jill, and I would love to see a photo of you in yours 🙂

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          • Ha! I’m not sure if I have a photo of me and my Jordache jeans, but I do have a photo/slide of me in my knickers (not underwear :)) that my mother thought looked so cute. 🙂 In the early 70’s slides were very popular so many of the photos my dad took were made into slides. He’s since transferred many onto CDs.

            Liked by 1 person

            • Sherri says:

              Haha…oh I’m so glad you clarified that about your knickers Jill 😀 I remember those slides, my grandfather took loads of photos and cine film and I used to love it when we had a family gathering and he got out his family slideshows. How wonderful that your dad has now put all his onto CDs, what a wonderful family keepsake. I bet you look adorable in that photo of you in your knickers 😀

              Liked by 1 person

  11. Ste J says:

    This is a classic Christmas post! It has it all bittersweet memories, reminiscences, snow and of course your inimitable smile. I wish I would have read this with a glass of mulled wine….or wine stuck in a mug put in the microwave to be more precise. I shall remember that for next time.

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    • Sherri says:

      Make sure you have a cinnamon stick to swirl your mulled wine around with too…I find that always zests up the flavour like nothing else, microwaved or not. Thank you so much Ste, I love your comments…and I’m glad you think my smile is ‘inimitable’ as I feel incredibly awkward to this day smiling for the camera. Unlike my brother, ha! Oh such Christmas memories, flooding back for us all, such a bittersweet time in so many ways. . I am eternally grateful that most are magical and good and engrained forever…just like my beautiful blue coat. I’ve never found one I like so much…

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  12. Love the photo (and the story behind it). I should find some old photos. You are making me wonder what is gone but not forgotten…

    Beautiful pier. Sad that it’s gone, too.

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    • Sherri says:

      Ahh yes, so much gone but not forgotten…had to narrow it down big time and then I thought, yes, the blue coat! Thanks Sarah, I made a slideshow for my 50th (not that long ago, haha!) as a tribute to my family and all the work I put in retrieving a lot of old family photos and scanning them in has paid off now! This was long before I had a blog or even knew what a blog was! I took an old Brownie camera…hence the B&W… with me on this school trip so I expect I had a friend take this photo. As for the pier, yes, it is a beautiful relic. I heard that it is a nesting place for starlings now and so protected but since the storms nobody seems to know what will become of it…

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  13. Tom Merriman says:

    Great memories, Sherri, from a photograph and a derelict pier. It’s amazing how even the slightest thing can trigger fond memories, isn’t it?

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  14. Another enchanting walk down memory lane. Love the picture. You look gorgeous, and your brother appears pretty self-assured for a young man his age. I love all these reflections about your youth. Another one for the treasure box. ❤ ❤

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    • Sherri says:

      Ahh Tess, you hit the nail on the head about my brother…you can see how he went on to become a fighter pilot can’t you? As for me, my confidence took far longer to emerge, in fact, I wonder if it has even now…but I do love the way these photo challenges bring back so many memories for sharing here. I like to remember the good ones, like my beautiful blue coat. Wish I could find one just like it now.. 🙂 Thank you so much as always for your lovely comment… 🙂 ❤ ⭐ ❤

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  15. Sherri, this is one of your most beautiful posts, rich with details of the coat, the dress, the day with your brother, and the emotions and understanding you didn’t yet possess. The pictures are amazing ~ the awkward beauty of you and your brother, the sad pier out in the water.
    A masterful combination of words and memories. Brava, Sherri!

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    • Sherri says:

      Oh what a beautiful comment Marylin, thank you so much! I’m thrilled you enjoyed the story and the photos. The pier, the coat, the school trip. Isn’t it great to write about such memories held so close in our hearts and then share them here with one another… 🙂

      Like

  16. Mumblypeg says:

    What a beautiful post Sherri. You weave your words so cleverly but with such emotion..You looked very cool in your coat and your brother certainly looked very confident. What a cute pair. Well done Love M xxxx

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  17. How sophisticated you look and what a special treat to have your Mum make you a dress by hand! Were the coat and dress style things you had seen somewhere else and hoped to have at the time or wonderful surprises that you had never imagined?

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    • Sherri says:

      Haha…yes, I do remember being so proud when I wore that coat and dress 🙂 Thank you BT, and what a great question, gosh, you really have me thinking about the answer! I do vaguely remember asking my mum to make me a dress in that specific style as I must have seen similar on others, but the coat was a total surprise, I never expected it in a million years. My dad’s new wife had a lot to do with it, she was the epitome of the swinging sixties, carried over into the 70s and was greatly into fashion. One of the nicer things she did…but let’s not go there… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Great story. Makes me reflect on my own past with my four siblings. We still remain close.

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  19. I love your coat, Sherri. And I used to ice skate, so I know the feeling. How trendy you did look!

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    • Sherri says:

      Oh I wanted to be trendy, I really did, haha! Thanks so much Hollis! But I hope I didn’t raise any confusion, meaning roller skating, with the old fashioned type with the wheels attached to a metal plate and leather straps that held them in place over our shoes , not like the ones today with built in boots (or is that roller blades, I forget?). I only ever tried ice skating a couple of times (both in the States many years later in my early 20s) and fell over on my bum both times, so gave up after that 😛 o_O 😮

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  20. What a great memory, Sherri. And to have this photo, is so special! Both of the outfits are quite fancy and unique. No wonder you loved that coat, it’s classic. Thanks for sharing this endearing story. 🙂

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    • Sherri says:

      So 70s isn’t it? Thanks so much Maria, I’m glad you enjoyed it…and I wish I could find a coat like that now, I’ve never found one I’ve liked quite as much. Perhaps that’s why I’m so darn picky about them. In many ways, it ruined me, haha 🙄

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  21. Mabel Kwong says:

    You look very cute in your outfit, Sherri, the jacket especially. That as very nice of your parents to give you such fine clothes. I’m sure they saved up for it and you wore them with such pride 🙂 And wow, you manage to save this photo after all these years. Fond memories.

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    • Sherri says:

      Ahh…thanks so much Mabel! Yes, I have no idea how I managed to keep this old photo all these years, with all the moves and disruptions. I took an old Brownie camera with me on that school trip (the kind you have to look down into) and must have asked a friend to take it. Glad I did now, who knew that all these years later I would be sharing it on my blog? I do love these photo challenges for the memories they elicit 🙂 Have a lovely weekend…and enjoy your glorious sunshine. It’s getting colder and wetter here but no snow as yet…early days yet though 🙄

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      • Mabel Kwong says:

        You must have loved that moment and hence the photo so much that you kept it with great care. It must have been tucked tightly in between pages of a photo book or something…and just never touched until now, rediscovered 🙂 That is a really old camera you’re describing there – I googled it and it’s something I’ve never used before.

        You have a lovely weekend too, Sherri. Always great chatting with you. I hope you rug up and stay warm. I will be enjoying a sunny weekend. Sending some warm rays of light your way ^^’

        Liked by 1 person

        • Sherri says:

          Yes, that is just what happened Mabel, I found it in an old, faded photo album I made when I was about 13 or so and have kept all these years!! Haha…yes, that old Brownie was handed down from my grandparents, an antique! I did eventually graduate to a Kodak Instamatic and so entered the modern world at last, lol 😉
          Always such a pleasure, and you too…loving that warmth, thank you so much 🙂 ❤

          Liked by 1 person

  22. Oh my gosh Sherri, I just loved this latest walk down memory lane. I could feel your joy at receiving such beautiful & stylish coat and then the lovely dress your Mum made so lovingly. And the delightful photo you shared-perfect! And yes both you & your brother looked nifty indeed! 🙂 ❤

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    • Sherri says:

      Oh those days of 70s fashion…what memories my dear friend 🙂 I would love a coat like that now, and yes, I adored the dress Mum made for me. I felt very grown up in it, especially as I mostly wore bell-bottom jeans! Love your comments, as always, thank you so much…and here’s to nifty, haha 🙂 ❤ xoxoxo

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  23. Great story Sherri! It’s amazing how an article of clothing can bring back such vivid memories. For me it was boots. Even though I lived in Florida a pair of black boots given to me at Christmas did for me what your coat did for you. Thanks for stirring my own memories 🙂 Merry Christmas!

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  24. What a great trip back to your past, Sherri I currently live in Hove and only yesterday I was taking pictures of what is left of the old West Pier. It’s just about still standing but I don’t think it will be long before nature finally claims the pier and it will disappear for ever. At the moment there is a lot of building work going on opposite the pier, on the seafront, where they are building a huge tower which will have a revolving deck that will travel up and down the tower. It’s due to open in 2016, so I hope you will come back to Brighton and Hove one day to see all the changes.

    That old photograph is wonderful and I’m sure it could generate many, many stories.

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    • Sherri says:

      Hello Hugh, how lovely to meet you and thank you so much for getting in touch! I have very strong links with Hove and Brighton, not only from my early days as you can see from this post but also because both my boys, now grown, live there so actually we visit quite often 🙂 We lived in California for almost 20 years and returned to the UK in 2003. I would never have imagined that my eldest son would transfer to attend Sussex Uni and then stay on, only to be followed by his younger brother who attended BIMM and also stayed! I was last there in September for my birthday, sitting with them on the beach, looking out whimsically at the old pier as the sun set. I’m glad you got those photos in while it is still standing, and glad I took this one when I did, but it does seem that it won’t be there too much longer now, which is such a shame. It really took a battering after the storms of last winter didn’t it? Yes, we noticed the building works going on, a lot of changes on the old seafront since the days when my brother and I roller skated there! I’ll keep an eye out for you next time we are in town 🙂

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      • That is wonderful to hear, Sherri. So pleased to hear you still have strong links to Brighton & Hove. I’ve been living in the city with my partner for the last twenty one years, eighteen of which we lived between London and Hove.

        Please do let me know when you are next in the city and maybe we can meet up for a coffee? I’ve only been blogging since February this year and I’d love the chance to meet some fellow bloggers.

        Wishing you and your family a very Merry Christmas and thank you for following my blog as well.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Sherri says:

          How lovely that would be Hugh, I will do that! I love your blog and look forward to reading more 🙂 Thank you so much, and I would wish you and your family the very same too for a very Happy Christmas and New Year…and happy blogging 🙂

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  25. Such a lovely story, Sherri, and a wonderful photo of you and your brother. The coat and dress sound lovely, and you look so gorgeous. I also have lots of memories about clothes my mom made, and on rare occasions, the excitement of actually having something which was bought instead of home-made. My favourite coat was royal blue bouclé wool, and I had a blue angora beret to go with it. I felt like the ‘bees knees’ in that outfit. So sad about the West Pier. It hasn’t had much luck during it’s existence. I love Brighton, and have happy memories of holidays spent there. Have a lovely weekend. 🙂 xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sherri says:

      Ahh, such a lovely comment Sylvia, thank you so much 🙂 Your own coat and angora beret sound beautiful too, such memories! It is a glorious feeling isn’t it, thinking we are the ‘bees knees’. Doesn’t happen very often these days, for me at least, lol 😉 Yes, it is sad isn’t it? The storms really did a number on the poor old pier.. I’m so glad I took this photo when I did.
      Thank you Sylvia, getting our tree at at last tomorrow (later than usual this year) and counting down to when the boys arrive on the 23rd! You have a lovely weekend too 🙂 xx

      Liked by 1 person

  26. reocochran says:

    The excitement as a young girl to receive the ‘coat of your dreams’ must have also made your mother realize your happiness was most important. I am speaking as a past single mother of three children who went to the Bahamas with my ex, went to major magic productions and museums. Just to ease your conscience, each time they came back reveling from their adventures I felt blessed they were able to do so.
    On the subject of your writing, I have not followed you for long, just sporadic since Summer with Jill, but I absolutely loved this post. So happy you have the memory of the coat, along with such loving, tender details in the hand sewn beautiful dress your mother made you. Simply ovely, Sherri!

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    • Sherri says:

      Thank you so much for your beautiful comment Robin, and for sharing your insight from your own life as a single mother, that really means a great deal to me. I too experienced this years later when I was a single mother of my three and had to listen to the stories of my children and all the wonderful things they got to do with their father and his new wife. As with you, it was hard knowing I couldn’t afford to do the same, but I was so happy they got to have the experiences that they did. I am thrilled to know that you enjoyed this story so much and just as much to have met you through our dear friend Jill. You always bring the most wonderful smiles to my day, bless you Robin 🙂

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      • reocochran says:

        Thank you and I came back to read your comments, since sometimes I run out of time… This was something I did not realize, you were a single mother, too. We have another ‘common thread’ besides the sweetest of friends, Jill. She is a ‘keeper,’ Sherri!
        I am also glad I have given you some smiles, too. Bless you, my new friend!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Sherri says:

          Yes, I was divorced after 22 years of marriage and had to leave my home in California where I had lived and raised my children for 17years and returned to the UK in 2003. Life’s rich pattern and all that!! It really is so lovely to have met you dear Robin, and bless you too, you are a lovely new friend and I so look forward to sharing more of our experiences as time goes on. Once again, Happy Christmas to you 🙂 ❤ xo

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        • Sherri says:

          PS Yes, Jill is a absolute sweetheart and a keeper…how wonderful that we met through her. Hugs Robin… 🙂

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  27. reocochran says:

    lovely… oops, missed the L, Sherri, in that last comment… smiles!

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  28. What a great story, Sherri and I love the pictures of you and your brother. Isn’t it amazing looking back and realizing how very innocent we all were. Of course in 1974, I was married and had a three year old daughter and a new born daughter in November of that year, but even then I really had no clue of what life was going to dish out.

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    • Sherri says:

      Thank you so much Donna, I love your insightful comments always and yes, how very true…it is just as well we don’t know what is yet to come isn’t it, and good to know that at some point in our lives we had that time of innocence :/ When I look at this photo in more depth, I realise too that I had already experienced some painful things but I am reminded that I didn’t let them floor me. Ahh…life…and there it is 🙄

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  29. I just love this post of yours and it’s amazing to think that we could have walked right by each other in the streets of Brighton back in the 1970s without knowing that one day we’d get to know each other in the blogosphere! The West Pier was amazing. I remember going on it as a child and a teenager. My mother used to call it the “posh pier”, compared to its cousin, the Palace Pier. It was certainly quaint and atmospheric — rather full of Victorian-style curiosities and there was a fortune teller in a tented room, from what I can remember. And whilst reminiscing, did you ever go to the department store up the road from there called “Hills of Hove” and visit the tea room on the top floor? Could go on forever …

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    • Sherri says:

      Oh Sarah, can you imagine? Talk about six degrees of separation! Haha, yes, the ‘posh pier’! I remember all that you do and was so sad to hear of its closing so soon after the last time my brother and I played there. Who would have thought that I would be sharing the view of the old derelict pier now with my grown boys? Life is full of surprises isn’t it, thankfully that means some good ones along the way 😉 I have more family history with Hove, my mother lived there for a short time as a teenager with my grandmother and she had a maid by all accounts! Must be nice…ha! I will have to ask her about Hills of Love and the tea room, I don’t recall it…I’ll get back to you! I’m so glad you enjoyed this post Sarah, thank you so much, and yes, definitely, we could go on for ever…I love it 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • There were a whole fleet of maids attached to my great grandparents’ households on both sides. Indeed, times have changed, Sherri, but I’m not happy with the concept of servitude for anyone, so in many ways things have improved.

        Of course, I would love to make enough money out of my writing to pay someone a fair wage to clean my house. Cooking and ironing are okay, but cleaning becomes progressively more exhausting with every year that passes — although like all good work-outs, it probably helps keep one fit, too!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Sherri says:

          Times have changed indeed Sarah…and I agree totally in all respects. I do think that housework definitely helps keep us fit, when I think of how many times a day I run up and down the stairs for one thing. Sadly though, my efforts at keeping on top of the housework have definitely gone downhill since I began writing, seriously. And now with Christmas to ‘do’ too…well, say no more! But the tree is up so that’s something, and I am determined to make sure everything is ready for when the boys arrive on the 23rd…after that, well, it will be just nice to sit back and enjoy (whilst cooking of course!) 🙂

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  30. restlessjo says:

    I’m reading this with a Freddie Mercury and Queen concert on in the background, Sherri. 🙂 Another instance of ‘gone but not…’ What a force he was! Brighton Pier seems really tragic too.
    Happy memories for you, Sherri. So nice to have them to share 🙂

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    • Sherri says:

      Morning Jo! Goodness, I miss a weekend and feel bereft from blogging! Great to catch up and find out that you had wonderful Freddie Mercury playing as you read this, oh what an amazing talent and entertainer. So much came out of that whole era didn’t it? When I look at the poor derelict pier now so many thoughts flood through my mind…but it’s wonderful to have the happy memories and I’m thrilled to share them here and then read your lovely comment, thank you Jo and now I think it’s time for a walk and a cuppa. so get that kettle on, I’m heading over right now… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  31. prior says:

    well your brother feels completely ENGLISH to me – I looked and thought – “now there’s an English Chap” – ha! and I I can feel the softness of the dress – and with that fun coat (oh the things that we cherish in childhood are so special -and you captured that) but with that coat I almost feel a Parisian/English feel.

    And just a side note, I had this small Brighton purse that was my favorite purse ever – it was as an adult – but anytime that you mention Brighton I think of that small rust colored purse – it really was a special purse – just for quality – color, fit, and never had another one like it – but I just look dat their site and they are outta California…

    lastly – nice take on the wpc – like the different takes within a post – 🙂 ❤ ❤

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    • Sherri says:

      Haha…oh Y, such an ‘English chap’…I love that, still laughing 😀 I suppose he does look that way here thinking of it! Gosh, how interesting that you pick up a Parisian/English feel…especially as I always remember your wonderful comment about my ‘Parisian Post’… 🙂 And what an amazing coincidence about the Brighton purse and the brand name coming out of California and the links to the place Brighton here from my childhood and where my boys live now, a place we visit often…I’ll be pondering that for some time! Thanks so much mon amie, as always for your wonderfully interesting and insightful share…and for the Monday morning smiles you have given me. Hope your weekend was a great one 🙂 ❤ 🙂

      Like

  32. You brought back so many memories. Mine was a black coat, stand up collar. Military style. A beautiful pink floral dress with three quarter sleeves… I felt so grown up that year, going to church. 😇 How time flies.
    Many thanks for the memory shift… it’s a shame Brighton pier, which I remember well is slowly disappearing. Sad.
    Blessings, Susan 💖

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  33. Love the coat Sherri but your larrikin looking brother looks freezing with his bare legs and the snow falling all around him. 🙂 Roger tellls me they sent the army in to blow the pier up but were unsuccessful. It is as though it wants to be a ghost for years to come. ❤ 🙂

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    • Sherri says:

      Haha, oh Irene, that’s so funny, yes, he looks freezing doesn’t he? 😀 I know you will remember this photo from a previous post – I thought of our conversation when you first told me of your memories of your days spent in Sussex with Roger and his family. Now the poor old pier is in even worse shape. That’s so interesting about the army, I didn’t realise that. I know that they decided to leave it for the time being and it became a protected nesting ground for starlings, but quite what happens now is anybody’s guess. As you say, perhaps that old ghost isn’t ready to disappear anytime soon… 🙂 ❤ 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  34. Lovely story, wonderful picture and great memories!

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  35. Sherri what wonderful memories and the photo is precious. I spent time in Brighton and on the Pier in about 92′ we loved visiting, having fish n chips and a beer and walking out on the Pier. Thanks for the memories.

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    • Sherri says:

      How wonderful to know this Kath! Thanks so much for sharing such a happy memory with me. We visit often now as my grown boys both live there…who knew that would happen, especially as they were raised in California and I didn’t move back to Brighton but to the West Country? It really is a small world isn’t it and I’m so glad to have rekindled some happy memories for you too 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Sherri if I was to go back and live in England I think Brighton would be high on my list. It has a certain old charm about it. I remember the jazz bands too. So nice listening to music sitting in a deckchair and soaking up life. I hope it has not changed that much in twenty years since my last visit.

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      • Sherri says:

        I love Brighton too Kath – the vibe, the charm, the everything. And oh yes, the jazz! You can get any music you want there. I spent my birthday in September there with hubby and my boys. I always come away feeling 10 years younger 😉

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  36. jennypellett says:

    Gosh weren’t we all so groovy in those days! Did you have the patent granny shoes too? My coat was mauve, collarless and midi length. I thought I was the bees knees in this with my black patent lace ups and extra long knitted scarf, wound round and trailing everywhere. I also remember when Brighton had two piers. Yet again Sherri, we share similar memories 😄

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    • Sherri says:

      Haha…groovy baby 😀 Yes, I did Jenny…and oh, your coat was mauve? I love that colour! Oh we would have really looked the part wouldn’t we, parading along the old pier in Brighton all dressed up in our swish, and highly fashionable togs, ha! And yes, what was it with those extra long knitted scarves? I made one once, it was red and orange and I thought it was great!! Love sharing our memories, thanks for yours Jenny 🙂

      Like

  37. Seyi sandra says:

    Oh my God Sherri, I could stop laughing, you sure look gorgeous! 🙂 Your poise, your eyes, and I could detect a hint of delight in your demeanour as well. Beautifully written as usual. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this, thanks for sharing dear!
    Lots of love from your friend. 🙂 🙂

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Haha…oh I know, what memories and I’m delighted to read your wonderful comment, you always bring such smiles to my day dear Seyi, thank you so much my friend, always such a pleasure 🙂 😀 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  38. Seyi sandra says:

    I meant to say, ‘I couldn’t stop laughing.’ Forgive my typo! 🙂

    Like

  39. tieshka says:

    Hey Sherri- I’ve been super busy out here in LA, but overall all is well. Nice to see a photo of your brother in this post (and a childhood photo of you too)! I hope he follows your blog too…. I still haven’t told my family that I blog (other than my husband that is). I hope to be more active in the new year blogging, but I’ve managed to put together a few new posts in the meantime. Have a wonderful Christmas & a Happy New Year!

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    • Sherri says:

      So lovely to hear from you Tieshka, I’ve been thinking of you and wondering how you are getting on! I will be signing off after one more post for Christmas as I have to get ready for my boys coming home and I need to be prepared ahead of time! I’ll look forward to reading your posts 🙂 That’s interesting that you haven’t told your family that you blog. I have told mine but only my mum and hubby actually follow it…and I never know who reads it when I post on my Facebook page. You take care of yourself and thank you, I wish the same for you and your family, a very Happy Christmas and New Year. See you in 2015 🙂

      Like

  40. Norah says:

    This is gorgeous Sherri. Some memories are worth holding on to. Photographs certainly help bring them back into focus. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  41. Roland Theys says:

    Merry Christmas to you, excellent photo i like!

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Many thanks Roland for your lovely wishes, so glad you enjoyed the photo! I am sorry I am so late in replying but today is the first day I’ve returned to blogging since singing off before Christmas. I hope you had a lovely Christmas and I wish you a very Happy New Year and look forward to seeing you at the Summerhouse again ~ Sherri 🙂

      Like

  42. I think that you will like my post, “Christmas In The 50s.” It’s about family and the times that were so very simple. Blessings to you.

    Like

  43. susancarey says:

    Lovely pic. If you like the 70s you might enjoy this Pinterest board, it brought back happy memories for me; http://www.pinterest.com/impossimal/70s-memories/

    Liked by 1 person

  44. Mary Blowers says:

    Reblogged this on Mary Blowers, Author and commented:
    Wonderful word pictures and I love the family photo!

    Like

  45. mgill0627 says:

    My goodness Sherry, this really took me back. We must be very close in age, but I grew up in Kansas. Your post reminds me of how much simpler things were in the 70’s. Strap on roller skates, and hand-made cotton dresses. Thanks for sharing this lovely story.

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      How lovely to meet you Melissa, thank you so much for taking the time to pop over and read this trip down memory lane! It warms my heart to know that it resonates so strongly with you, even though we grew up on different sides of the shining sea! Kansas is a place I’ve never visited but fascinates me. Real ‘Americana’ 🙂 I love the title of your publishing company (just took a sneak peak)…I adore bees too 🙂

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