08

Jun
2012

Slip Sliding Away

The show is almost over, dear readers. This is the last of the series in which I try to ascertain the location of the slides I inherited from my father. Previous editions saw us hopping from Spain to Mexico and Sweden, and from France to Turkey and Greece. Here’s hoping the four pictures below will take us even further afield, to new continents and countries, or will simply serve as a celebration of one man’s perspective on a bygone age.

These debonair gents are probably my father’s clients or business partners. Could they be Italian or Spanish? Maybe this photo was taken somewhere in South America? Or Belgium perhaps? The man in the middle could be the young Hercule Poirot, Agatha Christie’s master detective. Seldom have I seen such a perfect side-parting and moustache. The same goes for the man in the background, posing with his pretty partner. Beyond them is an arch leading to a park or garden. I can’t quite make out the inscription. Is it in Latin?

Seven children selling sugar cane. The girl in the red dress has decided to liven up the photo by trying to scratch her brain with sugar cane. Some of the others are sucking and chewing their sweet treats. It looks hot and dusty, but the kids are all wearing woolly jumpers. Could this be autumn in Greece or Spain? As I was trying to make out the number plates on the cars in the background, I spotted my dad’s old Volvo Amazon station wagon!

From dusty to dustier. At first, I thought this might be Egypt or some other North-African country, because of the palm trees and because the vendor selling the wooden pitchforks is wearing a chador. But the other women in the picture certainly aren’t making any attempt to cover up. So maybe this is southern Spain? The sign on the truck in the background reads: “Refresca Major”.

I’ve left my favourite till last. I love the dynamism of this photo, the expressions of the men and boys lining the paddock (I can see only one woman), the handler’s crisp white clothes contrasting with the grey horse, and the scarlet shirt of the boy who has climbed up on the trailer in the background. There is some serious business going on here, judging by the faces of the crowd and the stern poses of the bowler-hatted inspection team in the foreground. Could this be an auction of some kind? Or a horse show? Possibly in England?

Thanks to everyone who helped pinpoint the location of previous photos in this series. It’s been great fun. I may even decide to turn my attention to my wife’s collection of photos, taken during her 25-year career as a professional traveller. She has two large plastic crates full of visual soup gathering dust in our basement. I wonder if they’re suitable for a broader audience…