Scanning The Past No. 2: Remembering Headington

Update! I have reconnected with Kathryn by email! Over 50 years later it is my hope that we will get to know one another again. 🌞

The Fall of 1969 my family moved to Kirtlington, Oxfordshire, England for a year. My Dad began a sabbatical and I was immersed in the life of an English school girl at Headington School.

I think often of that year- an eye opening and wonderful adventure- and wonder about the friends with whom I long ago lost touch. There are two women in particular: Kathryn S. and Carole P. I remember calling Kathryn’s mother on a trip to England in the mid-80’s and being told of her marriage to a London policeman but we never made contact. Where are you now KES?

stina kathryn stuart carol picavor

Stina (me) Kathryn (back) and Carole (?) This is a photo taken by my Dad on a return visit to Oxford a few years after the sabbatical.

Another snap of friends from school in the garden behind the house in Kirtlington.

Stina Rachel Popkin Jane Perry Eva Stewart Catriona Duthie

Stina, Rachel Popkin, Jane Perry, Eva Stewart (standing) Catriona Duthie ( now a successful Barrister whose father helped organize Dad’s sabbatical)

Weekly Photo Challenge: (happy) Nostalgia

I thought about the idea of ‘ nostalgia ‘ most of the day today. There is great joy in the memory- and the knowledge that weathering the emotional storms allows me to look at the photograph with love.


Dad, Thea (just turned 40) and Andrew (also a 40 something…) at the North Lake Adirondack cabin on an August day 35 or 36 years ago. I took the photo and was a youthful 20- something 🙂

Chanel No. 5, Mother, and Mark’s birthday



My mother wore Chanel No 5 all her life. I recall, as a kid, wondering why anyone would splash on toilet water! Gross! I could never figure out how something that smelled so lovely had such a dumb name.

Yesterday, while looking for something to wear to yet another job interview, I was inexplicably drawn to the Chanel counter. Near the bottom of the polished glass case were the bottles of No 5 Eau de Toilette. The young woman staffing the display took some out and spritzed a sample card. I immediately teared up! Mother might just as well have been standing beside me.

She and I were best buds when I was small; lunches out at Sibley’s or McCurdy’s department stores in downtown Rochester, NY (we always had chicken salad on white bread, crusts trimmed with a (shared) cheesecake chaser). At Christmas there was breakfast with Santa. Yes, I am a child of the fifties. 

And so, standing at the Chanel counter, I bought a little bottle of Chanel No 5, sprayed a tiny bit close to my heart this morning and thought of another whom I love, my brother Mark, who would be 67 today! Though not here in the flesh, he is with us is so many, many ways. Be sure to look for a rambly, photo-filled blog after Thnksgiving. We will be spending it with Mark’s widow and my nephew in Asheville, NC!