Family Antiques – Photos from Azerbaijan

Hello dear reader,

Come on in. Please, make yourself comfortable and help yourself to tea or coffee. I hope you’ve been well and all your creative projects are blossoming.

I’ve got a lot to share with you today, so please sit back and enjoy my tails from Azerbaijan, as promised a couple of weeks ago (you can catch up on a few more posts about my recent trip to my motherland here and here).

When I visited Azerbaijan, I took loads of photos. I was particularly keen to have some family portraits. As my grandma kept reminding me, it could have been our last meeting. Here she is, my dear beloved grandma. I hope this is not the last of our photos together.

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And here is my grandma’s idea of a family portrait.

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I’ve had my eye on this photo for a long while, and finally plucked the courage to ask for it. She gifted it to me without hesitation. ‘I’ll order a new one,’ she shrugged off my objections.

This photo makes me cringe with embarrassment. It also warms my heart.

A few years ago, my grandma decided we didn’t have a ‘proper’ family portrait. So she decided to make one up. She found someone who is good at Photoshop and voila!

Let me introduce you my core family:

Left to right (the number in brackets is the age of people on this photo).

Bottom: My grandma (32); my dead uncle (22?) and my grandpa (in his early 30s).

Top: Me (16); my younger uncle (35); my mum (18 – before I was born); and my older uncle (23).

I love how ridiculous this photo is even though to an ignorant eye it could look innocuous. I also love that the main complaint about this photo comes from my younger uncle: ‘I’m older than dad! Couldn’t you use a different photo of me?’

The fact that I am on the same photo with an uncle who died three years before my birth does not surprise anyone.

Anyway, I’m glad I had this photo here with me as it cheered me up all this week. It’s been a tough week as I had a complex dental surgery on Monday. Without getting too graphic, suffice it to say that I had a sinus lift and a donor bone placed inside my upper jaw. I look rather hideous with a swollen face and big bruises. But I’ll spare you of my photo right now. One weird photo per post is enough.

Then on Thursday night my son was unwell. He had a barky cough and some breathing difficulties. We ended up calling an ambulance, and he went to children’s hospital with his dad. Needless to say, I couldn’t sleep all night. The waiting time at the hospital was 6 hours(!), so in the end it was quicker for them to come home and see our local doctor. He is better, though we had another restless night.

Despite all health challenges, creatively, it was a good week. My guest post ‘The Power of Real Life Stories’ appeared on Ula’s blog on Monday. It’s about Tahir Shah, my favourite writer.

Reading Ula’s Monday Inspirations posts also gave me an idea to start a new series called The Story Behind The Story. Have a read and spread the word, please. I’d love to feature inspiring stories on my blog.

And speaking of inspiration: Diana is hosting week-end coffee shares and there are many amazing bloggers who join her weekly.

That’s all from me today. Thank you for stopping by. Have a great week-end!

22 thoughts on “Family Antiques – Photos from Azerbaijan

  1. Bone graft and sinus lift??? Ooosh Gulara! Hope the swelling goes down soon and all gets back to normal. This is way more major than I imagined … and your little one and dashes to the hospital … may he too soon be as right as rain …
    The photos are lovely! May these cheer you and make you smile 🙂
    I am behind on your posts and many others I think but will attend to all left undone (there is much) over the weekend ..
    Hope your weekend is peaceful and restful 🙂 🙂 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I know, I was too embarrassed to admit just how major this surgery was. At least it’s done. Now all I need to do is heal (no pressure 🙂 )
      I love the expression as right as rain! I do hope he gets better soon. I get so worried…
      We don’t watch much TV in my household apart from baby channel, but since my son was napping this afternoon, I was channel-browsing and came across the game (Rugby World Cup) you mentioned in your blog. Hope it was a good one and you enjoyed the company of your friends.

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  2. Hope you heal from the surgery soon.

    Your grandmother is a complicated woman. She reminds me a bit of my maternal grandmother, who in the last years of her life reminded me constantly that it might be the last time we speak over the phone or see each other every time we spoke or saw each other. She also sent me a photo of herself days before she died. I think she wanted to make sure I’ll remember her.

    That family portrait is wonderful, strange but wonderful.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, my grandma is certainly very complicated. I was struck that when my Beta readers commented on the draft of my memoir, they fell in love with my grandma. It baffled me because she is not a softy loveable character in a book, and yet, something about her draws them in… Anyway, it’s sweet that your grandma sent you her photo before she died. And that reminder that it might be the last time we are talking… Well, I think it’s been a good 20 years I get it every time we speak 🙂 Nowadays more often than before.
      Yes, the family portrait is something. It’s a little bit like a treasure and a permanent reminder of my grandma…

      Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, the photo is a contradiction in terms and ages, and a mixture of living and dead. It reminds me of my grandma’s resourcefulness and creativity when I’m stuck.
      Thank you so much for stopping by, Luther. I appreciate your comment.

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  3. I’ve often thought of photoshopping photos of all of us into one family portrait as your grandmother did but I’ve kept myself from doing it so as not to look ridiculous to others. Now, who knows, maybe I’ll do it!

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    • I must admit, it would have never crossed my own mind, but now that I’ve got this portrait in front of me, it doesn’t seem to be such a bad idea. Hope you get to do one. Lovely to hear from you, Corina, thank you for your comment.

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  4. Thank you Gulara for sharing your precious family photo. I am a very keen and active amateur photographer and I must admit I looked at that photo and thought it looked a bit “odd” like it had been green-screened. Then, I thought it might just be a cultural difference but when I read the story behind it and how lovingly your grandmother put her precious people together like a carefully hand-stitched patchwork, I not only loved it but it gave me permission to do something similar. My husband’s parents died before we were married and there are very few photos of them as well. My husband’s brother is also dead so the kids haven’t met him either but we talk about them. Somehow I’m going to build a family portrait although I think it’s going to take awhile.
    Sorry to hear about your dental surgery. I came close to needing a bone graft a few years ago and what you went through sounds horrendous. You have my sympathies.
    I am offering Vegemite toast with your choice of tea or coffee today. Hope you like it xx Rowena

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Rowena, thank you so much for this sweet comment. It warmed my heart and I do hope you get to make a family portrait. I always liked photos, but now that I’ve got kids I make photo albums on a regular basis to keep all memories together, especially of elder relatives who are likely to be gone by the time my kids are older. It’s nice to have an image of a person when we talk about them… Thank you for your kind sympathies in relation to surgery. I very much look forward to reclaiming my face and mouth 🙂
      I’ll pop around for cuppa in a bit. Don’t think I can handle toast today 🙂 Warmly, Gulara xx

      Liked by 1 person

  5. That sounds like quite a week, with that kind of dental surgery and a sick son. Hope everyone is on the mend. 🙂

    What a great family photo! It would never occur to me to photoshop people together, but I LOVE this idea. I especially love not worrying about from which year(s) the photos are taken. I am stealing this idea.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Feel free to steal it 🙂 It’s a great idea, I agree.
      I’m feeling a whole lot better and today is the first day my son is back at nursery, so finally I can catch up on life itself 🙂 many thanks for your warm comments!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Thank you for sharing such precious pictures with us. Im so inspired to have a family portrait, though Im always ready but my boys are rarely interested in group pictures. I hope your son is feeling much better by now:)

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    • Monika, thank you for your sweet note here. My son has finally recovered today – it was a tough week, I must admit. Glad the picture inspired you. Have Navratri period finished now?

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  7. Thank you, Gulara, for sharing these photos. In each one, my eye is drawn first to your grandmother. I’m sure she is not soft and cuddly. But she is so interesting. What brought her to where she is–feisty and determined. I’ll bet her life story is one worth looking into. Gulara, may each day bring you an increase in health and excitement about your writing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Nancy, thank you so much for your kind words. My grandma is a complex woman with a life that could fill a couple of books. I regret I haven’t got a chance to spend at least a month with her noting down her aphorisms and stories – she has so many treasures within… She features prominently in my own book, but you are right, her life in its own right maybe an interesting exploration. Many-many thanks for reading and commenting here.

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