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Whenever I see a child on his/her dad’s shoulders, I remember the feelings of power and elation that I felt whenever my father carried me so. My father was quite tall for a man of his generation, and when I straddled his shoulders, I felt like the master of the universe!
This photo was taken when I was ten, well past the age of straddling anyone’s shoulders and although I don’t remember the details of the episode, let it suffice to say that the year following this photo, in 1955, my father suffered from a massive backache problem and was bedridden for months on end. He had a lumbar disc hernia which caused excruciating sciatic pain, and for months, they couldn’t decide whether he should undergo surgery or not.
So six years after I had been forced to lie in my parents’ bed for something that felt like ever, it was his turn. I remember this well, how my mother bought our first TV, a black and white set, of course. In those days, there were only a couple of hours of programmes every evening, and they showed the same ballet over and over, for TV sellers to be able to show their customers something, during the day.
My father couldn’t move at all, he was imprisoned in some sort of plaster corset and my mother had resumed her nursing duties. She was never feeling better that when she could look after one of us.