Gritter Lorries and Ghost Trains.

We’re continuing along our path to get to know each other more. Living together has resulted in an amalgamation of photos from our past and present, which have inevitably ended up in a box. Recently, we’ve tried to find ways of displaying them, telling each other the stories behind each photo as they’ve been pegged up on the wall. Some stories are happy, some sad, and some bittersweet but each are unique and have contributed to who we are today. So, we’ve chosen three photos from each other’s collection for them to explain. A picture may tell a thousand words, but the stories behind them might be more than you think…

Jon’s Picks (For Hannah to Explain)

Oh, You, Pretty Gritty Bang Bang.

When I was in year three, Bedfordshire County Council ran a competition among all the local primary schools to name a gritter lorry for the new county fleet. It was at the time that the Be Safe, Be Seen Hedgehog adverts were on TV and each of the eight winners would win a goody bag with a load of BSBS prizes (not to mention the ultimate playground bragging rights), so everyone at school was hoping to be one of the eight. I didn’t have a very good idea of what to call it. I remember ‘big yellow lorry’ was in the running for a while.

I will never forget the complete surprise of Mrs Turner announcing to Year 3 that there was a winner in our class. To this day I can hear her voice pausing between my first and last name to build suspense! Although, my name wasn’t very original – some kid from a school in another village had thought of it too…

Then again, my idea wasn’t really my original in the first place. It’s time for me to explain a deep family secret with the unearthing of this photo. My dad, the wonderful dad he is, heavily hinted at the name – to the point that I probably should have given up my goody bag to him…

A Long History Of Catalogue Poses.

I don’t actually remember when the trend of doing catalogue poses started in my family. I think somewhere around Summer 2004 on a family trip to Cornwall. The idea is that you strike a pose that you would see in a rubbish clothing catalogue. Everyone knows them, the man ‘pointing to something of camera while staring in another direction’, the classic ‘checking my watch to flex my bicep’, or the pose my fabulous sister Ellie has adopted: the point-watch-look-away hybrid. We’ve tried to introduce the trend to various other family members and friends with varying levels of success. It seems to be a Bounford children trend, a staple at family gatherings, weddings, and impromptu trips out alike. I don’t know quite why the trend has stuck, or why each photo of a catalogue pose holds such sentimental value to me. What I do know is that it has been a long running family joke that brings the Bounfords together at any occasion and will probably continue long into the future…

Won’t you dance with me?

This was taken at my Mum and Simon’s wedding in the summer of 2016 (Happy (early) Anniversary Mumma and Pappa Pinder!). The wedding was a small family event in the South of France, with myself and Jon taking a road trip around France to really make an trip of it. The wedding was intimate, with just a few members of family and close friends, remaining one of the happiest memories I hold. There was good drinks, fine food, and lots of laughter. There was no music, but we were all in a dance-y mood. Even Jonathan, a stoic non-dancer got involved.

I actually think that in this photo we’re discussing a conversation I had with my parents just before dinner. I had gone down to find them having a moment of quiet (even when there’s a few of us, it can feel like a lot) and joked: ‘You guys look very content, are you talking about how much you love me?’, to which my mother (as only a mother can) replied ‘No. Actually we were saying that if you and Jon don’t work out, we’ll probably adopt him.’

Thanks, Mum.

Hannah’s Picks (For Jon to Explain)

How a Father Can Lose Their Son’s Trust in a Matter of Minutes.

I couldn’t tell you how old I was in this photo, I couldn’t even tell you where it was. What I can tell you is how the experience has traumatised me ever since. As a young boy you look up to your father (don’t worry dad – I still do), you trust them no matter what and that is a precious thing. However, this can all be ruined when your father says “why don’t you and your brother go on that fun ride”. That ‘fun ride’ was a Ghost train. Anyone who knows me will know I’m the jumpiest person in the world, so why my dad thought it was a good idea to send me on the ride remains a mystery. My brother Chris (left) looks like he has just been on an exhilarating ride. I, however, look like I have witnessed the scariest thing anyone could see, been made to complete the twelve labours of Hercules and come out the other end losing everything I ever held dear to me. To this day I can still picture the actors jumping out and the screams are still very much real. It is fair to say that ever since that day I have not trusted my father saying “this looks like it could be fun” again.

Babysitting… Dominican Style

This photo is from one of my favourite memories. While at college myself and a few friends decided it would be a great idea to go out to the Dominican Republic and build houses in the poverty struck areas. None of us would have ever thought it would be as amazing as it was. This photo was taken in a village called Esperanza. The village was a completed version of a project we were working on in another location. We went to Esperanza to have a look at how our work was benefiting the locals and to meet families whose lives had been changed by such work. As we got out of the mini bus that morning we were greeted by dozens of excited children. The little girl in the picture was called Isabella and she didn’t leave my side the whole day. Although we didn’t understand each other at all we managed to create a bond. There is something special about the way those children approached us and didn’t care where we came from, the fact we couldn’t understand them or that we acted differently. All they wanted to do was have fun and experience new things. Even if that was watching an overweight guy use a skipping rope in ridiculously hot and humid weather.

This happened no matter what village we were in. The locals (especially the kids) just wanted to meet and spend time with us. It will always be a favourite trip and memory of mine.

A Gath is Exposed to a Bounford Christmas Get Together

During the first year of mine and Hannah’s relationship I was very kindly invited along to the family Christmas get together. Members of her dad’s side of the family were meeting up a few weeks before Christmas to have a meal and enjoy each other’s company. Hannah (Left) and Ellie (right) very kindly asked if I wanted to join and I, of course, said yes. Now, it is important to note that I was not the most social of people. I didn’t normally hang out in big groups and if i went to a restaurant I would normally be giving judgemental glaces at groups having “fun” while I was trying to eat my churros in peace. So this was my first proper experience of “the other side”. Cue the Bounford’s grilling me, laughing, having a good time and, at one point, dancing in the middle of the restaurant. It is fair to say I was going to have to throw myself in the deep end here. In reality I dipped a toe and was then pushed in. The Sombrero, Napkin Poncho and Refusal to smile signalled that maybe “the other side” wasn’t as bad as I once thought. Hannah and Ellie looked after me throughout the whole meal making sure I didn’t run away and fully joined in. It is fair to say I had a great time. A Bounford get together is a very different experience from a Gath clan meeting, but they are always a great laugh and you are always made to feel very welcome. I returned the year after this and once again had a great time. Unfortunately i wasn’t able to make the 2018 get together due to work commitments. However Bounfords watch out, I’m coming for you in 2019.

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