The Author of my Being. Part 3

… The continuing story of the trauma that threaded its way into my life when I reached puberty. Click on the links to read Part 1 and Part two.

I would like, at this point, to introduce you to The Author of my Being. The link below makes interesting reading – and viewing; even for me, although there is no information of which I was not already aware, and no photo which I haven’t seen. I grew up surrounded by them.

Remember, the photos you see are pre-1955… many of them are a little risque for their time. I believe the originals of the prints on this site are in the posession of my sister, but I have others.  I couldn’t bring myself to throw them away. They form an important part of my history, and who knows, they could even be valuable. I keep them hidden well out of reach, as some of them depict adult family members.

Dear reader, please say hello to a charming, intelligent and likeable man. I say this without a trace of sarcasm – he was all of those things, and so much more…. Here is a link to my father, the eminent photographer:


↓ ↓ link ↓ ↓


↑ ↑ link ↑ ↑


Beyond that, I’ll keep this post short…

A while ago I was looking for images of one of my daughters, when a photo of me surfaced. My dad, having been a renowned photographer, before he gave it up to become a toil on the land (all of which you know, if you clicked on the link), gave us each a Brownie 127 camera. One of my brothers must have taken the photo, which was captured just as I was stepping out of our kitchen door. The expression on my face made me cry. I looked at that photo so many times over the years, wondering at my expression. I never made the connection before. Suddenly I knew; it was taken just after my dad had deflowered my mouth with his tongue.

I look as if I am lost, and am looking for a way home.

to be continued…

©Jane Paterson Basil

32 thoughts on “The Author of my Being. Part 3

    1. My father was supremely arrogant – and selfish. It didn’t concern him that mum could had trouble feeding and clothing her five children. When they lived in London and mum needed a pram for their third son, he suggested getting a cheap handcart. The intelligentsia called him eccentric. Everybody else called us ‘The Mad Basils’, and still do to this day. I like to think it’s a term of endearment…
      My sister set up the Vintage Glamour site. It’s a commercial site; family photos are private – not that there are many of any of us kids, though he took a lot of mum, who worked as a model during the war, after her ballet troupe had to disband. When dad gave up professional photography, his studio workshop was for women. He only photographed me that day because I had grown breasts… Ugh.

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        1. My mum was amazing woman who lived an unusual life, right from the start. One day I may write a series that focuses on her. I don’t think she ever recognised her own strength. Mine pales beside hers.

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          1. she had to be super strong with your father but with five kids in those days she was locked into a super unhealthy marriage and did her best. Look forward to that series when it happens ..

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              1. I totally agree, the father thing arose strongly so you need to finish it first and then share the joy of your mother … do your siblings, kids read your blog? Would they add to it …

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                1. My eldest daughter gets it from Facebook, but I’ve blocked some of the family stuff. I don’t really want her to read it. My sister sometimes reads. If I brought my siblings into this story it would get so complicated. I’m really just trying to get to the bottom of who I am, and exorcise the guilt over some of the mistakes I made in my life.

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                  1. good that you are clear about that but I am guessing if your father did that to you he no doubt also did likewise with them … so maybe when you are finished this exorcism you might ask them …

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                    1. We’ve talked about it a lot over the years. He was only sexually attracted to me, but he damaged the others in different ways. One of my brothers can date his chronic depression back to the day my father said something terrible to him. He was dad’s favorite sibling, and very sensitive. He could do no wrong – ever – until the day dad, without warning, threatened to throw him out of the house. It was awful.
                      My eldest brother was damaged by dad’s sudden – and permanent – dismissal of him once the favorite was born. He was further damaged by dad’s affairs. There’s much more, but it’s not for me to talk about here.
                      I’m not even going to go into how he contributed to my sister’s difficulties.
                      He really was a piece of work, but he grew up with his own issues. I don’t think my grandfather was a very nice man.
                      Let’s face it, truly creative people can be difficult. There’s a selfishness that often comes with the arts – a burning need to paint that picture, write that tune, that poem. Sometimes attention and compassion fall by the wayside.

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                    2. I don’t believe anyone can make an excuse of their great talent, and besides your father threw his away in preference for farm work?! So he blocked his own creativity anyway … or down graded it to his carving and affairs … wrong priority in my opinion.
                      And I am fully aware that such people never arise in isolation but I believe that once we hit 12yo we have a choice to grow up or continue any toxic ways we learnt from our family. We all have choices, no excuses.

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                    3. You’re right, of course.
                      If he was so driven by his creative need, he wouldn’t have all that time for wooing my mother, marrying her, and having all those affairs – which began long before he switched to the rural life of poverty.
                      Your message was the inspiration for Part 5, which I’ve just posted.

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  1. He certainly had a great talent and seems to have been popular. Shame he couldn’t have used his talent to make money for his wife and five children. Do you think by not accepting a higher income, he thought people would think he was otherworldly and a fancy pants turned hard grafter? Like he wanted to be a salt of the earth type, but still set himself on a pedestal to not be like them?

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    1. I think you’ve got it in one. I think lots of things about him, and many of them are not very nice. I may go into all that in a later post. His charm and posturing gameplay worked for him, plus his local fame. He was admired and respected, til folks got to know his wife, and see things from the inside.
      He once told me that he had to limit the amount of money he made, as the more money mum had, the more of a financial mess she got in. Arrogant, selfish… I have to stop here, before obscenities start pouring out. Oh, and he thought nothing of wrecking his children’s lives with his destructive ways. I’m SO mad at him tonight.

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    1. My ambition is to emulate my mother. Se was a wonderful, compassionate, considerate, generous, intelligent, knowledgable, fascinating, intuitive, graceful, beautiful, humble, worldly, politically and environmentally concerned, humane alcoholic with low self esteem, which wasn’t helped by my crappy effing barsteward of a father.
      My description doesn’t do her justice 🙂

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      1. I can easily apply some of those descriptors to you 🙂 I do believe you take after her. Just as well. It’s not surprising she turned to alcohol from the little I know of her marriage.

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        1. Poor mum had a crap time of it, but she loved her children, and thought it was worth it for them.
          She didn’t have my flaws. I’ve battled for years against a violent temper, and the tendency to focus on people’s negative qualities…

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