At the Giant’s Causeway in County Antrim, Northern Ireland, 40,000 interlocking basalt columns are stacked together on the beach like puzzle pieces, the result of either a volcanic eruption 60 million years ago or a rock fight between two giants. The tops of the columns form stepping stones that lead from the cliff and disappear under the sea. Most of the columns are hexagonal, although some have four, five, seven or eight sides. The tallest are 39 feet high, and the solidified lava in the cliffs is 92 feet thick in places. (source: Wikipedia)
I got thinking about the Giant’s Causeway today when I was sorting old family photos and I found this shot of my great-grandmother, Harriet Burgess.
Seaside holidays were popular in Britain, even for lower-middle-class folk like the Burgesses. Some years before the visit to the Giant’s Causeway, these studio portraits were taken on a family holiday to Blackpool:
Harriet and Leonard Burgess had four daughters: Hannah (Nan) born in 1905, my grandmother Betsy in 1907, Lilian in 1913, and Annie Victoria in 1915. Annie went blind in the 1940s and changed her name to Vicky because she said she felt like a different person than the one who could see. This portrait, taken in 1916, is the only photograph I’ve ever seen of the four girls together.
My grandmother left England in 1926 at age 19 and was estranged from her family for over 40 years. She and her sisters reunited in the 1970s and enjoyed a few more seaside holidays together. This one was at Long Beach, Vancouver Island, in 1972.
Photo of the Giant’s Causeway by Causeway Cycle Adventures: http://causewaycycleadventures.co.uk/new/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/causeway.jpg