Photographic memory

The decorating is done. It was painful and laborious and K is knackered but both kids rooms look fab and they are chuffed, so the plan succeeded.

In the first quiet moment of the weekend, I put the laptop on yesterday afternoon to make a start on the 2015 photobook. I started making photobooks a few years ago and it’s great to have an album to look back on of the whole year. Like most people I often snap away on my camera phone and occasionally on the digital camera that I had for my 40th birthday. Unfortunately, I keep the latter in a drawer in the sideboard and regularly forget to take it with me, unless it is a special day out or a holiday. Luckily, my phone camera is pretty good and it’s perfect for those unexpected moments that I want to capture and look back at. I prefer to be the one taking the pics rather than being the subject, and I take a lot of pictures. I then weed out the bad ones, upload the good ones to the laptop into folders ready for the creating of the annual photobook.

Only, this year I seem to have made a massive error. I thought I had uploaded all of the pictures on my phone after our summer holiday. I still have a few on there that I have used on Instagram (they seem to linger longer) and some that I like to look at now and again. But when I came to start selecting the pictures ready for the book I couldn’t find them. Not one. I started to feel a bit worried but was sure I couldn’t possibly have deleted them from my phone without downloading them. I spent a frantic half hour trying all sorts of options with mounting dread. Even the teenager couldn’t help me and I finally had to admit to myself that I have barely any photos of last year saved anywhere.

I have to admit that I sat with head in hands and had a little weep. It sounds dramatic. They are only photos. I still have the memories in my head. I still have a few select photos on Instagram and some on my blog and some on the digital camera. But the bulk of the pictures are gone forever. Twenty fours later I am still feeling very sad. I love photos, especially the ones when the person isn’t aware that you are taking it. The one’s where the kids are just doing and not aware of me with my camera clicking. I don’t take fantastic pictures – I’m not a professional – but I get a lot of pleasure from looking back and remembering. And I want the children to be able to look back and see the moments that we have shared. Although we remember a lot of stuff, we don’t remember everything. A photo can jog that memory and take us back to that moment in time.

My lovely A made the best response to my upset. K and T, forever practical, both implied that it was no big deal; that I should remember to take my digital camera out with me (“after all that was what it was bought for”); and that I should stop worrying about it. Oh, yes silly me. All forgotten. Isn’t that exactly the reason I am upset?! But not my lovely A. She sympathised. She understood my reason for being upset. And she said “Don’t be too sad mummy, we will make plenty more amazing memories this year. And we won’t ever forget the ones from last year. Not really.”

I am determined to cobble together some semblance of a memory book for last year. Thankfully, last summer I was still diarising a lot on my blog so I have lots of information and stories to look back on. It won’t be the same, but it will be something. And I have another year to look forward to, and another and another.



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