Monday, 16 May 2011

A moment in time

The craft fair on the 1st of May went well ( thanks for all your well wishes) but I was right when I said I would no doubt forget something. I turned up without drawing pins, milk, and my camera. The first two items could be worked round but without my camera I was unable to take any photographs of the event.

There was a time when I had my camera on me almost constantly. Perhaps not as often as Eryl( The Kitchen Bitch Ponders), who will find every opportunity, including lunchtime, to take photographs, using them as tools for her writing.
I would take my camera with me when I was out walking with Deefer, looking for inspiration for new paintings. He always seemed to manage to get in to the shot, which peeved me at the time but I'm glad of it now. 

Deefer on Gallow Hill

I would pop it in my pocket whenever we went on day trips, 

Spring at Threave Gardens

or to the beach, 

windsurfing on the Solway

and it was always with me when we went on holiday

a break from building sand castles, Lanzarote

trying to capture every memorable moment
Fishing with their Papa in Dumfries

I don't go on walks any more and as the boys get older the day trips have diminished. I've got out of the habit of carrying my camera, it only comes out on high days and holidays, or when taking picture of my latest make. But I need to get back in to that habit, and the last two weeks have highlighted why.

It was my in-laws 50th wedding anniversary celebration last weekend ( as it was for a time for stitching parents) and the first thing I thought of as a surprise for them was to hire a photographer for the event. It deserved to be documented by somebody with a better eye than me. My sister-in-law, who now lives in Canada, then asked if I would be able to put together an album for them, using family photographs taken over the last 65 years. After a  bit of pilfering and subterfuge I obtained a case full of images that I ploughed my way through. It took a bit longer than I expected, not knowing which pictures would mean the most to everyone, but the excited faces and exclamations of 'do you remember' as they all gathered around the album made the time spent worth while.

Then, while visiting my mum for her birthday on Friday, we ended up going through photograph albums. From moments that I couldn't possibly remember, like my very Scottish christening whilst living in Canada, 


to some I remember vividly. 

Taken in my first year at Bantaskine Primary wearing my favourite dress, orange with a brown bunny on the front. I wore it with brown tights, the ones with an open circular pattern down the side, that my mum was always having to darn because I kept tripping and putting holes through them. When it became too small to wear as a dress I wore it as a tunic over brown trousers. A relief I suppose for my mum's darning needle. My earrings ( Yes I had my ears pierced at the age of 5 but you have to remember I was the last of four girls and wanted to be like my sisters, and I'm told I used to be very persuasive! ) are small gold flowers with a pearl centre, a gift from my dad, and the very earrings I wore on my wedding day.
In one of those odd, conversational tangents I once remarked to a friend that if I was ever unfortunate enough to have a house fire one of the things I would be most tempted to try and save, after family of course,  would be the photograph albums. I'm not sure that she quite understood why I would reach for them rather than insurance documents or such like.

For me photographs are keys to unlock precious memories. They are not just a captured moment in time but a way for me to relive it. To hear the voices, experience the emotions, to reminisce. In a world where we are bombarded with information and expected to retain it I rely on photographs to help with my unreliable recall.  I want to be sitting round a dinner table in years to come, pointing at pictures saying 'do you remember?'   


A Time for Stitching said...

Hi Linnhe, I love the first photo taken from the woods, it looks a lot like the countryside around here in Wales.
We dug out our photos while organising the parents golden wedding party (to hang up aroung the venue) and their grandson from Germany had a great time looking at pics of his dad (my brother) as a boy. Yes, I agree that photos would be difficult to leave in a fire. Thanks for linking to me by the way!
Teresa x

Eryl said...

Oh no, if you'd said I'd have actually taken some shots rather than just wandered round with my camera as a necklace!

That's a lovely shadowy photo of Deffer in the woods, and I love the Lanzarote one: such blue sea.

The great thing about digital photos is that you wouldn't need to rescue them. As long as you have them saved to the cloud somewhere, you can access them from any computer anywhere in the world.

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