The other day I had a mass clear out. Or at least that was my intention. Honest guv. Ever the procrastinator though, it wasn’t long before I went off at a tangent. Within 15 minutes I’d discovered a huge box of photographs and that was it; all my plans were forgotten and I was off scooting down memory lane.
A series of snaps took me instantly back in time taking me through different stages of my life. There were numerous envelopes filled with photographs taken on sun drenched childhood holidays in Cornwall where summers really were hotter and drier. (Hey, you can’t argue with photographic evidence!)
They brought back hundreds of deliciously, happy memories of camping, sunny afternoons on the beach, gorging on pasties, evenings of endless card games, and sisterly bickering. Then there were packets of pictures documenting the epitome of my teenage angst – including a dreadful photo of me on a school trip at the age of 14. Even after all these years I could recall the insecurity of my teenage self hiding behind others at the back of the group.
A picture taken a few years later on my first ever foreign holiday and the face staring out of the pictures was equally as self conscious. I vividly remember how much I envied the local girls, wishing I too could be like them as they swished their long, dark hair and dived into the sea; all legs and confidence. I failed to notice back then that I was a tiny size 8 with long, dark hair myself. Strange how we see ourselves. Perhaps it’s only at a distance that we spot these things.
That’s one of the beauties of flipping through old photographs. It’s so easy to see things from a different perspective. A series of yet more envelopes catalogued numerous beach holidays, weddings, birthdays and family celebrations, and adventures to far flung climes. Lots of memories of great times came flooding back. Then it all came to an abrupt end. Not because the happy times came to a close but simply because post 2005 the photo albums and photographs were replaced with carefully edited digital images. While before I religiously took rolls of films to be processed, today digital images now languish on laptop, phone and memory sticks.
It’s oddly quite sad that the days of flicking through photo albums and reams of glossy photographs are disappearing. I can’t quite see myself losing hours reminiscing over snaps recorded on my mobile. Perhaps I’m being a bit sentimental but you’ve got to admit that sifting through digital pictures and anonymous lists of numbered jpgs on screen just doesn’t feel the same. On the plus side though there would be no diversions and I might, just might, get around to my mass clear out.