Thursday, 31 January 2013
For reasons a little too sad to go into here, it's really been a week for looking back. For looking back at childhood, at growing up, at memories.
A very old friend - one I hadn't seen for years - and I were talking about how we make and keep our memories. It's not just the things that we actually remember for ourselves - it's what we're reminded of, the stories we're told over and over as we rewrite our family's history to make it stronger. Eldest's favourite story - the night her sister was born - has been retold by her grandmother so many times that it flows now: not a detail is forgotten. It's a script, full of happiness. And Littlest once wrote a piece in school called 'My Memory', featuring a memory which bore no relation to what actually happened, because she had been told about it and invented details so vivid she'd started to believe them herself.
And so this is how you'll find me this week - ploughing through old photographs, making slideshows and collages and back-up copies, and trying to remember - all those lovely things we were going to do when the Lattes were truly Little? We did a lot of them - we're just not trying hard enough to remember.
The task has been made even more pressing by the fact that Printerpix, which produce photobooks and canvases of your own pictures, offered me a free book to review back in September. September. (This is how efficient I am.) The chance to throw some of my snapshots into a book that the children could leaf through can't be turned down, however late in the day. I'll show you it when I get it - if I ever get to the end...
I'm not a photographer. I'm not Ali or Kat; I probably never will get the hang of light and my little snappy camera has been dropped so many times by small hands (and large ones) that it doesn't even zoom properly. To be honest, I only really put photos on my blog so that the LinkWithin widget doesn't look so pitiful. I don't have the energy to meticulously Photoshop each image, so I'm just throwing things together with Picasa, which makes collages and videos super-easy for the visually-challenged. Pixlr-o-matic does all I need to make a mediocre photo look a bit perkier with a border and a bit of a filter. I'm entering no competitions- just making our family's story a bit easier to tell.
It also strikes me, looking through them, how quickly time is passing. The photo above is nearly seven years old (one of Mr Coffee's best, as if he knew that soon after it was taken I would be starting up a blog under an assumed name), which forces me to face up to the reason I've not been blogging recently as much as I once did - my children are growing. It's not appropriate to write stories of tantrums about PE kits now that Eldest is at secondary school.
I've made a blogging career of being stressed; and I'm reaching the point where I'm not supposed to tell you why. I can't switch gears - I can't count blessings, and take pictures of Spring flowers or sunny skies or vintage tea-trays, since you wouldn't believe me. You know who I am. I don't so much see the glass as half full, as stare half-crazed at the liquid inside and convince myself it is speedily evaporating.
Well. I'll leave you now, now I'm in danger of disappearing up my own midlife crisis. Have a good weekend. Take pictures.