A life in photographs

photo1

When I was 5 my mother and father sold up everything and went travelling.
We packed our worldly possessions into a van towing a caravan and travelled through France, Spain and north Africa.

Can you imagine how much fun that would be for a child?

I spent my sixth birthday on a beach in Morocco gathering shells. I made friends with the locals wherever we laid our hat and I was ‘home’ schooled for a year. On my return to school back in the UK, I was way ahead of my contemporaries.

You would think that at such a young age I wouldn’t be able to recall much of such a fabulous adventure, but my mother had the foresight to help me keep a diary packed with words, pictures, shells and tokens, all serving as little memory joggers that, along with the photographs we took, mean that wonderful snapshot in my life is not just a fog of childish recollections.

Now I have children of my own, I do wonder how much of what they experience will be remembered.
Will they remember the love and warmth hubby and I try to lavish on them?

lickeys

Will they remember the games we play in the garden or the picnics in the woods?
Will they remember camping trips, holidays, friends?

friends

Or will they remember us shouting at all the fighting at all the mess or at the time they emptied the contents of a beanbag over grandma’s carpet?

My ealiest memory is of visiting my brother in hospital when he was born, so I would have been nearly 3.
But most of my memories come from photographs that, I am thankful to say, has been a big part of my family’s life.

And now I am in the process of creating memories that will still be with my children 30 or 40 years from now.

It’s a wonderful, yet unnerving thought.
Will they remember my many mistakes or will they just remember how much they were loved and adored by two busy, distracted parents?

I am a keen photographer. I photograph everything, every event, every walk in the park, every little moment in our busy lives.
I hope it will help serve as little reminders to my two about the time they had chickenpox and we had to play games every day for two weeks because we were confined to the house.

playhouse
Or the first time Dan rode a horse, or daddy taught him to play golf, or the day he ‘married’ Heather.
Or the time daddy built their playhouse in the garden, in the pouring rain because were so excited about see it up.

Or the day Mia cut her own hair.

Or the midwife who delivered both my babies (nearly 3 years apart) purely by accident because it just happened to be her shift.

Or the joyous Christmases when they were surrounded by love and we couldn’t believe our luck that we had such a happy, healthy family.

I even photograph the sad times – the tears, the tantrums, the fall outs – because they are all part of our history too and I don’t want them to believe their early years were pain free.

And so I wonder, do you ever think about what memories you are making for future generations? Do you photograph events or do you just chalk it up to memory.

FOOT NOTE: Yes, yes that is me looking like some rag tag child hippy on the right in the montage photo at top of the page! No stop scrolling back up . . . wait . . . wait . . . oh go on then

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45 Responses to A life in photographs

  1. Vodka Mom says:

    That was an incredibly post. Loved it. (The shots are really magnificent…You should check out Wandering Wayfarer's sight, Witten, Inc.,Da Goddess, and The Anderson Clan…they are great with a camera as well…)

  2. Vodka Mom says:

    That was an incredibly post. Loved it. (The shots are really magnificent…You should check out Wandering Wayfarer's sight, Witten, Inc.,Da Goddess, and The Anderson Clan…they are great with a camera as well…)

  3. I have wondered this so many times. Isnt it amazing that we create those memories… have fun doing just that! Lovely post.

  4. I have wondered this so many times. Isnt it amazing that we create those memories… have fun doing just that! Lovely post.

  5. Laura says:

    Great post! My mum died when I was 9 and I don't have a lot of memories, but I do have a box of hundreds of photos of my childhood which help to jog things a bit.I wish I photographed more of my children's lives already and they are only 2 and 4. I am working on it!

  6. Laura says:

    Great post! My mum died when I was 9 and I don't have a lot of memories, but I do have a box of hundreds of photos of my childhood which help to jog things a bit.I wish I photographed more of my children's lives already and they are only 2 and 4. I am working on it!

  7. Tony says:

    wow, that was a great post. I don't have kids but my nephew and niece are a big part of my life – I'm going to start to take more pictures for them when they get older.

  8. Tony says:

    wow, that was a great post. I don't have kids but my nephew and niece are a big part of my life – I'm going to start to take more pictures for them when they get older.

  9. Wow, your life sounds like that book 'Hideous Kinky' by Esther Freud (you must read it if you haven't!)I went on a lot of exotic holidays as a child and my parents took lots of photographs. I can remember the holidays really quite well, and I think that this is particularly prompted by having leafed through the albums so many times….

  10. Wow, your life sounds like that book 'Hideous Kinky' by Esther Freud (you must read it if you haven't!)I went on a lot of exotic holidays as a child and my parents took lots of photographs. I can remember the holidays really quite well, and I think that this is particularly prompted by having leafed through the albums so many times….

  11. I love taking photos…….and have tagged you x

  12. I love taking photos…….and have tagged you x

  13. i agree with nappy, very hideous kinky. and how clever of your mum to log it all so brilliantly. keep taking those pictures.

  14. i agree with nappy, very hideous kinky. and how clever of your mum to log it all so brilliantly. keep taking those pictures.

  15. The Dotterel says:

    What a thought-provoking post! I'm sure most of us just do – day-to-day – what we think is right or necessary, without much thought to the future. But maybe we're missing something really big here?PS: Charlie and Sally had the same midwife, ten years apart!!

  16. The Dotterel says:

    What a thought-provoking post! I'm sure most of us just do – day-to-day – what we think is right or necessary, without much thought to the future. But maybe we're missing something really big here?PS: Charlie and Sally had the same midwife, ten years apart!!

  17. Tara says:

    @Vodka Mom: I'm even worse now as I was bought a new camera for my birthday and am taking pix of EVERYTHING. This doesn't make me very popular.@Ladybird World Mother: My 6-year-ols son absolutely loves photo albums. He sits leafing through them all the time saying 'that was the time I had chicken pox' or 'that was the time you took me to the cinema for the first time' … @Laura: Hey there, welcome. I have a good friend whose mum died when she was a similar age and she loves those photos she has just so she can see what she looked like and never forget because she said you memory is so 'untrustworthy' and she would probably always picture her mum as Sleeping Beauty!@Tony: You absolutely must get a pic taken of yourself in your 'gear' with your nice and nephew! Such a great way to remember their geeky uncle!@Nappy Valley Girl: Not so hideous but very kink . . . no no no, just kidding!@Nunhead Mum: I'm there . . . @Reluctant Memsahib: Hey there and welcome. I really do thank my mum for being so forward thinking because it is so great to look back on something that I would probably never have remembered otherwise. @Dotterel: Same midwife 10 years apart? Wow that is impressive.

  18. Tara says:

    @Vodka Mom: I'm even worse now as I was bought a new camera for my birthday and am taking pix of EVERYTHING. This doesn't make me very popular.@Ladybird World Mother: My 6-year-ols son absolutely loves photo albums. He sits leafing through them all the time saying 'that was the time I had chicken pox' or 'that was the time you took me to the cinema for the first time' … @Laura: Hey there, welcome. I have a good friend whose mum died when she was a similar age and she loves those photos she has just so she can see what she looked like and never forget because she said you memory is so 'untrustworthy' and she would probably always picture her mum as Sleeping Beauty!@Tony: You absolutely must get a pic taken of yourself in your 'gear' with your nice and nephew! Such a great way to remember their geeky uncle!@Nappy Valley Girl: Not so hideous but very kink . . . no no no, just kidding!@Nunhead Mum: I'm there . . . @Reluctant Memsahib: Hey there and welcome. I really do thank my mum for being so forward thinking because it is so great to look back on something that I would probably never have remembered otherwise. @Dotterel: Same midwife 10 years apart? Wow that is impressive.

  19. Laura McIntyre says:

    I try to photograph everything i can, along with writing about it. Its the small things that i tend to forget.Your post made me remember why i do it

  20. Laura McIntyre says:

    I try to photograph everything i can, along with writing about it. Its the small things that i tend to forget.Your post made me remember why i do it

  21. Jonny's Mommy says:

    I do think about the memories I'm creating. I always have a camera with me and I'm always shooting photos of every event. I have all these crying shots of Jonathan and shots other people probably wouldn't think to take, just because it is capturing his "history" and ours. Love this post…it is so true.

  22. Jonny's Mommy says:

    I do think about the memories I'm creating. I always have a camera with me and I'm always shooting photos of every event. I have all these crying shots of Jonathan and shots other people probably wouldn't think to take, just because it is capturing his "history" and ours. Love this post…it is so true.

  23. Tara says:

    @Laura: You're so right Laura, it is the little things we forget. Looking back on photos on my son now from when he was a baby, I love to see how even the fashions have changed since I was a newborn. I wonder how long it will take him to look at photos and say 'what the hell did you make me wear mum?'@Jonny's Mommy: Hey there, welcome. Good for you and really glad there is someone else out there who takes pix of everything in all it's (sometimes uncomfortable) glory!

  24. Tara says:

    @Laura: You're so right Laura, it is the little things we forget. Looking back on photos on my son now from when he was a baby, I love to see how even the fashions have changed since I was a newborn. I wonder how long it will take him to look at photos and say 'what the hell did you make me wear mum?'@Jonny's Mommy: Hey there, welcome. Good for you and really glad there is someone else out there who takes pix of everything in all it's (sometimes uncomfortable) glory!

  25. Tara this is a lovely post.I have questions for you. Always pesky questions…Would you consider doing the same? Taking your children on a year long trip around the world? Sounds wonderful. I wonder how many times you said to your mum, 'I want to go home…'My daughter says it after a two week holiday. I would love to do a year long world trip with my family. How very wonderful of your mother.

  26. Tara this is a lovely post.I have questions for you. Always pesky questions…Would you consider doing the same? Taking your children on a year long trip around the world? Sounds wonderful. I wonder how many times you said to your mum, 'I want to go home…'My daughter says it after a two week holiday. I would love to do a year long world trip with my family. How very wonderful of your mother.

  27. Christina says:

    Tara, I adore everything about this post! I nominate it for a perfect post award!

  28. Christina says:

    Tara, I adore everything about this post! I nominate it for a perfect post award!

  29. Working mum says:

    What a fantastic thing for your parents to do. It will have shaped you in to the person you are today.My dad photographed everything we did because he was a keen amateur photographer with his own dark room, and I've taken on the same role now. I've photographed everything including tantrums, chicken pox, etc.

  30. Working mum says:

    What a fantastic thing for your parents to do. It will have shaped you in to the person you are today.My dad photographed everything we did because he was a keen amateur photographer with his own dark room, and I've taken on the same role now. I've photographed everything including tantrums, chicken pox, etc.

  31. Tara says:

    @A Confused Take That Fan: Would I do the same? Hmm, that's a real toughie. I'd like to think I would because I think it would be such a fantastic experience and something to look back on with real affection. But then I'm a real square at heart! so would worry about schooling and them making friends when they got back and then never feeling settled etc etc. @Christina: I absolutely KNEW this would be right up your street Christina – the only other woman who easily takes more photos than me!@Working Mum: Good for you taking pix of everything. You just need to be sure that a pic of mummy gets in there every now and again or the children will look back and think mummy was never around!

  32. Tara says:

    @A Confused Take That Fan: Would I do the same? Hmm, that's a real toughie. I'd like to think I would because I think it would be such a fantastic experience and something to look back on with real affection. But then I'm a real square at heart! so would worry about schooling and them making friends when they got back and then never feeling settled etc etc. @Christina: I absolutely KNEW this would be right up your street Christina – the only other woman who easily takes more photos than me!@Working Mum: Good for you taking pix of everything. You just need to be sure that a pic of mummy gets in there every now and again or the children will look back and think mummy was never around!

  33. Captain Dumbass says:

    I live in constant fear of screwing up my children. This whole thing is a lot tougher than I thought.

  34. Captain Dumbass says:

    I live in constant fear of screwing up my children. This whole thing is a lot tougher than I thought.

  35. Tara says:

    @Captain Dumbass: Hell, that's a given, it's just the way we handle it that counts in the end!

  36. Tara says:

    @Captain Dumbass: Hell, that's a given, it's just the way we handle it that counts in the end!

  37. Tricia says:

    I can't tell you how many times we've thought of doing exactly what your parents did. It sounds like such an amazing adventure. Great post and I'm sure with a little help, your children will remember all the wonder.

  38. Tricia says:

    I can't tell you how many times we've thought of doing exactly what your parents did. It sounds like such an amazing adventure. Great post and I'm sure with a little help, your children will remember all the wonder.

  39. Vered - MomGrind says:

    I think that even the events we don't remember on a conscious level affect us. So while they may not remember everything, growing up in a loving home WILL shape them and affect them.

  40. Vered - MomGrind says:

    I think that even the events we don't remember on a conscious level affect us. So while they may not remember everything, growing up in a loving home WILL shape them and affect them.

  41. Audrey says:

    This is a lovely post. My sister and I were just complaining about all the really boring holidays we went on as children but were amazed at how well we could recall them! (I'm a daughter or American intellectuals so our holidays were along the lines of Herman Melville residences, civil war battlefields, etc…) As a grown up I travelled to some very exotic places which is how, long story short I wound up in Blighty. Memory is a tricky thing and your kids will recall things that you would never remember and vice versa. But pictures certainly help!

  42. Frog in the Field says:

    Hi Tara,love your new Blog…well, it's new to me.Great post, sorry I haven't visited for ages….been really, really busy.Have a lovely Christmas!Frogx

  43. Frog in the Field says:

    Hi Tara,love your new Blog…well, it's new to me.Great post, sorry I haven't visited for ages….been really, really busy.Have a lovely Christmas!Frogx

  44. Tabitha Blue says:

    Wow, what an amazing time that would have been!!! I'm sure our kids will remember much more than we think they will… but hopefully all the good things. :)~Tabitha~freshmommyblog.com

  45. Tabitha Blue says:

    Wow, what an amazing time that would have been!!! I'm sure our kids will remember much more than we think they will… but hopefully all the good things. :)~Tabitha~freshmommyblog.com

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