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