Did then. Do now. And that mac. It was a pack-a-mac, which meant it could turn inside out and pack away in a little pouch which you could wear as a bum bag type thing. The coolest. And those plimsolls. Though I remember how soggy my socks and feet would get running on wet grass. And how happy it made me when mum would cover up the grass stains with a white painty creamy thing that came in a little bottle. And how I LOVED those navy sweatpant jogging bottoms. They were way too big and baggy, so I had to roll them over at the top. But they were super snuggly. And I always made sure the ankle cuffs were tucked into my big sloppy socks. Cos that was how the cool kidz rolled.
Why am I telling you all of this?
Because that picture brings it all back.
And more. Like how it was taken on a caravan holiday in the middle of the summer. And how our caravan was well loved, with orange cushions and little crumbling holes in the walls near the beds into which my sister and I would post toys and tissues. And how we had an awning that always took my parents ages to assemble. And the scrunching of the groundsheets in the middle of the night when you had to creep out to the cold toilet block. And how I wasn’t a big fan of caravan holidays at all. It always rained.
It’s a cliché to say photographers capture memories, but it’s true.
Pictures bring everything back.
Like this one.
I’m cheery Little Red Riding Hood on the right. The clown’s my lovely sister. She may well kill me when she sees this.
This photo always makes me smile. Obviously not at the time. But that’s the point. It brings back memories of raging jealousy that my little sister got to wear the coolest outfit IN THE LAND whilst I sulked all night, freezing cold, and fed up that we were on yet another rainy caravan holiday, and that we were late to the party because we’d got lost and got stuck in mud. It makes me smile because it’s part of my wonderful childhood. My four year old self, looking back at me.
Thanks, Mum and Dad for the memories. For dressing us up like nincompoops, and more importantly, for taking the shot, even though nobody was really feeling it that night on a campsite in deepest darkest Shropshire.
Keep taking your photos. Keep printing your photos. Even when they’re not picture perfect. ESPECIALLY when they’re not picture perfect. Because that’s where the real memories are.