I’ve finally finished digitizing all the good photos I took during our year living in the UK, back before digital cameras existed. That means I took hi-resolution photos of the print photos using my cell phone. I put the images in order by timeframe, by assigning them numbers and sometimes tacking on letters to indicate a batch that should stay together, like for a batch taken at one place. I added very short descriptions and dates. 020A Oxford Mar 19, 020B Oxford market, 020C St. Marys Oxford, 021 Hampton Court Mar 27, etc. Then I made a Word doc with a short paragraph of explanation of why we were in the UK, where we lived, common places visited (parks). Following, I listed the photo numbers with a little more explanation. THEN, I typed a ten-page mini-memoir. How did I do this now for way back in the year 1994?!
My memory is not that great. I had help from the first calendar planner I ever kept. Yes, the print kind because cell phones weren’t invented yet. (But I still use paper hanging calendars and paper planners.) Thank goodness I decided to keep a planner while we were in the UK. The photos brought back wonderful memories, but the planner functioned as a kind of journal, with brief entries telling daily life details, where we went and with whom, who was visiting. I could follow the route we took through Wales and with the help of Google Maps I found the name of the trail that led to a rocky beach. I found the date my friend and I went to see Maya Angelou and got our books signed. I learned the name of the village we went to one night to see Guy Fawkes burn on a huge bonfire after being carted down cobblestoned streets, accompanied by torch-bearing townsfolks—positively medieval!
I have a box full of these planners and I want to go through them to remember special times, who visited, where we went. I did save the film negatives of our UK year and put them back in their box, one of two filled with negatives and photos that did not make it into albums. I was shocked at how many film envelopes per year I had. Who takes that many pictures?! Me, that’s who.