|on the Pennine Way ; many years ago........ my brother and I|
A week for unashamed sentimentality.
My favourite uncle died.
The one who first ignited my photographic flame and took me hiking on the Pennine way when I was about 18. I don't remember dates. I have no idea what year it was, or even how old I was.
But finding this photograph on his desk pin board last week I realise that it was special for him as well as for my brother and I.
He had no children. My father died when I was very young. Our bond was strong.
I try to remember the trip.
I remember we that we had Wainwright to guide us, with his diagrams and notes.
That we got lost in a deep river valley and had to climb a steep, scree slope to find our way back to the path.
That he thought we could manage 20 miles a day......... which was a long, long way when hills and map reading are involved.
I remember the peat bogs with snow; black and white. Lunar landscapes like nothing I had seen before.
A youth hostel in a cobbled street. Bread and jam for tea.
A red rucksack with a metal frame.
And that's about all.
Four days and nights. Lost in the recesses of my mind.
That's why I need my photos. To bring back those memories and keep them alive.
I have a load of old negatives in a safe in the cellar; so worried was I when the children were young that I would lose my most precious belongings if ever the house was on fire. Photos from the last 30 years until digital took over. My most treasured possessions.
It is quite possible that they have disintegrated significantly in that cold, damp environment. Time to do something with them. There is nothing else in the safe; I have no other possessions that I feel the need to save.
So I am going down under tomorrow, into my cellar to open the safe. I have been meaning to do this for ages. I am going to explore the past, and hopefully retrieve some of those lost memories.
And in the meantime I will share some views from a hotel in middle England, a bit up North, where things are a little bit more traditional.
|man with dog|
|girl with teacups|
|girl with chrysanthemums ( red, white and blue)|
|horse with candlesticks|
I am so aware that my memory is bad, that I keep a notebook of my most interesting dreams, for if I don't record them immediately they are lost forever.
The fascinating thing to me is that just by writing down a few words, a whole series of visual images spring to mind.
Probably the most telling one recently was the three inch long hair growing out of my chin, that I couldn't remove. I wondered how it had got there without me noticing..........
Ah, the joys of ageing, going half blind, deaf, wrinkled and growing a beard..........
I am so glad I can remember that one.