It was a disaster of mammoth proportions. The camera got swine flu. Not only did we loose our treasured Kodak records from the end of 2009 through to February 2010 including two birthdays, we also lost precious shots of our third son’s emergency birth. This was particularly upsetting for me as I was under general anesthetic and have no recollection of his coming into the world.
As bad as it was, we were able to retrieve a small amount of memories from an office back-up and family gave us copies of their photographs.
But we will never again see pictures of Screecher Creature No. 2’s second birthday complete with Peppa Pig cake nor of a Ben 10 creation marking the importance of a fourth year for Screecher Creature No. 1. I have long and fond memories of a 2009 Halloween containing pumpkins, a Spiderman costume and a skeleton, but nothing tangible. Christmas day memories of the same year are just that now; memories. And the deep blankets of snow. All the beauty that I captured on film has melted away.
I have no-one to blame but myself. I should have downloaded everything as they were taken but I left them to build up. All because I am a huge technophobe. I have no patience for such things. I want to be able to press a button and have the job done for me. I find it all too stressful. I have no interest in the wonders of technology. I am a very recent convert to Facebook and still cannot download photos to my profile. Or is that upload? I’m sure a quick wipe of a DVD on the backside of my jeans is not good for the disc, but nor do I care as long as it works when I pop it into the machine.
I can just about operate my laptop but when it comes to back up procedures, it all goes over my head. I like the sound of a memory stick but my fear of computer speak is too deep rooted to invest in one.
If the printer jams, I find giving it a shake much more satisfactory albeit absolutely useless, than exploring the help option. I cannot use prescriptive text on my phone. But will admit to being impressed no end by those who can whiz off sentences using their thumb as fast as I can use both hands on a computer keyboard.
The list goes on. And on. So there was more than a modicum of disgust over my technical no-knowledge, when our digital memories joined the Pigs in Space. There is a lot to be said for the old fashioned method of taking the film out of your camera, handing it over to be developed in the space of an hour and getting back hard copies of your snapshots for a monetary fee. A lot to be said. You don’t mess it up. And if they do, there is the satisfaction of it being their mistake and not yours. You also get lovely glossy pictures to take home put into your photo album because it’s just not the same thing when they’re all stored on the computer.
I keep a separate photo album for each of the boys first twelve months of their life. On the day they were born, on each month, I take photos, choose the best one and date it. It goes into the album so at the end of the first year, there is a record of just how much they grow in that space of time. I’m slow to learn from my mistakes and pictures of 9th February 2012, Screecher Creature no. 4’s 10th month, were wiped from the camera. Because. I. Neglected. To. Download. Them. Again!
Sickened, I bought myself a late birthday slash Christmas present of a digital camera in the sales earlier on this month. It’s a nifty little thing. Smaller than my wallet and believe me, that’s not hard. It lives in my bag so it comes with me at all times. Has its own pouch and everything, I’m having great fun with it. There are so many flashes going off, spots dance in front of my eyes all day. Screecher Creature No. 4 sees the camera, squints his eyes at it in anticipation of the flash. Before I even take a picture. “Right, lads,” I warn them of yet another photographic opportunity. “Say…..”
“Cheese. We know, Mammy.” Screecher Creature No. 1 definitely sounded bored. I am determined never to be caught out by a contrary camera again. Now all I have to do is learn how to download the pictures from the bloody thing!