Thank you Messers Kodak
I really love photographs. I love looking at them and taking them and I reckon we have a lot to thank Kodak for. Sadly, I understand that with the onset of the digital age there is little or no demand for film any longer, which is a great shame. I am one of the culprits I must admit, taking digital photos is a passion and now that I don’t have to sell myself to pay to get them developed I am in heaven. I snap away at every opportunity.
Yes, I know what you are about to think – I am mentioning my recent move again – sorry – but I can’t help it. It does have something to do with Kodak and photos so give me a chance to tell you before you dash off to read someone’s twitter or whatever.
Well, as I unpacked some of my possessions – I say some because you have no idea what sort of junk I still have to go through – I came across several photo albums and a few boxes of loose photos. As you do, I stopped stressing over where to put things and climbed over piles of stuff to find the sofa where I could sit and have a little trip down memory lane. I needed a break anyway.
It then came to mind that the trip would go better with the aid of a cuppa, so having made myself one, I sat on the sofa and started going through my photos.
Most were taken on film long ago and many were a bit faded now, especially the Polaroid ones. But it was still fun and quite sad as well. There were photos of those long passed away and of those who had not passed away but thankfully I would never have to see them in the flesh again – enough said!
Just rummaging around, I picked at them randomly and sat looking at them whilst sipping my tea. Immediately I found myself going back in time to the date and place where this one or that one was taken; the Xmas dinner in Germany in 1969 when a German friend and her family had me round and we ate Cheese Cake and had strong coffee and they chatted away to me happily, even though I only understood a little of what they said. All the older people in the photo are now long dead, and the two of us are now grandmothers. But there we were, in our mini skirts with our long blonde hair covering our dark mascara coated eyes and pale white lipsticked lips. Sixteen years of age and with the world before us.
There were black and white little square, white framed faded photos of my father and his family in India – his dad was in the British Indian Army and so he and his siblings were born there – and what a little piece of social history was contained in those fragile images. Dad on a camel as a toddler, or sitting in a group of tribesmen, all wearing their flowing robes and turbans, with him wearing his colonial white topi hat which was far too big for him aged 2.
Another photo had him inside a wicker basket aged about 9 months, being carried on the back of an Indian man, somewhere in the foothills of the Himalayas.
These photos had sparked an interest in Family History Research years ago and since then I have been researching and writing our family history – when time permits that is. These photos are an amazing journey back to a long ago time when life was so simple if you happened to be part of the White British elite. Not that the Indians in the photos looked unhappy of miserable in any way – I am sure they were glad a roof and food and a job – but thankfully those times are behind us now.
I found some photos of me with my siblings when they were very young and I looked like an older aunt rather than their sister, so wide is the age gap between me and the youngest for example. They looked so young and innocent in their short hair cuts, little ankle socks and shorts, (the boys), or pretty dresses with huge bows tying their belts or in their hair. It made me smile thinking of them back then and I wondered what was going on in their heads as they posed with their spyglasses at the seaside or sat alongside me on the sofa all fresh-faced and groomed looking directly at the camera. They are mostly married now with kids of their own and busy successful lives….but looking at them then, could anyone have known how their lives would turn out I wonder?
A few more cups of tea and a pile of viewed photos on my coffee table and I decided my trip down memory lane had better cease or I would never get anything put away. I put them back in their albums and boxes and I will look at them again soon. And I shall probably write a little more about what I find when I look again at the legacy Messers Kodak enabled me to have in my safe-keeping. Thanks for the memories Kodak.