Everyone has memories, moments that stand out in your life, people that were important and special in your life, the everyday things in your life and the technology that surrounds you. But if you don’t record these memories then they tend to dim and recede into the dark regions of your mind.
I had a little Brownie camera when I was young and later had a polaroid, I unfortunately did not think that photos were important, They were also so expensive to have the photos printed, a fact I regret very much today. Today we have digital cameras or mobile phones with good cameras so there is no excuse not to take photos.
You should take photos all the time even if they seem inconsequential, you will want your children and grandchildren to see exactly what happened when you tell them about your life and all the things that have happened, all the things that were different and all the things that no longer exist otherwise you could be telling them about life on Mars.
Things I remember that are so different from today are the fact that we had no TV, we had radio, we had this huge radio and record player cabinet. After dinner we would all lie on the floor in front of the radio cabinet whilst the adults either knitted, sewed or just sat there listening to the news, the shows and the drama series. My favourites were “Taxi”, “The creaking door”, “Pick a box” and “Mark Saxon”. These shows took me beyond everyday life into another world of make believe, wonder and aspiration, it was the highlight of my day.
We had a whaling station on the Bluff, I lived there for a while, the whales were caught just a 150 kms from our shores, dragged into the harbour to the slipway and then dragged onto railway carriages and taken to the whaling station at the back of the bluff. At the whaling station the whales were cut up and rendered down to the various parts, oil, meat, ambergris and baleen for corsets. It stank, when they were rendering down the blubber into oil, it smelled like something had died in your room, you could not breathe. My grandmother believed that whale oil was a cure for asthma and so I was fed whale steaks and whale oil to cure me. I did get cured but I think that was because I grew out of the asthma and not because I was cured. It tasted awful and my cat became my best friend as she loved it.
Cars were so much slower then, I think the maximum speed a car could travel at was 120 kms per hour, it took us such a long time to travel from Johannesburg to Pretoria that we had to stop off half way and have a picnic or padkos (road food) to sustain us for the balance of the journey. We had highways, single lanes each way and freeways did not exist. Today with freeways, the journey from Johannesburg to Pretoria is a mere one hour journey.
We did not have frozen foods, we had to go to the local Indian market to buy all our greens, vegetables and spices. This also mean’t that food took longer to cook, but then women never worked, they stayed at home doing housework, making their own soap, waxes and preserved fruit and vegetables, this was a full-time job. Stoves were wood fired and took quite a while to get going this mean’t getting up as early as 4.30 am to get breakfast ready in time.
We had a party line telephone fixed to the wall, this line was shared by eight or ten families and only one family could speak at a time. If you were not at home then the person would have to call back later when you were at home. Today you are on demand 24/7 with mobile phones consuming every aspect of life from entertainment to knowledge, to banking. Incredible!
So the moral of the story is to record everything around you and what you do as a visual record for how the human race as evolved and so your children can see.