The other side of the photo

I’ve been doing nothing all day at work. Zip. Zilch. Unless you count scanning up old photos as “doing” something. Then I’ve actually been flat out busy. Really! Knowing me, I take that trip down memory lane quite often. A little too often. But ah well, once you get past a certain, um, age (!), it actually feels nice to look back. (Geez, do I sound like a hundred years old or what?)

Sorting through our childhood photos, I realised it’s not just the photos themselves that’s priceless, what’s equally precious is the handwriting on the back. Most were noted by Mum — with the place, date, and occasion, some written by our paternal grandpa, some scribbled by a 7-year-old me — flowery capitals and childish signatures, and even some random lines & circles doodled on by m’, with a red ballpen on the front of one of my photos! 🙂 So what I’m doing this time, is also scanning the back and attaching it to the photo.

<— Like this. (Woo! World shattering invention hey?)

One of our most favourite things to do is going through these pictures, retelling the stories attached to them, the stories unrelated to them, and then some. Every time I went home, out came the old albums from Mum’s cupboard, and we gathered on the floor next to her bed, doing the same thing. Every single detail was picked out and discussed. What happened at the time, what happened before and after. Why TM looked so sulky, why half of m”s face was in a photo of me, why Dad’s toe and Grandpa’s hand appeared on the corners of one of m’. Oh look, that’s my old school bag that Dad brought for me, which was snatched by some thug when I was in grade 2. And that’s the dress Mum made for m’ in grade 2 and she was still wearing it in another photo in grade 5. And on the sagas go.

Even the albums themselves have tales of their own. Most of our most treasured photos are housed in little mini albums that Dad collected long ago, some of them were free ones from wherever he had the photos developed back then. They can only hold the old, smaller 9x12cm photos. Some others were gifts from friends over the years.

Yesterday I brought these albums to the shop because we don’t have a scanner at home. Didn’t finish scanning but when I left for home I had to lug them along, only to bring them back again today. And now you know what I’d save first if our house ever caught fire. (Touch wood.)



2 thoughts on “The other side of the photo

  1. Hồi ức hay bắt đầu từ mẹ em hỉ? Ủa, sao giống chị vậy? Mấy lần mùa khô, lửa lăm le cháy gần tới nhà, chị chất hai cái baskets đầy photo albums, quần áo bỏ lại hết, chỉ đem vài bộ cho con! Tới phiên chị vỗ đùi nghen! 🙂

  2. hì, 2 chị em mình cứ bép bép vỗ đùi khen nhau vậy người ta cười chết. 🙂 hehe

    Em thích câu này của Amy Tan lắm ne`, trích dẫn hoài giờ không nhớ nó từ cuốn truyện nào của bả hết: “A mother is always the beginning. She is how things begin.” Bởi vậy nhớ gì rồi thì cũng kéo qua thành nhớ Mẹ hết chị à.

    em thấy nhiều người giống chị em mình cái vụ hình ảnh này lắm. Bên chị cũng bị cháy rừng lắm hả? Bên em cũng bị nhưng may là xa thành phố nên không tới nỗi phải dọn đồ mà chạy. Sợ quá chị ha! Cả nhà Nì take care nha!

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