I’m rather late today. The reason being, I’ve been out down Memory Lane and I have only just returned.
I’ve had this thought (just the one) for the last few days that I would dig out a photograph my little racehorse. As ‘regular readers’ of this blog will already know, I am a div when it comes to technology. So faced with the brain-racking problem of how to get an ancient photograph onto my new laptop, and not knowing the answer, I let the idea ride. But I am nothing if not persistent. The answer was simple – take a picture, of the picture, and load it onto the laptop.
First I had to find the picture and if it hadn’t been for the fact that Chea had gone into the bedroom and I’d gone in to fetch her, I probably wouldn’t have dropped to my knees at the side of the bed and pulled out the drawer containing the photos.
This was my trip down memory lane.
A picture of Ginger, the first cat I’d had in this house. Then Snowy, Kitten and Tishka. Missy, my barmy English setter. Mishka, Oscar and lastly Meg, our border collie.
Then I came across the pictures of the house martin babies that had fallen from their nest and been deserted by the parent bird. Tiny little creatures with gaping mouths. Someone had brought them into the surgery one day. They were virtually dead and my then husband gave nothing for their survival chances. But I stuck at it, feeding them a mixture of egg yolk and cat food every two hours and they flourished. One bright morning we released them and they took to the sky dipping and diving. Hopefully they were in time to strengthen their wings before their long flights to Africa.
Then there was the picture of Gull. A young seagull that we had come across on a holiday we’d had in Brixham, Devon. It had a broken wing and again, its chances of survival after the holiday makers had left and there were no more easy pickings was minimal. So my brother and I had sneaked down to the harbour at day light and caught the bird. My husband had said that the shock of transporting it all the way home would surely kill it. It didn’t. It flourished. We removed the broken wing and Gull lived a long, happy and protected life.
Just one picture of Crowie ( yes, you guessed it, he was a crow) which my husband came across on his rounds. Crowie was a young bird that had fallen from his nest in a storm and my husband brought him home to see if there was anything I ‘could do with him.’ He was an easy chap to rear. Totally tame and adorable. I remember thinking, at the time, that we should feed him as near to how nature intended and one day we bought him a rabbit that he could rip up and bolt down. He flatly refused to come down off his perch and even look at such a thing. So he was fed on liver and heart and all that kind of stuff.
I found pictures of the horses I had owned. Some crazy, mental individuals, others beautiful, soft-natured and kind.
At some point I think it crossed my mind that 90% of the photos were of animals – one kind or another.
Each picture had been taken at a different age and stage of my life. Each picture brought with it a memory. Not just a memory of the animal. But a memory of the emotions that I’d felt at that time.
Sitting there, on the bedroom floor, with Chea playing in the empty drawer, I think I had a moment of – something? Scattered all around me were pictures of long gone, sadly missed, previous loves. And here was little Chea – young, happy, at the very beginning of her life, with a million new things to experience. I stroked her head and she purred and I made a private promise to her that she too would have a lovely life before her picture nestled lovingly with the pictures of those long gone – but by no means forgotten.