The Kinnie Club

The Old Photos

Drunk with paella. Numb from the noise. Early December and an early Christmas lunch. It was late in the afternoon and a lull had finally settled over the house. The cousins were spread out on the couch, on the floor. One of them pulled out an old box. There was nothing special about this box. Just a plain, old shoe box; dusty and grey. She opened the box. I moved a little closer to look. Inside were old photos. She had found them at her dad’s place. These old photos were faded, torn and starting to peel. They smelled like old moth balls and dust. They were real photos. The kind my aunty would have taken on her 35mm and then waited till she finished the Kodak roll to have them developed, probably at the local chemist.

The photos were of me. They were of me and my cousins. We were on holiday together. We were all very young in the photos; some of us still babies. My mum and aunties looked so young, fresh and vibrant. Sun kissed skin, permed hair, thin and glowing. At first glance, I didn’t recognise who these women were. Time has changed those same women, faded them, more than the photos themselves.

I had lost the memory that was captured in these photos. The photos I was looking at were images I would pin, yet my memory had let them go. I had forgotten the summer’s. I had forgotten the reason these photos were taken in the first place.

The summers of the 1980’s. My parents were living the life I mirror now. Together with my aunties and uncles they would plan a trip every summer. A family holiday. We would all pile into our cars and drive for a few hours to spend a few weeks together. Glorious summer holidays spent together. Fishing, swimming, cooking, long walks and late nights under the stars. I remembered my sister and me sleeping in the back of Dad’s Kingswood on the way home from a trip up to Albury, and how great that was. These photos were from those trips.  These trips were gone.

I wanted to dive back into them. I wanted to dive back into the deep set sepia nostalgia. Seeing those photos awakened something in me. It had been too long. In that moment, the words tumbled out of my mouth. I couldn’t stop them. Everyone looked at me. What was I about to begin?

  • BossyMummy

    Aren’t we so lucky to have photos to help reignite some of those forgotten memories. It is a pity they often are kept in an old shoe box and won’t hold the test of time. I keep meaning to do some about the piles I have, hopefully it won’t be too late by the time I get around to it 🙂

    Hello from #teamIBOT

    • i have a very long list myself of “photo jobs”…funnily enough I keep putting all of them off 🙂

  • Lyndal

    oh my – you are a new to me blog and it is just so gorgeous! glad to have found you x


  • Lisa Barton-Collins

    I’m here through ibot and just wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed this post, you are a very good writer. I’ll be back!

  • oh gosh now I want to go home and cook paella. Yum.

    A few years back my mum had all the old slides put onto a dvd and I’m so glad we’ve got good, crisp (well as crisp as the 60’s/70’s were) versions of the stories of our family.

  • We never had any kind of family traditions as a kids; it makes me sad when I read these things and realise that.
    Thanks for linking

    • i remember thinking family traditions as being boring when I was a teenager, now that I have my own family, I’m desperate to give them all to my boys…

  • what gorgeous photos!!! no traditions here.. I’d love to make some with my lil family!!!

    beautiful post!

    • thank you, how different are the photos of now – to the photos of then? memories all the same xx

  • Julia chumkovski

    I love family traditions and remembering though photos. I try to not go anywhere without a camera so I don’t miss a magic moment.

  • Alice

    Ooh yum I Looove paella! It reminds me of the only time I’ve ever spent in Spain…in Barcelona to break up a cold winter in The Netherlands. I also like to take a camera wherever I go. Wonderful to read about your family traditions. Makes me miss my family, with my parents on the other side of the country, and my sister and brother-in-law on the other side of the world.

    • living so far from the ones you love is very hard, love and family traditions keep us close though xxx

  • Melissa Mitchell

    Those photos look just like my own childhood. My huge, loud family. Right down to a Kingswood of our own. Boxing Day every year at Mooloolaba on the Sunshine Coast. A trip to Cairns with Uncles and Aunts and cousins. Another to Coffs Harbour, again – family in tow.

    I don’t know that many families do this anymore. Take holidays with everyone. But I look back and they are some of my most cherished memories. Growing up with my cousins (though I was the eldest, by 3-4 years) and watching my mother’s enormous family (she was the eldest of 9, though her family also fostered two of her cousins, so really she was the eldest of 11. They all grow up and have families of their own and Boxing Day was a glorious chaos!).

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