Back in June 1988, several branches of my family went to Summerwest World – a Butlins holiday camp near Ayr in Scotland. The holiday lasted a week, or maybe two, I cant quite remember, but when we got back I remember the scores of photographs which were produced from the many different family cameras.
Some would feature my cousins Jamie, Iain and Emma-Jane. Others would show different aunts in different states of mirth at the cabaret shows. Several of the pictures caught uncles and dads enjoying one beer too many after hours. And a few showed general holiday activities and antics around the appartments.
Out of all of the photographs, only two or three featured me. I’m not sure why – all the other kids were in plenty of the photos, but for some reason I just plain wasn’t there when the images were being captured for reminiscing later on in life.
My mother pointed it out initially, and being the teenager just about to turn sixteen, I shrugged in a semi-rebelious, non-plussed way. What did it matter – the holiday was gone and the weather had been crap anyway.
The lack of photographic evidence that I existed during that holiday seemed to set a kind of trend that covered the next few years. I always seemed to be absent from family photos and would see pictures after the event and be unable to figure out why I hadn’t been caught by some wayward Polariod along with the rest of the family.
During my early twenties I went a bit camera mad – I had a very decent one of my own and I’d snap away so often that the pictures were pretty worthless as memories. One piss up with the lads looks much like another when they’re pulled out of a box of jumbled up pictures a year or two later. Still, it is kind of cool to have these hard copies of memories which will fade over time.
Sadly, over the last year, the days, weeks and months have been made up of trudging through life, doing the day to day tasks of waking, working, eating, amusing myself and then sleeping. Not one event in the past year has been worth recording in any shape or form other than my birthday back in July.