How often have you heard people say, “I have just seen my past life appearing in front of my eyes”?
Comments like that usually suggest when people get those kinds of visions, it is their body telling them that something unpleasant was about to happen. I never worry about things like that.
I get visual reminders all the time. It is a source of so many great memories.
Having a family archive of home movies and lots of photographs plays such a huge part in that.
Last year I spent a lot of time learning to digitise the home movies and there was a lot of footage. It was great being able to preserve family history and it also reminded me of numerous events in my childhood.
People have often cast doubts about my ability to remember events and things going back as far as the 1960s. But whenever I watch any of the family home movies, the videos, or check out the numerous snapshots, I can usually recall those events as if they happened yesterday.
I may have difficulty remembering things that have been mentioned to me ten minutes earlier or recalling text produced on a computer screen. But show me a movie, a video, or a picture then that memory or information is locked in there forever.
I do not think I have a great memory, especially when it comes to remembering things that had previously been discussed an hour earlier or processing text information on a screen or a page.
I realise now that this is the neurodiverse side of me talking.
How often have you seen those people doing amazing feats of memory like recalling the details of a pack of cards and in the correct order?
When I was first diagnosed as Dyslexic two years ago, I was made aware of the kind of technique used by these memory champions, which was tied to visual imagery. Sentence alone was not enough; you needed a picture to go along with it.
One thing we are not short of in the family archives is pictures, still and moving. I now realise why I can recall moments of nostalgia with such detail.
For me, those memories are the building blocks that have made me the person that I am today, and it is a valuable tool for me when it comes to writing.
My holiday camp trilogy is a classic example. They are a fictional version of my three seasons working as a Butlins Redcoat. But it was important that you had to give a realistic account of what life was like working there.
We were talking about forty odd years ago. Not an easy thing to get right, But it’s amazing what some old photographs and videos can do when it comes to recharging the old brain cells.
Every picture tells a story and for me there is no better source when it comes to doing your research.