Memories


The board of examiners

An Air Mail Envelope, where someone in the Post Office has clearly had lots of fun with their "Stampy-Stamp"!

Ah yes!

Memories, that's a very important part of what we want, and the more, the merrier!

But let us first deal with the grimmer side of things.

Don't Let All The Leaves Blow Away!

Once someone has died, it is almost inevitable that a great many memories to do with that person's life start blowing away all too quickly, just like the leaves that have suddenly been stripped from a tree by a fierce Autumn gale.

The tree remains, cold and gaunt, and, for a short while, the fallen leaves remain on the ground but the colour in them starts fading all too fast.

Soon they, too, are taken by the wind, and end up, miles away, as "so much dust".

Then people rely on the spoken word but, as a client of mine in a Spanish-speaking Latin American country once so memorably, and poetically, wrote to me, "el viento lleva las palabras, lo que lleva a discusiones de lo que se dijo y no se dijo": "the wind carries the words away and that leads to arguments about what was and wasn't said."

Please Learn From My Mistakes!

What keeps on inspiring me so much to help other people write their autobiographies is my abject failure, many years ago now, to encourage my Pa to write up his quite fascinating life.

It has taken a great many years after his death for me to realise that my crass mistake was in not taking the lead in doing all of the donkey-work for him.

I wanted his life-story down in his own words but ... he was old and tired and just did not have the energy to embark on the project on his own.

Now, of course, it is much too late for that, as he died in 1993, so the life-story I am writing for him will be far from complete and will, undoubtedly, contain a great many errors and omissions but, and this is the really important part, at least it is being told and so he, and his often delightfully eccentric take on life, will live on for that much longer.

I want to spare *you* from making the same mistakes as I did so, please, do take the decision to start on it ***now, today*** ... and so ... *before* all those leaves start blowing away!

There is also no need to wait until you are "old" to start out on this journey!

Good Heavens no!

We make memories every second of every day starting from, perhaps, the age of two or three!

The problem is that, if we don't catch those memories now, all fresh and intact, we may very well lose the people who formed vital parts of those memories. Then we not only miss out on the fun of remeniscing with our friends and family, we also lose the chance to check all the facts.

It is really important to try and capture as many memories as possible in writing and, likewise with photos, to make notes of all the people, animals, places and dates and times just as soon as possible. So much of what is posted online nowadays lacks both "context" and "background" and so does not stand the test of time.

These little scraps of information get lost all too quickly and then the story starts getting horribly thin and threadbare and, dare I say it, dull.

Once you have registered and signed in, you will be able to add not just your written memories, but also your photos and scanned documents and all of that vital detail to the database.

It is the rich detail, the actual words spoken, the name of the restaurant-owner, how exactly your Great Grandma "mended and made do" when times were hard, what your Dad actually said when he stabbed the electric toaster when it was still on with the bread-knife and when he should have known better ("Not in front of the children, Dear, please"), ... it is all that stuff that will bring your story to life and ... bring it to life, we absolutely must!

Finally, and from now on, I will refer to the texts that you input as "Memories", i.e. spelt with a capital "M".



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ASSISTED AUTOBIOGRAPHIES

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