Digging into the past with my very modern iMac computer.

I’ve been playing with some of the added extras on my wonderful iMac computer recently. OK, I know I’m addicted, obsessive and neurotic but, who cares, I’m enjoying myself. I have spent the odd five minute break from writing, well, the odd half hour break if I’m honest, digitising some of my old family photographs. This one is of my Great Uncle Willy and my Great Aunt Jesse taken in 1884.

The old print had been kept in my grandmother’s handbag along with a few other Victorian photos of my 19th Century ancestors until, a long time ago now,  I suggested that I should become the family archivist and save them from disintegration in a mix of face powder and lavender water. She agreed so I took possession and with her help annotated them in a new photograph album.

Sadly they showed their age and many details were beginning to fade from view and then, the other week, I discovered just how much fun there was to be had in restoring them with a lot of help from my computer. Fun of course if you happen to be addicted, obsessive and neurotic. Now I have retrieved details in these pictures that I had never seen before and, until the end of the World anyway, I feel I have preserved this piece of family history for future generations.

Somebody told me once that nothing lasts forever, not even the Sistine chapel ceiling but, with my iMac computer, I’m not so sure I believe them any more.

I never met Uncle Willy but I heard many stories about him and, according to my grandmother, I am the “spitting image” of him particularly in my mannerisms and turns of phrase. Sadly, if it is true, it’s only me and not the photograph that can preserve that side of his personality. I wonder if I would have liked him.

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