So this is the Farm, as created by two of my children. It’s on the floor at my parent’s house and is actually a toy farm which was bought for my elder sister about 50 years ago. So its been around a bit. Every time my children visit their grandparents,they play with it.
This time when it came to leave there were tears about breaking up the Farm. “Please photograph it Mummy! So we can REBUILD it next time..!!”
Madness of course but how often do I photograph something the children have built, or drawn, or sculpted? I keep everything in a giant archive, as if all my memories will be destroyed should I throw away even the tiniest scribble, the most careless piece of drawn on cardboard, the most unremarkable Plasticine creation. I know its because we all fear and welcome – in equal measures, it seems- our children growing up and changing, but if I carry on like this, with four of them, I’ll soon be living in the equivalent of the British Library archives in Colindale, only with less obviously valuable stuff.
Maybe we should all be a bit more easy about throwing stuff away, hard though it is. I don’t think my mother kept every single drawing I have ever made. Or photographs showing how to rebuild farms. Indeed, some things are meant to be temporary. Take this loaf of bread, baked by moi this week. It was admired. It was photographed. Then it was eaten. End of.