Every Summer Has A Story

What’s your most favourite summer of your life (so far)?

Tough question I know. It’s probably a pick-and-mix from a variety of summers; a song from one, a holiday from another, the friends of…. I forget which.

As you mentally remember the summers you’ve had throughout your life, the sights, sounds, feelings and smells are no doubt all triggered again.

The older we get the more we have to choose from, and now we all have at least 1 ‘pandemic summer’ to add to the mix. The interesting thing is that we rarely need any ‘thing’ to trigger those happiest of memories, and just the memory of one can conjure up a taste, a smell, a sound, a feeling.

I only need to hear a seagull and I’m back in Dartmouth, South Devon, at the higher ferry with my 2 black Labradors jumping into the river after a stick, then walking along the embankment towards the town centre (with the smell of salt water emanating from said Labradors) to get 99 ice-creams from the little shop just down from Woolworths. One for me and one each for the dogs.

Then memories of walking back up the hill to grandma’s house for tea and cake – the memories flood back. Who knew that the sound of seagulls could trigger such detailed memories of sight, sound, emotion and smell!

It’s a memory I get quite often these days because for some bizarre reason, despite being 86 miles as the crow (or seagull) flies from any sea, we seem to have a lot of seagulls in Banbury.

Yes I have photographs of the summer holidays I had, but they’re not quite as powerful to me as the sound of a seagull.

It’s not surprising that Dementia care-homes have sights, sounds and smells to trigger childhood memories – those are the memories thought to disappear last – and keep the memories alive as long as possible. The memories are our strongest connections with loved ones.

Although this summer may not be quite how we would wish, it’s potentially a good opportunity to capture and share the memories of summers past with loved ones. If there’s one thing we’re all painfully aware of now, none of us know how many summers we may have left. So, let’s share our memories with others this summer.

Clare’s Summer To-Do List

1. Scan my Photos

I’ll finish scanning my hard copy photos and save them to my cloud and external hard-drive.

2. Not Sure

Once scanned I’ll put the hard copy photos in my ‘archive’ cupboard and use it like a NOT SURE category. Each year, when I shred my archive paperwork that I no longer need to keep, I’ll review my hard copy photos and decide whether I REALISTICALLY NEED to continue keeping the hard copies or whether I can let them go.

3. Capture the Stories

I’ll use my scanned photos to trigger the memories so I can capture the memories and stories associated with my regular childhood summer holidays in Dartmouth, South Devon.

4. Create a Photobook

I’ll create a photobook of my childhood summer holidays in Dartmouth, South Devon to combine the photos and stories and keep the memories alive.

5. Hall / Wall of Fame

I’ll pick 7 favourite summer holiday scanned photos and get them printed onto a collage canvas so I can hang it on the wall up my stairs to trigger those happy memories regularly, rather than keeping them in an album in a cupboard.

6. Make New Summer Memories!

I’ll sit down with my husband and plan a few days out and long weekends this summer so we can make new summer memories. It may not be as adventurous as ‘normal’ but happy memories are happy memories.

7. Continue my Garden Photos

Every month on the 1st of the month I take 10 photos of my garden from different angles. This enables me to create a Timeline of each area of the garden so I can see how it matures over the years.

Before Garden Office
BEFORE
After Garden Office
AFTER
Before Garden
BEFORE
After Garden
AFTER
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