962 photographs

"What? Why?" is normally the response I get when people discover I iron my bedding. Perhaps they make a comment about how you can tell I don't have children yet, or they mention how much they hate ironing.

I get it. I don't enjoy ironing. I mean, how many people actually enjoy ironing? If you do, more power to you, but if you're anything like my husband, you don't believe in ironing! He insists that nothing he owns needs ironing (this is true - D.) (we won't tell him how his linen shirt magically comes out of the wash wrinkle-free).

So why do I do it? 

Although I dislike the task of ironing, one of my favourite things in the world is getting into a bed with freshly washed and ironed sheets. I have invested in quality bedding from The White Company and I look forward to laundry day. If I actually enjoyed ironing I would probably change our bed linen every day just for that feeling. I think it comes from the years I was disabled and a lot of my time was spent in my bed. I looked for things to be positive about - clean sheets was definitely one of my favourite things and that hasn't changed.

For me, that feeling of climbing into bed is worth sacrificing an hour in front of the television rewatching the BBC Pride and Prejudice, North and South, or some other period drama. The television programme makes it bearable!


That's how many photographs I have scanned over the last few days and there are still more to go.

How does this relate to ironing?

The last time I visited my Grandparents, I raided their house for photo albums. I promised I would look after them and return them in good condition. My goal is to scan these photographs, which span the last few generations of my family. Like ironing, I don't enjoy the process of scanning these photographs. It's monotonous and, again, I'm grateful for the television programmes and audiobooks I have been listening to which are making the task bearable.

If I don't enjoy the process, why am I scanning all these photographs?

My family is based all over the world.

My Mum has cousins in America and Australia, my brother lives in Canada and has a family of his own, we have family across the United Kingdom and the list goes on. The photographs my Grandparents have are of all of us. The easiest way to share these photographs with my extended family is to digitise them and allow them to print copies for themselves in the format they choose.

The results are worth it.

I think the main reason I choose to scan these photos is that the results are absolutely worth the sacrifice of my time. It has been a privilege to share a few photographs with family members already.

  • I have a family member who doesn't own many photographs of her with her Mum. Her Mum lost her battle with cancer so the photographs she does have are now even more precious. Among my Grandparents' photograph collection was one of her Mum holding her as a toddler that she hadn't seen before.
  • There are baby photos of each of us children (who are now adults, some with children of their own), photographs that prompt memories, photographs of Nana Katie that my Mum didn't realise we had.
  • There are photographs of my parents as newlyweds. I showed one to my nephew this morning and explained it was a photo of Pops and Nana; his first question, much to my amusement and Pops' disgruntlement, was: "why does Pops have funny hair?"

I love that these photographs are prompting discussion.

I love the idea that everyone will get copies of the photographs they want. My brother has already talked about making a book for his son so he will know his heritage.

And because I have been talking about old photographs, I'll leave you with some photographs I've found of me as a baby/child.

Although I was my Mum's smallest baby, it appears that I stored all my weight in my face.

Abi AbleyComment