Friday, 18 April 2014

History must be the most boring subject in the world



If you really want to create boring memories of things past, carry a camera with you. 

In 1975 we made panniers from old wheat bags, cooked sausages on fencing wire and wrapped old socks on our hands to keep out the icy cold. There were no helmets, computers or electronic gears. There were twelve of us - the 'Dirty Dozen' - including one female, but it was a little difficult to identify Robin from the rest of us.

Pic: The 'Dirty Dozen' at Noggerup YH on CTA First South West Tour 1975

On the 'rest' day we cycled from Bridgetown to Balingup, to Nannup and back to Bridgetown. Two of the group rode the whole tour on single speed fixed gear bikes.

The photo here is taken at the Noggerup Youth Hostel, about half way between Collie and Donnybrook. What no internet???? There was no electricity or gas and we carried water from a rainwater tank. Together we made 'Noggerup' stew and cooked it on an old Metters wood stove. We ate the stew courtesy of a Tilley kerosene light.

After dinner we walked through the bush to a country dance at the Noggerup Hall and danced with local girls. Those who missed out danced with guys. If you still missed out there were sheep.

Seeing 40 years have gone by I feel somewhat safe to mention that we occasionally 'borrowed' apples and fruit from farmer's paddocks along the way. From that motley crew today we have a fair smattering of some of WA's leading doctors, lawyers and environmental workers.

As the years roll on and your memory of events fades and fades and is eventually lost forever your 'boring' image will help recreate those memories. Those old useless black and white images will help to keep your grey cells ticking over, hopefully staving off memory loss and dementia.

Never, ever underestimate the power of the image and the good that the photo will do.


For more sordid stories and photographic fundamentals try a workshop with Dale Neill

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