Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Distilled Images In A Box Marked Unknown

They say that inside every fat man there is a thin man trying to get out. Personally, I doubt the truth of this old saying : I have been fat for years and despite every dietary temptation, no thin man has ever made an escape attempt. They would be better off saying that inside every disorganised person there is an organised one, tidying up and filing things away in the hope of finding the escape plan they know they had somewhere.

I spend half my life putting labels on boxes in anticipation for the big Spring Clean that is just around the corner. And I spend the rest of my life buying more and more bits of paper of every shape and form that cry out for filing and archiving. The tragedy of my life is that the disorganised flow in is always greater that the organised flow out and the result is chaos.

A couple of weeks ago I was waiting for the world as we know it to come to an end wasting some time browsing through eBay listings, when I came across a job-lot of old photographs. I put in a silly bid and forgot about it in the sure and certain knowledge that I would be out-bid. A few days ago I discovered to my surprise that I hadn't been outbid and yesterday morning a large parcel full of old photos dropped through the letterbox.

It is a mixed lot of old and oldish photographs and postcards. They tell the story of some family or another, but it is a family I don't know. But if you let the story - the names, the details, the lives - evaporate away,  you are left with raw images that have a fascination all of their own.

Unknown Man and Unknown Woman : From An Unknown Family Photograph Collection

There must be over 100 photographs in the job lot and I paid less than £5 for them : a bargain in anyone's terms. However they have merely added to the disorganised flow entering my life and I long to give them an organised place in the world. So I scan and file and scan and file and place them in that big plastic box marked unknown.


  1. Well, I don't know them but they look a very sweet couple. I think it is the promise of ... thinness, organisation or whatever that keeps me going, really. It would be terrible to achieve it!

  2. It was their 50th anniversary!! What a great old photo. I need to kick myself in the butt and get more organized and soon:)


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