We’ve been doing a lot of heave-ho-out-you-go of late. And my word how wonderful it has been. Admittedly it requires skipping over, or even better limbo-ing under the emotional rope we tend to attach to possessions, but once done, it’s a free for all.

me waitress

Photos have been a biggie. Over the years we have accumulated many, filling boxes and albums that spend their time being transported from house to house as we move. As we opened them there were some real treasures, and equally there were many which kind of had us wondering what on earth we were thinking, where on earth is that place, and good grief that can’t possibly be me and best you get that shredder out NOW!


Glasses, now there’s a thing. For anybody who wears specs you’ll know the agony of choosing a new pair. You do your best when squinting into a mirror as you try endless frames on, asking the assistant “is this me” and equally telling her “no-way, I look like my great-grandmother from 1702.” And then you decide. You collect the new pair and welcome the positive comments from friends and family, and generally feel good about having your photo taken.  FOOLISH! Have you taken a look at yourself in all those old photos and not asked yourself how anybody could have let you settle on that pair?


In my case there is photographic evidence of many major fails in the goggles department. My face is quite small, so how I ended up with a frame more suited to an elephant beggars belief. Then there are the pairs with wonky shaped arms, they sort of start at your ear, take a right angle to the left and then another angle back up where they attach to the lens section.  I’ve had the John Lennon shape that only JL should ever have worn, and dare I admit to the funny colours and oddly placed bling choices. Body shudders at the thought.  Well I don’t need to expand too much on where those photos ended up do I?


The interesting thing though is how the photo has changed over the years. Hubby was a keen photographer in his youth, creating his own dark room to fiddle with his lens and all. From here we had quite a few, shall we say, interesting images, large and small, black and white and far too many girlfriends for my liking! Kidding of course, however they went into the shredder too. Cough, cough.  We also had a lot of the small square photos, again black and white with the occasional colour one. Gradually the size increased and more became colour, and with this change so they were handed in at a 24 hour development point, before being returned in a long envelope with a ream of negatives for further development.


Then of course came digital. And with that we had photo explosion. We seemed to have taken hundreds of images, of the same thing, from every possible angle under the guise of can be deleted later, yet rarely were. And each time, all were printed, supplying us a wedge of photos to keep any door open in a typhoon. The rubbish dump of Cape Town is probably sprinkled with glossy celluloid flowers and historical places, and quite a lot of faces we have no idea of who they are. There’s quite a number of animals too. During one visit to Bushman’s Kloof a particular Zebra was photographed from the rear, front, side and then all over again. They hit the bin too.


We must have run out of money then, because we stopped printing and copied to discs instead. Crickey, this lot weigh a tonne. The problem now is that as my laptop no longer comes with a CD drive, I have copied many onto memory sticks and backed them up to other places until I have so many duplicates, triplicates and quadruplicates I can’t cope with finding anything I want anymore!


So which ones do I enjoy the most? The older ones, when the 35mm film was a requirement, when you had to finish a film and hope what you’d taken didn’t have Auntie Sue with a mouthful of marshmallows, or the dog raising a leg against Uncle Albert’s leg, as he coaxed the braai. The memories raised of my children are the without doubt the best. When they were small, exploring, laughing, cheering, growing, out with friends and family, toothless smiles at times, and badly cut hair, which I hope they’ll forgive me for at some point.

Tube Escalator
Tube Escalator

So photos have come and gone and we are left with only the special ones. We’re reasonably confident we will not be so eager to snap every raindrop or passing cloud in the future, concentrating instead on special moments alone.  Will we be successful . . . time will tell, time will tell.



20 thoughts on “Heave-Ho-Out-You-G0

  1. last time we moved i had a series of glasses i no longer use and couldn’t find a place to send them to. I now see my optometrist will recycle them – and some I do think, WHY!!!

  2. I’m a bit of a clutterbug so getting rid of photos will be impossible for me! I love looking at other people’s photos and hearing the stories around that particular snap 🙂

    1. oh yes, I agree. there are so many wonderful stories to be told around a photo. And I do love seeing all the photos people post with blogs. I just need to keep mine under control 🙂

  3. I hear both sides of the argument. I’m a declutterer but…photos. You hardly ever look at them, but when you do you can spend hours re-living life and experiences. It’s fun! I think it would take too long deciding which to keep or shred. It is one reason why I have stopped all that recording of things from images to shows you never get round to watching, to buying CD’s (do they even sell CD’s still?) or downloads. I always go for the option that does not accumulate any more stuff that I have to decide to get rid of later.

    1. I can relate to the no longer doing and purchasing. I also found that I spent so much time viewing the world a small lens that I was missing out on the peripheral. CD’s? What are they LOL!

  4. I have the intention, if time ever permits, to convert all my slides, super-8 movies etc to electronic media and keep the lot. When a hard drive holds hundreds of thousands of pics without even hiccupping, why stint?

    1. I hear you, but when there are so many I wonder if weeding out the bonkers ones might be a good idea? I know some of the duds can be fun, but the duplicates etc I’m not keen to keep.

  5. Like most people we also have many photos and video tapes galore
    I must say you really have manned up on that one, getting rid of
    photo’s I think I would really feel guilty…..Love the little waitress
    photo of you winning first prize….Lovely

  6. I have boxes full of photo albums coming over from SA with the rest of our worldly possessions. I had neither the time nor the inclination to weed out the duds when we were packing. I may get a ’round tuit’ one day, or on the other hand, I’ll just leave it for our kids to do one day. 🙂

  7. I know just how you feel. I have an external hard drive with thousands of photos. Every now and again I go into it and delete,delete,delete.
    Decluttering is very liberating somehow.

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