Cactus,USA: 2019


Time changes everything.  It used to be that you would go on holiday, send a postcard to your nearest and dearest, take a whole load of photographs, get them printed and then show everyone your holiday snaps.  It was a long drawn out process and there could be a long time between receiving the postcard and seeing the photographs, and then having to relive someone’s holiday.  I have always liked seeing other people’s holiday photographs but it was always the time lag that made things difficult.

An iPad changes things and amongst my friends and family this is certainly true.  When David had a major stroke, lost his mobility and speech, Lyn and Liz bought him an iPad.  The idea was that we could all send photos to ‘Dad Album’, a shared album amongst the family, and on visits could show them to him.  He could keep up with what his sister Jean, 400 miles away, was doing; he could see what his grandchildren and great grandchildren were doing; he could follow their holidays, their first day at nursery, and school; he could see their Sports Days, Liz and Lyn’s trips to the theatre and how everyone celebrated their birthdays and Christmas.  David was able to keep in close touch with his family without needing to move or speak.  The iPad enabled conversation with visitors and even via FaceTime with his sister.

Because the whole family could access ‘Dad Album’ it meant we could all keep in touch with each other, wherever we were.  If anyone was on holiday, they could ‘post’ holiday photos and you were there, with them, enjoying the beautiful, unusual, comical and relaxing times; you understood what they were doing.  You could be inspired to do a similar thing, go to the same places in a way that a hard copy photograph, months after it was taken, could engender.  The iPad was a brilliant medium for a family that lived miles apart.

In my experience, it is often difficult to keep in touch with cousins if you don’t live near each other.  This way the cousins knew exactly what their relatives were doing.  When David died last year, a new album was created: ‘Family Album’.  So many photos have been added to this album.  It may only have been a few from each holiday, but you get a close connection with family, knowing what they are doing, almost enjoying it with them although they maybe thousands of miles away.

Lyn and Rob have recently been on holiday to USA, Palm Springs and the Grand Canyon. Each day there were a few photos, cacti galore, large, giant, flowering, scary, beautiful.  Each morning I’d look forward to seeing what they had seen, thinking it would be nice to visit there.  They obviously had a great time, and I had a great time watching them have a great time!  The iPad has become a new sort of photo album, one that is much more easily accessed.

And as a present from their holiday, they bought a Cactus Tea Towel!  What better present and what a great reminder of their holiday photos and experiences.  Thank you Lyn and Rob!

PS: It is a beautiful soft cotton material, making you want to stroke it, and absorbent as well.

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