Wednesday, 11 May 2016

I Found Some of My Grandfather's Slides in a Shoebox in Leeds

I've been travelling to Leeds a lot this year, since my grandma was diagnosed with Dementia and moved into a care home. My mum and I are tidying up her former house and getting it ready to put on the market. During one of our visits I was staying the night in the guest room, and found a yellow shoebox on the floor at the bottom of my bed.  It was full of slides taken by my grandfather, who was very fond of photography before his death.  Some of the slides went as far back as the 1950's. Judging by the amount of dust on it, the box had been there for quite some time, so I figured no one would miss it if I "borrowed" it and scanned the slides.

Obviously, as the slides are so old and were left in a shoebox, they're not in the best condition. They contain a lot of dust and decay - which I find oddly charming - but they also seem to have developed a strong blue hue. I tried to correct it as best as I could in Photoshop, though the images do still look a bit on the cool side. Some of them were quite dark, too, I don't know if they could have been a little underexposed or if slides get darker over time, or perhaps both. But here is what I managed to salvage.

See the beautiful brunette? That's my grandma. Mum reckons she's about 21 in that photograph. Last time I saw Granny, I was visiting her in the care home. It's so strange to see her here - younger than me, smiling at my granddad - when in my mind she is so fragile and in constant need of supervision. It's one of those moments when you realise you've known someone for your entire life, but you've only been in the picture for a small amount of theirs.

...And this is my grandfather. Granny once told me that he went grey at eighteen, and she wasn't kidding. As he was the photographer I wasn't expecting to see him in any of the photographs, but I guess someone must have borrowed the camera for this one. I remember him as a very quiet person, who mostly sat on the same armchair in the dining room, almost a different man to the one at the beach.

If my family don't mind, I might hold on to these slides. It's a bit sad to look at them right now because of everything happening with my grandma, but these are memories I still want to treasure.

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