I received this 10 For Keeps Memory Kit from the team behind Singapore Memory Project and decided to capture some of my cherished Singapore-related memories using the included Instax camera. At first, I thought I'd just take photos of the items lying on the floor but since my kids were on their one-week school holiday, I decided to deploy my child labour.
This is my school tie clip. The tie it is on belongs to my son, who is also going to the same school as his old man did. I have had that tie clip for decades now, since Secondary 4, when I left the school at 16. It is hard to believe I have kept it for almost thirty years. Whenever I have to wear a tie (which is rare), I try to wear the clip. It isn't as fancy as the branded ones out there but it brings back memories of school days. That my boy is now part of the same school family makes it even more special.
Joy is holding on to a FujiFilm FinePix 40i digital camera. It was the first digital camera I even owned and cost me slightly more than a thousand dollars in the year 2000. I bought it just before my firstborn, Faith was born and all her early photos were taken with this camera. I told the wife the purchase was "for the baby". It helped to pass the Minister of Home Affair's scrutiny.
The 40i was an oddity because it could play MP3s AND take photos: a camera with headphones and a music remote control. It had 2.4 megapixels (my iPhone has more megapixels than this camera now) and used giant SmartMedia cards. The lens was equivalent to 36mm on a full frame camera and fixed (only digital zoom) but you know, I took many photos of Faith and printed them out at 3R and 4R and didn't think it lacked anything.
I know how Inception this is: I used an analogue camera to take an instant photo of a digital camera and scanned the instant photo of my digital camera for my blog.
The Fuji Finepix 40i doesn't work anymore but I still keep it because it was my firstborn camera for my firstborn child.
Isaac here is holding on to a photo of me, aged 1. I love collecting old black and white photos of my past and from this photo you can see the black sliding gate reminiscent of the old HDB flats in the early 70s. It also shows the exposed gas meter of the time. And also note that parents in the old days didn't really fuss over the hygiene of placing their baby on the floor of the common corridor.
Joy is holding on to a photo of her mother, aged 18. This was taken when I first started dating my wife, in her home, which was a three-room flat above her father's tailor shop. She was a sweetie then, and still one now. You can see where my daughters get their big "eyes like limpid pools" from. ("Your eyes are the pools of Heshbon by the gate of Bath Rabbim. -Song of Solomon 7:4)
Also note the old school sofa, the kind with the stretched black elastic bands below and square cushions on top.
When Joy saw the photo, she said, "Mommy is so pretty!"
Indeed she is.
Joy is carrying a cassette tape. This is a performance track for a song that the wife and I used to sing at our friend's weddings. A performance track is the song with just the music and sans vocals. The tape is high-end chromium dioxide (CrO2) tape, and is still in great shape, but I don't have a player at home that can play it anymore, since almost all my music is now digital and in the cloud.
When Joy saw it, she said, "Papa, is that a… TAPE?"
Yes, I told her. The song, I said, had to be played in a linear fashion and if you wanted to skip to the next song, you had to fast forward. This is an alien concept for my kids because they are used to being able to jump to any point in a song or a video. And another mind-blowing thing for them to learn: you took the tape out and flipped it around for songs on the B-side. Wait till I show them how we used to rewind a tape with a pencil to save battery life on a Walkman.
You can win your own Instax Memory Kit worth over $100 by sharing a meaningful memory or two in the comments* below by 2 April 2359h. The two best entries will win.
The Instax Memory Kit was a great way to document some of the memories I want to keep. It comes with an instant camera, 2 cartridges of instant film with 10 exposures each and a Memory Kit book that teaches you how to document your memories. There are even memory sheets in the kit that allows you to mail in your instant photos and describe your memories so that the Singapore Memory Project can archive them for future generations to enjoy.
By submitting your memories you will also stand a chance to have them featured at SMP’s Memory Showcase. Do come down to the showcase launching on the 11th of April at the National Library Building.
* Note that by submitting a comment you agree to let it be collected by the Singapore Memory Project team for archival and collection purposes, and may be used by the team as content feature.