Friday, 21 January 2011

Procrastination is the thief of time...

No 1 and only son called me the other day and asked me to hurry up and get the pictures together for The Family History. Not a small undertaking, and one that I have been putting off for some time.  I finished the book almost three years ago and it sits, in his computer and mine, safe and sound, waiting for him to find the time to put it all together and get it printed.

NOAOS is a graphic designer. He has been very busy, building up his business while enduring three knee operations and a lot of pain. Perhaps he thinks he had better finish the job before we peg out, hence the phone call.

Trouble is, all the photos are EVERYWHERE.

In Boxes, envelopes, albums,

 in frames

or simply stuck on walls.

I read through the draft and started to make a list, got to number 43 before deciding there had to be a better way.

I am going to look through every box, envelope, album etc.. and make another pile containing any picture that rings a bell. That should only take a few hours, like ten or twelve.

But there is a problem. Like with the picture below, they each have a tale to tell. And I'll never get the job done.

A quickie then:

This is my great-great grandmother, Granny Gregory. At the window of the room in which she spent the last few years of her life, in the house of her youngest daughter-in-law, married to her son Teddy. This next bit is taken from The History.

I have no recollection of school then, but as Granny had to go to work we were obliged to find something to occupy the hours until she returned.  We would go down the road and visit with great granny Gregory sometimes. Just a short visit because she was very old by then and slept a great deal. She lived in a small room that smelled of talcum powder and lavender water, in the house belonging to Aunt Rose who was married to granny Young’s brother, Teddy.  I believe Teddy was quite successful at whatever he did, because we seldom saw him out of his working clothes of suit and black overcoat. He wore a Homburg hat and was very tall and serious. He had a large car that we were forbidden to touch.[Perhaps he was an undertaker]
Great granny looked rather like the old Queen Victoria. She always wore a long black dress with a white lace collar and a square of lace sat on her swept up white hair.  She would offer us a biscuit but usually forgot and nodded off to sleep before she had delivered. We would giggle and creep out of the room. I think we probably went to see whether she would ever remove the lid off the tin or if sleep would win. 

I don't think The History will be ready this side of Christmas.


  1. Ah but whenever its ready it will have been worth the wait....

  2. If it is written with the same tone and eloquence, then "The History" will be an amazing read when it is finished.

    Best of luck sorting through all of those boxes and albums and the like!

  3. This is so great. My grandmother did a really wonderful job getting together our whole family tree (talking about cousins and cousins down the line). But I love the idea that you have little stories to go along with the pictures. It makes it so much more special. You may have just inspired me to do something along these lines, although I would be no way able to do a full novel. I hope you put a good dent in the work :)

  4. It will be a lot of work - but something like that is priceless :) Good Luck!

  5. This will be a beautiful keepsake when finished. I know procrastination all too well. Sometimes, I can trick myself into deadlines, which helps.
    But I know these kinds of tasks seem overwhelming. Keep working at it. What a treasure!

  6. A journey of a thousand steps...
    I don't envy you the task.

  7. Quite an undertaking, to be sure, but it promises to be a magnificent History.

    (Hints for getting it done: work on it instead of: bathing, eating, exercising, watching tv, going shopping, dressing, cooking, doing laundry, and answering the phone. Just don't stop blogging.)

  8. Moannie,
    I can so relate to your stacks of pictures! Every time I think I'm going to get them all in order and jot down family history notes, I get overwhelmed and quit. Argh!!

    Really enjoy your blog!!

  9. What a treasure you will have! I very much enjoyed the photo and snippet of information you shared about Granny Gregory.

  10. It sounds like you have some very important tales and photos. Don't procrastinate anymore...your son needs your input.

  11. I can see keris/kris on the wall. hehehe proud of it. have you visit Malaysia or Indonesia before? I'm malaysian ^_*.

  12. You have to get this done before the pegging out ensues! Family history is so important and I wish I had recorded every conversation I had with my mother in the years before she put paid to this life. I try to write down what she told me but my memory is not what it once was either and I'm the Queen Procrastinator! Hurry!!!

  13. What a wonderful project but geesh it's going to take a lot of time and effort. It will be so worth it though, if this snippet is any indication.

  14. What a project! If you figure out how to organize it, let me know. I have a similar task, but I haven't even done any of the writing.

    Your short piece of writing was wonderful. Keep at the project. It will be a treasure.

  15. As I read your post I felt the overwhelming weight of your task. What a huge job.
    I loved that part "we would giggle and creep out of the room" That was a great word picture.
    Good job.

  16. You are as bad as me for being swamped by photos.
    Good luck with the project that seems to be massive.
    Maggie X

    Nuts in May

  17. As pp's said, love the tone and imagery in the snipet you shared from the History. Are you going to publish it publically, or just as a keepsake for your family?

  18. And how very interesting it will be when you're done!


  19. "Nice blog" *rofl*

    (Who'd have thunk there are still bloggers like that circling the blogosphere!)


    You do have a gargantuan task ahead of you, procrastination or not!
    How about just pulling out all the photos of "interest" and only label them, for starters? Then you could group them into piles according to priority or whatever, and then start adding stories starting from there?
    Oh well, I am a creative little pile accumulator, then I let them season.
    It does feel good, though, to pretend that I would know how to manage other people's piles. I'll slap myself on my fingers, as soon as I have sent this of!


  20. to send off - and I actually had written it correctly, then something made me delete that second "f" - brain, where are you?

  21. What a worthwhile project & also a wonderful Christmas gift to family.

    An uncle, who has since pegged out - put together my Dad's side of the family and it's a treasure trove of genealogical and family history. The premise is that the family was related in the mists of time to Ganger Rolf, who wound up with Normandy and was in the line of William. Of course, my line was from the wrong side of the blanket as they say. But fun to imagine.

    Encouragement from here to continue to gather photos - get the best quality scan you can and put them on a CD to send to NOAOS. You could give numbers instead of filenames and then include a file with the numbering key put on the CD. Just a thought. (scratches head, slaps fingers and presses Post Comment)

  22. thanks for visiting my blog.
    i come over to read your blog. the topics you write is so interesting. whenever i look at the titles of your post, it will attract me to read it. even your blog title: 'the view from this end', nice title.
    i try to learn English so, i think by reading your blog, i can improve my English too. because you use a very interesting language,like this post 'procrastination is thief of time' you will attract people to read your blog with your wonderful language.
    but i use Malay language for my blog because most of my friend is Malaysian.
    by the way, sultan of Perak is the king in one of the states in Malaysia. The King of Perak.
    as for the butterflies, actually they are not butterflies but the dead pigeons. just reported about 40 000 crabs 8 000 pigeons and fish died because of the cold weather.
    thanks again for visiting my blog. @^_^@

  23. I am another daughter who wishes she had taken more note of what relatives were saying before it was too late. Just write it all down. You could do it as blog posts exactly like this - one photo, one story. Then your son can put them all together as he thinks fit. Don't worry about the order, or logic, just DO IT!

  24. Oh, I so know the feeling! I have a half finished family history and now my mother has given me one of the two ancient family photo albums to scan and get on file. Have I started yet? Of course I haven't!!

    Love the photos on the walls!

    So nice to see you back here! I like the View From This End!

  25. Love the photos! Oh I feel your pain! I am such a workaholic, but procrastination is a big problem for me on things such as the task at hand for you!

  26. I like your blog as it always touches many people in many ways. I am sure your project will be as wonderful as your blog.... I can't wait! Get up and find some more pictures! Stop procrastinating!

  27. Moannie:

    Whenever you have "The History" ready for our general consumption, it will have been worth our wait. Your stories always give me a good time.