I am in London today, a place that has intersected with my life’s journey on numerous occasions over the decades.
London today is a mass of people, from a claustrophobic tube journey to throngs on the busy streets. They are the city’s residents, or visitors from far and wide. London has a part in their memories too.
When I finally got my bearings and was in the general area where I am headed for today’s Digital Legacy Conference, I realised I was on the short line of shops where there used to be a Chinese buffer restaurant. Years back, my soon-to-be-husband had taken Catherine and me to eat there. It was a mini-engagement celebration. She was excited and happy that I was remarrying after being single for some years, and she got on well with her soon-to-be stepfather.
Today, as I reached that spot, I needed lunch. The hotel breakfast was just toast and I didn’t eat much yesterday, so despite it being before 12, I was ready to eat. And that restaurant with its happy memories seemed as good a place as any.
Trouble was, it isn’t there anymore. It’s been 16 years so it isn’t so surprising.
Stymied at my attempt to revisit that particular location, I had to content myself with the mental picture, as best as I could recall.
Revisiting memory lane isn’t always possible. Our memories fade; locations change. But the essence of the memory remains. I can remember the sensation of that good moment; an occasion when, as my Catherine wrote later regarding a particularly good day she was having, “it was a good day to be me.”
And now I have a new deposit in my memory bank – today – and posting this now means it will form part of my digital legacy. A memory prompt for me, and a bit more of a memorial for Catherine. … which all leads nicely to the next event on my schedule this afternoon: learning about digital legacies.