Do kids walk to school anymore? I started walking to school when I was 5, not by myself initially, my mother walked me, probably with my 3-year-old sister in a push chair – I don’t remember. But I remember the walk to school and back. There was more than one route, but I was only allowed to take the one along Newlands Road and only on one particular side of the street. This was so my mother could spot me when driving past. Which meant not being able to walk with friends that took the alternate route or yelling across the street while in conversation with a classmate that was only allowed to walk on the opposite side. At 7 I had to take my sister when she turned 5. However, I only remember walking it alone, and it taking foooorrrevvvvvverrrr.
In reality it takes less than 10 minutes to walk from my childhood home to the primary school I attended. There are several landmarks on the way, for example, the church hall where Girl Guides was held, the corner which is bad luck for all my family and my arch nemesis, the school pool.
I have found my mother’s old manual Olympus Trip 35 camera that she used to photograph us as children. Our childhood albums are filled with birthday photos from this camera and faces of school friends I wouldn’t recognise now. I have been using this camera to document my walk to school and back repeatedly. I’m interested in the small things I have found and the memories that have surfaced. I’m hoping to capture an experience of the place where I grew up through my mother’s lens. How does one capture an experience?