I spent quite a large chunk of last weekend in the company of my 8 year old self. Don't worry, I haven't invented some sort of time machine, created a time paradox by meeting myself, "the results of which could start a chain reaction that would unravel the very fabric of the space time continuum, and destroy the entire universe!" Take a bow, Dr Emmett Brown. Nothing so exciting I'm afraid. I've been watching home videos.
I've just got a fancy new bit of technology that enables to me to copy from VHS to DVD, so I've been doing that very thing with the home vids that my Dad made back in the mid-90s. It's been an odd experience. Mostly very fun - I was pretty amusing as a kid - but also quite poignant at times. Grandparents that are no longer here in reality are there on tape and the experience of seeing them there is quite different to that of looking at a still photo. It's a vivid reminder of their personalities and quirks.
It's bizarre to see myself up on the screen as a healthy child! Such a vast chunk of my life has been defined by the M.E. that is strange to remember that back then it wasn't.
I'm also unusually extroverted! Most people remember me as a shy child who wouldn't say boo to a goose. (I've never really understood that saying - a goose could be quite frightening if it wanted to. Surely it should be 'boo to a sparrow' or something along those lines?) Evidently when I was around familiar company and situations, I had no qualms about showing off or being overly loud.
I was also struck by the number of school concerts, plays, gym displays etc that we've got on tape. These days I expect that parents aren't allowed to film such things because they contain other people's kids. It's an understandable safety precaution but it is still sad that these records won't be around for the children of today to show their children.