Where to start? – in the task of organising photographs and documenting events, thoughts, experiences into a coherent journal? A holiday is so much more to me than time to relax. I’m a collector you see – of ephemera, images, tickets, memories, dreams.
We were away for 11 nights that felt like a year, melting, melding into fragmentary escapades in the heat of travelling; the ‘oven’ of Seville and the burning streets of Lisbon. I managed to take 464 shots with my camera and twice that on my phone. The large majority do not contain people.
My favourite souvenirs these days are postcards.
Pictures tell a thousand words and often you get shots that would be unattainable to the novice holidaymaker: aerial shots, secret rooms in museums, that perfect photograph with no interloping tourists ruining the monument in the background. I always think how vain it is to always want to be in the picture. Doesn’t this ruin the vision, the record of it, when you look back? Postcards just cut to the chase, the main feature. And they don’t weigh down your suitcase or cost much.
It’s also nice to buy postcards with a design edge, old-fashioned maybe, sepia-tinted, or borne of a certain artistic or aesthetic style. At least not the run-of-the-mill trashy kind with multiple garish colours screaming of dolphins jumping through hoops in captivity or parrots performing inane tricks.
In Paris I bought wooden postcards (that I wouldn’t DREAM of posting. Ever. I consider them to be art. Mini pictures that could be hung on the wall, maybe.) In Portugal – famous for the cork tree – the purchase of at least one cork postcard was essential, though lacking the elegance of the Parisian scenes.
Postcards and stationery. Postcards as art. Postcards from afar.