Monday Musings From The Writer’s Desk


Dear Family, Friends and Followers,

Good Morning from my writing desk!

Firstly, I would like to thank you all for taking the time to read my weekly posts.  At times it can be stressful, knowing I have a deadline to meet and it is you, my readers, who keep me tapping away at my Great Grandfather’s story.   Now, each Monday, I will open up the cupboard doors and invite you to join me at my writing desk.

The journey, Behind The Cupboard Doors, has been a few years in the making and it is as much my story as it is that of William Lyons. I would like to thank the man himself for keeping so much behind those old cupboard doors.  According to family, my Great Grandparents never had much money, however, they were rich in a lifetime of memories that remained stored away for decades.

All family historians know that wonderful feeling of finding treasure in old shoe boxes and the like.  I certainly know that wondrous feeling of touching a letter or card that was written by an ancestor more than one hundred years ago.  Those old yellow pages are like time machines transporting us to a fascinating foreign world, whether it be home or across the seas.  Each word or sentence is merely a piece in the puzzle that forms our family tree.  They give life to the dead and give me an added appreciation for my ancestors who paved the way for our lives today.

I wonder with the advances in technology, whether, in the future, there will be any evidence of our lives at all.  I often hear of the space-saving wonders of storing photographs and documents on computers or online. What happens in 100 years time, when current technology has been superseded over and over and access to those precious records is not possible?  What happens if the computer crashes?

So, call me behind the times, but I will always believe in the merits of keeping original photographs, letters and documents. Yes, in 100 years time, my great  grandchildren hopefully will feel the same joy that I have over and over; that wonderful sense of discovery as I have filed through an old shoe box or opened an old folder of photographs, negatives and all.  And with the dying art of letter writing, and the advance of emails and texting, what will our future generations be able to learn of our lives?  Certainly, there will be no detailed written accounts of our daily lives.  There will be no personal connection to an ancestor through their handwriting which is like a person’s trademark.

So, I urge you all to keep your boxes of old letters and postcards, do not discard those old albums of discoloured photographs as they are part of your DNA.  They will assist future family investigators who will be trying to untangle the many twists and turns of your lives.  And, maybe, you might want to try your hand at writing to your friends or family instead of shooting off a quick text or email.  There is nothing as comforting than sitting with a cup of coffee in one hand with a long handwritten newsy letter in the other.  Even more so if it is 100 years old.

Before I leave you,  I must say that I am not in any way slamming technology as it is a godsend for all family historians.  It has many advantages, however, as they say, don’t put all of your eggs in one basket.

I remind you before I go, to stay tuned for my next post “The Words ‘Boer War’

Kim Chambers


2 thoughts on “Monday Musings From The Writer’s Desk

  1. Thank you for sharing thses thoughts with us, Kim. Most of my ancesters have left nothing but a name on the records, so the few that left more are so special. I think it is often those how die early or tragically that leave the most behind. But that is because the next generation kept the letters etc and throw less away. So often it is only photographs that are kept. It is not just what we leave behind but what our children and grandchildren choose to keep when we are gone.

    Our local history societies are doing a good job of encouraging people to write their memories down and providing a place to store them for the future generations.

    Look forward to the Boar War post, Sylvia


  2. Sylvia, I am so lucky that my Great Grandparents’ house stayed intact for so long. Only a few months ago, I made new discoveries of things that were stored behind those cupboard doors. They were things that were really a significant part of my Great Grandfather’s military life. Regarding photos, I have friends who only recently told me proudly that they had scanned all their photos into their computers and threw the originals out to make room in their cupboards. I often wonder where technology will lead. I reminisce the feeling I experienced each time I discovered a significant photo amongst my great grandparents belongings.

    Anyway, thanks for following my blog.


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