Images of a former life

In all the hurly-burly involved in coping with two young children, it’s easy to forget Heather and I had a life before we became parents. (Certainly, Zac believes we only came into being at the moment he was born, as if he flicked some kind of existential light switch.) But, scattered around our house, there are plenty of reminders of our pre-kids life. Every now and then, it’s good to stop and remember.

I hadn’t really noticed them for a while, but in our living room we have three framed black-and-white photos to remind us of some of our favourite holidays. This morning I stopped to look at them for a moment, and it did seem like they relate to the experiences of two different people. And it felt like they had happened aeons ago, like a distant echo of some tribal memory.

From left to right along our wall, we start with this shot of the Koutoubia Mosque in the centre of Marrakesh.

Koutoubia Mosque, Marrakesh

I remember this shot well, as I took it on our final afternoon in the city, having spent the entire morning convulsing in bed with the worst case of food poisoning I’ve ever had. It doesn’t matter if you get lost in the city, because wherever you are you can always look up and orientate yourself by it.

In the middle we have the imposing Baptistry in Pisa, which sits across the cathedral square from that tower. Beautiful. And amusing when you look at it from the right angle, because it leans (although less markedly so) in the opposite direction to the Leaning Tower. There wasn’t much else to see in Pisa outside of the cathedral square, to be honest, but it was worth the long train ride from Florence to spend a few hours here anyway. Just looking at this photo brings a whole load of memories of Florence, the Uffizi gallery and Michaelangelo’s statue of David flooding back.

Baptistry, Pisa

And finally, two landmarks which require no introduction. Taken on our honeymoon (1997!) from across Sydney harbour at Mrs Macquarie’s Chair, this view of the Harbour Bridge and Opera House late in the afternoon remains my favourite anywhere in the world.

Sydney Harbour Bridge & Opera House

Like I said, it feels like these three experiences happened to two totally different people (even though two of them took place within the last five years). But then, I suppose we are two very different people now.