Holiday moments are best captured by disposable camera.
The graininess of film and its unpredictability gives images a timeless look, a subtle charm that is lost in the sometimes flat and mundane smartphone images which float across social media.
I love the nostalgic feel of lifting out that crisp plastic to slot it in yet another selection of memories, the quality matching that of baby photos taken of me during the 1990s.
For me, adult life is all about pursuing those childhood dreams, often conjured by the films we watch, the books we read and how they compare to our own surroundings.
On that Eurostar to Paris, a warm sensation of achievement filled my soul, knowing that the intense desire to learn languages that I cultivated at the age of 15 was in all aid of the moment I stepped into Gare du Nord, looked around and felt at home.
In the penultimate episode of Sex and the City, Carrie goes to a bar with her Russian boyfriend. In enters a tall, flamboyant métisse goddess with a buoyant afro, her French rapid and unabashedly confident.
Western television fails deeply when it comes to representing people of all colours as capable of the glamour and exuberance often depicted by white characters. If they are shown to possess these traits, it is often used as an amusing sideshow of stereotypes – an exotic but brief distraction from the Eurocentric scene at hand.
But this woman truly spoke to me. At that time in 2009, I too wore an afro, but I realise now it was also an invisible bid for some form of whiteness, everyday blowdrying my hair out so it had a straighter appearance despite the afro being a symbol of black pride in the past. I would step out my door, hoping and willing for one of my white oppressors to just ignore me and not shout ‘microphone head’, ‘Michael Jackson’ or the worst insult of all, ‘nigger’.
I saw this woman and her ability to simply own her look, and it was clear that there was no subservience to the white ideal of beauty. She was a part of Parisian high society because of her sparkle and talent, her use in the scene dignified and inspiring.
With the extreme emotional trauma of adolescence which we all experience, there is often a disconnect of our child’s self, our true self, and the more staged post-adolescence self, the supposed adult that relies on the present and the thoughts and feelings that only exist in this strange realm.
Take a disposable camera on your next trip, put the photos in a book and enjoy the seemless curve from the past to the present, an apprecation of the entire journey and the realisation everyday of childhood dreams sure to lead to a happy, grounded future.