When we Picts first visited New Hope on Mother’s Day, we immediately knew that it was somewhere we should bring my parents to when they visited. So today, therefore, I packed my kids and parents in the car and chauffered them to the edge of Pennsylvania to see this quaint and picturesque town for themselves. I parked up and started handing out backpacks to the kids and that was when I realised my terrible mistake: in all the hubbub and commotion to remove the kids from the house and get them into the car, I had left my camera behind. It’s a DSLR so not easily overlooked yet somehow I had managed to set off on a day trip – to somewhere scenic no less – without my camera. I started to freak out a little bit. I think in all of my many years of taking photographs of our life events, trips and travels, I have come to think that if I cannot document it visually then it is as if it never happened. I rely on my photographs as aide memoires and I feel just plain weird without a camera. I momentarily – just for a mere fraction of a second – considered going home for my camera but it was a long trip so that was out of the question. Ultimately the only thing that prevented hyperventilation was the fact that my Dad was with me and he had his compact camera with him. Furthermore, I remembered that my iphone can take photos. I am not very good at taking phone photos. Not very good at all. I would have to make do with sub-standard photographs but at least I would have a record that we were all there together.
After a quick doughnut (the elevenses of champions) we crossed the bridge from New Hope to Lambertville largely so that my parents could hereafter say that they had walked from Pennsylvania to New Jersey. Strolling across the bridge that straddles the Delaware, my 8 year old noticed that there was a cluster of turtles below. We were all very excited. These were the first turtles my boys have ever seen in the wild and they loved them, especially when they saw them swimming, or the baby ones in particular. After a sojourn in Lambertville, we strolled across the bridge again to have a poke about the shops in New Hope. Last time I was in New Hope, I only had my 8 year old noseying around the shops with me so it was lovely to have other adults with me to discuss things with. Not that we bought anything for ourselves, of course, but it is still fun to discuss the things that you might buy if you could. My 8 year old did buy some things for his little brothers, however: a small Playmobil set for the 5 year old and a commemorative cuddly turtle for the 7 year old. Sweet, thoughtful and cute. Just as last time, the 11 year old was sullen and tweenagery. My parents seemed to enjoy the trip and my Mum liked seeing all the interesting arts and crafts items on sale in the various boutiques – though she was less keen on being around expensive items with four kids in tow – and we even managed to end the trip by seeing the tourist train pull out from the station.
So I survived a day trip without a camera. But I am not doing that again.