Thursday, 19 January 2012

If we remembered how we remembered all the things that we remember, then we wouldn't remember all the things that we remember.

Are there too many 'remembers' in that sentence?....

I can't take credit for that wonderful statement.  I'm Pretty sure I heard David Mitchell off of the telly say it once ....I think, or maybe I did think of it but can't imagine myself putting together such a meaningful and coherent sentence?
Bah, either way, 'tis a good point, and my inability to remember if I plagiarised it or not introduces what I was gunna talk about in this post anyway!

So I was reading one of esbbostons lovely blogs about memory and stuff which you can read here (you're welcome for the shameless plug esbboston :D), and coincidentally came across this article by the guardian on the same day about memory titled 'The story of the self' (click the link to read).  It basically talks about how our memories are little stories we kinda make up ourselves, attaching certain emotions, feelings and even adding extra events to certain memories, as that's how our present selves would expect our past selves to be feeling/acting at that moment in time.

"autobiographical memory" is about the narrative we make from the happenings of our own lives. It is distinguished from semantic memory, which is memory for facts, and other kinds of implicit long-term memory, such as your memory for complex actions such as riding a bike or playing a saxophone" (Fernyhough, C. 2012)

It's funny how impressionable our memory is to our own exaggeration.  It's quite strange to think that a particularly vivd memory we might have, may not be as vivid as we actually think.  Is it a coping mechanism?  Our subconscious minds way of making us feel better by adding a bright sun, and clear skies to enhance a positive memory? Or a rainy day to a bad memory to enhance our self pity, adding extra negative emotions we may not be sure were present, but assume we would be feeling, so add that to a memory too?

Everyones recollection of the same event will be different in some little way.

My autobiographical memory and semantic memory are both dreadful.  A lot of my childhood memories actually come from me vaguely remembering something, but with someone telling me the details of what actually happened.

Luckily for me, my mum documented my life extremely well via photographs and videos!  My mum was, and is, photo mad.  She carries her digital camera around in her bag, just incase a kodak moment may happen at any time!  I complain about how embarrassing it is at times, but truthfully, it is lovely to look back at family meals and birthdays and little get togethers a few years on, and recall funny things that might have happened (Thanks mummy :D).  One such memory comes from one of my little cousins birthday parties, where the stool i was sitting on BROKE whilst I was eating.  I will look back on that day with pride (I didn't spill any food, and got up like a graceful pigeon..which DO exist...somewhere...).  There's not much point of my subconscious trying to repress that moment, I have enough people around me to re-surface that wonderful moment (yay for me!)      


My earliest memory is of me making the number 4 with my legs and saying to my mum 'Look! I'm four, *pointing to my legs* number four!!'

What's your earliest memory?



  1. aww that is so sweet about your number 4 leg! my earliest memory is taking my baby bro in his pram out for a walk ( my mother was so trusting!) & letting go of his pram down a steep hill & watching it roll down...Yikes scary when I think of it now...and yes he lived to tell the tale lol! xx

    1. My goodness! What a dare devil you were!

  2. Before you can remember you must first member.

    1. does one member, when he's at home?

      Also, I would say my earliest memory is my 20th birthday - A few years back.

      I wasn't blessed with the best of memories..

      GM x

    2. Mate, you did well to remember that far back! Hats off to you good sir.

  3. I have an idea. Draw me a picture - I will do a post around it :) x