Thursday, 8 December 2011

The One Who Seeks Finds

If someone had asked me this morning to guess what unexpected thing this day might bring, whatever I might have tried to suggest would have been wrong.

A few weeks ago Sandra, also known as the Mad Snapper, pointed out on her blog that “all of our images on our blogs are available to the public in Google/Images”. This was not exactly news to me but at the same time I also wasn’t 100% aware of how images are tagged by Google. I can’t recall ever finding one of my own pictures turn up in an image search just by pure chance. But that may be because if I already have my own photo of something, then I usually don’t need to use Google image search....

Anyway, what happened today was that I received an email from someone previously unknown to me, asking permission to use an image I published on my blog The Island of the Voices two years ago. The request was not for one of my own photos though, but an old ticket I had scanned, and had – somewhat over-zealously! – put a © stamp on along with my own photos in the same post.

The ticket was from a Rolarena (roller skating arena) in Leeds which I visited back in 1972. And the request I got today was for permission to use my image of it in a video that will be part of an 1970’s exhibition at Leeds City Museum next year.

What fun! I wrote back and said I can’t really claim copyright; and to make up for my over-zealousness in that respect I sent them a better (higher resolution) and un-stamped copy to use instead of the one they found and traced back to me.

Isn’t it exciting? In 1972, a Swedish teenager (me!) on language travel in Britain visits a Rolarena  in Leeds, and saves the ticket. When she gets home, she glues it into her private scrapbook photo album. In her world back then, there are hardly even photo copiers or electric typewriters in use yet. She has absolutely no concept that 40 years later, she’ll have her own laptop computer, a combined printer/scanner/copier, digital camera and wireless internet; and use them for something called blogging. (Had someone suggested it, she’d have said: What?!)

But in 2012, her old ticket will be in a video watched by visitors to an exhibition at the Leeds City Museum. Not that any of those people will know the story of that single picture (unless they serendipitously happen to find this blog post). But it still feels a bit like entering The Hall of Fame, even if anonymously!

I doubt I’ll live another 40 years, but if I do… I wonder what I might be doing then, that is not even in my imagination yet??? 


  1. This is so wild!!!!! Exciting, too! Gosh, I hope you asked them to send you a copy of the video, I hope you somehow get to see it!!!

  2. totally amazing, it truly IS.. wow and that was great they contacted you. that is the way the images should be used, contact the person. i agree with Ginny, so wild and wonderful. and i often think about what I would have thought if i could have seen this far into the future.

  3. It really is a very small world at the end of the day but that is still an amazing story.


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