Video recording is ubiquitous, but most YouTube videos show something spectacular or a funny moment, not all. Some people make videos of everyday scenes which seem quite pointless and boring. I made a YouTube video five years ago of a walk around the river where I live. I was capturing the mood of the place, without anything spectacular appearing, just my contentment at being out in nature, with my dog.
Now that five years has passed I can look again at that walk and notice the subtle changes - the flowering gorse bush which was ripped down by an environmental team when they rebuilt the sea wall defences, but which regenerated from a single seed buried beneath the roots, which were entirely removed. It took five years for that seed to grow into another gorse bush of similar size to the one I liked before.
In the Ferry Quay I can see which boats were there then and which have been taken away to be broken up, and which ones have appeared new. I see my little long distance voyaging yacht, which I sold in spring 2012 and replaced with a static houseboat.
So these seemingly featureless videos capture a moment in time which would otherwise slip by unnoticed.
This is the River Deben walk video I made in May 2007, when, following a 4 1/2 year solo voyage away from Britain, I was establishing myself in Woodbridge, looking for opportunities to establish a settled way of life, taking refuge from the stress and presssures of being rootless, along the the river path where loba and I could play and laugh and walk. What better way to embed yourself in reality than with play? And begin to learn about capturing the essence of life and living, with whatever resources I had, a cheap digital stills camera (Fuji Finepix) with video setting.
It takes time to groove in to a new life setting and one strong way to do that is creating an archive of memories. Time soon passes but YouTube videos remain to show where you came from.
In west Africa there is a saying: When you don't know where you are going, look to where you have come from.