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Doing Things Differently

By Eirwen Malin
July 2006, south east Wales
A digital story from Capture Wales

"My Mother and my two sisters, captured here smiling happily, but that was before I was born and before my Mother became an addict.

In the early days television was a sociable activity. I was too young to remember, but Mum said everyone watched the Queen's coronation together on the street's first set.

By the time I was a teenager the television was the focus of the 'lounge'. When Mum came home from work we would quickly eat and then she would settle down in front of the box. Worst still she was mainlining on soaps and watching Coronation St. I preferred to do my homework.

I went to University, enjoyed the long conversations over dinner and resolved to do things differently.

You boys were born, no babysitters meant evenings at home, but still no television. As you grew we played in the garden, walked in the hills, saw theatre on the beach at Southerndown, went to circus school and made a Thunderbird 4 out of cardboard even though you'd never seen the programmes.

We went camping in France and at Festivals and long past the usual bedtime story stage I read to you, and sometimes you read to me.

Reading Harry Potter on my own wasn't such fun.

Now you are both adults. The adventurous toddler went bungee jumping in New Zealand and the boy who liked to dress up organised a successful Goth Summer Ball.

I know it wasn't always easy for you both at school not being able to talk about Red Dwarf or last night's programmes but it's the way I wanted it and I don't think you turned out too bad! I did my best and maybe you understand that - it's what we do us Mums."

Please tell us a little about yourself.
I am in my mid fifties and the mother of two sons. I am interested in the power of stories and much of my working life has been about creating opportunities for individuals to enjoy activities and allow them to develop. Digital storytelling seems to combine both.

What's your story about?
My story is really about trying to be a good parent and an explanation of why I have never owned a TV. It's particularly directed at my grown up sons. My youngest son has just turned 21 and it was probably an occasion to reflect.

How did you find the workshop?
It was a real privilege to work alongside some inspirational people. An altogether enjoyable workshop including some very moving and emotional moments alongside a great deal of laughter.

Your comments

"I really enjoyed your story. I am a mother of two as well and see how the television can take away from the better things in life. You have successfully showed me that doing things as a family like going to festivals and reading to each other can really bring a family closer. Thank you for this story, it has helped me gain more insight in my own family life. Well done!" Angela Rossignol from Chatham, Ontario, Canada.

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