This week has been all about Blasts from the Past for me. Some in good ways, some very much not so good.
Last weekend I dropped my phone down the loo. It had two lots of wee in, just to set the scene about what a truly grim moment this was. Yet I didn’t have time to worry about the urine as I plunged my hand in to retrieve it, because I knew all too well the cost of your phone sliding into the lav – losing all your pictures.
Two years ago, I did the same thing. Miraculously the phone survived, at least for a little while. Then one day it just gave up the ghost. Months worth of water damage had caused all its innards to corrode and yes, you guessed it: I hadn’t backed up anything.
I raced it to the nearest Apple Store like it was A&E. I begged the fella who worked there to help me – I offered him cash to try and fix it after work. But all he could do was point me in the direction of the Apple approved firm in America which specialise in data retrieval. After many transatlantic phone calls and packaging up my unconscious phone for the UPS courier I waited anxiously for new from the States. They assured me that they were the best in the business; had retrieved data from hard drives for the FBI; if anyone could do it, they could do it. It would come at a price of course: and so I made the necessary withdrawals from my savings to prepare for the £1000+ I was prepared to part with to get back my pictures of the first two years of my son’s life.
Photographs and videos of everything. His first crawl, his first walk, his first birthday, his Christmases. All gone. Because I was too forgetful, too lazy, to confused as to how to back up. Having had a wobbly start to motherhood, I needed this pictures to remind me that I had done a good job. I needed visual proof of him smiling, of him fat and shiney, in beautiful outfits, on stimulating days out, surrounded by loving family. I wanted to show him, too, his early childhood. But I had that need too: I needed to see that I’d been a good mum with photographic evidence of the results of my love and nurture.
The results came back: it was too far corroded to save anything. I told them to destroy the phone and not send it back. What use was it to me now? It wasn’t my precious phone, blue-lighted to America, whilst I rung my hands back home. It was a piece of metal that had betrayed me and I wanted it out of my sight.
Only the last few weeks was I really coming to terms with the fact that I might not have the pictures any more but I had the memories. After all, it was me who’d taken each photograph. I didn’t 100% believe myself, but I was getting there.
I’d actually grieved for those photographs; been through the whole cycle. The denial, the anger, apportioning blame to anyone and everyone else instead of accepting that it was entirely my own fault (one of my specialities), abject sadness, and finally a sense of acceptance.
I was still gutted but it could have been worse: everyone was safe and well. And after all, I’d never make that mistake again.
Or would I?
I don’t know how to begin to explain how cross I am with myself for not backing up the photographs from age 2-4. Having lost ages 0-2 you’d think I’d back them up religiously. But for some reason I never got round to it. I was going to sort them out. I was going to print them off first and put them in an album. The laptop was too slow. The iCloud isn’t reliable. I just need to read the blurb about DropBox first.
There’s no excuse though.
So, this week, with far less urgency than last time I looked up a UK based data recovery service. I dispensed with Apple approval or FBI endorsements, and put it in the hands of a British firm who will charge me £250 tops if they can clean the phone up in their lab and save any data from it.
I’ll let you know how it goes.
Until next time, back up your shit.