LAURA CARTLEDGE: A video voyage to the past helps me look forward to the future

A family gathering always guarentees one thing – a discussion of the good old days.

My granddad usually starts it, and as soon as the first “I remember when” is uttered my sister and I look for the nearest hiding place.

What usually comes next is an embarrassing tale of us needing the toilet or wearing ice-cream.

But this year the customary flashbacks have been taken to a new level with home videos.

Yes, the time machine (also known as the VHS) has been found, dusted off and replugged in.

Now I struggle to recall what I did yesterday, never mind a Christmas 20 years ago, so I admit I was expecting the worst.

And, as the matching jumpers and brown floral Laura Ashley dresses flickered into view I thought I had been proved right.

But, mostly, I have to say really enjoyed it.

Of course there were bits I’d rather fast forward.

Like when, aged just four years and 11 months, you can hear me opening a present and announce “it is just what I’d hoped for” – which is a perfectly normal comment for someone about to turn five...isn’t it? However my family burst out laughing and have been saying the phrase ever since.

Another Cartledge classic is the day I got nipped on the backside by a goose. In hindsight is pretty funny, especially as you can hear my dad shout happily – “I got it on film.” In fact he still threatens to post it to You’ve Been Framed.

Of course, while I get laughed at, my little sister is the adorable one – wearing a homemade hat and singing something which sounds like Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.

All in all it was a treasure trove of forgotten things, mostly hilarious, but also a nice way for loved ones, who sadly can’t be with us in person to be a part of our get together.

A perfect combination of times past and present, at a time when we all look forward to the future.