Down Memory Lane…


Today I have been surrounded by memories, special memories…so many kind words written by family and friends over the years in letters and cards;  happy stories and sad events and little everyday notes from the girls.  I have been through every emotion from tears to laughter and back again, remembering people that have been part of my past, remembering good times and bad and reliving capsule moments of my life.


I have been transported way back to my first school report (promising B’s – not sure what went wrong after that!), our first house, our first bills (I just kept our very first as a piece of history –  as we will never see these prices again – electricity £19.16 for the quarter year in 1978)  and our first baby born in 1980.

As you can guess I have been delving into my treasure boxes they are an assortment of bits and pieces that have special meaning to me and our family.  I wondered how minimalist I could go and although I have reduced the contents very slightly there are some things that I will never part with.

Birthday cards

This is one of them – a large padded birthday card the kind that came in a box and was thought of as quite lavish.  It was given to my grandma from my grandad probably in the late fifties, early sixties and has his very distinctive copperplate  handwriting inside.  Grandma died in 1992 at the grand old age of 89 and when going through her bits and pieces I discovered she had kept this card all those years so now I continue to keep it for her.

The little plaque beside it I have had since I was quite small, it is also a birthday card encouraging the recipient to ‘Carry on’ though things go wrong!  It had a place on my bedroom shelf for a long time and I would often find myself reading it if I was troubled by one problem or another.

Cup of Tea cards

These are my ‘Cup of Tea’ cards…so named because they have been sent by a good friend of mine who I do not get to see often enough.  Usually when a few weeks have gone by one of us will drop each other an invitation to come for a cuppa and a chat and we have always managed to find a card with a cup of tea on it.  We have both got quite a collection now.



Helen Hedgehog's Party

Of all the books we read to our girls when they were young this is by far their favourite, even more than Each Peach Pear Plum.  Helen Hedgehog’s Party by Wendy Wilkin  has definitely earned its place in our treasure box to be cherished until the next generation comes along.  This little book went with us everywhere; in the car to Grandmas and on holiday, wherever the girls went this book went too, like an old teddy bear, and I am pretty sure that even at thirty if I gave this to them right now they would sit down and read it!

Mugs Gallery

I have giggled my way through my concertina strip of ‘Photo Booth’ pictures.  I have been collecting and sticking them together since I was twelve when Photo Booths were quite a novelty and no trip to town with my friends was complete without dashing into ‘Woollies’ and cramming into one of these booths for a picture.

Mugs Gallery 3

It is now 4 0r 5 yards long and includes myself, friends and my better half of course from when we first got together at college and also the girls and their friends when they became teenagers and they piled into the booths in just the same way.  I call it my Mugs Gallery – they are not the perfect flattering photo album shots as you can imagine but they are hilarious to look back on and say ‘did we really look like that’?

Mugs Gallery 2

So everything is carefully packed away again for another rainy January day.  I am trying hard to limit the collection and keep only very special things.  Sometimes I wish I could be like those people who are not in the least bit sentimental and are able to throw everything away but then again after my lovely day today I am glad I am not.

(Apologies for picture quality – not that they are brilliant normally-  it has been such a dull day outside I have had to resort to flash)


Walking in a winter wonderland…

January Snow

I know you might have seen enough of it but I love the snow… it is so magical and this is one of my favourite pictures taken before this weekends heavy snowfall.

Snow Patterns Grid

When I ventured out into the back garden it really was virgin snow and the soft powdery kind,  not even a cat had passed through and my footprints were the very first.  It seemed a shame to disturb it but I wanted to feed the birds and at the same time capture all the different patterns the snow had made, even the garden chairs that have got left out look inviting and the washing line, bottom left picture, is like a line of thick snow suspended in space.

Wheelie Bins

Even the wheelie bins are snuggled up close, they look as if they have their winter hats on!

drEAming, random thoughts, trEAsure

International Thank You Day…

Yesterday I arrived home to find two ‘real’ letters on the mat.  You know the ones I mean, handwritten with a stamp – not typed and franked or one of those dreaded Mail sort letters.  I was so excited to open them I could barely wait while I had removed my coat and put my bags down.

 Simones Picture

The first one is this lovely card from Simone over at Linden Grove.  A while ago she promised to send a hand written note to anyone who emailed her with their home address and I had actually forgotten all about this.  So imagine my surprise on opening the envelope.  The picture as you can see is of a girl with her cat and I am not sure if Simone remembers that my cat Tiger, who is sadly no longer with us, is very similar to her cat Gizmo.  Tiger lived to the ripe old age of 22.  He was older than my eldest daughter at the time. She was only 18 when he died in 1998 and was about to go to University the next day.  The reason for such a long life?  I put it down to wonderful home comforts, good food and a life of Riley!

Here is Tiger – my daughter has most of the photos of him as they were inseparable so I apologise for the poor quality as they are pretty old. Tiger 6 Tiger 5

Now link through and see Gizmo.

My second letter was from my sister in law who enclosed a slide of our first car a Citroen 2CV.  It was one of the bright blue ones but as we didn’t have a camera in those days I didn’t think we had a picture of it anywhere in our collection so I am really pleased to have this.


Our second car was a blue and white deck chair stripe limited Edition 2CV called the Beachcomber. We bought it new on August 1st and it was the first of the A registrations if you can remember that long ago.   It was my absolute favourite car and I cannot believe even now that we let it go.  We would all pile in each year to go to Scarborough for our weeks holiday (for my overseas readers Scarborough is a typical Northern seaside resort with Harbour, amusements, beach with beach huts and cafes and a little train that runs through the park and along by the promenade).   I think everyone thought we had hired it especially for the seaside!


Our third and final 2CV was a red and white Dolly.  Since then I have had the more conventional Citroens, the AX (all white) and Saxo Desire (all black) and yes it is a bit of a ‘boy racer’ car but no teenager in their right minds would steal it for joy riding as the number plate ends in MUM.  Now I am not one for personalised number plates myself but the AX just happened to come with this registration plate as at the time it was registered in Bradford and since then I have just kept rolling it on.

Anyway back to the letter (as there is a point to all this if I can remember what!).  The reason my sister-in-law was writing was because in her clear out (it seems we are all doing the same at the moment) she had come across not only the old slide but also a letter I had sent to her in 1986 after she had been to visit us because she was going through a messy divorce.  She has sent me a copy of this letter in which I tell her how much we enjoyed her visit and that we would always be there to support her whenever she needed us.  She once again expressed her thanks for my kind words and being so thoughtful.

 It is little notes like this that can have a big impact on us.  I remember being at a friends funeral years ago and as the friend died suddenly and quite young, late forties (well that is young to me now) the church was packed.  Many of the people he had known gave a short address and expressed their sadness at his passing but each had a story to tell of the many things that he had done.  Unbeknown to a lot of us he was a member of quite a few different groups and worked tirelessly for the Save the Children Charity.  I remember thinking at the time how lovely it would have been if he could have heard what we heard – how everyone thought so much about him.  So often we do not tell people how much they mean to us when they are alive and we really should not wait until the funeral when they are no longer there to hear such nice things being said.

Since that moment I have always tried to let friends know how much they mean to me and when I discovered more recently that January 11th is International Thank You Day, which is all about appreciating the many blessings and the wonderful people in our lives, I now sit down every January to write a letter to a different friend each year and tell them how much I appreciate both their unique personality and their friendship.

So if you are reading this Simone thank you for your lovely card it will of course be displayed for a long while on my mantel piece and then it will be carefully placed in my treasure box so that I can always remember this day and your friendship through our blogs.