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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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’?
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)