Gobsmacked! That is the word that springs to mind as I look over all of the comments left on the previous post for the little Christmas mouse. Thank you all for taking the time to leave comments, so many really lovely and kind ones too. It would be nice to be able to give everyone a prize, but obviously that is impossible with just one of me and so many comments but I will ponder on new free patterns and giveaways for next year and will keep you posted.
The lovely Emma of Silverpebble recently posted a picture on Instagram of some of her collected treasures and when I commented at how lovely they were and that I too had a collection of special bits she asked to see, so here is my treasure collection that I keep in a couple of old OXO tins.
From top left corner:
- 2 silver bracelets which were my christening presents;
- a heart shaped stone found on a beach on France on my first holiday with H;
- a 1922 Belgian 5 cent coin with a hole punched in it (from my great Grannys sewing box). I'd love to know why there is a hole in it - perhaps it was given as a keepsake;
- a collection of shells from various beach holidays;
- a rat tooth that reminds me of a holiday when I was 14. I'd gone up into the sand dunes for a bit of kissing with a French boy who was my holiday romance and we found this skull. We both kept a tooth as a souvenir and now I can't even remember his name!;
- a little hand sewn leather wallet that belonged to my Great Grandmother with a cross and prayers (see below)
- broken pottery shards from our garden - our soil is full of broken pottery bits of indeterminate age;
- in the little tin are some lumps of amber, an old 3 penny bit, another old key and a feather from Berry the blackbird who we raised years ago
- along the bottom are other finds from digging in the garden: a knapped flint and various fossil like rocks. The next town from us is one of the oldest continuously inhabited places in Northern Europe and whenever I find bits in the garden I wonder how many people have stood on this spot in the past;
- a pretty feather found in the woods;
- a squashed locket that 10 year old me found in the road - it had been run over by a car and inside has a faded picture of a baby and a lock of hair. I made a 'found' poster and stuck it to the Post box nearby but sadly no-one ever came to claim it;
- a curl of fur brushed from Poppy, my beloved cat who I adopted from stray on the streets of Hull when I was a student. She lived with me there for 3 years and used to sit on my lap and look out of the window on the long train journey from Hull to Reading in the holidays. When I left college she came too and lived with H and I in our first flat in Ealing. She was a much loved and pampered old lady cat until her peaceful death in her sleep 4 years later.
- a little black bakelite cat that I stole when I was 18 from the cluttered attic of my first landlady. I'd gone off to art college and lived with my best friend in one attic room with only cold running water. We were allowed to have one bath a week each (by appointment only), cooked on a 2 ring table-top stove and had no heating. We liked exploring the other end of the attic - which was stuffed with loads of old clothes, furniture and even a real tiger skin rug :(
- my great Grandmothers wedding ring;
- two very old keys, whatever they fitted has long since been lost (again from my Great Grandmothers house)
- a silver sixpence from 1956
- a little green glass monkey that was my mothers until I badgered her to give it to me when I was about eight or nine. I have kept it safely ever since Mum :)
This little wallet is a mystery. It was returned by the undertakers with all of my great Grandmothers effects after she died and until that point I don't think another person had ever been aware of its existence. Clearly it was hand made and she had worn it about her person for most of her life. It contains a medal from Our Lady of Mount Carmel P.F.U., a crucifix, a 'Battleship Prayer' cloth badge from 'The League of The Sacred Heart of Jesus' B.O.W British made and a little handwritten pledge which reads:
????... God because Thou art so good. I am very sorry that I have sinned against Thee and I will not sin again.
It feels a little sad to know so little of her life but she was my great grandmother so I only knew her as a slightly cantankerous old lady who smelt a bit funny and she died when I was 12. I would love to know what this little wallet means but that is no doubt lost in time now. I keep it as a poignant reminder that everyone was young once and becomes old and unless they pass on their story it is lost forever. Perhaps this blog will survive in some format when I am long gone and be all that is left of my story - that is a nice thought.
Do you have a treasure collection or an object that you keep for the memory it conjures up? I'd love to hear about it if you have time to leave a comment.