So I’ve been sitting here, in my study, on the sofa, by the window, with the SP, with tears dribbling down my face. And not just from the virus thingy. I dunno why…(well, I do, but it’s not really important) but I opened up the wooden box that my brother had given me way back in the late sixties or very early seventies or thereabouts. He’d been working in London with this guy who dealt in antiques (and who, incidentally, hung out with all kinds of major rock legends) and he gave it to me (my brother, not the guy, or the rock legends). The box, that is. And it’s a bit of a memory chest…with stuff in it going way back.
I haven’t looked in it for years but this morning I did. And, oh my. Such strange things; things I’d forgotten all about; letters from people that I haven’t read in…what?...forty years in some cases. Things like...
A photo of me and my sister with Father Christmas.
A pic of me and my mum and the ridiculous dachshund, Bella, with the bald stomach (the dog).
Invitations to 18th birthday parties, including one I designed for me and my (foster) sister’s joint party (the one which started off so well but ended in hilarious – in hindsight - disaster).
Good luck cards, Congratulations on passing your driving test cards. Medals from the war. A rosette. Clippings from the local newspaper.
My great-uncle’s indenture papers, his merchant seaman reports and his astronomical notebook.
A Blow Monkeys’ single, with a large bite taken out of it. Why? Not a clue.
'Chin up' type postcards from friends...including one of Harrison Ford, which did make me smile.
And I read the letters – in this box mainly from my family. My mother’s – practical, newsy, talking about animals and the weather, worrying about my manners and various coughs and colds and whether she should send me stamps and if I’d get a train back from somewhere or other because the petrol would cost £5 (obviously in the days when it was cheaper to travel by rail than car!). My sister’s – well, just the one, laughing at how rubbish she was at writing letters and telling me about the Sunday joint (the meat one). And so weird, hearing her talk about her baby (my eldest nephew) and her bump, my second eldest nephew who hadn’t been born then, not to mention their three younger siblings who were…where?
And the funniest, loveliest letters of all, strangely enough, from my brother. From when he first went to America to live. A few years after our father died. He’s one of those rare people who writes pretty much exactly the way he talks (unlike his emails which are terse and to the point, to put it mildly). And one bit really struck me…
‘Janie. Bean. I’d like to hear how you’re feeling – not so much how you’re doing at school – I’m sure you’re doing as well there as you want to. So tell me – it occurred to me that you kept most of those feelings to yourself. So let me know if you feel you want to – otherwise it’s OK if you don’t want to?! (if you see what I mean).’
And then, at the very bottom, I found this - one of several 'Biff Kards' (anyone remember them?) and it made me laugh and laugh...
So, tell me...have you got a box like this? :-)