Working today on one of the personal memoir writing workshops I am offering in 2011, I was taken aback by discovering this photograph of the interior of my first apartment fourteen floors up in a tower block in South Wales - my first venture into independent living, back in 1974. How much a photograph can hold - so many of those items carry their own story.
There is the white 'swivel chair' that I saved up for over many, many months, convinced that was essential to give my apartment an air of of elegance and sophistication :-). There's the little TV - only black and white pictures, but oh, how much of a companion it was in the first weeks there, when I wondered if I had not also launched myself into eternal loneliness alongside liberating independence!
There are the cushions (pillows), that I patchworked, crocheted and Bargello embroidered with my early passion for textiles which still abides. There's my record player, with all my collection of (vinyl) discs stacked beside it....The Eagles, Bob Dylan, Simon and Garfunkel (sigh) - and there is my great grandmother's oil lamp, temporarily converted then for electricity, but still with me today with its glass shade and put to use when we have a power cut.
There's the desk at which I sat to study for a zoology exam, and always, the books, the stacks and piles of books. There, on the walls, a Japanese woodcut, given to me by my boyfriend at the time. And there, in front of my trendy chair, the little occasional table which my Mother proudly bought for her own mother with her first week's wages as a 'clippie' bus conductress during WW2.
Such ordinary artefacts - such particular histories. Have you got any reminders like this of your own special "stuff" and the stories that the items carry? If you have, why not get them out soon and write down the stories of the things that have made us who we are - you may be amazed at what you remember - and what other memories that story-telling evokes.