Some years ago I learned of the Japanese art of kintsugi, the ancient art of mending broken pottery with gold, thus making the mended piece even more precious that it was when whole. Last year I broke a very precious green glass pot inherited from my Granny. It smells still of her powder as it contained powder and a puff which, as a little girl, I found quite fascinating. I was heartbroken and then found a kintsugi kit online! I mended the powder puff glass and an old serving dish that was broken some years ago. Today, needing a pot to plant up the rest of the Sweet Peas, we decided to mend an old terracotta pot inherited from my Mum which she had mended once but which had come apart at one of the joins. So, kintsugi into action again!
Small serving dish
Lots of little plants arrived earlier than expected and needed to be potted up so I spent a happy couple of hours doing just that in 9cm pots donated by our lovely neighbour, looking forward to a summer of beauty. These will all going into pots on the steps.
The sun threw a shadow of the tea-pots on our shelf out through the window!
My Mum collected thimbles and I have them, nearly 500 of them! They are all catalogued and I have been busy with them today discovering where Mum found them, Truro Flea Market or Falmouth Arcade or multiple other places or who gave them to her. This tiny little one is cute. It is less than1″ tall.
A bit different today! Two nights ago when we had the gas leak but hadn’t called the emergency number yet (Don’t ask me why!) I didn’t sleep but lay awake worrying and making lists in my head.
The first list was What Will I Save If I Have Only A Few Minutes Before The Place Goes Up and the second, less interesting, What Do I Need If We Are Evacuated While Things Get Sorted. I was thinking, as I lay there, of all the people in Cuba, in New York, in Jamaica, in Palestine, in Goma, everywhere where Sandy or some other destructive force, natural or man-made, has been and thinking that they have faced or are still facing all this for real.
As I lay in bed and ‘walked’ myself around our house, I began to realize that there were only a very few things that I would truly want to save, that were totally irreplaceable.
My first list:
Mr S. We met about 46 years ago and have been together ever since.
Photographs – and that means grabbing two small suitcases where all the early photos of our growing-up family are kept and the computer where all the digital photos are stored – memories of family, those still with us and those who have gone and friends, those still with us and those who have gone.
The Family Bible where so much family history is stored ( have a look here if you missed that post)
My locket, which has been passed through generations and worn by the Bride in so many family weddings. (Have a look here for that post)
Two small pieces of clothing – the beautiful christening dress that my Granny was christened in, then my Mum, then me and my little sister… (That post is yet to come) and the little sweatshirt from the Killingbeck Cardio Thoracic Unit in Leeds that reminds us how lucky we are to have our son, D.
and that really is all. I found that to be such a liberating realisation. The stuff that surrounds us really doesn’t matter. There are pieces of furniture that are family heirlooms, there are pieces of art that I love, there are all my music things, there are many, many books but ………
I wonder what your few treasures might be if those were really all you could save?
1 The Weekly Writing Challenge this week is too good for me to pass up! It requires us to write about our favourite things and since every day, I write about beautiful things, today I’m also writing about one of my very special and favourite things The Family Locket. This has been in the family, on my Mother’s side for at least 152 years and is now entrusted to my care.
My Great Granny’s Locket
We know very little about my Great Grandmother apart from the fact that she was Spanish and we think the locket probably is too. The front of the locket is particularly beautiful, the silver being inlaid with a black stone, maybe jet.The back is covered in very delicate engraving. My Mum attributed the fact that her hair never went grey to her Spanish genes!
The front of the locket
Inside the locket are two tiny photographs, one of my Great Grandmother and the other of my Great Grandfather, the only photo we have of him.
Inside the locket
My Spanish Great Grandmother and her Husband
In the photograph, taken we assume sometime around 1860, she is wearing the locket and just look at his wonderful moustache! We treasure her studio portrait in its original card frame.
Studio portrait c 1860
2 I am told that my Granny, whom I knew well – she taught me to knit, to crochet and to play cards, but never on a Sunday! – wore the locket at her wedding on 27th April 1882 but I don’t have a photograph of that wedding. I do have a photograph of Granny and sometimes, when I pass a mirror, I fleetingly catch her image. I remember her as always smiling and I’m told I do that too!
My Mum, married on 2nd September 1939, by her Father, The Very Reverend William Richards, the day before the Second World War was declared, wore the locket at her wedding but their honeymoon, planned to be in Paris, was a few snatched days in Blackpool instead. The photo isn’t very clear but the chain and shape can just be made out in this photo.
My Mum at her Wedding in front of Cockerham Vicarage, Lancashire
I, too, wore the locket at my wedding in Truro, Cornwall almost 30 years later in 1967.
I wore it at our Wedding August 1967
KJ, our second daughter, wore the locket at her wedding in London July 2006.
Our daughter, KJ wore it for her Wedding 2006
KJ also has Granny’s grin!
3 When my Brother and Sister-in-law were married in June 1993 in the Chapel at Truro School, the locket was V’s borrowed and old item. I know from the wedding in Senegal that not everyone knows the saying – ‘Something old, something new, Something borrowed, something blue’ to bring good luck to the newly wedded couple.
There is something very special about being able to lend such a precious item to someone you love. My Mum had died only three weeks before the wedding so this is a particularly poignant memory. She would have been so pleased that the locket was there again, at another family wedding and welcoming another daughter into the family.
My Brother, my Sister-in-law and my Dad
So, my three beautiful things today are all linked and all depend on the very precious and very beautiful Family Locket.