This year, Sian's Story Telling Sundays is taking the form of "Pick You Precious". This is my first story of the year so I had to think hard about what my first "precious" would be. These items would be the things that we might rush to save from a fire and I think that my instinct would be to grab my lap top! It contains my photos, my coursework, my friends, my life! I can find all those things elsewhere in the house of course but if the house went then I would definitely want my lap top to be saved.
But that's a bit naff really isn't it?
So I had another think. Maybe I would go room by room and find something in each place that ideally I would love to save above almost everything else. Yes, that's it, I decided. But where to start?
Well, after all the small scale upheaval over the last few months, I thought I might as well start in the bathroom which is finished aside from my pebble pictures. I know, I know, you are wondering what on earth I might want to save from our bathroom. Well have a look-see here at my little display of bits and bobs.
So many little bits and so many memories attached. The vase is filled with shiny pebbles from an old arrangement of some sort, then a layer of shells from various beaches including Newport in Pembrokeshire and Lee-On-Solent in Hampshire. The next layer is driftwood lovingly collected by the children from Newport, then a few tiny bits of sponge from Kos, then black slate from Newport, lovely shells from all over and topped with a lobster claw from a meal in Newport.
Further along you can see an arrangement on the window ledge and this little grouping is like a potted history of our lives together.
The brown shell and the corals were from Fiji which was one of the stops on our Round The World trip. We were young and married but otherwise free to travel and explore and talk about what the future might bring.
The large sponge is from Kos like the little bits in the vase. That was our last foreign holiday before we had the children and it was a last minute thing as it was just after we lost our first baby. Some Greek women helped me to perform a ritual around an allegedly sacred fountain to ensure save passage for our next babies and we visited the Asklepieion, the healing temple of Hippocrates, to feel the power of the great doctors, basically anything to help us move towards our dreams of a family - dreams which had seemed so easy and straightforward from a bar in Cambodia.
The driftwood from the beach at our family holiday home in Wales was again collected by the children. That beach has been such a constant through most of our lives together. We visited Wales as our first weekend away together and so we were really happy when the In-Laws bought the cottage a few years later. It was where we decided to go backpacking, where we decided to change careers, where I did lots of my study for my first degree, where we planned for the future and where we ran to when it all collapsed and where we've taken our children every year since they were born.
The fossils came from our most recent family holiday, from a beach that was new to the 4 of us, that we explored together, the 4 of us. We've had our ups and downs when it has come to the challenge of parenting but I'm really proud of where we are right now.
Bye for now