So I am back in Glasgow after a few days washing, sorting, wrapping, packing, labelling and discarding the loose contents of my Mum's flat. As my sister observed, it feels somehow wrong to dismantle someone's home when they are alive, and yet it has to be done. And there were inevitably choices to be made about which items should be kept for her, and which by any of us, and which sent off via a clearance agent.
Having to bring only what I could fit into my suitcase (along with vast quantities of paperwork I need to sort and shred) was good, otherwsie I'd probably have picked up lots of things. In the end I chose the things above, each of which has only sentimental value.
The purple Caithness vase was a gift I bought my Mum around twenty years ago, when I visited the glassworks whilst on holiday in Scotland.
The hen-shaped egg crock thingy, is chipped and cracked and held together with glue. It was only ever used to house bits and bobs like paperclips and drawing pins, has been broken and repaired, and is probably really only fit for the bin. But I loved it as a child, and can easily recall where it sat and what it contained at various times past.
The embroidery of daisies is one of several of my Mum's that were being packed up to be sent for sale. In a moment of clarity, I realised it would work quite well in my kitchen, so I rescued it from the pile I was cleaning and wrapping!
The fluffy elephant and child were a Mothers' Day I bought sometime in the last five years and, now unwanted by anyone else, I didn't want it to go to a charity shop, so it came home!
The book was my Dad's, a gift given to employees of Cosworth Engineering back in the day when they ruled the world of F1. Signed by Keith Duckworth and Mike Costin, it may have some small monetary value, but it has huge sentimental value, and needs to be kept safe.
The candle has no significance except that I like candles and it was small enough to fit in my bag!!
The fish knives & forks and the napkin rings belonged to my grandparents. These had been the special momento my Mum claimed when packing up her parents' home... now, I lay claim to them for similar reasons.
The tablespoon is perhaps the simplest object, and the one most steeped in meaning. Cooking was the thing that always gave my Mum most pleasure. She was never happier than when she whipped up a batch of fairy cakes or made bread or cooked a huge meal for all six of us. And this spoon, which I think was bought at a jumble sale, has given stirling service over half a century or so. Now it sits in my cutlery drawer and will continue to bring me pleasure whenever I use it and remember.
Packing up the last remants of my childhood, and, along with my siblings, deciding which, if any, objects we wished to keep as momentos, has been very odd. But it is good to have these few objects which will continue to remind me of my parents and my grandparents, hopefully for the rest of my life.