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  • Rediscovered Pleasure...

    This afternoon, after church and after lunch, I took myself off to Kelvingrove Museum and Art Gallery in time to listen to the organ recital.  I used to do this quite often when I first moved here, and have taken a fair few friends over the past few years, but it is (was) absolutely ages since I last went myself.

    A large slab of coconut cake, a paper cup of tea, and half an hour sat listening to music... bliss!  And a reminder of the simple pleasures that are so easily lost or forgotten when I stop taking control of my 'down time'.

    Not, if I am honest, the most wonderful programme I've ever heard, and stylistically not my favourite performance, but that wasn't the point... it was good just to be rather than do, to refresh and renew myself ready for the week that lies ahead.

    Mustn't leave it so long next time!!

  • Buried Treasure...

    Much of this morning has been devoted to what I have come to term "Mum Admin" - sorting papers, identifying bills that need to be paid, direct debits that need to be stopped and so on.  The physcially heaviest component of the stuff that returned home with me was the contents of her document box, which has taken a deal of carefull sifting through in order not to miss anything significant or discard anything precious.

    So here, amidst electricity bills and home insurance reminders, I discovered Mum's educational certificates.  Really excelling in bookkeeping it seems, and adequate in Higher English and French.  And she passed art, despite being colourblind (undiagnosed) and in her own words incapable of drawing for toffee... evidently it was the only subject she would fail so the teacher awarded her 51%!  Times sure have changed and the  centralised marking of 'public' exams prevents such compassion by teachers.

    In these yellowed and battered slips of paper are reminders of a young woman who dreamed dreams of her future.  I hope that her memories of her school days remain sufficiently intact to bring her moments of pleasure.

  • These Precious Things...

    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.