Yesterday was one of those days when the children were playing nicely enough together that I thought I could chance a sit down with a cuppa and a book for half an hour. The book though was A Hundred Pieces of Me by Lucy Dillon, and I’m ashamed to say the children were allowed much more than their allotted computer time as I couldn’t stop reading. As soon as they were in bed I finished it. It’s such a stunning book and everyone I know will be getting it for their birthdays. I adored Gina and I fell head over heels with Nick(it’s a possibility that if I spent less time falling in love with characters from books and actually met real life people that I’d be less single, but hey I’ll work on that when I run out of books.)
The premise of the book is the idea of keeping hold of only one hundred items. We seem to surround ourselves with so much ‘stuff’ having to think about what to choose to keep is one I find really interesting . A hundred is really not many at all when you think of clothes and shoes, DVDs, books. I’ve been spending time thinking about my favourite things. Things I keep because they make me happy. I won’t bore you with hundred but I’ve come up with 10.
1) Books. I know obvious right!! Not all my books though,there’s way more than a hundred of those. It’s the books I read as a teenager.Such as Paula Danzigers The Cat Ate My Gymsuit and Judy Blume’s Forever. Who could forget Ralph?. I love these books as I was a weird teenager and spent a lot of my time at the library or reading.These books are cosy and comfy and I’ve re bought them over the years to give my daughters in a few years. Well maybe not Forever!!
2) A dress I have never ever worn.
I bought a beautiful little black dress to wear for an occasion. It cost more than I have ever, to this day, spent on a dress and it’s lovely. Unfortunately I was in the midst of the abusive relationship at this point. One of his favourite games was to say he’d watch the kids while I went out then wait for me to get all ready and change his mind and I couldn’t go out after all. This is what happened on the night of this dress. It’s still hanging in my wardrobe because I really love it and I just know there’ll be a day I can finally wear it. There may be the matter of dropping a dress size or two first, but if it’s meant to be…
3) My old school reports
These are really just for proof to the children that I was exceptionally well behaved, hard working and a model student when I were at school. Just in case we ever get to a point where they ask ‘So you never got into any trouble at school?’ and I can confirm that actually, I never did.
4) A DVD of a family Christmas.
This is a real precious thing. My brother was a bit flash in the 80’s and were all impressed when he bought a video recorder. One of those huge ones. He’d recorded a Christmas Day when my sister and I were little and he had come round. There’s my dad singing and my mum hiding from the camera as she fusses over everyone. My sister being a huge show off and I love it. It means I can show it to the children too and they can get a tiny glimpse of how their grandparents were, having never met them.
5) A box of letters.
I still write letters and I love receiving them so so much. My box of letters people have sent me is definitely one of my favourite things. There are letters that my niece writes me from time to time saying how she misses and loves me, usually accompanied by an unflattering drawing of me! Letters from my old primary teacher that I write to, and letters from my friends when we were teenagers and used to write to one another… Usually about boys. They’re really special and a huge pick me up on a rotten day. I do lament the distinct lack of love letters in there.. But there’s still space!
6) A half finished patchwork blanket.
I decided to make littlest girl a blanket after one particular sunny summer when she’d had a variety of sweet little summer dresses. I thought I could use the dresses to make the patches as I’ve memories of different days out in each of them. Unfortunately my haberdashery skills are lacking so it remains unfinished. One day I’ll get round to completing it though as we’ve gotten through a few other dresses since then.
7) GCSE/A level English work.
I’ve a folder with assignments and work I did. I’m unsure why it’s only English that survived but sometimes I look through it and makes me happy. Because some of it is really quite good. I’m impressed how fresh and thoughtful my mind was then. Admittedly I had a few off the wall ideas about A View From A Bridge and Lord of the Flies, but there’s some really quite well written work there and it’s nice to reminisce about the days before my brain was addled by child rearing.
7) Our art gallery.
Last year sometime we had the paints out for little girl to do some creating. It was one of those lovely days when having four children is lovely and fun and no one is bickering (yes one of those rare occasions) Anyway everyone decided to have a go and we all spent the afternoon laughing and chatting and painting and we then transformed the living room into an art gallery. Was a nice family moment and not one I had to painstakingly manufacture. So post art gallery I put all our paintings in a folder to keep
Birthday cards, Thank you cards, baby congratulations cards. I’m a bit of a hoarder on the greeting cards front. People are always coming in and out of our lives aren’t they? Looking at past birthday wishes even from people who drifted out of our life for one reason or another make me smile because at one point they cared enough to take the time to write a card. Oh my! this list is making me realise quite how sentimental I am.
I always have half a dozen notebooks on the go. Some contain nothing but to do lists or (failed) diet plans. Some have funny things the kids have said at some point or activity ideas to do with them. Some are Christmas shopping lists. My favourite ones though are those that I’ve used to write down things that are really bothering me or playing on my mind. I’ve always done this as a way of trying to get things straight in my mind or make sense of things. There is something really reassuring in reading back what were huge issues at one point and knowing those worries are tiny now. It’s hopeful and optimistic.
I’m not sure how I’d cut my ‘stuff’ down to a hundred, but it is nice to have been inspired to think about my special things. I think it’ll make a good conversation topic too to have with everyone I know!!!