It was an innocuous looking bag. I found it as I looked in our storeroom for something else and, guessing the contents to be of potential interest, I pulled it out into the light to have a closer look.

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As I suspected, it was a bundle of holiday memorabilia. I tipped it out onto my worktable to get a closer look and immediately recognised which trip it was - China and Thailand, 1999. Edward was 14 and we had caught the travel bug pretty well by then.


Although we were keeping pretty detailed journals of our travels, I wasn’t being very creative when it came to doing something with the ephemera and I think there’s a pretty dull photograph album somewhere, possibly with the typewritten journal included alongside. One thing is sure: the contents of this bag have not seen the light of day for twenty years!


First things first, I pulled out a couple of things that could go straight in the bin - no, not this rather flashy certificate in a lavishly padded silk wallet, but some brochures and magazines we’d picked up along the way and kept for some reason.


Sifting through the rest was a bit more interesting. Though I didn’t create anything much with the ephemera, I still collected it and looking through it was a bit of a trip down memory lane.


Remember when air tickets looked like this?


My Hero kept his head down at his desk for fear of getting into a conversation about “oh, do you remember this bit?” and “wasn’t this the time when…” because such things as boarding passes and hotel tags are a prompt for some pretty long stories.

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The bag was full of precious times, though - the faxes from my parents, who sent one almost every day, keeping in touch in the way we did in those pre-email and messaging times (and funny to spot a spelling mistake from the mother who drilled spelling rules into me , especially “i before e except after c”!) Bless her.


The bag had been sitting on top of a box, the contents of which present a small dilemma. Do I tip the lot without looking or do I pull out a random package and see what they are?


Not only that, but now I’ve opened up that whole corner of “stuff”, who knows what else is there to look through and cherish?

I don’t think I’m going to get much ironing done this morning, that’s for sure.

Pencils at the ready

Pencils at the ready

Everything is gone but nothing is lost

Everything is gone but nothing is lost