Wednesday, 11 April 2012

From Sardines to Tippex

There is still quite a bit to discuss in the office, like this odd little shelf that sits above one of the desks; I bought it from a junk shop several years ago – it’s interesting that I can invariably remember who I was with when I made certain purchases – in this instance it was Tamar who is always an encouraging and enthusiastic shopping conspirator! It is chipped and slightly wonky but for such a small shelf, it is capable of holding a range of work related items, including: cellulose thinners/sewing machine spools/erasers/tippex/a box of  buttons*/pin cushion with pins/bulldog clips/tailor’s chalk/Bookbinding for Beginners/x2 pencil sharpeners/box of pencils.
Less practical are the tin of sardines, the Nursery Letters (minus clock) – purchased purely for the box design, two small bottles of sea shells, 104 used train tickets and a glitter-filled power ball… the star is a left-over Christmas decoration that didn’t get put away (this seems to be an emerging theme!).

*The wooden box top left, which was my grandmothers tea caddy and is lead-lined.


  1. This is AMAZING - it's like a glitteringly colourful
    open plan pencil case, and a small inspirational collection all in one - patiently waiting to be used/admired on the little shelf.
    Funny how we associate purchased items with people who we were with, or certain key events/dates, does this help to flesh out the purposefulness of the item and develops our fondness for things, or the keeping of them?

  2. I love your description, I just wish I had written it!
    I agree that the associations we make with either the object or the event of purchasing an object, has a bearing on the attachment we form with it. With regards to the shelf, I seem to remember that T was more convinced about it than me, but I’m glad I listened to her!

  3. I wrote it for you, so it's yours now anyway,P.

    I wonder if, when memories, relationships/friendships have gone sour/drifted apart/changed; objects in turn, get discarded or moved - a visual recognition that our feelings have changed?

    I'll be thinking on that one after a morning cuppa ...

  4. I think we have a certain 'obligatory attachment' to some objects - but perhaps this is also a fabrication, one of both superstition and sentiment that we set ourselves. This can be dependent on how many memories, or how close an attachment we have to individuals.
    I remember a particular necklace that I inherited, after someone I was very close to had died. I wore it everyday since. One day (in the afternoon) I automatically reached to my neck to touch it (as you do some times), it had disappeared. I was frantic and tried to re-trace my steps (so many!) of where I had been during the course of the day. To no avail, it had gone.
    I felt very sad at the time, and quite 'lost' without it, but over the next few days, something lifted within me, and I realised that by losing the necklace, I could begin to allow myself to process memories and the times we had together. This was hard, but ultimately it secured the understanding that I could remember occasions and instances without reminders through tactile objects. I believe that I had initially thought that over time I would forget, and needed the necklace as a memory trigger. In this case, I don't need any thing else. Memories run deep.

    With ex-boyfriends and sentimental objects however, now that's a different story ...

  5. I like your phrase 'obligatory attachment' - I find it difficult not to become sentimental over inherited objects from family and friends, there is almost a sense of guilt if I fail to use or display something that I am given, but I think this is a personality trait; I have a friend who has no qualms about taking unwanted presents or inherited items to the car boot – I envy that ability to detach the object from the person.


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