Sunday, 14 April 2013

Decluttering my own little red suitcase

Springtime at Last

Easter school holidays coming to an end.  It's been a good time, catching up with family and friends; getting going with my gardening projects and spending time with my husband and daughter.  She's just planted herself on my knee and thanked me for a good holiday and how it's been the best ever.  Must remember that the next time she tells me what a bad mother I am......

I haven't done all the things I planned around the house - they'll wait - but did attempt a bit of decluttering of my various piles of work documents and other papers.  Some success, but I'm easily distracted.  Should I dump that file of notes on 'Dr Faustus'?  What if I have to teach it again?

And then I came across this, covered in a thick layer of dust. My little red suitcase.  Now one of my favourite blogs is named 'My Little Red Suitcase'. Heather, who writes it, talks about her life and her craft projects, including beautiful crochet cushions.  I assume she keeps her crochet and craft projects in her suitcase.  My suitcase is more battered than hers, having lost its handle, and it dates from when I first left my village in Northen Ireland to travel across the Irish Sea to university in England.  A long time ago.

I admit I'm a bit of a hoarder. It's not so hard to send piles of rarely worn clothes and discarded toys to the charity shop, but I like to keep things which bring back memories.  So this is what is in the suitcase:

Yes that's David Essex - that dates me doesn't it? It's a scrapbook containing ticket stubs for events I attended, school prize day programmes, party invites at university, photo booth pictures, and (!) a plastic leaf which garnished the dessert I had on a rare night out to a restaurant, a pizza place on Deansgate in Manchester, which was the height of sophistication then. I'd covered the scrapbook with pages taken from 'Jackie' magazine.  Checked out the reverse side - a comic strip story entitled 'Love me, Love my Clothes' and the addresses for the fan clubs of  the Bay City Rollers and Gilbert O'Sullivan.

 Also in the suitcase: theatre programmes and leaflets for art exhibitions we attended; birthday cards for landmark birthdays; the plastic silver horseshoes from my wedding cake; good luck cards from jobs I've left; thank you letters from kids I've taught.  Some say don't forget me: often I have as there have been a lot of kids,  but reading the name and looking at the handwriting can trigger a memory.  And then there's more recent memories: handmade Mothers' Day cards and letters to the tooth fairy.  Ours was called Tabitha and she wrote her replies in gold pen on green paper.

Tidied it up a bit and threw away some of the birthday cards.  But kept the rest.  Like Heather I value my little red suitcase.


1 comment:

  1. Hi Doris, I have just had a good read back and discovered this!! it is almost identical. Very good as a time capsule I think. I also read and loved Jackie, and learnt so much from it!! I have some wool in mine but i keep meaning to take some shots inside of it. I'm glad you kept going and have built up your confidence. I think it's like peeling back the layers, it just becomes more and more authentic as we go. I'm having tricky times at the moment. The globe trip you mentioned, my son was not allowed to go!! Such a shame it sounded fun, but there you go. These teenage years are hard. But hoping for some kind of positive transformation to occur soon! Heather x