My mother came to stay and brought with her two plastic bags filled with a mass of little objects from my past.
She had decided to get rid of an old desk that had been slowly warping and ageing in her greenhouse, topped with runaway geraniums and spider plants. In the desk drawer she found a treasure trove of things sentimentally hoarded by me back when the desk was in my room as a teenager.
In one bag, there were old love letters, restaurant cards, stamps, postcards, (several pictures of owls, unsurprisingly!), letters full of warmth and affection from friends now all but forgotten... One overstuffed envelope had a yellow sticker on it saying, rather mysteriously: 'code yellow letters' (I think signalling declarations of love, or particularly intimate and difficult-to-read missives).
In the second bag, I found my own personal thrift store! A once-valuable antique ivory fan, a pinback badge from my 18th birthday, long beaded necklaces and lots of homemade earrings - already 'vintage' now, since I made them as a child!
At the bottom left of this photo you can see a pair of glass strawberry earrings. These were my first ever pair of 'dangly' earrings (i.e. not studs). I was in Arizona, USA, aged 5, when I decided I wanted my ears pierced. My mum (to my surprise!) agreed, but the deal was: no dangly earrings before the age of 12. Too grown-up, too tacky, I suppose? Go figure.
Anyway, a family friend gave me the strawberries when I was about 9 and so I snuck in there early with the danglies and never looked back!