Sunday, 6 November 2011

A trip down memory lane

Yesterday was Operation Garage - almost a full day of sorting out all the boxes in my garage so I can make room for my car in the winter.

Luckily my Mum came over to give me a hand.

When I moved into my tiny flat about 7 years ago I left a large 2 bed house that was packed to the hilt with 'stuff''. I gave away practically everything I owned bar some essentials and some items that had sentimental value.

I wanted to downsize my life and my mortgage payments, and planned to get a local job and work part time. It kinda all worked out. I found a job for 4 days a week and I was able to walk to/from work! Obviously I've since moved on from that job, but I had a design for my life in mind, and that worked out and included living in a more vibrate and creative area, Moseley.

Anyway! Back to the garage.

The first item to leave was my guitar which I inherited from an ex boyfriend who was a musician. It's too cold and damp in the garage and so it went to my Mum''s house. I only ever made a half hearted attempt to play it and the first song (and only!) I learnt was Robin Trower's Bridge Of Sighs - a very basic version I hasten to add!


Before the guitar was whisked away, a man strolled past, said hello and picked up the guitar. "Are you selling this?" I wasn't thinking of selling it. He tuned it and started to play a tune on it that he wrote. I took an Audioboo. I'm kinda glad that the guitar had been put to use in some small way before it went back into storage.

Stranger playing my guitar (mp3)

So many leaves had blown under the garage door. Mum is very handy with a broom. Go mum! ;)

Ahh Little Ted! I think I can pretty much say he is my favourite teddy bear of all time!

This is a school art project when I was about 12. It was themed around farms or the countryside. Mum has taken it home. I hope she puts in on her living room wall. It's a thing of beauty and deserves to be displayed! :D

I kept some of my old school books. This one is from when I was 4.5 years old (it said so on the cover of the book).

This was fairly creative: "I am going to the shop with my mum and me and my dad and my sister". I haven't got a sister.

Thumbing through the book, this was a story to be told time and time again. Me and my mum going to the shop. Or, my mum going to the shop and buying me sweets. Sweets! It was all about sweets!

My first album! Doris Day - 20 Golden Greats. Stop laughing! Doris is ace! I think I had good taste as a 7 year old. I remember my Dad taking me into a record shop in London.

I played that record over and over. I remember particularly loving Que Sera Sera.

When I was just a little girl
I asked my mother what will I be
Will I be pretty will I be rich
Here's what she said to me...

Flat Cat!!! I love Flat Cat! Another childhood favourite.

I'd almost forgotten I had kept some of my Ladybird books. The Three Billy Goats Gruff scared me! Sadly I couldn't find the one I read the most: Cinderella.

This is a more recent 'treasure'. A Michael Jackson alarm clock which was presented to be by Talk About Local (before I starting working there) for the best use of photos in a blog at their unconference in '09. Lovely! It's a keeper.

I found Big Ted! When I was about 5 I remember that Big Ted and Little Ted were best friends. My mum would collect me from school and on the walk home she would tell me of all the adventure that my teddy's and other toys had during the day. I loved those stories.

My first comic subscription. Play Hour. The newsagent would keep a copy aside for me and once a week (I think it was weekly) me and my Dad would go and collect it.

Age 12. I think. My drawing skills have improved. A tiny bit. A rooster wearing clothes. I'm not sure why.

By the end of the day we had cleared out a lot. A pile for the tip and a pile for charity shops.

I think my mum would have liked me to have been a bit more ruthless than I was when it came to deciding what to keep and what to throw away.

Admittedly a few items had been ruined by the years and the damp in the garage, but I just couldn't part with them. Some things had got broken (they went to the tip). I found tons of old photos (prints, before the digital age). Love letters. Cards. Ornaments. Shoes! Lots of shoes! (I did part with some).

Looking back at what I found I was surprised at how much I remembered, even from a young age. The items triggered the memories. Pretty much all of them good.

And of course it prompted me to think about where I had been, the different stages of growing up, and where I am now, and where I want to be.

I was a bit tired after all the manual labour, so when I got back home I took a lovely bath (it was very dusty in the garage) and put on my pj's and chilled out for the rest of the day. I appreciated living on my own and having my own space. I love being single and having time and space to do my own thing. I love what I do for work. I'm glad I haven't got children and feel I've retained my freedom. It's all good.

But...! There's still plenty more time to make more memories and have more adventures! I never want to become complacent in my life and work. I don't want to get too settled or waste time. I want to be able to look back and know I've tried things, scared myself sometimes, taken risks but enjoyed every minute.

In the last few weeks I feel like I've been slowing down somewhat, and of being aware that this year is coming to an end. It may be because the days are shorter, and it's just a seasonal thing. Or maybe that it's because my diary is fairly full until the New Year and I don't want to take anything else on and I also want to leave myself some breathing space.

I know I want to leave some space for my 4 day Fierce Earth Course that is coming up soon! I'm really looking forward to it and hoping to get a lot of it in a business and personal capacity. I've got a feeling some of my plans will change after that course and I definitely want to leave room in my diary to implement those changes. I also think the course will challenge me, and also inspire me. I think it's just what I need at this point.

Next weekend I shall be spending a few days in York with my mum. It's her birthday treat to me and she has a full schedule planned! Apart from spending some quality time with my mum it will be good to have a change of scene too.

Looking a little further ahead, I can't wait for 2012! I get so excited about a New Year. On New Year's eve itself I love staying in, on my own, and savouring the second that the old year goes and a new one arrives. A brand new year to fill! That's pretty exciting.

Say hello on twitter! @karenstrunks

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