There are things I have that I love because, to me at least, they just scream “Fionnuala”, reflecting elements of my personality and my loves in life. In short, they sum me up. It is the opposite of personification.
They are things that I *could* live without, if I had to. But I have them because either I couldn’t leave them behind or because someone else thought of me when they saw them.
1. An original copy of The Penguin Book of Food Growing, Storing and Cooking, published in 1941.
I bought this along with another Penguin Special, Food: The Deciding Factor (1941) at the George’s Street Arcade in 2001. It covers how to grow and cook a huge range of vegetables and was brought out as an informative guide during World War II.
To me, it is much more than that. It is a book of historical relevance, but not a history book, giving a glance into what life was like during that awful period of time. It is a reminder to me of one of my favourite places in Dublin, the George’s Street Arcade. But what touches me most is that it serves as a useful guide to me in growing vegetables in my own garden in Germany, the country never mentioned but ever-present in the book.
2. My antique writing box
I am very lucky to have been brought up in a very old house. A house that I am sure holds fascinating stories from long before my time. I have never been in the attic of the house. It was too dangerous for children. In my mind, as a child, it was as mysterious as the wardrobe was to Lucy in The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe for it was the source of many exciting things – old china plate with hand-painted patterns, and various other treasures including a damaged old wooden box which opened out into a miniature desk, lined with cracked leather and containing a little ink jar.
For years and years I asked my parents to have it renovated. They didn’t, so I asked for it for my 21st birthday, with the intention of some day having it restored. Initially they said no, but on the day of my birthday party I was presented with the writing box, beautifully restored.
3. My butterfly earrings
These are my absolute favourite earrings and I try not to over-wear them. My best friend sent them to me as a surprise. She saw them and thought I would like them. How right she was! And how pleased I was to know how well she knows me.
A combination of nature, pearls, a floral pattern and an elegant shape, they are the perfect earring, for me.
4. Our house
As a child I always imagined having a house with two staircases, rooms under the eaves, an orchard and a cottage garden. I’m not quite sure where I got these notions, but they lasted.
As we viewed house after house over a couple of years, I began to realise that I would have to settle for something different and make it my own.
Then we came here. Opening the garden gate and stepping in felt like coming home. In front of me was an apple tree, next to it a fig tree and beyond that pear, plum and walnut trees. The tulips were in bloom underneath a lilac bush and in the centre of the garden was a herb rockery.
The house itself is my favourite colour, blue, has two staircases and has three bedrooms under the eaves. Immediately I could picture us living here. And life here has not failed to make me happy.
5. A fabric collage which belonged to my grandmother
I wrote a post about this picture last year. It sums me up in that it combines my loves – family, arts and crafts, the Irish countryside, fabrics and cosy homes.
I have set this up as a once-off linky, open until the end of February. Feel free to join in if you’d like to share which possessions reflect you best and scream your name.