Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Treasures

Treasures are not always things of great value.   In fact in my experience that is rarely the case.   One example is my needle tin.  I have had it for about
thirty five years and I treasure it greatly.

Every October half term my then husband and I would debate where to go for our last half term holiday before Winter set in. We had this discussion every year and mostly in the end we settled on Venice - our favourite place on earth.

This particular year as we waited in the Departure Lounge at Heathrow who should walk in but some friends from Wales - also Venice bound for half term.   Such a surprise - and a pleasant one too.

We went our separate ways each day but usually met up for supper somewhere in the evening.   In fact one evening my friend queued at La Fenice (not long before it burnt down) for tickets to see The Shanghai Opera Company - a memorable evening that was.

Whilst we were there it was my Hallowe'en birthday and my friend bought me this little oval tin of chocolate pastilles.   I remember we shared them at the theatre and had a wonderful evening. 

I kept this charming little tin as a storage tin for my large darning needles and I have used it ever since. 

About five years after giving me the tin my friend committed suicide.   I never knew what drove her to such lengths but it has made the tin one of my most treasured possessions.

When I finally shuffle off this mortal coil I expect the tin will be thrown away - it will have no significance to anyone remaining.   The memory of that birthday in Venice will disappear along with the tin.


33 comments:

hart said...

I know what you mean, sometimes I feel as if everything I own has this long string of memories attached with meaning only to me.

John Gray said...

Leave me the tin..i would cherish it

angryparsnip said...

Such sweet memories.
I know many people who would treasure the tin.
I treasure the cards you have sent me,

cheers, parsnip

Sooze said...

That's a lovely thought John, I'm sure you would. I have a brooch that holds great memories for me, as it belonged to my beloved Nanna. It's only costume jewellery and worth nothing in monetary terms, I rarely wear it as it's old and not fashionable, but it makes me smile whenever I look at it.

lynda said...

People like me collect tins. Write your story down and put it in the tin. It would be a treasure to someone! Make sure whoever is in charge of your estate that it goes to a good home..preferably someone who SEWS!!!!

Sue in Suffolk said...

I can remember my mums needle tin ......it once held Elastoplast plasters from before the time when they came in cardboard boxes.
Perhaps you could write the story and tuck the paper in the bottom of the tin, pass it to John and he will write about it when he writes his book!

Mac n' Janet said...

We all have treasures like that and I too worry about what will happen to them when I'm gone. I wonder if I should start passing them on now with the stories that go with them.

Yorkshire Pudding said...

Well now that you have blogged about it, the tin will live on in the memories of your readers. You are right to suggest that "treasure" can be in the eye of the beholder.

Derek Faulkner said...

I suppose that there are only so many "treasures" from your life that your nearest and dearest can find room for and unfortunately the emotion that links you to that tin is only personal to you. Many of us could say that we would look after it for you but in reality, would it be anything more than just a tin.

donna baker said...

I see it all the time Pat, working in the antique business. Large professional portraits down to saved locks of hair. I love old tins and boxes and bottles... Just seems wrong to throw them away. Maybe that is why I have so much stuff.

Rachel said...

I also love Venice.

Heather said...

What bitter sweet memories your little tin evokes. No wonder you treasure it. It is strange that the most ordinary items can become so special to us.

littlemancat said...

I love the story of your tin and would like to share this from Penelope Lively's "Dancing Fish and Amnonites"-
"People's possessions speak of them: they are resonant and betraying and reflective. ...and how they chart where I've been and how I've been."
I think your little tin will find its way to an appreciative heart.
Mary

Tom Stephenson said...

Ah Weave, you are thinking about your own departure, as we all must. I need not labour the point eh? That tin will live on even if discarded.

jinxxxygirl said...

You should write that up and tape it to the inside of the tin........deb

Cro Magnon said...

May I suggest you have it buried with you, and why not some other things too?

Elise Griffith said...

A well lived life is what that tin is all about.

Librarian said...

Such a bitter-sweet story attached to the tin! Funny that your friend bought you something from Torino (Turin) in Venice, and not some Venetian specialty - not that I know what that would be, since I have never been there myself.
Did you ever go back to Venice with The Farmer?

the veg artist said...

This is why Kondo-ing is so difficult. What might look like old crockery, books or just 'things' are often so much more. Pottery and glass are often bought on holiday, so just a glance is enough to bring back memories of happy times. I've often bought silver jewellery, smaller to find a home for, wearable, but just as full of memories.

Gwil W said...

Your post got me thinking as I have a small tin which used to contain mints. I don't keep anything in it, but it is a nice to look at. And then I thought about my running trophies. I have accumulated metal cups, glassware, things made of bits of wood and plastic, and dozens of medals on coloured ribbons . . .

As we get on in years there arises an interesting question. What to do with these bits and pieces.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Interesting ideas here to think about - thank you everyone.

Elizabeth said...

A treasure indeed. Yes, keepsakes are utterly personal and imbued with meaning only understood and valued by the owner.
But of course Italian candy/sweets packaging has a certain charm too.
A thought provoking post.

Sue said...

It's a lovely little tin, all the lovelier for it's bittersweet memories.

I have a few things that I would never part with no matter how much we declutter our lives, a teddy bear from my first birthday, a little smooth plastic frog that was once felted and on a keyring, that my eldest son bought me when he was about 7 on a family holiday are just a couple of the 'must keeps' in my home.

Maureen Reynolds said...

My little tin is from Stratford, bought while I was visiting with my mother and my fiancee who had leave from his Air Force post in Turkey. My mother was the chaperone as it was 1965! I had to go look at that tin now to see what was inside it. Ah yes, the 1.5 inches tiny nails that I always used for the picture hooks. I haven't used those little nails in years but it was always my go to source for many a year.

Minigranny said...

It is the memories that our treasured objects hold.

Devon said...

I believe that these little 'treasures' are only important in that they bring us back to the people and the memories of how we lived our lives. Those are the true treasures. The physical objects are of no real value beyond the remembrances they trigger.
I have told my daughter not to cling to my possessions when I am gone, they will only clutter her life. If there is something that has special meaning to her, then keep it, but don't feel the need to attach emotional value to my things. We had this conversation because I lost several dear friends and family in a short time and was swimming in their 'treasures'. I have learned to let go and just keep one or two things that have special memories.

The Broad said...

Indeed, you have described a treasure. And how nice that you have such a lovely memory of your friend who died so tragically. Your story reminded me of a very similar tin -- in shape and size, that I was given a few years ago by a very very close friend. I have kept the tin, which held peppermints and have wondered what I could do with it besides having it lost in a desk drawer. Since I do a lot of sewing, a needle box would be perfect. So thank you very much for a lovely story and for a very good idea, too.

Rachel said...

Very sensible Devon. I wanted to say that but couldn't get the words right.

The Weaver of Grass said...

I second that advice from Devon Rachel - very good.

Jacqui Fenner-Dixon said...

What a gorgeous little tin. Your post resonates with me, as one of my most precious tins (yes, I love tins!)belonged to my Grandma Maud. She kept her buttons in it and I was quite young when she gifted it to me, saying she no longer needed it. I have used a few of her buttons, on special things. It is sad to think that one day it will be seen a worthless.

Frances said...

Dear Pat, the way in which you wrote this post has surely connected with many of us who've read it I have a tin filled with tiny shells given me maybe 35 years ago by a friend who'd collected those shells for me. Sadly, he died before the turn of the century, but I will always treasure that tine.
Some objects have such sweet power from the memories that we connect with them.
My great auntie's knitting needles are still in regular use by me. I also have some pretty jewelry that she willed to me, but the double points are the treasures.
xo

Terra Hangen said...

A touching story about your little tin which reminds you of your friend who died tragically. I am clearing out some things too and keeping most that have a sentimental story or memory.

Fairtrader said...

I think we all have trinkets of that kind, little things that matters to no one but to me. It was a sad and still, happy story, Pat.
I went to visit and older gentleman in our parish. He is past ninety and a widdower. He brought me to a wall filled with plates with wonderful motives, christmas mostly. He said:" look at all these that me and my wife happily and proudly collected through the years. Who will have them when I am gone? No one!!" True ,but still, they found great pleasure in their collection for many years! Perhaps he will prove to be wrong and someone will be happy about it!!
You never know though, maybe someone in you family will keep that beautiful little box because you did, and treasure it because you did. Especially if they know the story behind.
So nice that you share this with us!!!! Personal and interesting like everything you post!!