Category Archives: Objects

Object 16: Winter: Keeping Warm: Bedtime

I visited the Museum with a grown-up son. Perhaps that was why the exhibits kept pushing the thought of the bright young men in the years just before WWI into my mind – just out of childhood – just about to die. That poignant sense of looking back and knowing what was coming, when they…

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Object 15: Winter: Keeping Warm: Jumper and vest

Sestudes demand you focus fast and tightly on what matters. The results sometimes surprise even their writer. For me, the hand-knitted sweater soon stirred memories of my 1960s childhood. I was always inordinately fond of my pullovers’ sheepiness, the Scottish origin of their knit, and the lovely sweet reek of my father’s St Bruno Flake…

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Object 14: Winter: Keeping Warm: Headwear

I cringed. My object was not a magical, enchanting Christmas decoration or well-loved child’s toy. It was a functional knitted hat. Insult to injury: I cannot knit, it drudges up frustrated memories as a six year old, disappointing my Grandmother. The project’s spark extinguished. I had voluntarily signed up for another trial and tribulation, at…

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Object 13: Winter: Keeping Warm: Hands (muff)

I write about working class lives, so being allocated a swan feather muff challenged me. Weren’t swans the preserve of royalty? Museum curator Lyn Wall described the muff as made from swan down with a satin lining. It’s padded, and surprisingly heavy. It dates from 1860 – a beautifully crafted luxury item from a time…

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Object 12: Winter: Keeping Warm: Footwear

Six months ago, as an interim measure, my wife’s elderly parents, who have reached a stage in life where they are no longer able to fully care for themselves, came to live with us. In what seems a gratuitous twist, as my mother-in-law settled in and began to thrive in her new surroundings, my father-in-law’s…

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Object 11: Winter: Sledging

I was chuffed to bits to be assigned a beautiful antique wooden sledge. I love scouring salvage yards and charity shops for vintage bric a brac and my collection has everything from a carpet beater to a chamber pot. But my interest in items with a past isn’t because I grew up surrounded by antiques.…

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Object 10: Christmas: Advent calendars

So far, 26 Children’s Winters is a project of surprises, starting with the lovely surprise of selection. As a relatively new blogger, I approached this new, more official-sounding title of ‘writer’ with a bit of trepidation. This all quickly faded with the excitement of a trip to the Museum of Childhood in Edinburgh, the chance…

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Object 9: Christmas cards

Upon receiving Christmas Cards as my object for the Museum of Childhood exhibition; I in all honesty was totally stumped. Such an object deserved a response which captured the warmth, fun and sweetness which Christmas Cards provide every year…I felt I had none of these literary attributes. The fact I had never written a sestude…

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Object 8: Christmas crackers

Having to hit the exact target of 26 words makes you weigh every syllable. That’s why I like writing this odd form. Sometimes it leads me to imagine characters and eavesdrop on a crucial moment in their conversation. This time it took me into the realm of poetry. I don’t have the luxury, or perhaps…

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Object 7: Christmas decorations: Tree ornaments

Miss Montgomery’s Final Bequest Unwrapping a box of Christmas decorations is rather like experiencing Christmas itself. The anticipation. The excitement at what will be revealed. The careful handling of precious yet familiar items, layered with memory, stuck together with Sellotape and string. Then the unveiling, that moment of magic. The hanging on the tree. Only…

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