Tag Archives: memory

Old Faithful

Whilst baking some cookies today, I stopped for a moment to admire the baking powder. I couldn’t tell you the brand name, only that it hadn’t changed it’s label since I was a kid. It was the brand my mother used, and so it is the brand I use. The more I looked around the pantry, the more I found these gems.

The right stuff

 The curry powder that looks like it came from the East India Trading company. The soy sauce that might have arrived on our shores in the gold rush. The spread and biscuits that have since been bought by American conglomerates, but occasionally retain a hint of their origin.

They are the nameless products who lack swish marketing departments (or have intelligent ones). When sending someone to do the shopping, I can’t communicate what I want. It comes out something like “Not those dates you got last time, the ones in the normal packet from the good place”. I have lost ‘my brand’ when they have changed packing before. 

In addition, quite frankly and superficially, I just love the old packaging. I dislike slogans, and captions telling me the benefits of this, or the new efficiency of that. Call it nostalgia, call it vintage tastes, but the simple lettering advising what’s inside is a relief from the information advertising overload of today’s stores.

This is flour. This is butter. This is milk. If you don’t know what to do with it, have baked beans. No, not that one, the one in the normal tin.

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Trinkets and Bric-à-brac

When I was 11 I went with a friend to an activity day at her new school, Ipswich Grammar. I loved the beautiful and historic grounds. Two things from this weekend stick in my memory. The first was learning how to pretend to faint (fall from the feet, not the head). The second was creating a wishing box. We decorated and painted little paper mache boxes with all sorts of Bric-à-brac, and inside put a little note book where we could write our wishes.

Over time, I would put little trinkets and mementos of significant times in my life into this box. It has become quite a congeries, with items ranging from my baby hospital bracelet, pebbles and bells from my childhood, to foreign coins, dice and bottle caps from my teen and adult years. I also wrote down my hopes in the book. Unfortunately it turned out the book guaranteed they wouldn’t come true.

For some time, my little time capsule had been chockablock. I finally bought a large paper mache box and covered it with scraps of one of my favourite fabric remnants. I used PVA, which isn’t the best for fabric, but did the trick. I now have enough room for another 25 years of memories (and broken wishes).

     

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