My sister gave this to me after our granda died, she wanted me to have something of his to carry with me. When he was in the hospital, dying, he turned to me and said ' I have been feeling a bit under the weather but I can't complain, I've always had the best health'
 I remember he had these awful hats for walking and he would disappear for hours 'taking his constitution'.  He came to us once a year with pockets stuffed full of cadbury creme eggs. He would sing songs, dance jigs and tell jokes that seemed older than time. He flirted with younger women, made fanciful promises, told stories and found joy in the simple things. Today would have been his birthday.

the 1980's

I had all these badges, my Deutscher Jugendschwimmpass, by the time I was ten. Once during lessons I got into a fight with my swim instructor, I was about 5, he was an old man with a beard, he was trying to force me into the pool. I punched him, I pummeled him with my tiny fists. I am pretty sure he hit me back. My mum came along and whisked me away, I did not swim that day.


'I was given my Winnie the Pooh book, for my sixth birthday, by my granda. It is my most treasured possession. My favourite thing about it, which always makes me laugh, is the handwritten inscription,
'To Karen, at age 6, from Grandad. Happy Birthday 23/1/1981' 
I was born on the 28th!'

The 60's and 70's

I am steadily gathering a collection of photos of my parents from the 60's and 70's. I am hoarding their memories and trying to decipher the mystery of who these people were before we all came screaming into their lives and changed everything.  Photographs looked better in the 70's, this one was taken in London, it is the top of the Victoria Memorial outside Buckingham Palace.

The 1970's

My mother's necklace is an enamel butterfly, from Italy- most likely Florence, her brother gave it to her sometime in the late 70's, the precise details like many things lost to time. She gave it to me the summer her father was dying. It is the only piece of jewellery I have worn that men have stopped me in the street to compliment.


'I really loved Hackney and East London. I was living there with my friend Bec who bought me the pin along with a matching T shirt. At the time everyone in London had taken to wearing the iconic 'I heart New York' tees and this was my tongue-in-cheek response. Hackney was rough, gritty, dirty but full of the best people and it holds a special place in my heart. London gives you a freedom to become whoever you want to be, a freedom that you don't find so easily elsewhere. The pin reminds me of my years in london and all it gave me'

Alison- hair stylist


This soap must be at least 25 years old, we have had it so long the details are rubbed away at the edges and covered in fluff just like the soap itself. Originally it must have belonged to our older sister until a game of 'steal and keep' began. Months might go by until it appeared victoriously, briefly- and then it would be gone again. And somehow I had it in my sock drawer for years and years. Then I gave it to little sister who has kept it now for 7 years, 9 months and a couple of days.