spinets and other memories

One of the best things about travelling is experiencing new places and new ideas.  One of the other wonderful things about travelling is catching up with old experiences.

A few days ago we had lunch with my aunt and uncle.  We haven’t seen each other since 1992.  During that time they have lived in Bermuda, Germany,  the Solomon Islands, Cairns and latterly Sydney.  I have no photographs, but I have a wonderful experience and memories of a lovely day.  I suppose I am continuing on the theme of yesterday.  Enjoy the moment, don’t worry about recording it.

I am 50, the last time my uncle and I met I was 29.  We have both changed quite a lot since then, or at least aged a fair bit.  We have kept in touch through letters, cards and later email.  It could have been a little awkward, two people related but perhaps with not much in common.  Far from it.  We had a great day, we discussed everything from the problems of ordering a plain black coffee (Americano? Tall Black?  Long Black?  Filter?) to the Australian Health Service (well the Boss is a medic) and reminisced about visiting them in Bermuda when I was three and the number of shoes my mother apparently kept under her bed.

So, my point?  By all means accumulate physical memories, I have no problem with that IF YOU LOOK AT THEM!  I have plenty of scrapbooks and photograph albums.  But while you are filling your house with stuff that you think you should keep because it reminds you of a good time, ask yourself the last time you looked at that stuff.  Do you need it to remind you of the good time?

It is 47 years since I visited Bermuda.  I remember riding on the back of my mother’s bike.  I remember playing the piano (actually I have discovered the spinet) with a neighbour’s daughter; chasing gekkos; the first time I met a black person; swimming in warm seas; the sheer brightness and whiteness of the island  I don’t need stuff to remind me of the happy days because the happy days stick with you.  You might not remember the precise moments but the experience is inside you and doesn’t go.

As we came to the end of our lunch the couple next to us asked what our connection was with Bermuda, as that is where they were from.  Forty five minutes later my uncle and aunt had caught up with news and friends from long ago, and I was introduced as the little girl who used to play the spinet with a mutual friend’s daughter 🙂

The following day we went over to visit them at home for lunch and talking of memories, this is a rather fabulous bronze, made by my uncle, of their late dog Wallis.  She was a staffie like my first dog Figeac and reminds me of her.  Even down to the crossed paws,