I was looking around that room - it is where I keep most of my precious things, because the children seldom go in there, so they're less likely to get broken.
And I suddenly started to see all the treasures that I've got there - that I've saved over the years - the things that mean something to me. Things that connect me with my past, my history, my childhood. And it's not so much the items themselves, but more the people connected to them that mean something to me.
Like these little china polar bears, for instance. Why have I kept them? Why have they survived all our moves, and nearly 20 years since I first opened the paper they were wrapped in? Because they were given to me for my 21st by my best friend's parents.
And what about this lovely hand-embroidered art that sits on my bookshelf. A dear friend, and old girlfriend of my brother's made it for me. It brings back happy times together. I don't see her now. I have no idea where she is, but her handwork sits there everyday reminding me of her.
And I love this little crystal jar that is on a dressing table. It belonged to my grandmother. She used to keep her clip-on earrings and her necklaces in it. I can still see it sitting on her old-fashioned dressing table in her little flat.
And these pretty Lladro girls were given to me by my sister for my 21st birthday. It's a tradition in our family that sisters give each other china figures for that special birthday. A tradition I hope that my girls will continue with each other.
Another very special treasure I have is this plate. My other grandmother had 6 of them comissioned for all her grand-daughters when we were little. When we went to her house, we used to admire them sitting in her glass cabinet and look forward to the day when we could own them. I don't think, as children, we realized what a sad day that would be. That owning them would mean that Nana wasn't here anymore. I'd much rather they were still sitting in her glass cabinet than on my mantlepiece.
On the back our names are inscribed and the date.
And then there's this carriage clock. Special to me because it was given to me by my very dear friend and employer in Chicago. We also have a wall clock that he gave us when we got married. I love the elegance of it and it brings back memories of a very happy time in my life.
And one more thing I'm going to show you is this little crosstitch that I made when I was in my early 20s. My family had gone for a little holiday to the old beach house that we grew up with in the Marlborough Sounds. It had been many years since we had been there and it was a little trip down memory lane. The place is boat access only so we had many lovely quiet days with no distractions, and I sat on the little steps at the top of the path, in the sun, stitching this. Looking at it again brings back those quiet days and that beautiful, magical place where I spent many happy days as a child with my brother and sister and cousins and aunty and uncle and parents and grandparents.
It's nice to have these old things around. They are a connection to the people from my past. They remind me of where I come from, what I've experienced, and how these people have shaped me into the person I am today.
If you look around your place, do you see the same treasures from your past? What do they remind you of?