Sunday, 23 March 2008

Memories and other Random Thoughts

This book began because I wanted a way to scrap things that didn’t have photographs. So many of my memories and thoughts that make a big part of who I am are pre digital cameras and the option of having millions of photos to choose from or are just memories that didn’t have photos to go with them, this doesn’t make the memory any less worthy of being remembered. I wanted to pass on some of those memories in the same way that I do my photographs but I have used journaling instead.

A friend of mine found a quote I think says it all:

“Without pictures, our words will be valued by our descendants a hundred years from now, but without words, the pictures will be meaningless”.

Menopause – does it affect the brain?
My Mum called me from France, where she lives, and explained that she needed some new underwear and asked me to go buy them - obviously in France nobody wears underwear so she couldn't actually get any.... so, I dutifully go to the store and buy her underwear - telling the clerk that they ARE NOT FOR ME - because my Mum is 74 and feels that she needs size 20 big girl panties!! I get organised to send them off in a large jiffy bag that some scrap stash had arrived in earlier in the week (its called recycling, ok, I am not cheap, proven by the fact that I just spent nearly £30.00 on the biggest panties you would never want to see).Yesterday I took the parcel to the Post Office and had it weighed, pay the air mail rate and waved the big girl panties goodbye, chuffed at having completed my good deed for the day.The postman has just delivered my Mum's big girl panties to me..... I forgot to change the address on the front of the recycled envelope!! So I am now off to the Post Office to mail my Mum her big girl knickers....
Crops – is it just me that goes to crops and get nothing to do with scrapping done? I drink the coffee, eat the chocolate biscuits, chat to everyone, admire all the new creations since the last crop and drool over all the new stash that has been bought, but scrap? No, I never get any scrapping done – scrapping to me is on my own in my scraproom. I think a crop is actually my day off from scrapping. I go for the company, the laughter, the chocolate biscuits – then come home and get more done in one hour than I
have all day!

Shoes - I love shoes. I freely admit to having more shoes than I could possibly wear out in
my lifetime. When I was in my teens I was in boarding school and we had to wear a uniform
– a really ugly uniform in dark green and flat lace-up brown shoes. Serviceable ugly school
shoes. At the end of term we were supposed to fly back home to our parents in uniform
– this was probably to ensure we stayed safe – and safe we were because nobody in their
right mind (or otherwise) would have attempted to start anything funny with us dressed in
our really ugly school uniforms complete with pork pie hat in winter or straw boater in
summer!! Once out of range of the nuns we would change into our own clothes but I had
to keep the shoes on because I didn’t have any others. My Mum’s answer to a request for
nice shoes to wear outside school was that they were perfectly fine… to me this was on par
with saying it was ok not to buy me other clothes because I had a school uniform to wear!
My collection of shoes is because I never want to be in that situation where I can’t have a
different pair of shoes to suit the different clothes I am wearing. I love shoes….
Motherhood - I look at my son and I can’t help but think that at some point in the last 21 years I must have done something right so that I can take some of the credit for the way that he has turned out – it cannot possibly all have been by accident or genetics, nurturing must have come into it! It’s odd, as mothers we a look at our offspring and think ‘ he walked early’ or ‘she was potty trained first’ and ‘mine already has 5 teeth’ and we fluff ourselves up like happy mother hens. We love our kids, hope to do our best for them, teach them right from wrong – then one day you suddenly realise that in front of you is this adult, with his own definite opinions, work ethics, manners and you think ‘I actually like this young man, enjoy his company and conversation’. Of course I love him, I would love him if he were a mad axe man or a drug addict, my love is unconditional because he is mine – but to actually ‘like’ him, appreciate him for the individual he is – now that’s a bonus.
Mammograms - its that time of year again and I tell myself that it is in my best interest to attend and suffer the indignity of having my poor boobs flattened to the depth of a penny. Only a man could have come up with that machine, its all flat hard surfaces with sharp corners, not a curve in sight – I don’t know any woman who has a shape suitable for it. The bit I find most puzzling is afterwards when the doctor prepares me for a biopsy and plunges a needle deep into my poor boob – a local anaesthetic she says, so you won’t feel anything, she says, when I put the needle in for the biopsy…. Eh? There is something wrong with that…. I will figure it out one day….

Dieting - Nothing tastes as good as thin feels.
What’s that condition called that people suffer from where they are thin but see themselves in the mirror as fat? Sort of ‘deceptive body shape disorder’ – or if it isn’t that, it’s a pretty cool name for it. I think I suffer from this. I look in the mirror and this middle-aged woman, a bit on the plump side, stares back at me. I have been on my diet for 11 months now and still that middle-aged plump woman stares back at me. I think she has taken up permanent residence there. Friends kindly tell me that the diet is working, my class leader insists the diet is working, my husband tells me I don’t need to diet and that I have lost loads of pounds, except the most of them are ££’s not lbs! So how come the clothes in my wardrobe that didn’t fit before, still don’t? I blame that middle aged plump woman in the mirror….

Shopping Shopping for the little black dress… I am very lucky, I have a husband that likes to shop. Yes, he honestly enjoys trailing around the shops and if prompted will venture an opinion or two as well. Thus began the saga of the little black dress – well charcoal gray actually, but you get the picture. I saw it and loved it, it was an off one shoulder, velveteen clingy material that fitted. I tried it on – looked in the dressing room mirror – yep, there was that middle-aged plump woman again, so ignoring her, I stepped outside to show hubby…. Hmmmm, not good as I recall, it went along the lines of it not suiting me, was too clingy, revealed rather than concealed a few lumps and bumps and wasn’t very flattering. Harrumph!! The little charcoal number went back on the rail and I lost all enthusiasm for further dress shopping and we both headed to the nearest café for a late and large slice of carrot cake. I went back to the shop a couple of days later and found my little charcoal number on the sale rail. Now, any woman with sense should know that if a dress she likes is still in the shop after a couple of days, she should be questioning the reason for this, if said dress is reduced in price – big alarm bells should be going off. I bought the dress – it has hung, unworn, in my wardrobe for four years – it still shows the lumps and bumps and is inappropriate… I still like it, but not on the middle-aged plump woman who resides in my mirror.

Eensy Weensy’s Big Brother November 2001 JohannesburgI met a new inhabitant of this wonderful place. It was about 2 a.m. and Chris had a sinus attack – these are not as frequent as they used to be but remain extremely painful and difficult to sleep through. About 2.30 a.m. I decided that a cup of tea was in order. (Has anyone noticed how often these tales have cups of tea in them?). Anyway, I returned to the bedroom with my cup of tea and placed it on the bedside table whilst glancing up and left. On the wall was the hugest spider I hope to ever meet. “Bloody hell, that is BIG!” had Chris following my look of horror, closely followed by one of his own. I may have mentioned this previously but Chris is arachnophobic and dealing with many legged creatures is supposed to be part of my repertoire – but not in this instance. No way was I going to get near this thing that had both front legs up in attack mode. Chris said he would go and find out what it was and whether it was poisonous while I remained in the bedroom to ensure it didn’t disappear. I have to admit – it did occur to me after ten minutes of staring at this huge yellow and black legged creature that this may have been prevarication on his part or just an urgent need to be as far away from it as possible or just a futile hope that I would have miraculously made it vanish in the meantime. He returned to tell me its Latin name (as if this helped) and said it was venomous. Reassuring, very reassuring. Anyway, the lack of a pronounceable name meant I was calling him Fred. Now Fred may give the impression of a solid, worthy sort of character but if I tell you that his surname is Estaire you may have a better impression. Quick and agile on his feet and able to leap about if necessary. Fred was an unwelcome visitor and I wanted him gone. We decided not to go the insect repellent route remembering the Parktown Prawn saga – very large insects tend to get pretty miffed when sprayed with this stuff and Fred was miffed already, he hadn’t moved but those two front legs were still held up in attack mode. I voted for the death sentence to which Chris replied: “have you got half a house brick handy?” – sarcasm doesn’t become him but I have to agree – anything less was only going to dent it. Chris disappeared and returned with a Tupperware lunchbox large enough to capture it. I kept well back – standing on the bed giving encouragement and making helpful comments but of no real use whatsoever and resisting the temptation to undo the mosquito net and ensure I was inside but in all fairness it seemed a bit cowardly to leave Chris to brave the beast while I was safely wrapped in net. While Chris edged toward it and covered it with the lunchbox I sort of leapt about like a three year old testing its parent’s bed for bouncy castle compatibility. After some manoeuvring he also got the lid on – I was amazed he managed to do it and grateful that Fred was now on his way out of our home. Chris set him free over the other side of the complex – in the hope that Fred’s sense of direction was on a par with my own and he would be unable to find us again. I now keep the windows closed at night.


  1. You are so good at this! I never think of journalling these types of thought and ramblings without a photo, but you are right they are so important!

  2. Fab book.Love all the journalling.The bit about going to crops sounds like me. I never get any pages done.

  3. Annette, it is amazing how wonderful a 'photo-free' book can be. Your creative side really shows through on this but it is the words that are so important - wonderful book of memories. Toni :o)

  4. This is just inspiring! I too have more memories than piccies!!!!

  5. Love your photo free book Annette,you have some amazing memories. Really quite glad there is no photo to show FRED!!

  6. I love this book.A lot of work must of went into this.Brilliant.

  7. I only wish some of my ancestors had thought to write their memories down like this. I loved reading your memories.


Thank you for taking the time to leave your comment, it is truly appreciated - sort of confirms that it is more than my Mum and husband that read this thing! :)