My Treasure Tin

I listened to Rich Lakin reading one of his poems on his blog yesterday. It was about ‘Word Tins’. You can check it out here.
https://richlakin.wordpress.com/2021/09/12/word-tins-a-few-thoughts/

My reply to him was that I never had word tins, but I did have a tin that I kept my treasures in as a child. He suggested I should write about my tin.

Most people smoked when I was young, including my mum and dad. Dad rolled his own cigarettes, favouring a popular tobacco called Old Holborn, which is still sold here. To keep the tobacco fresh, he would keep it in the tin that it came in, a tin emblazoned with the distintive logo of the brand.

By the time I was given my tin, it was old and well-used, a lot like the one in the photo above.

The first things I kept in that tin were some foreign coins. Some were from India, a legacy of my dad’s army service during WW2. I also had a coin with a hole punched in the centre, which I think was from somewhere in Asia. (Probably Japan) I was sure that those unusual coins would be worth a great deal one day.

Next to go into my treasure hoard was a medal. It was in the shape of a star, and was given to me by one of the family friends who were always known as ‘uncle’, though they were not related. Sixty-two years later, I cannot be sure, but I think it was a Burma Star. It certainly looked like one, as I recall. Here is a photo of one.

Something else I expected to be incredibly valuable when I was older. Hard to believe that they now sell online for around £20. Given what they went through to get one, that doesn’t seem right.

The coins and medal were the only occupants of the old tin for at least a year. Then for some reason I became interested in elastic bands, especially coloured ones. Very soon I had a dozen or more stored in the tin. One very light blue one was a favourite, until I acquired a bright yellow one from somewhere and that went to the top in my estimation. I used one of them -a red one- to secure the tin after that, as the lid was becoming loose.

A day at the beach provided the final addition to the tin, when I was around eight years old. On a stony beach somewhere in Kent, I found a beach pebble that looked like a small pig in profile. At first I presumed someone had carved it into that shape and dropped it, but my mum was sure that all those years on the beach had formed the shape by the pebble constantly being moved by the sea. Either way, it was certainly a treasure, so the pig-stone went into the tin, which was now almost full.

Resecured with the red elastic band, I put it in my small hand-made wardrobe, and there it stayed. I would occasionally open the tin, feel the smooth lines of the pig-stone, and hold the medal to my chest as if I had won it. When the red elastic band finally perished, the tin went into a drawer under my socks.

Between 1967 and 1976, I moved house three times. During one or other of those moves, my treasure tin disappeared.

I just hope whoever found it valued its contents as much as I did as a child.

The Letters

A tremendously poignant piece from Cheryl that many of us can relate to. Beautifully written, and full of genuine emotion.

Living in the Gap

“To write is human, to get mail: Devine!” Susan Lendroth

I didn’t know it would be the last letter I would ever write my Mother, that it would never be delivered, and I would not find it until four years after her death.

Have you ever questioned your understanding of time? How it slips by unnoticed until one day you’re given a blatant reminder, emphasizing our limited time, reminding us not to waste a single moment.

My reminder came right from the grave.

As you know there’s a story behind everything, sometimes the stories are simple, and sometimes they are humorous, but behind most of my stories is my mother, because she is the beginning and the end.

I share this story enmeshed in deep emotion that has nowhere to go but onto the page, receive it gently, with the upmost care, I’m a fragile one today.

…There was no…

View original post 1,680 more words

Short Thoughts (60)

Her feet were always swollen now.

The shoes unsuitable for the weather.

But the only pair she owned that she could get on.

No money for new ones, after paying for her shopping.

The smooth soles couldn’t cope with the ice.

Over she went, the ankle breaking with a crunching sound.

Short Thoughts (55)

His room was small, cramped.

Just enough gap between the furniture to navigate to the door.

He smiled. “Sorry, I know I have too much furniture”.

“I would love to have a bigger room, and some outside space”.

“Maybe not a garden, perhaps a large patio where I could sit outside”.

“I would love to spend time outside, in nature”.

“Yes, I know I wouldn’t be able to see it. But I could sense the space”.

I handed him his long white stick after we helped him stand up.

Short Thoughts (50)

Should she ring the ambulance?

She didn’t like to bother them.

After all, they were busy, and had better things to do.

But the pain in her chest wasn’t going away.

She took two paracetemol and went to bed with a cup of hot milk.

That should settle it.

They found her body two weeks later.

Easter Greetings

I am not a religious person. Easter to me has always meant two extra days off, or double pay for a shift worked on a Bank Holiday.

Hot cross buns, perhaps a turkey dinner, and chocolate eggs as a child.

Over the decades, I have often associated Easter with bad weather too. Miserable weekends away, listening to the rain on the roof, then stuck in terrible traffic driving home.

Since I retired from work, I usually have to be reminded it is Easter, as I rarely know when it is approaching.

However, I know many people do celebrate it, whether for religious reasons, or to spend the extended weekend with family or friends. And I have just remembered that tomorrow is Good Friday.

So with that in mind, I wish everyone a very Happy Easter, whatever you will be doing.