Friendship, memories and stuff

“What a wretched lot of old shrivelled creatures we shall be by-and-by. Never mind – the uglier we get in the eyes of others, the lovelier we shall be to each other; that has always been my firm faith about friendship.” George Eliot.

I love this quote from George Eliot, the pen name of author Mary Ann(e) Evans, who wrote it in a letter to her friend Sara Hennell in May, 1852. It’s stuck to a pin board above my computer and comes from a little 8x8cm paperback book about friendship, given to me by Gabby (pictured below … at our finest).

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Dumb and dumber

The book no longer exists – I ripped out the quote which grabbed me the most so I can see it every day, rather than having it lost amongst my belongings. I’m sure Gabby wouldn’t mind knowing that part of her present has been recycled, because I’ve taken the best thing from the book and it’s being used. Those sentences remind me of our friendship and I smile every time I read it.

To celebrate our 20th anniversary of travelling around Europe and the UK together, Gab and I walked Hadrian’s Wall, in the north of England, in June 2014. What a blissful (and strenuous!) week that was, stomping across such lovely countryside, surrounded by all that history. It was all the more special because Gab lives in Melbourne and has two young boys. Many thanks also go to her husband, Dean, for holding the fort and making this trip possible. So many wonderful memories …

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Exhausted on Hadrian’s Wall

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Gab on the bridge at Willowford

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What a sight! A field of buttercups. We ran through it like excited children

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A little box of goodies for walkers to buy, set up by a young lad keen on some pocket money

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Just glorious

What would you rather have? The present or the memories? I’m very grateful for both, but, for me, experiences and memories mean so much more.

Plenty’s been written recently about a trend that’s gathering strength – selling things rather than keeping them for the next generation. This is a blunt but brilliant story from The Washington Post about adult children not wanting more stuff from their parents. Even my mum and sister are thinking about selling their huge dinner sets which no longer see the light of day, because they know none of our clan are all that interested in them (the responsibilities of an heirloom, stressing about them breaking when used or moving house, and how much space is needed to store them, to name a few concerns).

Do you have unused things you hold onto, because someone gave them to you and there could be tension if they were gone? This can be a really tricky area if you’re trying to declutter or downsize your belongings. We all have a few (or many!) things we keep for sentimental reasons. How do you sort through them all and decide what to keep?

Here are some tips from Miss Minimalist about letting go of heirlooms and more from House Beautiful about sentimental clutter. Maybe something in there will be helpful. And don’t forget to thank your things before letting them go, a la the KonMari Method. Even though it sounds crazy, I think it really helps.

Wishing you a wonderful day.

p.s The exercise story will come next. I’m happy for this to be a stand-alone post.

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