Sunday, 6 November 2011

Storytelling Sunday: Endlessly Intrigued by the Passage of Time

Are you ready? Then it's time to begin..

As I was falling asleep the other night, and thinking about my story for today, a snatch of something came into my head. Did I read it somewhere? I don't know, but I like it. "Endlessly intrigued by the passage of time". That's me. I'm endlessly intrigued. I studied History for years; and often now the stories I love the most pull the past into the present, even if it's only by one single thread. It's a one thread story today; and it's dedicated to Ruth (whose talent for mailing exactly the right thing has cheered many of us at exactly the right time); and it goes like this:

When we moved into this house five years ago, the first thing I decided I loved was the view from our bedroom window. One thing especially I used to see every morning when I opened the curtains

A red pillar box, on the other side of the road, where the big old houses are. I'd been passing that pillar box for years, as a child; a teenager; a student; and its story was always the same.


Over fifty years ago now, my Mum was a young teacher. She had an interesting job visiting sick children in their own homes, providing "Home Tuition" as it was called. (Although, when I think of that job now, I think of all the things we weren't allowed to do as children because she had seen the results. Snowballs could bring blindness, messing about in the bath could end in a broken back.). And she drove herself between jobs, at a time when there weren't too many other cars around some of those streets.

Anyway, one winter the roads were covered in snow, treacherous; and my Mum's little car skidded - right onto the pavement and into that pillar box. When she had gathered herself together and inspected her nose (which would have a bump forever after), she decided to phone for help and she knocked on the door of the nearest big house. Yes, they had a phone (this was fifty years ago, remember) and yes, she could use it - but would she mind leaving an address so that she could be contacted for payment? For a phone call! From a big house! In an emergency! In the snow.

We heard that story as children every time we passed the pillar box. And when we found this house and I saw it standing there, it made me smile. I loved that link with something from fifty years ago, especially as my Mum doesn't live here in the city any more. And then, one day I woke up and it had gone. Just like that. It had outlived its usefulness and been taken away. The thread was broken.

So I guess what I'm saying today is - take that photo, tell that story while you can. I missed the photo. I was too late. But I've written my story. And if you have written yours, you are very welcome to add it below. Just make sure that you add a link back here so that your readers can join in too; and do take a few minutes to enjoy some of the other tales. It's only half a story until somebody listens!

Before I head off to do some listening, I'd like to offer a big thank you to everyone who has emailed me or blogged about Scrap 365. Special thanks are due to Alana for sending the photos of my pages in print. I'm so delighted  those of you with subscription copies have received, read and raved about the first issue! There will be plenty more to come, so if you haven't ordered a copy yet, here is where you need to be..

..and enjoy your Sunday!


47 comments:

Amy said...

It's the entire reason why I scrapbook - I think our stories are precious.

Nathalie said...

The first thing I thought when I saw your photo and started reading was .... it is probably gone now... I loved reading your story and the important message it carries.

Beverly said...

So very true, I have been "too late" too many times. I loved your story.

Scribble Monster said...

Sian, great story exquisitely told as per usual :)

I am still spitting feathers over a missed photo opportunity. A few weeks ago I was driving to work and I was on time. I had my camera in the car as I needed it for work, and I am starting to take the thing everywhere I go. Anyway, there is a valley I drive through that is beautiful and on this morning the sun was rising over the hill onto black, grey and whites clouds with blue sky thrown in for good measure. The cows were in the same field as some sheep and there were horses in another field. It was just bucolic and I didn't dang well pull over and take it. I worried that I might be late.....well really who would have cared in the scheme of things? I know I mentally kick myself every time I drive through the valley, which is pretty much every day lol.

Mary B said...

Great story and such a shame you don't have the photo. Like you I don't have the photo for my story and had to google for something similar.

Fiona@staring at the sea said...

You are so right Sian. The more I blog and read other's blogs, it's showing me new ways to hold onto things and keep that thread intact.
I decided on a story as I was falling asleep last night (organised as ever!) and hope to share it later xx

Julie J said...

Oh my, oh my, oh my. I have totally missed Scrap365. So I was sooooo surprised when I clicked on the link and saw a copy of the magazine given out at the crop I attended yesterday (and never opened ;-( ).
I shall now retire back to bed with a nice cuppa and see what you have in store.

Lynn said...

You are so right and I think you have inspired many people to start writing down their stories. It is certainly the main reason why I scrapbook. I have ordered my copy of the mag so looking forward to receiving it.

Ruth said...

What you've said is so, so true. Spookily, my story is about mail today ...

Nihao, Cupcake! by Margie said...

Great reminder to take those photos now. I'm excited to participate once again this month. I've got my story written and I'm preparing photos to add and then I will link up. Thanks!

debs14 said...

Another fascinating insight into your lives - a great story. And a great lesson to us all - take those photos now, write those stories now - because you never know when it will be too late.
I really look forward to Storytelling Sunday - thank you so much for organising!

Miriam said...

I love your stories Sian, thanks so much for bringing us all together. You said the penultimate STS month, I am worrying!

Jane said...

I so agree with you, preserve those memories while you can

Cheryl said...

so true! and I'm so guilty of not taking that picture... must try harder! x

Wanda said...

Sian, the forum you provide here has given all of us an opportunity to share important-to-us stories. Most of mine don't have photos to go with them, probably because no one thought the day, time, or event was interesting enough to bother with a picture. But, as the stories posted here show, it is often the everyday moments and memories that people value most.

Alison said...

Great story and reminder to keep taking those pics....am off to see if I can look at the magazine online
Alison xx

Barbara Eads said...

Sian,
I love those post boxes! I took several pictures of them when I was there---it was one of my favorite things---and your phone booths. Everything In England just seemed so special to me. Maybe I'm just "used" to our ordinary stuff.

But I totally agree with you---we have to get those pictures to keep those memories from slipping away.

I have a workshop that I call A Year of Memories that now is in its 3rd year with 41 members. It is ALL about what's important to us, how we live and the stories behind it all. That's how we can leave a little of ourselves behind.

I'm so glad to be a part of your Storytelling Sunday. Thanks for that.
Barbara

Julie Kirk said...

Great story Sian. I find it interesting - in many of your stories to date, how your location is a the constant thread through the passage of time. Reminds me of those timelapse films where there's one still point at the centre of a busy scene. It must be very special to you.

Julie x

p.s: happy to be joining in this month.

Miss Smith said...

This is a lovely nostalgic story, I really enjoyed your telling. Thanks for storytelling Sundays, I love them.

And also thanks for the tip on Scrap 365. I've been waiting for this to be out and have just popped over to the site to order my copy. Looking forward to peeking inside!

Jimjams said...

Ah yes the days when the cost of a phone call was a big deal! These days I'd be insulted if someone offered to pay for a local call, but I can remember when it was de rigeur to leave money by the phone if you used it!
I love the way your stories (even the current ones) are rooted in your past - how you "belong" right where you are.
Loved your pages in Scrap365 (which arrived before my crop, but was enjoyed afterwards) - all power to you and the rest of the creative team.

Cheri said...

I love your stories Sian! I'm still hoping to participate, but even though I've been thinking for days, my fibrofogged brain won't let loose a good story. Still thinking and hope to link up later.

Melissa said...

What a great reminder to take the photo NOW! Isn't it nice to get those stories down in print, too. So glad you've hosted this event each month to help us get some of those stories down & think about the photo!

Ladkyis said...

My camera is so much a part of me that I found myself at a committee meeting last month and the first time I actually noticed I had the camera with me was when I put it onto the table in front of me. I then understood the funny looks I had received from other committee members. I then took their pictures anyway, because they were expecting me to!

Nihao, Cupcake! by Margie said...

I'm commenting for the second time today but I wanted to say one of the things I am enjoying about reading all the other stories, is all of the memories from my life it is bringing up! I must start writing them down for future SS!

Gail said...

Wonderful story Sian. I've definitely missed out on photos I wish I had - like my Grandparents' houses.

Abi said...

such a lovely story Sian. There are so many moments I wish I had captured and that is why I scrapbook. Even if I haven't got the picture, the story has to be told. I am loving storytelling sunday by the way!

Abi xx

Jo said...

A lovely story and a shame the post box has gone after all those years

Irene said...

This could have been a sad story - the lost postbox - but the intriguing part, and the one that made me smile the most, was the incredulity of those 'posh' folk asking your poor injured mum to pay for the call. It's no wonder the story was repeated every time you passed that box! Great story!
Am off to check out Scrap 365, sounds a corker.

Maria Ontiveros said...

Thanks so much for hosting this series Sian - it is a way for many of us to record certain stories we otherwise would never write down. I almost took a pass on storytelling this month, but now I'm glad I didn't. I captured an important memory and then came round and feel like you've given me a pat on the back for doing just that!
Rinda

Mel said...

Good point - some photos we assume we can always take but we never know. As a scrapper its the worst not to have a photo for a story you really want to tell!

alexa said...

And it's great that a story is still wonderful with or without the relevant photo from the time. :) I've been trying to preorder 365 for days but the Traplet site refuses to connect! Hoping to be able to see your lovely work soon. :)

Alana said...

I found your story sad but wonderful. I felt sure it was going to end with you tracking it down and now it sits in your garden. But I suppose real life isn't like the movies. A sweet memory anyway.

Amy said...

Hey :) Love the story, its such a shame they took the post box away before you had a chance to capture it! I've tried reinstalling my follow thing, it seems to be working now? It does take a while to load though, so maybe thats the issue. Hmm. Let me know.
xXx

Becky said...

I agree Sian, I missed out on the photo of me with the blackberries in my pocket, but I have got the story written down and I will be doing a layout about it with the 'wallpaper' photo, so at least the memory will be kept and passed on. By the way, I simply love Scrap365! Your articles were fab, as were the rest in the mag, not that I have read them all yet - there is sooo much to read!

Ginger said...

I couldn't agree more Sian :) There are a couple of really good messages in your story today! You did a beautiful job of documenting this memory.

Ifa said...

You are so right, we must write our story now. Thank you for the reminder. Also, congratulations on being featured in the first issue of the mag. I love your pages and share your sentiments around old and new pages.

Louise said...

how true, there are some things I wish I had photos of. Loved your story xx

Susan said...

Great story! I need to try harder to take photos of the everyday moments.

Missus Wookie said...

Thank you for the reminder. I thought of Scrap365 whilst at Capture the Magic but they didn't have copies. Off to ensure I get one. :)

Lovely story and I too remember when the cost of a phone call was definitely worth leaving money for.

Karen said...

Your stories are always among my favorites, and your writing is wonderful! Thanks for sharing another one; good lesson, too. I wish I had recorded so much more as my children were growing up. I remember a lot, but have lost too much.

furrypig said...

I do love reading your stories and the post box one is no exception. I wanted to ask if you have any tips for getting scrap 365?? I have tried for hours to get onto the Traplet site and it won't work so still haven't managed to order the first issue.... any tips?

Deb @ Paper Turtle said...

Another great story from you, dear Sian. You are so right about taking those photos and capturing the memories while you can.

I'm wondering, did your mom ever pay for the phone call she had to make? People can be unbelievable, eh?

Gem's Crafts said...

What a shame that the post box has now gone, but what a lovely link to the past :) I am intending to write my story, I seem to get later & later each month!

Sian said...

Deb, yes my mum paid :) it wouldn't have been like her not to.

scrappysue said...

Oh I was so nostalgic seeing that red post box! What a great story and well worth remembering; sorry they took the box away though.

Rachel B said...

This is something I am so guilty of! Thanks for sharing Sian :)

jennifer said...

Great story. What a shame the pillar box disappeared before you had a chance to take a photo, but it's great you've got the story down anyway. x

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