Sunday, 7 April 2013

Storytelling Sunday Three: Pick Your Precious



Storytelling Sunday Three? There is no excuse for not joining in with this one - everyone can do it! Pick Your Precious is about celebrating the little things you love: those souvenirs, bits and pieces, things from your past you can't bear to throw out. You know, the special little something you have tucked away in a drawer or up on a shelf? Or the thing you  love most in a room? Or the object you would save if you knew you had to leave the country? Your favourite things.

Ready to begin?

The Typewriter

Pick my Precious? This month I could hardly lift it! makes me wonder how my nine year old self used to do it: staggering under its weight, searching out a spot for the potable office..


My Precious today is a typewriter. And I had to find it for you by touch. I let down the loft ladder in my Mum's hall and when I climbed to the top, I remembered that the light hadn't worked for years. So I felt my way along the boards, up over the dolls pram, past the picture frames until I found the case with the crack in it; and then I hauled it - gingerly - over the swathes of insulation and back down the ladder. I remembered the days before the built in ladder arrived; and how my dad would hoist himself up by his arms from a set of ordinary household steps. That always impressed; seemed so manly from a small schoolteacher who wore cardigans and lived in his greenhouse. But I'm getting off the subject.

Or maybe I'm not. The typewriter was his; and when he let me borrow it, I felt his trust. He knew I would be careful. It had travelled with him from a teaching job in Africa (the label says "Union Trading Company: Ghana and Nigeria"); and, when I was little he was still using it in his work. When I wasn't. My work was  essential too. I had a family Gazette to write. I've already told its story here: it was full of homework poetry and self-important diary notes. Sian went to the Library on Wednesday, and borrowed three books. Or On Friday Sian received a letter from Mr. S. Wright.

Mr S.Wright: that was Grandpa, and you've heard about him before too. Within a couple of years both men were gone and the typewriter was put away. But by then I was happily filling exercise books with answers to essay questions. Every weekend: English or History, History or English. I had plenty of words for both.

Which brings us back to today, I guess. We brought the typewriter home. I dusted it and, after a bit of googling, ordered a new ribbon for the executive sum of £4.50. It's at least fifty years old and it works almost perfectly. Maybe you've noticed its work appearing on my pages? I'm even thinking of bringing back the Gazette. Little E took lunch with his cousins on Friday. Oh, but wait - maybe the blog has got there before me...

My story is done. How's yours coming? Show us some pictures, tell us the story behind whatever you choose: it's all good. Write your post, with an introduction linking back to Storytelling Sunday (so your readers get the idea, the more the merrier!) and come link us up. I'm looking forward to reading about your treasures..

..More information can be found on the Storytelling Sunday page. And, don't forget, any story will be welcomed. It doesn't have to be precious in any way at all! Whatever you have in your head will be just fine: small or tall, we'll read them all. And if you are reading in a Reader, click through now to join in...

46 comments:

Kylie said...

My older sister had one of the very earliest electronic typewriters and I can remember being so enamored by it. I wanted to use it so badly! Nowadays I would love to have a typewriter for my scrapbooking and look at them longingly in antique stores. One day...

Chipper said...

I LOVE the sound and feel of an old typewriter. I have been hunting for a cheap one to buy but they seem to have become collectors items and they are no longer cheap! I like that this one has a story. If old typewriters could speak oh the stories they could tell ...

Nathalie said...

It's time for me to do some catching up here!!! I have missed way to many of your posts! I love the story of the typewriter (all the way from Africa!) - It is so great to know that you can now use it to record your memories... I can see a page with typed journaling telling the story of the typewriter! Ha!

ComfyMom~Stacey said...

I wonder if my parents still have their old manual typewriter. Somehow I suspect it was sold or given away when they sold the house I grew up in 15 years ago.

Such a great story & how lucky to still have the typewriter!

alexa said...

Precious indeed to be able to tap the keys on which your Dad's fingers rested, Sian. And what a wonderfully exotic provenance! So glad you got a ribbon for it!

Jennie said...

Wonderful that you still have the typewriter and I am so pleased you found some ribbon for it . I had an Olivetti, I am now wondering where it got to. I too have as story to share-but as I am away this weekend i have set it as a scheduled post and can't get Mr Linky to work for me today... Thanks for the story Sian , you do have a way with words! J x

Jennie said...

Hurrah! I just managed to link up.

Sheena said...

Fabulous story Sian what precious memories this machine holds x
I have one which belonged to my Father in Law which now makes regular appearances on my pages too :)

debs14 said...

Oh I can almost remember the exact feel of those keys, I learnt to type on that design of typewriter! How lovely that you were able to find it up in the deep dark recesses of the loft, by memory rather than being able to see it.
When I read your blog I often feel a real connection, and reading this I wonder if there is some Irish ancestry, for my maiden name was ... Wright!

Becky said...

I loved being allowed to use my Mum's typewriter and actuallyntaught myself to,touch type before I went to college to train as a secretary! You brought back memories of my Dad hauling himself up into the loft like that too! Another wonderful story - thank you!

Missus Wookie said...

Oh how lovely - I've told the story of why I learned to type, but I learned on a keypad. Had a typewriter to but it wasn't as fast.

But to know that the type on your pages (and yes I had noticed and admired) was done with your dad's machine - definitely precious. Thanks for telling us!

Jennie Hart said...

Ahh that is a lovely object. I can imagine it does give you great pleasure to use. I had a very cheap toy typewriter when I was little and it didn't work great, but it was very much loved. A family gazette is a great idea, you were a project lifer way back when.

Ladkyis said...

I had a typewriter, it was pink. Back in the days before pink was the in colour - way back in the 60's. I loaned it to my (I thought) best friend. she moved on and took it with her, or threw it out like she threw our friendship, and it was lost. I was sad when I remembered so I don't remember often.
I too produce a family gazette. it goes out three times a year and is part of the cement that holds this fragmentsed family together

Angelfish said...

I love the thought of your fingers on the keys where your Dad's had been. Very precious indeed. You reminded me of my Dad hauling himself into the loft in the same way and my brother after him, when we cleared the contents so that my Mum could move.
Fiona x

Julie Kirk said...

I've been having yearings for a typewriter lately ... and your story hasn't helped! In fact, I saw one yesterday, in a charity shop window but we had to dash back to the car as our parking ticket was running out ... Maybe I should go back after work this week and have a proper look ... imagine me lumping it home on the bus!!

I can picture you now in that loft ... another time when being petite comes in handy don't you think?

:-)

Jane said...

What a lovely story, I chuckled over your dad climbing into the loft, how well I remember that, it was definitely a man's job!!

S said...

Oh what history that typewriter holds - and how lucky you were to be able to get a ribbon at all. Here's to many more "gazettes" being typed on it!

Cheri said...

Wonderful story. When we went totally computer, I gave my old typewriter from college to Good Will. I can't tell you how often now I wish I had it back!!

Miriam said...

Me too, longing for a typewriter again. How wonderful to have your fathers Sian. x

helena said...

I remember my so called 'portable' typewriter that I had as a student -I still miss the noise of the keys when I type on a keyboard

Karen said...

I gave away my manual typewriter before I got interested in scrapbooking, and would love to find another one that works. How lovely to own one with history!

Elizabeth said...

How wonderful that you still have your father's typewriter! Did your family enjoy the gazette your wrote on the typewriter? Bet they did and chuckled a bit at your announcements, in an endearing way of course. I recently gave my grandfather's Royal portable to my niece. I've had regrets ever since. It's not so much the typewriter but the memories associated with it.

Abi said...

What a treasure Sian. I would love a typewriter. I love how something that was so useful back in the day is now something to be used in art. Its a great colour too!

tidbitsandtreasures2011 said...

If typewriters could talk...I wonder what your portable would have to say for itself, where it's been, the stories its told, how it feels to be brought out from the attic? I'm glad it has found a place of honor in your home.

scrappyjacky said...

I had a typewriter...but mine was a child's one....blue....and light to carry around!My mum and I would sit typing together.

Sinead said...

What a fabulous story! Typewriters are amazing :D Thank you for sharing xx

Louise said...

I had a typewritter just like that and I could kick myself for letting it go. So glad you've still got yours, I;m sure it could tell you a tale or two about its travels.

Great story. I recall my dad getting into the loft the same way!

Alison said...

I never had a typewriter, though my mum did...how lovely that you have your dad's ...and I too remember my dad getting into the loft in the same way!
Alison xx

Sandie said...

I love the noise typewriters make and the little bell that pings at the end of each line. Happy memories. I managed to pick up a free typewriter last year. I need to buy a ribbon for that, a Google search sounds the way to go.
Loved the image of your dad climbing into the loft using his arms to hoist himself - I remember that only too well too!! Lovely story Sian and glad you have the typewriter back x

jeanie g said...

Such a precious story Sian, I can remember bashing away on the old typewriters at evening classes when I was 16, way before personal computers were even an idea! Your Granddad sounds as if he was a brilliant schoolteacher.

Paula - Buenos Aires said...

Remember when we started commenting on each others blogs? That we were surprised by how similar our. Lives were?
Well, last week ... I brought home mom's old typewriter. The one I used for my newspaper when I was little.

Barbara Eads said...

I love your typewriter. It sure brings back memories. We weren't allowed to "play" with ours, but the neighbor lady let us play with hers. I bought an old one about 5 years ago and use it for my scrapbooking. I was pleasantly surprised that I could still get a ribbon for it too. I'll have to pay closer attention to some of your journaling from now on!

Alana said...

Aww, doesn't matter how we remember these memories be it photo, diary or object but the fact that we have them are the most precious:) Pleased to hear the typewriter still works.

Sandra said...

It's the romance of typewriter that we've all fallen in love with again. This truly is precious

Alinor said...

lovely story Sian. I have dreamed of owning a typewriter for like ever, it's just so full of magic!

Jo said...

Great story well told, you managed to fit so many characters in! I love the typewriter and I'm glad you're using it again.

Lynn said...

Who doesn't love a typewriter. My mum went to secretarial college and tells story's of who they had to type in unison to music! Telling my daughters about typewriters really does make me feel like my childhood was a different era!

Lizzie said...

I think my typewriter is still in the cupboard at my mum's... I should check! My dad bought it for me, the summer I turned 16 and I spent the summer holidays teaching myself to touch-type, from a very stern and important book that I bought from Mr Wildman's 2nd-hand book shop in Mill Street (I must tell the story of Mr Wildman one day...). I wonder if it still works?

Love your typewriter tale. And the typewriter itself. There's something special about a typewriter, even though they are really a bit obsolete in these days of complex computers, with touch-screens, rather than touch-typing. Somehow they seem far more enduring, solid and permanent than the new technology... And yet, I typed up school essays on that old typewriter of mine.

I'm impressed with myself, as I've managed to join in with Storytelling Sunday this month. We're on a little holiday and I have some extra time to catch up with blogging.
Of course, my story is about something special to me - or rather, someWhere...

Carmen said...

Apart from shuddering at the thought of you feeling your way in an attic (spiders! Spiders! SPIDERS!) This was a gorgeous story - I've often mentioned to Craig how much I miss playing on my mum's. I think my sister has it. Maybe something to look out for :)

Deb @ Paper Turtle said...

Love your story about your typewriter - and I love the memories it holds and the fact that your father's hands used it at one time too. Lovely! xo

Maria Ontiveros said...

What a lovely story - I especially like your description of how you came to find it again.
Rinda (who's only now getting around to reading the Sunday stories)

Melissa said...

What a treasure you have there with that old typewriter, Sian. I wish my parents had kept theirs around, but alas it's lost to time somewhere.

humel said...

I never did manage to comment here, oops, sorry.... I totally love your precious typewriter, and am covetous ;) Did I tell you that The Tomboy has started a school newspaper? They use computers for it, of course, but I think she'd have enjoyed typing it by hand :)

Lisa-Jane said...

Someone else had a typewriter and I was so impressed that you could still get the ribbons for them! I remember having to really thump the keys on my mums one but I would love to have it again now.

Ruth said...

I love the idea of your typewriter having such a rich and varied history. I wonder what happened to my mum's ...?

Gail said...

I was scared you were going to fall in the attic what with no light and all that you had to go around to get this treasure. How wonderful it is that you have your Dad's typewriter. Oh the stories it could tell I bet. Hmmm, I wonder if my sister still has ours. Probably not - she's not one to keep things. :)

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