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Saturday, July 27, 2013

Toby and I might be the ones rocketing towards major birthday milestones, and the inevitable hair loss that follows, but Amelie seems to be the one getting all the cards. Last Sunday she received the one on the left from her Great Aunt, who's attempting to weasel her way into my daughter's affections by saying it with ferrets.

The card accompanied a small jewellery box, which contains the closest thing we have to a family heirloom. Up until now, the only gift that's been passed down to me through the generations is the fat gene, but thanks to my aunt, that personal history of disappointment has finally been broken. Although she's given it to Amelie, not me.

The top of the box says this:

... which is slightly spooky, as it was printed about thirty years before my Dad came on the scene and my Mum became a Gardner. The box was bought in 1933 from H.S. Gardiner of Caversham, who, much like myself, seamlessly combined eye care with bling. They also had the kind of phone number that even I can remember. According to the card (which I read when Amelie wasn't looking), the necklace inside was given to my Mum's cousin on 6th September 1933, when she was six years old and a bridesmaid at my grandparents' wedding.

Somehow, the necklace moved from my Mum's cousin to my aunt (possibly as a result of theft), and now she's handed it down to her great niece, Amelie. Who'll be putting it straight on eBay.

I'm joking, of course. It's far too good for eBay. I'm thinking Sotheby's or The Antiques Roadshow. My aunt insists it's not worth anything in monetary terms, but I suspect she's only saying that to stop us taking it down Cash Converters.

But while we're mentally spending our riches, Amelie has received another card in the post...

That one's come from the school she'll be starting at in September, and features photos of her new classroom, teachers and assistants. The computer monitors look older than the staff, but I'm loving the train in the playground. As for the words inside, well they convey a very sweet message, welcoming Amelie to her new school and telling her that they can't wait to meet her. An opinion which might change when they do. They also ask her to make her own 'treasure box' over the summer, decorate it in any way she likes, and then "fill it with 3 special things that you could show and talk about with your new friends". She has to take it with her on her first day. So we'll have lost that necklace by the first week in September.


Phil's Mum said...

I thought that was your new home you'll be buying when you win the lottery - and those were your servants. (I suppose they are in a way!) That looks like a school any of us would look forward to going to!