Moving On, Staying Put

In February 1999 I had been a widower for four years. I’d decided to change my home into something that might move me forward with my life and away from the sadness of the recent past. I’d always wanted a conservatory along with all of the relaxing mental images of time well spent reading a book, or reclining in a space that was warm and dry as the summer rain paradiddled onto my new transparent roof. I may even marry again. Children of my own. All of this optimism driven by my vision of an idyll of safe solitude. As my grand plan moved from drawing board to reality I remembered something from one of my favourite childhood television programmes, Blue Peter. I’d decided to bury a time-capsule containing details and mementos that may be discovered by someone yet to be born. Well, it was not so much a capsule as a jam jar, the former sounding much grander: preferred. My life has taken may twists and turns during the past decade, not least of which has included my marriage to Liz and my acclimatisation to my newly acquired extended family. However, as with most families space in the home is generally at a premium and anything one can do to increase said space can only be a good thing. In a nutshell, the conservatory had to go, making way for our lovely new kitchen and dining area. This week the builders moved in and began with the systematic demolition of my final reminder of some very forlorn days. I was naturally anxious and would be lying if I didn’t express my feelings of mild sadness, yet the prospect of a shiny new future for our family and our home soon paled any such thoughts into insignificance. Then I remembered my time capsule. I mentioned it to one of the builders as I was leaving for work asking if they came across such a beast to just put it by the back door for me to find on my return.
“To whoever finds this. Well done, I hope this makes your day: makes you smile. I’m sorry it’s not a great treasure, but at least this note and the things buried with it belong to you. This is hello from 3rd February 1999, the final year of the 20th century. I took the opportunity to bury this little time-capsule while the conservatory was under construction. I hope you may have a smile on your face or perhaps a tear in your eye: have a wee drink on me (enclosed). With love, best wishes and a big cuddle from the end of a century: a whole era.” I never expected for one minute that I would ever see this little piece of paper again, and I did have a tear in my eye and a smile on my face. I’d buried some coins, a stamp, a millennium spoon, a photograph and a miniture bottle of brandy. Cheers!

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