Story of Objects update – research going deeper & wider, stories richer & richer

Four weeks ago today I uploaded the ‘how to contribute film’ to YouTube. It’s had 168 views and tipped over the 20 submissions yesterday to 22 (not all are numbered as some are linked-through). Many people have said they will be submitting theirs soon. Whilst I’d like to say it’s not about numbers, it is my vision for the Story of Objects that links will be revealed between people and places, which will only occur when a substantial number of films are online. I’m currently tagging them and there are certainly themes evolving – a fondness for tools, particularly those owned by parent, grandparents, great grandparents;  in my own family, the silver sunday service items are a hot topic; found objects are the focus of much affection; childhood memories too. I will formally analyse these things in due course, but for now, I want to thank everyone who has contributed, and correct a misunderstanding (my fault) that arose due to my mis-explanation of the process.

I occasionally used the phrase ‘most loved object’ or ‘favourite’ object – which led many people to believe they had to choose just ONE thing. I’m sorry, that was misleading and appears to have caused a lot of head-scratching and worrying about which one is THE most important object they own.

You are very welcome to choose anything you own that you find hard to let go of. Some people have many things they love and find hard to throw away. At different stages of our lives we have less things – following a move, downsizing, divorces etc. And at other times we accumulate stuff, way beyond our capacity to manage the things – when our parents pass away, when the children leave home and leave their things behind (but you daren’t throw them away!).

Daniel Miller has written some great narratives about these issues in his book The Comfort of Things.

Some people are philosophically opposed to forming relationships with material things. Others are hoarders. It doesn’t matter. A few people have declared to me that they don’t have attachments to anything in particular. When I ask them if they sometimes find something in a drawer or old box in their house or garage do they find it hard to discard, repeatedly, most agree they do.

I have recently mourned the loss of a particular family teaspoon – Dutch, with a moving windmill. My father, a Dutchman, used to use it for the sugar he heaped on his buttered rusks in the morning at breakfast time. On mentioning that to my daughter about 3 years ago, she bought me one on eBay. It’s lovely. On a recent visit to my sister she produced the very spoon that had gone missing, and gave it to me. When I examined them together, I noticed that the one my daughter bought was a memento from the Open Air Museum in Arnhem – I went there on my honeymoon in 1978. To cap that, my ex-husband also found the one we had in our own home and is sending it back. Of course I had left mine behind in the sugar bowl – I don’t use sugar! Next step is to ask my family in Holland and USA if they also have one of these spoons.

Hmmm, time to make another 30 second video I think.

Do join me!

my windmill spoons

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