The other day in a box of old letters and photos i found a Mars bar wrapper that I had saved in 1987 which had the birthday of a boy I fancied as the sell by date. Yes, really.

I threw it out.

But that’s about it. There will be no cathartic bonfire.


I still have my student ID card circa 1995, some poems about skeletons I wrote in primary school and a father’s day card I made when I was five.

There’s a dried rose I was given at uni by a DJ about 20 years old than me, lots of notes I passed in GCSE maths class and a programme for a play I was in during my A levels.


I’ve kept postcards my friends sent me from their holidays in the 1980’s, a homemade joke book I made by cutting out jokes from the beano and sellotaping them into a little notepad and copies of The Times from my children’s birth days.

I have a folder with print outs of personal emails I sent and received during five years of an office job, a year planner with dates and times of lectures and events I attended as a fresher and random notebooks with shopping lists, meal ideas and snippets of interesting conversations I have overheard.

I know I’ve got a little faux leather diary that I kept when I was 11 (full of very dull commentary), a pencil drawing I did of Madonna when I was 14 and several cut out Guardian ‘Lost Consonants’ columns that an old boyfriend used to keep for me

There’s a house brochure for my first house purchase, bank statements that document my buying habits when I was young and single in the early noughties and several essays I wrote at university.

I’ve kept a scrapbook my mum made with all the birthday cards I received from ages 1-5 and all the birthday cards my children have even been given plus all our wedding anniversary and valentines cards.

I have 10 years worth of BBC Good Food and Delicious magazines and folders full of recipes for meals I have never cooked, torn from Sunday supplements.


There’s a box full of handwritten cardboard cassette tape inserts from the various mix tapes I made between 1985 and 1995. And wedding invitations for couples that I am no longer in touch with and who have since split up.


I’ve kept a certificate from a spelling bee in 1980, my pianoforte preliminary exam certificate from 1983 and the ticket to the first concert I went to in 1989 (erasure).

My mum recently got a box down from the attic and it was full of my sister’s postcards and letters. I went through it and took all the letters I had written her because I never kept a diary and this was the next best thing. I asked mum what she did with the rest and she said she just bagged it up for the recycling because my sister ‘just wasn’t interested’. Whereas I just can’t seem to let go of the past.

Mind you, writing this list does make me wonder about my sanity. Perhaps I will have a bonfire.

Just not this year.

Today’s earworm: Theme from Fraggle Rock

Last night’s different dinner score: 1!


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