As readers may know my Dad died in January this year and I have been really touched by the warm and kind messages that I have had. Over the past months my sister and I have been involved in the bitter sweet task of clearing our family home on the Isle of Wight ready to sell it as we really can't justify keeping it on.
Although some things haven't been easy it has been good spending time with my sister and going through things that have brought back memories, deciding what we can let go of and what must be kept. Out went all my school books - was I really that bad at French? Out went the Weeping Boy picture and the flying china ducks - yes, we really did have some of them. There were, however some treasures that we couldn't possibly part with.
Here is one of them. My grandparents always had wire haired terriers like this one. They were working dogs, every one of them was called Pat. But that isn't why I am keeping this battered old tin.
I'm keeping it because it's the family button tin, handed down from my grandmother to my mum and now to me. Many of these buttons tell stories of garments long worn out but with the buttons carefully saved to be used another day. I can remember as a small child being allowed to play with the button tin, hunting for the pretty and unusual ones amongst the everyday white shirt buttons and brown jacket buttons.
I will treasure this tin and add to it my own collection. For me, this sort of inheritance is far more meaningful than anything else.