Memories are life insurance policies for your brain. – Andra Watkins

I’m writing with jet lag. Who knows what this post will do to my brain? But maybe I’m writing it to remember how it felt to be back in England on my first day. I followed my friend Kate to work, and I’m sitting in the Guildford Cathedral refectory. I owe Jendi a billion things before I go offline, and I’m trying to get them done.

This morning, I was reflecting about the memories I’ve made in the UK. For someone who didn’t visit until my fortieth year, I’ve packed in a ton. I relayed one of my favorite memories to Kate on our way to working this morning.

2010. Our Rotary Friendship Exchange team spent a rainy day in Ely. For those unfamiliar, Ely’s cathedral stood in for Westminster Abbey in the movie “The King’s Speech.” Oliver Cromwell was born there. And it’s home to the most amazing junk shop I’ve ever visited. I roamed the place for several rainy hours, wondering what stories were trapped within everything I saw and touched. Junk shops are repositories of forgotten stories, aren’t they? The house stuff people discard because they probably never knew why it mattered.

I settled on a shelf of silver pieces, determined to go home with a set of silver spoons for my coffee, and behold! I found the perfect set, six dainty demitasse spoons sporting a shield on the handle. I snapped them up for almost nothing and enjoyed my tiny piece of Ely every day once I returned home.

Several months later, my English exchange guests, a husband and wife, were having some tea in our home. She picked up her spoon and gawped at the back. “This stamp! I think these are Georgian!”

“Stamp?” I replied.

“Yes. See this set of letters and numbers on the back? It indicates provenance. I’m going to snap a photo and send it a friend right now.”

My spoons weren’t Georgian. Alas, they were Victorian, a cast off set from the royal household. Maybe they once graced the lips of Queen Victoria herself. Stories make things more valuable, don’t they? And isn’t that life insurance for the brain?


This is part of a series of pictures about making memories. If you liked the story why not share it with your friends? Let’s meet on Facebook or Twitter. If you prefer pictures you will surely like my Instagram. I’ve collected inspirational things and more on Pinterest! Any comments? Write them below!

memories are life insurance policies for your brain. Andra Watkins

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