When I moved down to Yorkshire from Aberdeen, I wanted to bring a bit of home with me.
There are a few things that reek of the land of my birth, white pudding suppers, rowies, sunsets that look like the sky has been set on fire, the Northern Lights, granite, evil Megaseagulls From Hell. That's just for starters. None of these things are particular portable or durable however. One day not long before I was due to go, I found in a shop a kind of picture frame with a deep space between the backboard and the glass. It came with labels and sticky pads and things and the idea was that you stuck in photos and mementoes from holidays and put it on the wall as a keepsake.
I snapped it up and filled it was photos of my favourite bits of Aberdeen, added little glass phials, one filled with earth, and the other two with water from the two rivers that run through the city. I added pebbles from the beachfront and that sort of thing and it's been on my wall down here ever since. My box of home.
While I was away I resurrected the idea, with modifications, for a friend of mine.
She and her partner have not had the best of years really and they had to cancel their own Cornish holiday because of that. She was particularly gutted as she loves that part of the country as much as I do if not more.
Just before going I managed to get hold some more little glass bottles so while away I collected some water from a river in Boscastle, which I know she's fond of and some sand from a beach, some pebbles and a seashell. I popped them all into a little wooden box I picked up in Newquay. There's a little room left so she can add to it herself later if she wants to.
Today was my first chance to give it to her, and I hadn't mentioned my plans.
She seemed to really love it so I hope she gets as much from it as I do from my box.