My year in three objects

Before moving too far into 2011, I thought I’d do one final post looking back at 2010.  Inspired by the BBC/British Museum project with a similar name but a much more ambitious remit, I decided to come up with the three objects that capture my year.  The results of my musings surprised me; my mind turned not to objects that represent the ‘big’ things such as finishing my thesis but to objects that speak of smaller but no less profound changes and developments.  And in no particular order, the results are:

1) My stitch counter

This is a small plastic tube with two revolving number counters.  You slip it onto a knitting needle and use it to keep a tally of the rows knitted, turning it up one with each row.  It is no exaggeration to say this little item has transformed my crafting life, making all the scraps of paper & little pencils behind my ear redundant.  It has speeded up my knitting by a rate of knots too.  A simple yet ingenious invention.  The fact that it belonged to my grandma adds a further layer of poignancy to the item.

2) My jazz shoes

My jazz shoes were a birthday present from an aunt & uncle.  Bound up in these two small bits of leather are various layers of meaning: a lovely gift in themselves; a new hobby; one of my favourite hours of the week; a commitment to sport and fitness that is relatively new to me – and was one of my big resolutions of 2010; a changing attitude towards my body – a new type of relationship with everything from the neck downwards and a new perspective on my own physicality, which seemed particularly significant in a year that followed a major illness.  I have never really danced before & one year ago, I could not have even begun to imagine how much I enjoy it.  I may be in danger of sounding like a contestant on Strictly Come Dancing, but dancing has changed my life.

3) Souter Lighthouse, pictured

As with the jazz shoes, there are many layers of meaning to Souter Lighthouse.  At the most basic level, it is a reminder of my lovely and somewhat impromptu summer holiday.  At the same time, it reminds me of freedom and independence – the sense of bravery that I felt when deciding to holiday alone.  It is also symbolic of desires and aims achieved during the last twelve months.  I had long wanted to visit the lighthouse, and 2010 was the year that I did.  So Souter features as an icon of all the things I did that I had dreamt of doing before: becoming a Quaker; getting better at knitting; doing regular exercise; making a simnel cake; finishing my thesis; buying a car; improving at crochet…And I hope that this list will roll on into 2011 too.

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