Tuesday, 7 February 2017

The Time Travelling Wife..

We bought this lovely little desk for the hall in around 2003.
At first we used it properly - keeping diaries, important paperwork, address books, envelopes and stamps in the various drawers and cubby holes.  As the world of communication moved on, it just became 'a nice vintage feature' in the hall..
Yesterday I had to clear it out as part of our grand tidy up for the new carpets.
I realised - with something of a shock - that I genuinely didn't know what was in there!
Most of the drawers I hadn't opened for the best part of a decade.
So I started at the bottom and worked upwards..
In the bottom drawer I was amazed to find a couple of work diaries from 2003 and 2004.
(Goodness knows what they were doing there. I can only assume that they also had some useful contact numbers or birthdays that I hadn't had time to transfer across to the post 2005 diaries.)
If you ever needed an illustration of how my job had expanded and become unmanageable - here's the first week of October for a Head of Music in 2003...

...and this double page spread is the same week in October 2014
(my last October in the job)

I also found a sheet of paper that reminded me that 2003 - 2007 was actually an extremely difficult period in our lives.  In the summer of 2003 Mark was very ill with Meningitis.  It took him years to get back to somewhere near full health.  The sheet was a report from his final (and successful) structured return to work in 2006/7.
It's funny how this collision of a few sheets of paper has got me thinking..
- I remembered that the man who wrote the report died two weeks later while he was on holiday.  He took a shower in his holiday apartment and the water was contaminated with Legionnaire's.
- I've been thinking about the coping mechanisms that we've put in place to help Mark deal with the fact that he hasn't got much in the way of a medium term memory.
- I've been thinking about our paper free world and wondering what there'll be for the family historian in the future..
But mostly I've been hit by the hard evidence of how teaching really has become so challenging.


  1. It's interesting finding old "stuff" & it transporting you back in time. It's these things that make us who we are. BTW, I'm sitting doing this and just to my left is nearly exactly the same desk, which we bought from an antique shop in Hobart, probably around 1990, but I still use mine for lots of things, including all our Car Club bits, like name badges & subscription papers. Take care.

  2. I keep all my old diaries, I love getting them out every so often and looking back, they bring back so many memories. My mum and dad used to have a writing bureau and they asked if we'd like it when they moved house. Unfortunately, we didn't have anywhere to put it so they let it go but I'd have loved to have kept it.

  3. I recently passed my Dad's bureau on to my elder daughter. She was thrilled to become the keeper of it after it being in my possession for over 20 years. Teaching is definitely challenging; that same daughter has become very ill because of it :(

  4. A beautiful bureau and what a plethora of memories and emotion you found within!

  5. Lovely desk to have to keep all your papers in. I know how work loads increased and conditions deteriorated for teachers through the 2000s as my husband eventually had to give up due to stress. It was a bad time. Like you I also wonder if some of us will disappear in our paperless world for future generations:)

  6. Oh Jan I know what you mean about finding memories. I've recently had to help clear a relative's house after she passed away. A bureau here, a drawer there, boxes in wardrobes etc. We learnt more about our relative's life than we'd ever known while she was living. Photos, letters, documents. Such a shame that we've had to get rid of most of it (she never married so no children). Thank you for your recent comments on my blog. Px

  7. Oh my,what a difference! I've been a teacher for 10 years now and in that time alone, so much has changed, so I can't imagine how much it has been for you! All those thoughts you had- wow, so much to cope with and so many difficulties. That's awful about the man with Legionnaires!