Sunbeam and Suitcases: the story of a year (excerpts)

One sunny morning, opening a door that creaks a little, I am surprised by a discovery of things past.

In an attic room, at the top of a busy house, a collection of suitcases, picnic hampers, boxes and baskets…

There are twelve, one for each month of the year, joined in a circle created by the fall of a sunbeam.

To begin with there is


early Summer and late Spring

Birthday picnics in the garden
a little house and recollections of Birthday Picnics in the garden




full Summer

and a particular memory


Next is July

July honeymoons
Letters home telling of joys and griefs intertwined


Summer days


First babies and first seaside holidays

Plans for the future and present happiness
Plans for the future and present happiness



Cooler nights and days bringing changes

Geese flying South - a dramatic sight
Geese flying South – a dramatic sight


Then the rich colours of Autumn



Leaving home for the wider world
Leaving home for the wider world


Old November

Letters home, missing you all


Magical wintertime


Magical wintertime
Special trips to the theatre, sparkles and mystery



January looking both ways: the old and the new year
Looking both ways


A cold month

Bed time stories : it's cold outside
But bed time stories and cosiness indoors



March and thoughts of Spring
Thoughts of Spring and where we all began


Finally April

April and funny adventures to recall
Funny adventures recalled


Every now and again I return to this attic to admire the gentle sunbeam, to explore among the suitcases and hampers and boxes and baskets, to see what I can find. How about you? Do you have a similar store of things past? Memories that can be recalled by the turning of the year or by the discovery of a certain something set aside from other days? I’d love to hear about them if you do xx

This is a glimpse of my installation Sunbeam and Suitcases, part of The Dreaming of Home exhibition at The Customs House, South Shields, 2016

Photographs courtesy of Jamie McElderry

Fuller versions of these stories are to be found here in my Journal as I continue to develop this work of keepsakes and mementos; celebrating the beauty of the changing Seasons; thinking on the themes of present happiness and times past: about what we hold dear and what we let go.

Thank you for visiting, most welcome one and all.