“Not on one strand are all life’s jewels strung.”
When I was about eight or nine years old, my parents took myself and my sister to London. We did the usual touristy things and visited the sights which involved going to Downing Street and looking down through the gates at the famed N.O 10. On the ground right beside the gate I spotted something silver and sparkly. Being eight or nine years old, inquisitive and female, I had to pick it up and check what it was. I discovered it to be a beautiful silver charm bracelet with 5 or 6 charms attached. The clasp wasn’t broken, to me it looked discarded rather than lost – and since there was nobody to check who it belonged to – I of course kept it!
Over the years I’ve built up the charms subtly. Already in place on the bracelet were several silver charms – an Apple, a Palm Tree, a Sea Horse, Elephant and Shell. You can tell those are the original silver charms, because the little cheapy ones I found over the years have tarnished. Aside from three special ones. My first trip to America – Disneyland – was so amazing I marked it by buying all the things! Okay not quite all, but we visited Disney Jewellery stores and I drooled over the charms in there. When we left and went outside, there on the floor, kicked under a bench, was a tiny silver charm of Tigger from Winnie the Pooh. He had space for a tiny diamond in a case above his head but that was missing. I didn’t care! He was perfect.
The next time I was lucky enough to go back to Disneyland I was a few years older and had saved a bit of money so that I could have my own dollars. I invested in a tiny little silver charm of Eeyore and whilst it sounds probably a bit tacky to have Disney Characters on a charm bracelet – they were subtle – and my childhood.
The years passed and I added a tiny silver handbag to the bracelet with a very small glittery diamond on it. I found a monkey charm when I went to a zoo (on the floor again!) and added that, although it doesn’t look like it fits very well as it’s in colour! A neighbour leaving to live in New Zealand who had been my bestest adult friend when I was a child, gave me a box of her jewellery and in it I found a tiny silver heart padlock which now makes up the clasp of the bracelet. The finally addition was a tiny pure silver cherub that I found on holiday in Portugal – on the floor yes!
So really I’m something of a magpie. I don’t really go in for lots of jewellery nowadays. I used to work in Claires Accessories as an ear piercer and sales assistant when I was 16. I stayed there for about five years part time – and I collected all sorts of bits of jewellery and it was compulsory for us to wear products to advertise them. So in a way, I’m all jewllery’d out! I now wear a special necklace here and there and a silver ring which is just about enough.
So there we go. Today I photographed some memories – because it’s a very busy day and because I like to document these things. Who knows in the future, I may well be the person who looses the charm bracelet just as easily as I discovered it and the various charms attached across the years.