Discovering Links to the Past

In Aboriginal culture, the eucalyptus is a reminder of our interconnection with nature and the importance of links to past and future generations. This tree was planted to provide gentle shade, with a hint of rain forest. All we got was a spindly stick that thrashes about in gales. It became a reminder of ‘potential damage to a roof’. So we chopped it in half.

Eucalyptus Tree

Half a Eucaplyptus

Poor tree. It only took four minutes to cut down 20 years of growth. But the bottom half will live on. We checked this with experts in Australia, and their exact words were: ‘They are really hard to kill’.

We can boil the leaves to make a tincture for sore throats. But we don’t get sore throats because nobody gets near enough to spread colds. They are also useful for feeding koalas, but koalas are rarer than sore throats round here.

It rained again, so I went inside and found more links between the past and the future.

The Chest

The contents are inspired by grief and curated by hoarding. It’s a place to squirrel stuff away to ensure that people don’t get forgotten.

An old chest full of papers and books

The layers have been packed down over decades, with a mixture of disinterest and boredom. Sometimes curiosity attacks, so everything gets rearranged. What is in there and can anything be discarded?


If I could go shopping, I might not put ‘stuffed owl with one eye, silver-plated candlewick scissors or china figurines’ on the urgent list.

Old ornaments

Luckily I don’t need to as I already own them. Each one is a totem for some long-gone relative. They will have to stay.  


Do we need weekly bulletins from 70th Battalion Dorset, discussing why spitfires might win the war or homesick letters from Shaftsbury school in 1940?

Old letters

It is an overwhelming mess of correspondence that needs sorting.  Maybe not now.

Pleasing Pictures

In 1910 an aunt started filling a book with pictures and drawings.

Old pictures

I would not search eBay for photos of music hall productions or drawings of obscure artists. But they have to live somewhere so they can stay too.

An Ancient blog

There are four notebooks full of tiny writing. These belonged to Edwin, who was born in 1862, 59 years before Prince Phillip, and decided to document his life.

Index of old notebook

The index of one spans many topics, from Pigs Heads and Scarlet Fever to Cider Drinking, Young Men, and Wonders. I made him his own blog. The link is at the end of this post.

Half a Family Tree

A family tree is useful if you can find relatives who did good things, especially if you enjoy reflected glory. This tree proves a tiny connection to the brave aviator Louis Strange. We like that and can talk about family flying skills to anybody who wants to listen.

But most relatives, especially any bad ones, are missing. It is just an envelope full of lines, names and notes. It is more interesting looking at half a Eucalyptus. I went back outside.

A Link to the Future

The frogspawn has arrived and looks perfect against reflections of blue sky and trees. Hooray for the frogs.

Frogs know plenty about links to past and future generations. They don’t need a chest.

Meanwhile, the chickens have worked out how to open their door. Catching chickens is a great way to start the day.  

Catching chickens

Follow this link to 19th Century Life to read Edwin’s blog.

5 thoughts on “Discovering Links to the Past”

  1. this is absolutely wonderful….. I connect 100% with ‘things from the past’
    And wow! Louis Strange. What an extraordinary life!
    Looking forward to catching up with Edwin’s blog….

  2. So interesting Jo. Lucky you have a big house and can keep generations of bric a brac – love the aunt’s book from 1910. It’s wonderful to capture moments in time but I’m wondering how will the future generations collect your momentoes if they’re all digital. You’ll have to make hard copies of this blog and store them in a bottom drawer somewhere for your grandchildren to find in 50years time.
    Look forward to reading your blogs every weekx

    1. There is going to be a gap for all those grandchildren as all the photos and letters screeched to a halt around 10 or 20 years ago. I suspect they might thank us for not leaving loads of stuff though.xx

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