The chat was not in any way morbid. We were enjoying reminiscing and chatting about the trivia we all collect through life that mean nothing to anyone else but we wouldn't dream of throwing out. Fis instance I already own the art nouveau epergne given to my grandmother by her best friend of that time who had married a conscientious objector. There's the jug (broken and patched together) which once belonged to my great-great grand-father and was used to collect milk from the farm down the lane when my aunt went to visit.
|My mum with her older siblings, Nina and Eric.|
On my mum's lading sits an empty carved wooden box we call the thunderstorm box. She knows I adore it. It has no monetary value whatsoever.It's Indian, made of an unidentifiable wood elaborate carvings on it, including a fierce oriental dragon devouring a deer in its jaws on the lid. (Probably a folk tale I do not recognise.)
It now stands on a table on my mum's landing. When I was a child, it stood on her dressing-table and woe betide anyone who moved it! Why? Well, my dad bought it in India while on active service in India. He sent it rolled in a carpet to mum whom he married in 1946 two years before they married. I also remember the Indian carpet as it lay on several hall floors until pounding feet, sunlight and moths did their worst. Anyway, the story goes that my mother took delivery of this huge parcel during one of the most violent thunderstorms she ever remembered. Dad added that he dispatched it during the monsoon season. And here myth begins to take over from reality. Every time the box was moved - even to a new shelf or table, it caused a thunderstorm. If you ask me, I would say, I happened time and time again. I was there!
|My maternal grandmother, Laura.|
So you see - threads of fiction are always weaving themselves together in a fiction-writer's head. I'm now even thinking of writing a collection of linked stories under the working title 'Sentimental Value.'
However, I do worry how the word "sentiment" and its derivatives has been denigrated over recent years. How often do we read a book, watch a movie or even listen to a piece of music only to dismiss it as "sentimental" as if it's a bad thing. Critics are always sniffy about sentimentality.
Sentimental. I found these synonyms. mawkish, cloying, sickly, saccharine, sugary, syrupy, romantic, heart and flowers, touching, pathetic etc etc
Is this how I'm feeling? Surely not. What do you think? Have you a better description of what I'm talking about.