MY granny died a year ago.
At 97 she was a remarkable lady and, till the end, did three cryptic crosswords a day and finished each evening with a large whisky.
Since then – and with the sale of her house finally going through – it's been a process of delicately sewing up the details of her life, culminating in the final clearing out of her belongings.
In the end, this meant divvying up her furniture between family and ensuring bequeathed pieces went to the correct person.
At times, these discussions were contentious: some of us, perhaps for the wrong reasons, wanted to get our hands on more items than others. I just wanted a few treasured pieces to remember my grandmother by.
And so it was, with all the excitement of a kid at Christmas, that I finally took delivery of a crate of furniture shipped from Devon last week. One by one the pieces came in, their history not far behind. Now, as I look around, I'm struck by how much meaning and value stems from the furniture that makes up my home. The grandfather clock that my father remembers looking up in awe at as a child (as I do, too); the three side tables made from the wood of my father's first childhood piano; the gorgeous chest of drawers that sat in my grandmother's bedroom (always so full of mystery, the newspapers that still line the drawers dating back to 1949); and the games table upon which my grandmother displayed her favourite photos of her grandchildren.
To see all this – mixed up as it is with the furniture I've bought myself and the pieces that came from my parents' family home – I am filled with so much pride.
Each piece speaks of memories and family and love and home. It makes me never want to shop in Ikea ever again.
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