My personal ‘cabinet of curiosities’ and how it helps my writing : “Opening Time”.


I often find that I get ideas and inspiration for writing from visual stimuli whether that be just people watching on the terrace of a café, gazing at a painting in an art gallery or an object in a museum.

When I was engaged, the lady who had introduced me and my late husband, bought us one of those Lilliput lane ornaments. Having three young children at the time and quite a few little treasures of huge sentimental but little monetary value we decided a trip to IKEA was in order for a toughened safety glass display cabinet. A fraught hour or so after we got home it was duly erected. My husband even put focus lighting in it.

17 years and three house moves later that inexpensive hardy little cabinet is still going strong (minus the focus lighting, I couldn’t work that bit out on my own). Only yesterday I moved it from one end of the living room to the other as I prepare to redecorate and that’s what put me in mind for the post.

Just as objects and people stimulate my writing, the same can be said for life in general. Now don’t get me wrong when I say objects, I’m not materialistic at all; I don’t even have a car, tumble dryer or dishwasher. Apart from myself that is, sometimes!!

What I do have is a wonderful set of friends and 3 marvellous children plus a beautiful granddaughter. I also have a huge collection of memories and all of my special little curios in that fine piece of Swedish architecture.

Let me quickly tell you about one of them.

I was at my Grandmother’s flat a couple of years before she passed away when she unexpectedly went to her special cabinet which was an ornate 1930s art deco style. She’d asked the rest of the family to choose a couple of items and now it was my turn apparently. Would I like some nice cut glass, Coalport pottery etc?? I didn’t feel very comfortable with this discussion but it seemed to be making her happy in an odd sort of way. So…

“If I really must have something Grandma, then I would really love that.” I pointed tentatively at my selection.












My grandmother looked carefully at the little wooden block complete with flat capped little men as corkscrew, bottle opener, and cork, with no reaction, pausing before asking me why I wanted it.

“Because it reminds of Granddad.” I said. Granddad found the item very funny by the way, he wasn’t a drinker except for in his youth when on days like today, he would go IMG_20150630_154436fishing with his mate with a bucket full of beer apparently. I never did find out whether he meant that literally or not.

My Grandmother’s face was a joy, ” That’s the right answer. But everyone else will mad that I’ve given it to you!!”

I remember thinking that  perhaps they might be secretly pleased that Grandma didn’t give me the best china or cut glass.

Now when I look into my little display cabinet, “Opening Time”, always gives me a little chuckle and puts me in a positive mood to write.

And in other news, I’m afraid Betsy has not been able to help me much with the writing this week. For those of you familiar with the phrase, she’s ‘had the monk on’. A poorly paw which is much better now, and she’s not impressed by Violet stripping wallpaper around her. On the plus side, she has retained ownership of the remote control.





More from the cabinet of curiousities next time …..



8 Responses to “My personal ‘cabinet of curiosities’ and how it helps my writing : “Opening Time”.”

  1. Joanne Moreton Hanley says:

    Made me chuckle x

  2. Bev Baines Howarth says:

    It amused me x

  3. Jo adams says:

    Loved reading this really engaging can’t wait for the next instalment xx

  4. HAZEL COPE says:

    A brilliant new episode in the life of you and yours,thank you.
    I am anxious about the bucket of beer-I think you should try it and let us know how it goes,after all I do seem to recall you being a keen fisher’man’ at one time.Xx

    • Violet Fields says:

      Thanks,Hazel. I rather think I would spill most of the precious contents before reaching the destination but I’ll bear it in mind if I ever go again !! XX

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