We went to my mother's house at the weekend: husband, baby owl and me. She's recovering from a recent operation (in good spirits, doing well!) Tucked in a corner of a shelf in my brother's room I found my beloved childhood furry owl. I thought he was long lost, but my mum reminded me that he became my brother's for a while (for some reason my brother was rather lacking in stuffed toys!)
We brought him back with us. Baby owl has been feeding him raisins and calls him "boo" (from "hibou", French for owl) and I've been sneaking in the odd cuddle myself! It's amazing how comforting a worn, slightly musty old friend from childhood can be.
I haven't seen many conkers around this Autumn, but it felt right that there should be plenty in the playground near my mother's house. Mother's create such a strong connection with childhood memories and collecting shiny conkers (and reluctantly accepting their eventual shrivelling) is a happy one.
I had to photograph it with one of my mother's hydrangeas in the background: white, becoming pink-dappled for Autumn. Unlike Madonna I LOVE hydrangeas (though I prefer them a little more natural-looking than the one her "fan" gave her)! I have a cutting of this one in our garden. It's been in the family since a friend gave it to my mother in 1990.
Toys, conkers, flowers... I love all these threads that connect me to my childhood and are now being sewn into the life of the next generation!