The origins of the shell collection. Or /NaBloPoMo

It’s another hot, humid day in Sydney and it’s the end of NaBloPoMo. This is pleasing (the end of NaBloPoMo, not the heat for there is no end to that yet). This blog was always intended as a public place, a place where I could present my adventures and a more positive, thoughtful version of myself, a counterbalance to the inner party pooper. A more relaxed posting policy allows me time to have adventures to document, to edit and time to rethink. In summary, more tropical islands, more travels, fewer personal anecdotes of crab-icide and irresponsible pet ownership.

What I have enjoyed most about NaBloPoMo has been rediscovering my shell collection. My grandmother used to live by Balmoral Beach and when we were children she would take us to the beach to explore. It was my grandmother who introduced me to the idea of beach-combing. As way of encouragement, my grandmother gave me Alan Hinton’s Shells of Australia. I never used the book (until now!) and my collection never was never as impressive as hers but I would almost always come home from the beach with something interesting. Something interesting to an eight year old me was colourful and plentiful like limpets and pippi.

Before my grandmother passed away, she helpfully tagged all her belongings with the name of its future owner. My father inherited a number of books which I voraciously began to read. I opened up Dicken’s Great Expectations and a card fell out. It read “Dear Clare, no-one can consider themselves well-read until they have read at least one Dickens. Great Expectations is a good one to begin with” At first my grandmother’s shell collection went to another home but then a little white card fell out of the baler shell. “For Clare.”

Now our shell collections are one. The stories of my grandmother’s shells are lost but every now and then I pick up a shell and am reminded of a moment from my childhood.

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One Response to The origins of the shell collection. Or /NaBloPoMo

  1. Katie says:

    I love the story of your shell collection’s origins. It’s lovely.

    Also: huzzah for the end of NaBloPoMo! I enjoyed it a great deal but I’m also glad to have a little break from the hectic and constant posting.

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