Long Time No See – The Badges

Are you already planning trips to a particular West European capital city, ladies? January will be here sooner than we think. Good thing that I recently reordered the fandom badges. Because we will soon have a reason to use them again.

The reason I am writing about them now is that I was reminded by nordlicht. She has been travelling in the British Isles, and she sent me a couple of badger pictures.

Nordlicht informs me that this picture was taken on the Isle of Skye. Looks like good weather for Scotland! The next picture you will easily identify yourself:

Milton. Eh, Edinburgh. Lovely! Thank you, nordlicht, for thinking of us and sending us a couple of pictures. Hope you are doing fine – we miss you 🙂

So, are there any readers here who have not yet got a “fandom identifier” badge and would like to have one? If so, get in touch, send me an e-mail, tell me your address and I’ll put one in the post for you. No charge (although I’ll happily accept donations which would go into the birthday fund in August.)

In other news – I am sitting on my mum’s terrace, enjoying what I loved most about the house.

I deliberately made a video so you could hear some of the birds tweeting in the background. The South-facing garden was my favourite spot in the last few years. Also because there was always bird-song, which I associate strongly with my dad. (He was able to identify the birds by their song.) Now that I am writing this, I am suddenly realising what I will miss most once my mother has moved out of this house: In her new flat – although it is really nice, big, centrally located and has a huge balcony – nothing will remind me of my dad. It will be my mum’s flat – while this house was always his and her’s equally. It feels a little bit as if the last traces of him are being eradicated (not least because the remainder of his hobbies – his large stamp collection and his research in local history – will be sold off or thrown out for lack of space). But well, that is just the way things are. No doubt I will get used to it.

Greetings from Germany 😁

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36 thoughts on “Long Time No See – The Badges

  1. Guylty, what a lovely little video with the beautiful birdcage!! I love birds but have no idea the individual sounds birds make to identify which one it is. So wonderful that your dad could do that! His memory is in your head and I am sure in pictures and stories from your childhood and adulthood. Those won’t be eradicated. New memories now with your mum at her new flat will just be an addition for you. Weather looks much nicer now! Glad that Nordlicht is well. I miss her a lot here.

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  2. oh, i didn’t realise that was Edinburgh! lol , though i’ve never been-so that’s my excuse!

    the garden is lovely, can’t beat the sound of bird song though we feed the birds and they make a terrible mess with their poop!

    looking forward to putting my big fluffy fake fur coat back into use next year with it’s perma-badge in pride of place!

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    • Yep – they filmed some of NS in Edinburgh – it was dark and gaunt enough for fictional industrial center Milton.
      I love the sound of birdsong. Unfortunately there is very little of that where I live in Dublin. Mostly gulls screeching (although I like that sound, too.)
      Perma-badge *lol*

      Liked by 1 person

    • That’s what my mum says, too. Too much work. And in a climate as this where there is a lot of rain, there is not enough opportunity to use the garden then…

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  3. I don’t suppose there’s a Verein somewhere that would be interested in his local history collection? It’s always a shame when that stuff gets lost. I assume you’ve already contacted the Wittheit?

    As to leaving his place behind — I hear you. I can imagine both that this is very much the right decision for your mother and rough for you. Even if you’re obviously not going to forget your father there are memories that belong in certain places and can be challenged by their erasure. These are questions we’re asking ourselves too right now — should dad stay or should he go? How strongly do we feel about the house (which he built)? There’s a lot of upheaval happening now that is making our little town feel strange. If we leave the house — were we never there? It’s rough.

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    • You are so right. My heart is bleeding at the thought of simply donating the books to the local charities. The thing is – we asked in various places, and no one is interested. I am keeping a few books for myself. The greatest worry is still my dad’s stamp collection. He literally spent thousands of Euro on it. But the reality is that it is worth hardly anything. Neither I nor my mum regret his expenditure – he enjoyed it, it was his hobby, and that was fine. It’s just so sad that something he enjoyed so much and cared for so much, is now worth nothing and will most likely end up in a dusty corner in a charity shop…
      You are exactly describing what I find difficult about giving up the family home. (I am not telling my mum – I am actually supporting her decision to move on. It will be good for her and make her much happier.) “There are memories that belong in certain places and can be challenged by their erasure.” That is what I fear. The happiness that was felt in the house – will and cannot be felt anywhere else. (There will be a different kind of happiness, unconnected to my dad, felt in new places.) I am glad that my mother does not see it like I do. (She is unsentimental and not “historically minded”.) But I hear you in terms of the decision that you are currently faced with. My brain tells me that it makes sense to move on from places that are too big (and that can contain sad feelings of a gap that the deceased parent/spouse has left behind) and find a new place that is better suited and requires less work. But are memories in our heads and in photo albums enough??? (Yes they are. But we are more than just brain – we are also heart…) I don’t envy you the decision you are about to make. Especially with a parent who is potentially unwilling to see reason.

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      • I can sympathize about the stamps. I had a stamp collection in my childhood and I spent a lot of time (although not much money) on it — there was something neat about the perspective on the world it offered. My grandmothers often got me some of the newest US stamps but what I really loved were the rarer foreign stamps that came my way, especially those from behind the Iron Curtain (and/or with non-Roman alphabets). People couldn’t get out but stamps did. I never understood why mint ones were worth more — I always liked the used ones better myself precisely because they had “been somewhere.” Mine’s not worth much but it was fun for me. I’ve hung onto it, but I imagine it will just get recycled whenever that moment comes around. The world has changed so much and who really wants to collect adhesive stamps?

        I used to think people with posterity had an advantage because there would be someone to care about the accumulated things (whereas who is going to care about my stuff since I don’t have kids) but human lives are so short. I have a Depression-era outdoor planter that belonged to my great-grandmother. Not worth much even then because until my parents’ generation the family was dirt-poor. I remember where it was located (in front of a house that was torn down thirty years ago), but even my brother doesn’t associate anything with the object, and i discovered recently that I don’t even remember exactly where that house was. For my nieces it’s really just a pot — even if I have told them about my great-grandmother and her cooking and playing at her house, even if my mother was born in that house. At this point they barely even remember my mother, and my brother is not at all interested in family connections — maintaining or even remembering them. After a basketball game this spring one of my nieces made a remark about someone else on her team, and I said, “she’s your second cousin” and B was totally surprised. So, I sorted out some stuff relating to my mother to save but I imagine that upon my death the nieces will be bemused that I even saved that much.

        I assume you’ve exhausted your options, but we do have a fellow fan in your mother’s direct geographic area who works in the book field. If you think it would be worthwhile I can try to put you in touch.

        re: the places — I could go on and on about this too but I’ll spare you. 🙂

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        • You know, these things have been ruminating in my mind for a while now. I have “posterity” as you call it. And so do my parents, in the shape of me. However, there is just me. I am an only child – and as much as I value and love and respect my parents’ interests and hobbies, there is just no way to give everything the respect and place it deserves. There’s just me – no other siblings to pick and share and keep. My children have picked a few things, and I am holding on to things, too. But even just shipping my “heirlooms” over to Ireland is going to cost more than they are worth (in monetary terms – of course they have a priceless sentimental value).
          I am also increasingly aware that my kids are not as possessive and sentimental of things as I am. A bit like your nieces. The thought hurts. It does feel like dying without leaving any trace. (It’s not quite true, but you know what I mean.) However, I am also a big fan of “letting go”. Possessions are often a burden, and I do not want to laden my kids with things that they feel are a weight on their shoulders.
          When it comes to my dad’s books – I am taking the vast majority of it myself, I have decided. I need to ship some furniture to Ireland; I will fill the empty spaces in the pallet space with books.

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          • I have a suspicion that love of things has to be cultivated (I’ve observed this in Henning’s family — there are objects associated with previous generations of their family that they all have emotional investment in because they have been encouraged to practice it over the years) and that the current stage of capitalism actively interferes with that (it produces endless streams of objects). The love of the person does not automatically mean love of their things, and that love has to be inculcated actively, and it’s harder when there are just so. many. things. My dad avidly watches this tv show called “American Pickers” where two antiques experts travel the US countryside in their van, buying “antiques”. It’s amazing to me how much accumulated stuff people have from the twentieth century, and specifically commercial items (signs, toys, advertising, etc.) The outbuildings on farms that are not being farmed anymore are apparently just filled with stuff like that. And yet — I hear and read over and over again that the market for antiques in the US is contracting or even collapsing. Younger people don’t have time or, I suspect just as importantly, money, to collect. Collections that had really served (at least in their owners’ minds) as repositories of value that could be liquidated some day are turning out to be worth significantly less than anticipated (Elvis-related collections are apparently notorious in this regard). And I suppose the way the internet has made the secondary market for everything much efficient plays a role in this “rationalization.” And then there’s the problem that as you note in your own case, we living much more wide-flung lives.

            I’m trying to remind myself that the vast, vast majority of people in all of human history have disappeared more or less without a trace, particularly those who lived more than 500 years ago. It’s small consolation.

            Good on you for keeping the books — you never know, and perhaps you’ll develop a stronger interest in niedersächsische Heimatgeschichte. I think it’s fascinating that your father got into that.

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  4. Beautiful, beautiful garden and so well-cared for too! The one at our old house was not so grand but I loved it and I can still see it so clearly in my mind’s eye after all this time.

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    • It is nice that you still have a clear memory of the garden. I also can still picture the large garden at my grandparents house. Thanks for reminding me of that – it does make it easier to let go when you can be sure that your memories are clear and you can conjure them up quickly.

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  5. Vous vous trompez, sa mémoire restera vivante. Rappelez-vous ce Ginkgo biloba planté en son honneur. Une cérémonie de commémoration eut lieu à son emplacement. Connaissant la réputation de cet arbre, je peux vous assurer, qu’il s’adapte à tous les climats et tous les types de sols. Il peut vivre au moins un millier d’années, atteignant alors une hauteur d’environ 50 mètres. Quelle longévité! De plus cet arbre “aux mille écus” est un être vivant, qui donnera abri et vie à son tour, à d’innombrables espèces terrestres… Voilà ce que votre père laissera à la postérité. (je ne parlerai pas de sa descendance)
    Comme Servetus, je vous convie à confier ses travaux d’historien, auprès d’une bibliothèque, de la mairie, d’une association, d’un érudit collectionneur local…Qui vous dit que dans l’avenir, cela n’intéressera pas un passionné: historien, chercheur, écrivain, cinéaste… personne ne peut l’infirmer.
    (par exemple: Un instituteur a écrit puis publié un livre basé sur les lettres écrites, à ma grand-mère maternelle, pendant la guerre de 14-18 par son frère décédé au front. Tous deux avaient eu leur diplôme de certificat d’étude, très rare chez les ouvriers agricoles en haute Bretagne. Dans ses lettres, il prenait des nouvelles de la vie simple de tous les jours à la ferme: de la vache, des moissons, de ses espoirs de revenir…)

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    • Thank you for that lovely reassurance, Squirrel. You are absolutely right – the tree will be there. And even long after my mum and I are gone, it will still be there. Doesn’t matter whether the plaque with his name is still on. But the tree planted in his honour, will remain.
      I agree with you that historical sources like letters and research can become very valuable in times to come. I am afraid that no one is looking ahead, and the archive and my mum have only limited space to hold on to his books. I am coming to the conclusion that there isn’t much we can do. It’s fine. My dad did publish some of his local history research, so his research was not in vain.

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  6. What a lovely garden! And Calton Hill!! I have a couple of selfies taken from a very similar perspective 😁 The view out over Edinburgh is fabulous, and of course the connection with Richard made the location extra special for me.
    I can vouch for how effective wearing a fandom badge is – at a session of The Crucible I had someone come up to me and introduce herself as another RA fan.

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    • I’ve been to E’burgh only once – and missed out on Calton Hill. Definitely need to go back there – and properly visit the NS sites, too.
      I am still delighted that the badge actually worked. Chuffed!

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  7. Such a beautiful, peaceful garden. Letting go is so difficult… (((HUGS))), Guylty.
    Lost my deRAnged badge yet again (second time, I guess I’m randomly populating the country with RA badges) but will await the auctions before I request a replacement. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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