Writing Exercise – Small objects

This week I’ve been challenged to look about the house and find a small object or objects that I find in either jacket pockets, coin trays, random bowls, or forgotten drawers.

What do these objects say about my life?

Where do they come from?

How did they get there?

Try the same and keep it to around 300 words.

I’ll be posting mine whew shortly.

The Tray

The tray sits beside me on the nightstand. It’s a square dish by Royale Copenhagen depicting a hand-painted scene of a church in a square. It’s a part of a collections dishes and vases that once belonged to my father-in-law, much loved and missed and lost to Cancer. Inside there is a collection of broken and unused things.


The hair clip has the decorative plastic separated from it’s metal base. I’ve never managed to glue it back together, even though there is a superglue stick on my dressing table two feet away. Even as I write, I resist the urge to get up and get it sorted right now. I could do it and be back to my tablet in three minutes, but instead, I keep writing. I’ll do it in a little while, I say to myself. When I’m done here. It’s a cheap clip that I could easily throw away, but instead, I promise myself I’ll repair it and stop buying things to replace objects I can fix myself.


The blue rubber bracelet reads, “Cancer Research UK”. It has been in the tray for ages, collecting dust. It hasn’t been worn since I earned it running for a cancer charity at least five years ago. When I look at it, I wonder if the dozens of miles I’ve run for charity are benefiting me now. Is the money I raised making a difference now when I need it to most? I chose that cancer charity in the hopes that my small contribution will help others, will stop us from losing loved ones as I have, to that terrible bastard of a disease. Now, I look at it and hope that some breakthrough will come in time to save me too.


There are discarded earrings I no longer wear in that tray. Cheap pieces of jewellery I found in a charity chop or on the sale wall of Accessorize. I know I’ll never wear them again, but there they are. I went to the shops with friends and as we browsed, I selected pieces that seemed edgy, but now they look juvenile. Like the broken hair clip, I tell myself that I’ll sort them out later. I’ll find a little bag to put them in and drop them back where they came from, a charity’s shop, maybe Cancer Research UK.


The last thing in the tray is a dried carnation. It has been spray painted blue and must be over fifteen years old. It fell out of a book where I must have pressed it after the funeral. My grandfather, who died mercifully in his sleep at the age of ninety-seven, surrounded by family. I don’t recall stealing this flower or even pressing it into the book. Although the dried petals serve no purpose, I can’t bring myself to throw the flower away. I will remember grandad without them and no one else will ever know where they came from, yet the act of binning them seems wrong. So, there they sit, next to the other abandoned and useless things I can’t let go of.

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