• sophiasalmassi

Gemma and I

Gemma and I in my childhood home,Bridgend 1994/5

I wanted to write another post about mine and Gemma's covert fashion design activities. As anyone who knows me will tell you, I am a hoarder. Not of rubbish but of memories. I have kept every letter, card, drawing - any memento of my friendships and relationships. I'm really glad I have because I can look back and relive those times. I worked in Spillers Records in Cardiff for 10 years from 1999 to 2009 and I kept flyers, posters, notes and obviously thousands of records from my time there. When I hold an object I can remember who gave it to me and all the memories attached. It is not always a welcome feeling. I'm also a general collector of multiple items such as badges, books, dolls, toys, postcards, movie stills, headshots, playing cards... I'll be going into my collections at a later date and seeking out other people and their collections.

I do have an attachment to objects but I've got a lot better at letting go of things that I don't really derive that much joy from. If you want to share your life with someone and have a family they have to be able to enjoy your shared space, so you have to let go and adjust. It's selfish not to make compromises. I have spent much of the last two years condensing everything down and organising into binders and display folders. I also have over 5000 photos (we'll go into that later too...)

I drew constantly as a child. I realise now it was a form of stimming. If I wasn't drawing I was biting my fingernails down to the quick or picking my fingers until they bled, something I still do when I'm anxious. I always had busy hands.

I kept almost all of my drawings. Some I must've thrown away in anger because I disliked them. I've also lessened my perfectionism in that department and trying to reduce my son's too. Anyway, I've got around a hundred or so and these are some of the most interesting.

Gemma's notes were hilarious. She was trying to make me laugh in class - specifically English class. We could coast there because we both found it easy. I mean, I coasted throughout school. When I say coasted I mean I did the bare minimum and almost got expelled for non attendance. Gemma actually was a good student, for the record.