100 Things We Lost In The Fire.

Photo by Gabriela Palai for Pexels

  1. My teenage diaries.
  2. A battered copy (on loan) of Mrs Beeton.
  3. Those really good cooking tongs.
  4. A signed film poster of ‘The English Patient’.
  5. Your Duke of Edinburgh gold and my bronze.
  6. Our photograph album.
  7. My cashmere pashmina.
  8. My beanie babies collection.
  9. A set list from the Pixies ‘Doolittle’ tour.
  10. Our love letters from when you were working away.
  11. The vinyl has all gone.
  12. Tickets stubs from the final at Wembley.
  13. Your wedding suit.
  14. A box of phones with photos still on them.
  15. Our hiking kit.
  16. A flowerpress full of my childhood.
  17. Shoes that we never wore.
  18. Books. So many books.
  19. A Metrocard from our last NYC trip.
  20. A lock of her hair.
  21. A fridge freezer full of food from yesterday’s big shop.
  22. The 55″ big screen.
  23. My work laptop.
  24. The milk jug shaped like a cow.
  25. My Jo Malone that I was saving for best.
  26. The fancy shampoo.
  27. My slippers.
  28. Passports.
  29. Exam certificates.
  30. Birth certificates.
  31. Wedding certificate.
  32. Driving licence.
  33. The envelope of expense receipts.
  34. The warranties.
  35. The vintage handkerchiefs that I loved.
  36. Our really comfortable bed.
  37. My Mulberry handbag.
  38. Your IWC watch.
  39. My Tiffany ring.
  40. That vintage Welsh wool blanket.
  41. Our electric toothbrushes.
  42. The tickets for that concert next month. Can we still go?
  43. A vase full of small change.
  44. Those mid-century modern dining room chairs.
  45. The library books.
  46. That really useful travel bag.
  47. £400 cash for emergencies.
  48. The well-stocked cocktail trolley.
  49. The college notes.
  50. The chargers for the phone.
  51. That print by that artist from before he was famous.
  52. The spoon you always ate ice-cream with.
  53. The stained glass lamp from that auction.
  54. A box of photographs.
  55. The armchair that we just had re-covered.
  56. Your cacti that you were growing for 10 years.
  57. My capsule wardrobe.
  58. The mix-tapes.
  59. A patchwork quilt made by my aunt.
  60. My mother’s engagement ring.
  61. My father’s medals.
  62. Your favourite jeans imported from Japan.
  63. The little book of internet passwords.
  64. Those rare trainers that you queued up for hours to get.
  65. $5 Poker chips from the Las Vegas honeymoon.
  66. Those kitschy seaside ornaments.
  67. The best frying pan ever.
  68. The hand-made carved, wooden fruit bowl.
  69. The sofa we saved a year for.
  70. The shoe lasts of your grandad’s feet.
  71. The rug we brought home from Morocco.
  72. All our clothes except the ones we had on.
  73. My work-in-progress notebook.
  74. Your tools.
  75. That paint we had mixed for the hallway.
  76. The Christmas presents we bought in advance.
  77. The cat.
  78. Half a dozen steaks in the freezer.
  79. My desk.
  80. The framed review of your sister’s book.
  81. The softest, worn Irish linen sheets.
  82. Those two wine glasses from the 1920s.
  83. My make-up.
  84. The signed Neil Gaiman that we found in the airport bookshop.
  85. The vodka from our Iceland holiday that we were saving.
  86. The Polish glass turquoise vase from my childhood.
  87. The history of our old lives.
  88. Our obsession with collecting.
  89. Our sense of security.
  90. The ability to sleep.
  91. The reluctance to show emotion in public.
  92. My materialism.
  93. Your complacency.
  94. Our entitlement.
  95. Our privacy.
  96. Our future plans.
  97. Our attachments to ‘stuff’.
  98. Our fear.
  99. Our pride.
  100. Everything that wasn’t saved in the cloud.
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34 thoughts on “100 Things We Lost In The Fire.

  1. I remembered your “About Me” post so I read this with interest more than sympathy. Hope I’m right. I made me think though, about the things I hadn’t realize I would miss if I lost them. One counts up carpets, curtains, furniture, etc. for Insurance purposes but forgets about photographs, wedding memories, holiday souvenirs, exam certificates, sea-shells, bits of ribbon and string and all the things that our lives have been made up of the past how many years. Thank you for bringing me down to earth.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. We all must have met someone who has had to flee their old life and then relies on the kindness of others for a while. Some even have to learn a new language.
      Black Friday, Calais refugees and the California fires have been on my mind lately. 🙏♥️

      Liked by 1 person

  2. At one point, I read your about me page and saw that everything was fiction. Of course I forgot and I was horrified. The detail here is fantastic, although I suppose many of the things you “lost” are things you actually have to lose. Also great is the order you list items, making no judgement (seemingly) on their worth (until the end). If you really have that Pixies set list, it belongs in a safe deposit box. My only souvenir from that tour is the memory of standing next to Black Francis at the urinal.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. People who find themselves in the most awful of situations say ‘The main thing is we’re alive, everything else can be replaced’. Of course that is the most important thing. But everything else is everything else. It’s devastating to hear about those that have lost all their cherished possessions, their memories (which don’t always stay in your head), the last connections to a lost loved one. The practical and logistical nightmare of just losing an address book or bank card. The heartbreak of losing your pet and every single thing you held dear. The mental scars…….

    Liked by 2 people

  4. #77 is the cat?? The aloof cat. Very convincing, though. Completely got me til I read ‘about me’. Thanks, too for reading my blog…. we actually did have that hurricane though my area was mercifully spared.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. OH great! – I left you a comment before saying how i hoped this was not true as i was reading it but was not sure (until i read a couple of others comments). I said that i stopped reading after #23 and skipped to the end as it was too painful for me to imagine the sheer accumulation of personal loss another human being could suffer. So it was quite a relief to learn of your awesome writing skills. 😉

    I failed to hit ‘send’ apparently (i do that sometimes!) Hence the refresh here, but i came back to let you know i am reblogging this over at my place because this post has been on my mind a lot and it deserves to be more widely known and thought about imho.

    If there is any problem just let me know and i’ll do the right thing. 🙂

    I thought this was a great piece of writing and i particularly liked that you put ‘the cat’ at #77 – not that they are ranked in order of importance, of course! 😉

    NOW i’m going to hit ‘post comment’….

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you. I have no experience of this scale of loss, so my intention was to present a snapshot purely from my own privilege. When it comes down to our bare hierarchy of needs, we are all doing pretty well to have been born at this time (we’ve got sufficient resources, have the the luxury of technology and have been educated to read) If we had to build ourselves up from the basics again (food, shelter) how would we do it differently this time round? Community, compassion, connection, etc.
      Thank you so much for the reblog. I am delighted that my writing is reaching a wider audience. The scariest bit is just after I press ‘post’ when my words are released out there. I have no idea whether anyone will read them or how they will be interpreted. I am happy to share.

      Liked by 3 people

  6. We are indeed fortunate (in most respects) to live in such wondrous times. 🙂

    We might indeed do things a little differently if we (as a species rather than an individual) had to start again, but i doubt the overall results would vary all that much?

    I think a lot of us share that post ‘anxiety’ and i know all too well the empty feeling as your work doesn’t quite get as many readers as you thought it may have ‘deserved’;-)

    Best of luck for your blog/writing career.

    Bob

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Our house burned down in 2000. It is a devastating and life-changing event. I had to make a list for the insurance company. It was pages long. That fire was a huge turning point. I thank God for it.

    Like

  8. Where is the “sad” button when you need it? Oh my, I got tears in my eyes as I read your list. My heart ♥️ aches for you. May the love you have – the lives you saved – and the faith you retained pull you through and strengthen you.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I am so sorry for all that you lost. It was painful to read and imagine how it must have been for you to lose so much. Thank you for taking the courage and time to put this list out into the world. It is very humbling and inspiring to see how you are handling this pain.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. A few months ago in our neighbouring state and in some parts of my state there were floods and landslides and people lost everything. It will take them a long time to recover. Some may not even recover. The list is interesting and reading about you makes me think you are an interesting person.

    Liked by 1 person

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