Friday, 27 February 2015


I invite her to my home. She says to me "What's all that junk you have here?" She is pointing at a large plate that was my grandmother's favourite serving plate. On this plate are two blackbird feathers that I came across while walking this morning, and a pine cone that my sister sent to me, and a string of amethyst beads that I sometimes wear, and a picture that I found last Spring of a she-wolf with her cubs, and a windfall apple from my garden and a yellow scarf that was a gift from my friend. I tell her it is flotsam.

She stares at me confused. So I explain that this is my altar, that its contents change constantly according to what the universe floats my way. I explain to her that this altar is a reflection and an acknowledgement, a comfort and a challenge, a reminder of the past and the present and the future.

A week later she invites me to her home. In the middle of a shelf in a bookcase there is a space between the books. And in the space there is a little wooden tray carved into the shape of a ladybird. And on the tray there are five sea shells and a child's drawing of a butterfly. Flotsam, she says.

Fi Benson

Bits of flotsam are what changes my living space from a house into a home. I have many treasured bits and bobs that have no monetary value but are irreplaceable and mean the world to me. Sometimes it's good just to take a step back from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and take the time to notice them again.



  1. Good word to describe the platters of life. Mine is a plate my daughter created at a Color Me workshop. Students paint the dishes then they get glazed and fired.

  2. Thanks for your comment Sam. I've got a picture of Dennis the Menace my son drew for me when he was about 7.


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