1000 Stella Artois bottle tops I collected over a month working at a bar a few weeks ago. I think I will never be able to throw them away because I made such a big deal of collecting them, everyone there was helping me and asking me what I was going to do with them, I still haven’t decided. Probably just keep them for a long time and look at them when I am 80 to remember when I was 19 and having a really exciting time.
Katharine, 19, student, London, UK.
This is my cannon ball from the time of Nelson, so, the early 19th century. I bought it from an antiques dealer years and years ago, but I will never sell it. It has little nobs of lead all over it to make it more effective when it hits something. Some of them are missing. Wear and tear I suppose. I love the idea that this cannon ball’s past is so much more dramatic than any human’s could be.
Valerina, 78, artist, London, UK.
This is the crucifix given to me at my Christening. I never leave the country without it, as apart from representing my faith, it’s also identical to those owned by my two sisters, so it links us all together wherever we are.
Lucy, 19, student, London, UK.
My last pair of ballet shoes. I was a professional ballet dancer for my whole career, I stopped dancing about 35 years ago. My last dance was the lead role in Metamorphoses, it was for a competition and we won. I carried these around in the same little bag my mother had embroidered for me when I first started with an elastic N for Nina.
Nina, 75, retired dancer, London UK
I was in a shop years ago with my little brother who was 5 years old at the time. I said I loved these things and showed it to him and he just rolled his eyes and said it was “booring”. I had forgotten about that but he remembered even though he was only 5, last week he came back from a school trip with this one as a present to me and when he gave it to me he said “not boring”, he is 9 years old now. I found it very touching and I know I will keep this forever now just because he remembered.
Katia, 19, student, London, UK
We moved house when I was eight and I really really didn’t want to go because I had lived there all my life and I loved it and the new house didn’t have a garden. It was spring and I picked a flower from my favourite bush, I have looked after it really well!
Lisa, Teacher, 25, London UK.
This book was my mothers when she was a child, she probably read it about ten or fifteen times. When I was about six I started complaining about wanting to read “proper books”, I meant books with lots of writing and less pictures. So my mum gave me Heidi and I think I read it as many times as she had, in fact I remember hardly anything else from before I was seven than pulling that book off my top shelf and staying in bed all day with it eating buttered bread.
Pippa, Publisher, 28, London UK.
I went to India when I was 10. I remember very little about it but I brought back this tiny glass bottle full of ash that I must have picked up somewhere, its special to me because I know its from long ago and far away but I can’t remember what the ash was or why I made such an effort to bring it back, but I know there would have been a very romantic reason. So it has an added air of mystery.
Suki, Student, 21, London UK.
I met a man in a café in Toronto, Canada who told me he was a magician. He asked for this fork from the kitchen (so I was sure it wasn’t a trick fork) and put it in my hand and gently turned it round in my hand a few times. When I unclenched my fist the fork had been twisted all the way round itself. I still can’t understand how he did it, even though I sort of agree with most people that these things are just clever trickery I keep the fork as a secret proof to myself that some things are unexplainable and I call them magic.
Magdalen, Actress, 45, London UK.
Some object’s stories are so lovely I write them up properly as very short stories and post them as the first comment, here is number one.