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This is a question My most treasured possession

What's your most treasured possession? What would you rescue from a fire (be it for sentimental or purely financial reasons)?

My Great-Uncle left me his visitors book which along with boring people like the Queen and Harold Wilson has Spike Milligan's signature in it. It's all loopy.

Either that or my Grandfather's swords.

(, Thu 8 May 2008, 12:38)
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Hmmm, tricky
I have got possessions that would be a bugger to replace such as a fine and worrying array of guns, outdoor gear, camping stuff, that sort of thing. But they could be replaced given time and money, so we'll leave them.

I have the medals of several relatives from WW2, which are irreplaceable, and will be passed on through the family when I fall off my perch, but their stories have been recorded by the mad Aunt Family Historian, so it wouldn't be the end of the world.

The one thing I have pre-inherited, a Victorian desk, is too big to shift, which is a shame as it and the loft are the only two remaining man-spaces in the house, and 'she' has blagged her was into 25% drawer occupation, which should be illegal.

So it'll have to be a straight choice between my external hard drive, as all my photos are scanned on to it (something in the region of ten shoeboxes full of prints) (good idea about the covert HDD Humpty), and my Grandfather's ring.

Non Hall-marked, as it was made by a local jeweller in Beirut in the early Fifties, but we share the same initials, which is why I was given it for my 18th. I'll probably never wear it again, as I personally don't like jewellery and it's a bit flashy, but it is the last physical thing I have to remind me of one of nature's true gentlemen.

The cats are toast.
(, Thu 8 May 2008, 14:06, 1 reply)
My Most Treasured Posession
Is my mind.

Shame I lost it years ago....
(, Thu 8 May 2008, 14:06, 2 replies)
plane speaking
I was just chatting to bloke-I'm-dating and I asked him this week's question.

"So, what would you save if your flat was on fire?" (This is not unlikely - it's a timebomb of charging LiPo batteries, petrol cannisters, dodgy wiring and no smoke alarm.)

Without hesitation he replied: "my guitar and my plane".

It was what I'd suspected. After all, the guitar is his livelihood and the plane - six feet of radio-controlled wood and expensive bits of kit - is his passion.

"How would you get them downstairs?" I asked.

He thought for a second. "I'd take the guitar first, then I'd come back for the plane". He paused. "I'd let you carry the wings."

I don't know whether to be annoyed that I have to hover round a burning flat rescuing costly pieces of timber or whether to be delighted that our blossoming romance has moved to a new level where I am entrusted to touch the most precious thing in his life...

(...length of which is 110 inches, very rigid and goes straight up on full throttle.)
(, Thu 8 May 2008, 14:00, 12 replies)
My Grampy's War Chest.
During the second world war my dear old Gramps was a chief stoker on board a ship which was blown up by the Nazis. He was temporarily blinded and recuperated in a rest home during which time he made a beautiful but simple chest which he used all his life to store documents and personal belongings. When he died back in '87 my mother stuck the chest in the garage and left it there where it slowly began to rot and get woodworm. I rescued it a few short years later and fixed it up, taking care of it. Since then it's travelled across the country with me, being the first thing I take into any new home. I'm proud of my Gramps, and even though it's just a plain wooden box I like to think that wherever the box is, Gramps is there too. I'll stop now as I'm filling up.
(, Thu 8 May 2008, 13:57, Reply)
late entries
It really fucking annoys me when people here think it's funny to answer a QOTW with last weeks question. It might seem petty but damn it really irks me.
STOP IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
No apologies whatsoever for my considerable length.
(, Thu 8 May 2008, 13:57, 3 replies)
Granny's Wedding Ring
Financial value - probably not a heck of a lot. Sentimental value - irreplaceable.

I'd love to wear the thing to be sure I could never lose it, but Granny had wee fat fingers and mine are practically skeletal by comparison. MrWitch has offered to have it made smaller, but I can't bear to change it.

My Granny died when I was four, and all I have of her are memories of warm hugs, and her wedding ring. She never got to see her only grand-daughter grow up, get married or have children. She was only 60.

More years than I care to admit to have passed since then, but it only takes the slightest waft of lavender soap to take me back to a warm, squishy lap. That, or the sight of her wedding ring, still in the original box which she kept for nearly 40 years.

Apologies for sappy post - normal service will be resumed shortly.
(, Thu 8 May 2008, 13:56, 1 reply)
I sympathise with Legless
I, too, lived for years out of a single backpack and I believe there's nothing I could lose that would kill me. Losing journals and diaries would be a bit of a drag, but I'm a believer in stoicism and accepting that whatever gives you pleasure could be taken away at any time. Pleasure must be something inside.

That said, who doesn't like shiny trinkets? Ten years ago I bought a Rolex. Now, everyone knows that this - along with a Porsche - is a prime symbol of the tosser. But wait a minute. It cost me around £2000, which was exactly the amount in my bank account. I emptied the account on a whim, and at the time I didn't own a house or a car or anything more than I could fit in a 75 litre backpack. I did it because James Bond wore one in the early films.

Still got it, though none of my colleagues knows and I don't advertise the fact. I'm pretty much a failure in life - I'm 36 and have never earned more than 20 grand. I still owe my entire student loan from 13 years ago. But I wear a Rolex. The contradiction amuses me greatly.

One day it'll be stolen and I won't be able to afford a new one. C'est la vie.
(, Thu 8 May 2008, 13:51, 6 replies)
Not much
I tried really hard to think of something I could live without, but to be honest there's not many things that I need. My iPod got stolen a few weeks back, and I was gutted at first, but have quickly gotten used to life without it.

I really couldn't live without my girlfriend, she really is my soulmate.

I do know my dad's favourite possession; My great uncle served aboard the Hood in WW2, my father still has his sailor's hat-band.
(, Thu 8 May 2008, 13:46, Reply)
Makey uppey rubbish
My most favouritest possession was when I was possessed by the spirit of Richard Burton and I got to knob Liz Taylor when she was insanely hot and dressed as Cleopatra whilst I (Dick) wore the Anthony outfit. It doesnt matter that she's still alive cos I was Richard Burton and therefore I could do as I please.
(, Thu 8 May 2008, 13:43, 2 replies)
My brown velvet jacket
which my beautiful, wonderful girlfriend gave me for Christmas. Purely because it was a very thoughtful present.
Like Legless says, everything is just "stuff" and unless an item has sentimental value, it's all replaceable bits and bobs.
I do love my Mini Cooper S Convertible but again, if it goes, it goes.
(, Thu 8 May 2008, 13:41, Reply)
My memory isn't particularly sharp and doesn't contain a great deal of personal stuff. Or so I think.

When I start looking through old photo albums, old slides and half forgotten folders on my external hard-drive, it all comes flooding back.

Lazy, hazy days of adolescent summers; childhood Christmases; family gatherings; unbeatable, unforgettable or just unbearable holidays; people long gone or still with us (and all stations in-between); old bikes (mechanical or otherwise); pets loved and hated in equal measure; milestones all in the journey to Porkylips.

So without a doubt I would save my negatives, slides and as much of the computer kit as possible; everything else is just stuff..

No apologies for length, just laugh gently at the back.
(, Thu 8 May 2008, 13:39, Reply)
And my best friend and partner.
My laptop comes a close second :P

Pretty predictable :)
(, Thu 8 May 2008, 13:36, Reply)
My removeable 'Ard disk
Everything of importance to me is stored on that, and I have it in a semi-hidden location near the door, about 15 meters from the computer itself.

Money and insurance can replace most of the things I have, but a life-time of photos (earlier ones are scanned in) can't be replaced.

I also back THAT hard-disk up and keep a copy at work.
(, Thu 8 May 2008, 13:34, Reply)
when my parents got engaged, they had absolutely bugger all money. my mother had to buy her own engagement ring and she always hated it.

but by the time of their one year anniversary, my dad was suddenly a lot more flush. he had been promoted several times at work and his ex-wife had remarried, meaning no more alimony. thinking that he could now really treat my mother, he barrelled into the poshest jewellers in town, and demanded to see their finest emeralds.

looking at the price, he blanched. then, undefeated, said:

"what else have you got in green?!!"

the ring he chose is very pretty, a dark green stone surrounded by sparkly little diamonds. but it's no emerald. it's probably worth about £200, tops. my mother loved it and she wore it every day of my life.

when she died, my dad gave it to me. having done really well for himself since, he had bought her much more expensive jewellery that means fuck all compared to this. i make no secret of the fact that i am spoiled rotten, posh flat, posh car etc, because my parents made it all themselves and i am proud of them.

but i'd give any of those other possessions up like a shot before i'd let anyone touch this ring. they're just things. this is a lifetime of memories. i guess there are a lot of things that mean more than money.
(, Thu 8 May 2008, 13:31, 6 replies)
My winkle
Because it's great and stuff..
(, Thu 8 May 2008, 13:29, Reply)
I don't have many possessions I care about
As they're just stuff, like Legless said. But I would move Heaven, Earth and burning logs to go back into the house for my dog. She's 14, getting a bit dim and for some reason rather fluffy, but I love that canine to bits.
(, Thu 8 May 2008, 13:27, 3 replies)
my mobile phone
-since i moved away from Glasgow, it's been the best way to stay in touch with family and friends.
-when i finished my PhD viva, friends and family called and sent texts to say well done.
-when my favourite dog died, mum called me on my mobile to let me know.
-my boyfriend tells me he loves me over the phone whenever we're apart.
-when dad was at deaths door, and I was in South America on holiday, my sister kept me up to date via text messages until i could get home.
-whilst dad was recovering, i could call him any time for a chat, and his mobile meant that he didn't need to move to a phone.
-I can play games on it whilst waiting for the fucking bus to turn up.
-it's bile green in colour, everyone says it's the ugliest phone they've seen, and so nobody will steal it - yay!

and now I have to move to the USA where i'll get charged to receive text messages, and I don't know anyone there to call, so i guess i'll need a new most treasured possession.
(, Thu 8 May 2008, 13:27, Reply)
Now that I've gotten the simple and direct answers out of the way...
...I can go back and explain the oddball ones I would try to rescue.

Grandpa's cuckoo clock.

Time for a bit of family history...

My great-grandfather was born in the Black Forest in Germany. I believe his mother died, leaving his father unable to care for him, so he arranged to have great-grandpa adopted by a family he knew who had gone to a distant place called Pennsylvania. Great-grandpa's last name was duly changed, and he grew up as one of the so-called Pennsylvania Dutch.

Grandpa knew of this from an early age, it seems, so when he came of age he legally changed his last name to great-grandpa's original last name- a very odd and hard-to-pronounce German name of which he was inordinately proud. Certainly as I knew him as a child, Grandpa was intensely proud of his German heritage.

When Grandpa was a child, he was fascinated with the cuckoo clock his father had. Every morning great-grandpa would pull the chains on it to raise the weights, and on the hour and on the half-hour it would poke out and hoot. That's enough to fascinate any child, of course, and Grandpa coveted that clock all his life- here, after all, was a genuine Black Forest cuckoo clock, complete with elaborate carved birds and leaves all around it. He was so envious of it that when he had the chance to go to Germany himself, he had to buy himself a cuckoo clock which hung in his kitchen, and which I remember him ceremoniously pulling the chains on every morning.

When great-grandpa died, Grandpa and Mom were cleaning out the house when Grandpa reverently lifted the clock down from the wall, telling Mom how iconic this clock had been to him as a child, this marvel of German engineering and craftsmanship, and held it in his hands as he spoke. Then he saw the back of the clock, where a paper label said "American Clock Company, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania."

He was so utterly disillusioned that he immediately gave it to Mom.

I now own it, and it hangs in the front room of my house. I generally don't run it as it ticks very loudly and the cuckoo is rather loud, but every time I pass it I grin.

And yes, I would brave the flames to rescue that.
(, Thu 8 May 2008, 13:26, 1 reply)
"Look out! He's got a knife!"
Two treasured possessions, in fact:

1. The Gurkha Kukhri given to me by a family friend as a christening present. I was three years old at the trime, and not allowed to play with it. I can see their point, it's as sharp as hell.

2. My grandad's Boy Scout knife, given to him by his dad, and passed down to me, and obsessively sharpened and cleaned. And here lies the quandry: Britain is completely pussified and even getting the thing out in public would have me slapped with an ASBO post-haste. Do I give it to the boy Scaryduck Junior, or not?

Or, should I just use it to stab social workers?
(, Thu 8 May 2008, 13:23, 7 replies)
i don't really have any treasured possesions so
i'd probably take my kayaking gear- £200 cag, £70 helmet, £70 BA. the boats are in the shed and the garage, so they're fairly safe.
(, Thu 8 May 2008, 13:20, Reply)
This One Is Going To Be Hard For Me.
My life has been a roller-coaster. From extreme poverty to extreme (in my terms) wealth.

A few years ago I left my ex-wife (OK - I was kicked out) and ended up, in my rented flat, with my life in about 4 bin-bags.

I can clearly remember looking at them and thinking:

"Is that it? Is that what I've worked my arse off for?"

A few books, some clothes, some of my test equipment. Everything else was still at my ex-wife's home. My DVD collection, my massive library, my computers, my fishing gear, in short, pretty much everything.

In the nasty divorce that followed I was royally screwed. I wasn't allowed any access to any of *my* possessions. So I left it, walked away from my life.

It was strangely liberating.

You see, all that, it's just *stuff*.

It's things you pick up on your way through life and, most of it, you can replace with newer, shiner stuff.

Yes, I missed some of it. And yes, I boiled when I found out my ex was giving my things away to people she knew I didn't like in order to piss me off. But, in the end, it was just stuff.

I can't really get emotionally attached to inanimate objects.

Things happen in life that you have little control over. At any second, Loki can wave his wand and your house burns down, you lose your job, you become incapable of working and you lose the lot.

But don't worry. It's only stuff.

Stuff can be replaced. The people you love, the people you care for, can't be.

And even Loki can't take away the thing that matters the most to me. My memory.

(, Thu 8 May 2008, 13:18, 10 replies)
This is going to tarnish my image.
But... my raccoon handpuppet. He's a fabric puppet, full of holes, his fur is matted and turned to towelling, there's a chip on one of his glass eyes, but I'd rather lose an arm than lose him. I had about four or five different raccoon puppets from the age of 2 to about 6, which I loved and adored and, as children are wont to do, carried everywhere with me and promptly lost. This current raccoon has been with me for nearly 13 years (depending on if I have the age when I got him correct).

I know its childish, but to this day I keep him down the side of the bed, just so I know he's there. His name? Mister Cooney. (Named before I knew what political correctness was, obviously.)
(, Thu 8 May 2008, 13:17, 2 replies)
A sickeningly romantic one
Me and my girlfriend started talking about 18 months ago, coz we have mutual friends who made us add each other on Facebook. We got on really well, and agreed to meet up 13th May 2007 and within about 2 hrs, had fallen for each other.
We were walking hand in hand through London, and I was telling her about my favourite show 'MST3K' (I doubt people will have heard of it, look it up, its great) and I told her about the plot, characters, and at the point i said that the logo was a moon made of insulating foam, she said "like this one?"
She bent down, and picked up a little button badge of the MST3K logo.
I have looked online, you cant buy them, hardly anyone in England even knows the show.

I love that badge, but not as much as I love the girl who in 5 days time, I will have been with for one year, and who I hope to spend every year with.
(, Thu 8 May 2008, 13:16, 6 replies)
Not much.
I'm insured, but the only thing I'd really want to keep is the computer under the stairs. It's low spec, but stores all my music, TV shows and movies. Everything else can be replaced easily. Coupled with the fact that a lot of tat I've acquired and not got round to e-baying would be gone.

I could start afresh. It all sounds good.

Someone - pass me the matches!
(, Thu 8 May 2008, 13:15, Reply)
i'd want to rescue my Chilean poncho... not only is it irreplaceable but i'm sure it would smell awful if it burnt.

mm singed alpaca :/
(, Thu 8 May 2008, 13:15, 2 replies)
Slightly Sentimental Story Alert!
My Grandfather died when my Dad was eight, meaning (of course) that I never met him. A few years ago, I was going through some old bits in my Dads flat, and came across some small discs of what looked like copper and bronze, perhaps only centimetre or so in diameter. Attached to each of these was a small piece of ribbon and a pin. Due to many many years of neglect, each item was discoloured and unloved.

Asking my Dad what these were, he said “oh, they’re your Grandfather’s war medals”.

This was news to me: that side of the family is Danish and didn’t fight during the war being as they were occupied. It turned out that my Grandfather had been an active member of the Danish resistance, and had received these medals (which explains their size, I suppose) from his contemporaries. On the day that I found them, my Dad gifted them to me as an early inheritance.

I have since cleaned them, mounted them and framed them, and keep them safely locked away to pass down if ever I am foolhardy enough to have children myself. Sadly, the story of what my Grandfather did to be given those medals has been lost to time and, sadly, a few deaths, but they preserve the memory, for me, of a man who was proud and stood up in defence of his country. I am honoured to have been named after him.

And that is what I would save from the fire first.

(Apols for lack of funny!)

EDIT: I don't mean that my family were 'otherwise occupied' during the war, of course. That'd be just silly. ;)
(, Thu 8 May 2008, 13:12, 2 replies)
What would I take out of a burning building?
The fire. Duh.
(, Thu 8 May 2008, 13:11, Reply)
A bit sad but...
At the age of 27 I still have my childhood security blanket; It lined my cot when I was a nipper and I used to drag it around like Linus from Peanuts for years afterwards, even now its rests neatly folded under my pillow at night.
It is, as you can imagine, a bit tatty but various offers of repair have been refused in case it didn't survive the "operation".
Luckily my missus thinks its adorable, or I might be in trouble.
(, Thu 8 May 2008, 13:09, 1 reply)
2 Guitar picks
One used by Kirk Hammett of Metallica at a gig at Wembley, obtained via the band's drum tech,

The other given to me by the legend that is Bill Bailey after a gig in Stratford-upon-Avon.

After that the Axewoman, if I have time.
(, Thu 8 May 2008, 13:09, Reply)
My cats, although they would probably have legged it at the first sign of trouble.

My photograph album.

My flymo broach of a topless nun given to my by an ex girlfriend and a jade and silver ring recently given to me by a friend.
(, Thu 8 May 2008, 13:07, 3 replies)

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