I collect all sorts of souvenirs from all sorts of occasions.
There is the champagne cork when Anne and I marked her last night in Beirut before moving onto greener professional pastures.
The menu from the magical day that was Moni and Scott’s wedding.
A plastic trinket bracelet the girls made for me when they slept over one distant pre-teen night ago.
There are notes, and train tickets, and directions scribbled on hotel stationery…
I noticed today that we have a different set of souvenirs that we’ve started collecting and holding on to.
A bottle that once held some potent Limoncello, the only alcohol I had at hand during the war of 2006 which saw me through those nights, has been washed and dried and placed firmly on a kitchen shelf.
Digital souvenirs come in the form of SMS’s, warm and supportive, that I received from friends abroad during the May 2008 conflict, and which I have not been able to delete.
Tania has pictures of where the bullet came through her bedroom window, and through her built-in cupboard.
Dany kept a few of the bullets that landed by his feet, ricocheting off the wall as he solidly held through an 'active' night up in his village.
He has other souvenirs from those May events, which we share in slightly different forms but for similar reasons – he has his occasional nightmares.
What I wouldn’t give for a postcard and a cheesy t-shirt these days…