26 November 2008


Did you ever find something... something that sticks in your memory?

Long ago in 1970, as the Isle of Wight Music Festival was ending, I found a Pentax Spotmatic camera hanging from a beam above a primitive row of toilets - precarious planks with bum holes suspended above a stinking trench. I snapped the abandoned festival site, including sleepy festival goers in polythene sheets as a thin rain descended. It had been quite amazing - Jimi Hendrix, Leonard Cohen, Joni Mitchell, Donovan and Free... Later I sold the camera for twenty five pounds in a camera shop in Hull.

Around 1991, I was returning from Scotland after attending a university friend's fortieth birthday celebrations. I pulled in to the motorway services on the M6 just east of the Lake District. It was around nine at night and there on the big entrance mat by the double doors I spotted a bundle of banknotes. I scooped them up and headed for the cafeteria area. £65! It was more than enough to pay for my weekend away. If you are the one who dropped it, I thank you ever so much.

It must have been a couple of years earlier, Shirley was working at the hospital and I was looking after the kids. I recall that Frances was in her aluminium framed baby hod, surveying Derbyshire from her vantage point on my shoulders. Holding Ian's little pink hand, we marched across a ragged sheep pasture and there in a hollow we spotted an ancient sheep's skull. It had been abandoned so long that the bone was bleached white and all signals of flesh had disappeared with the passing of several seasons. We still have that skull, a souvenir of a time long gone.

I found many other things: a rare Pacific seashell, stamps commemorating the discovery of Rotuma, an old grindstone and a stoneware Barnsley Vinegar Company bottle, the diary of a woman student at university detailing her life - including several sexual encounters, wartime grocery products in a derelict house in Devon and a strange wooden object the size of a mango that came rolling down the hill as I walked up to Edinburgh castle with a former girlfriend. Carved upon it was the primitive image of a man holding hands with a woman.

What did you find?


  1. I found you YP, and that is worth more than money, although £65 would come in quite handy though

  2. Anonymous6:57 pm

    a diamond ring..not large...but a diamond all the same....I'm wearing it now...

  3. I found a shilling or two on three separate occasions when I was eleven and on a six month traveling holiday around England with my parents. It thrilled me so much that for some years after I used to have a recurring dream of finding a coin, then another further on, then more and more, until my hands and pockets were overflowing, following this veritable TRAIL of money. Then I'd wake up.

  4. Arthur what a sweet comment.
    Deirdre, what a find!

  5. I found two dollars once in a parking lot, neatly folded together, but otherwise...nothing. A penny here and there over the years, but that's all.

    Oh, and my darling wife.

  6. i won a radio that melted by counting how many beans were in a jar in a mercantile once...i veuture that could be classed a find

  7. I found $27.00 in a long movie line once. This was NYC, and I knew that asking if anyone lost money would elicit a chorus of responses. I ended up paying for my friend's and my tickets plus a cab ride home.

  8. I've found various bank notes over the years (could do with a few more of those now in fact!). One blew down the road to me when I was in Grey St. Newcastle.

    Your finds are far more interesting though...do you still have that diary? I think my worst fear is that my diaries/scribblings fall into the wrong hands!!!

    P.S. Many thanks for your very kind comments over at my site.

  9. ARTHUR Sorry - nice try - but I am not attracted to you!
    DEIRDRE I wonder who possessed that ring before you. I guess the mystery makes it so much more wearable.
    KATHERINE Money isn't everything dear!
    PUTZ A radio that melted? Are you one of these here drug-taking chappies I have read about in my "Daily Express"?
    ALKELDA Twenty seven bucks? I remember losing that exact amount as I was waiting to watch a movie in NYC a few years ago. Then this young hussy scooped it up and ran off yelling about taxis and movie tickets. Co-incidence?
    HADRIANA Mmmm...you have something to hide? Publish and be damned! Memoirs of your early life would proably attaract more hits than the famous Petit Anglaise! If you wish me to proof read your raunchy diaries I will be happy to oblige.

  10. YP: If only I had known! You didn't speak up, and so we missed each other.;)

  11. I don't seem to have the knack of finding things, everything I've ever found was broken - like the multi-tool I excitedly pounced on in a churchyard in North Yorkshire last year: half of it was missing!

  12. I found a man on a Greek island and married him two years later.


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