Everywhere you go, everything you do, museum you visit, concert you attend, you are beset by souvenirs for sale. The item can be as small as a postcard or key-ring, or as expensive s a reproduction of a famous painting.

When my son went to Morocco as part of his school course he brought back some Saharan sand, not a suitcase full, of course, just a small bag. I’ve never been to North Africa, nor ever likely to go  but seeing the sand, running it through my fingers was more evocative and exciting… yes… exciting than I could have imagined. I’d read so many adventure stories, I’d seen so many films but now here was some real sand… all the way from the Sahara!

My daughter gave me a gift on Mother’s Day which included some photographs; one she had taken of a notice board explaining the features of  a beach and some sand dunes… I was thrilled because it was a beach I love, a beach we often went to as a family, and every time we went there I would stop and read the notice board even though I knew all the information by heart! What a lovely souvenir…. because of course the word souvenir means memory, and that simple photo brought back so many memories.

I didn’t need a hand-crafted tagine from Morocco from my son, nor an expensive painting from my daughter, a small bag of sand and a photo of a noticeboard, the best souvenirs!

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