Have you seen that John Lewis advert? The one where all the furniture, toys and worldly goods are marching out onto the lawn? Well alongside the advert John Lewis are running a competition asking people to tell them about their most precious possession by taking a photo and captioning it in just six words (six!). You can win £500 worth of John Lewis vouchers, and I don't know anyone who doesn't want £500 worth of John Lewis vouchers!
So I've entered. Obviously my most, most, most treasured things are my family - but them aside, I think the thing that matters most to me is my tatty old copy of Captain Corelli's Mandolin by Louis de Bernieres. It's not just about the story, which is beautiful by the way, it's the fact that when I hold this book it reminds me of so many things:
Two 18 year olds on a train to France, ready to fall in love with Paris. Giggling with excitement, eating too many pastries and reading books. Laughing out loud one minute, then stifling my sobs as the story unravelled in front of me for the very first time.
Three years later - handing the book to my boyfriend (now my husband) as he packed his backpack to go inter-railing around Europe without me. Then getting him and my book back safely at Kings Cross a month later. Shy kisses and that amazing cuddle.
Two years later still - living in London, trying to become a journalist and existing on pennies. Missing my family and my country life. Seeing that Louis de Bernieres was speaking at Daunts on Marylebone High Street and calling my dad. Asking him to visit. Sharing an daddy/daughter dinner. Listening to one of our favourite authors read. Meeting him and asking him to sign my well thumbed book.
Six years even later - my best friend reading my favourite passage at our wedding while I tried not to cry and take it all in.