London life ~ Keeping memories alive

I stumbled across this lovely door last Sunday, whilst wandering around the side streets near Columbia Road Flower market with fellow Instagram addict Vanessa. I excitedly took a few pictures and sent one to my sister, then carried on exploring.

Later that evening, I was scrolling through my camera roll and came across the picture I’d taken and it got me thinking about why this little bee door knocker had got me so excited.

When I was younger, like most children, I had a fear of bees because quite simply when they sting you it hurts. My view was affirmed on a number of occasions, one particular being as I was putting out some washing for my mum and somehow one got stuck stinging me through my school tights. On the times when I was simply shrieking and running away from them, my mum would often tell me that bees were more scared of us (giant human beings) than the other way round. At other times she’d tell me that they were so harmless when you didn’t scare them that my Nan used to stroke them. Obviously I thought my Nan was a bit eccentric and truth be told I never did see her stroke any bees during the times that she would look after me and my sister. But the fact that they’re much kinder than I thought has sort of stuck with me.

Later on in life, my mum found out that her name came from the Hebrew word ‘Devorah’ which meant ‘bee’ and got a tiny tattoo of one.

Since my mum passed away my sister and I have always been drawn to pretty things shaped into bees; like this lovely door knocker. It’s a subtle way of remembering her in a city life that gets so busy at times I can find months have passed and she’s rarely entered my thoughts.

I suppose it’s natural after a good few years that someone gone enters your thoughts less, but it was so nice that such a simple thing brought back older memories it got me thinking about how I should make more effort to keep memories alive (both long gone and more recent). I’m not sure what the best way to do that is just yet. Getting some photos framed or actually get a photo album (how retro šŸ˜‰ ) might be a good start? Instead of relying on Facebook time hops, Instagram posts, my iPhone album and MacBook catalogue (which incidentally is an organisational mess.) I’d love to know if you have any ideas or there’s something you do.

Mother’s Day is around the corner and although it feels like another commercial holiday, there were years when I made little to no effort and I now sort of wish I had. So like every other commercial holiday in the calendar, use it as an opportunity to show your mum or your Grandma/ Nan/ Nanna that you care and try not to do it begrudgingly. Make that phone call you’ve been meaning to make to your Grandma. Surprise your mum with a treat (there are so many possibilities in and from places in London!)

For anyone in the same position as me, perhaps just find a way to keep one of those happy memories alive.



  1. February 25, 2016 / 9:37 pm

    This is a lovely post. My mum used to love owls and seeing anything owl-related makes me think of her too so I can completely understand what you mean about the bees! I also know what you mean about finding she hasn’t entered your thoughts for a while -I get this too and it makes me feel horribly guilty. I’m afraid I don’t cope well with Mother’s day these days -I tend to hibernate and try and ignore it! I wish there weren’t so many emails/adverts about it from retailers…

    • ThisCityLifeLondon
      February 25, 2016 / 9:49 pm

      Oh owls are such lovely animals too. Time just flashes by doesn’t it? But I think the guilt is natural for someone who meant so much. I agree it’s not the easiest time, especially with sponsored advertising on social media these days too. I find the run up feels harder than the day itself. But I’d like to see if it’s possible to turn it into a happier day somehow.