Picking up the pieces

Sir. – Laura Kennedy's piece tempted me to try and compare similar feelings I hold about items from the past that evoke memories of long ago ("In praise of partners who pick up the pieces", Life, January 17th).

I have a little garden and soon I will try my hand at some vegetable and fruit growing.

In the past, while digging the earth, I have occasionally lifted broken pieces of kitchenware. They may have been cups, saucers or plates, and these fragments usually cause a pause in my work, as I ponder their origin and the people who held them as they ate.

How many generations used them, were they handed down and how much of a loss was felt as they crashed onto the flagged floor?


What sort of meal was served in them and how many sat at the table when it was time to eat? Were they used initially for visitors to the house?

More importantly, did the piece fall off the dresser, did it fall from a little one’s hand, or did the failing strength in granny’s arms let it fall and smash on the ground?

As I examine each piece I find, I think of the last person to hold the complete piece and say a silent prayer on their passing. – Yours, etc,



Co Clare.