WordPress have started their Daily Prompts again, which is great for those of us whose minds have gone blank blogging-wise at the moment. The first prompt is to write about ‘the most precious thing you’ve ever lost’. Over the years I have lost many precious things – people, pets, antique family jewellery, but I have chosen to write about something quite frivolous – a beach towel. An odd choice of item you might think, but this wasn’t just any old beach towel, this was my beach towel.
When I was about 11 or 12, my younger sister and I were each allowed to choose a new beach towel to use when we went to the swimming pool (which I did a lot as because I belonged to the swimming club) and on holiday. Normally we would just use the towels our mum had set aside for this purpose, but for some reason it was decided that we could each have our own dedicated towel. I can’t remember which shop in Glasgow we went to, but I remember the occasion well because it was so unusual, and very exciting. I remember looking at a display of all colours and patterns of towels and being allowed to take my pick. After a lot of deliberating, my sister chose quite a brightly coloured one, in shades of red and orange, but I went for a plainer one. The towel I chose was light blue with a dark blue band at each end and then a pattern of different shades of blue squares below that, leaving the main part of it plain, although it had a woven square pattern all over. I loved that towel. It belonged to me. No-one else in the family could use it. I looked after it very well and when I left the swimming club, it was still my beach/holiday towel for many years. It went on Guide camps, canoeing trips, fruit picking in Herefordshire when I was a student, it travelled abroad with me on holidays and even spent a couple of years living in Qatar. It was a faithful friend – and clearly a towel of excellent quality to have lasted so long!
When I got married, we were lucky enough to be given lots of new towels (vast numbers of them in fact) as wedding presents, but my dependable blue towel was still brought out now and then to be taken on holiday along with our other, newer towels. One year, about three or four years after we were married, I was looking for the towel to pack for an outing but couldn’t find it. I realised I hadn’t seen it for a while and I knew we had definitely brought it back from our last holiday, because I remembered washing it, and I presumed I would have put it back in the cupboard with all the others, but it wasn’t there. After a few weeks of puzzling, and retracing its last steps, the truth became apparent… Mr I had taken it (without my permission! “I didn’t think it mattered which towel I took.”) with him on a golfing day out, and had left it at the golf club! Despite contacting the golf club, and despite the towel still having my name sewn into it (those woven name tapes are long lasting too!), it was never seen again. It took me years to get over it, and to forgive him. In fact, I’m not sure that I have yet even though it was over twenty years ago!