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Sunflower wearing sunglasses - documenting the joy

What will you remember when you look back on this time? The history books are sure to record the trouble; it’s up to us to keep track of the good times.

By: Lia Burge Rogers

It’s come to my attention that a good handful of people have been reading The Diary of Samuel Pepys over the last year. Perhaps to take some comfort in the fact that a grim forecast eventually turned into a brighter future, or remind themselves that life moves in cycles; hopeless to hopeful; darkness to light. Keeping a traditional diary is one way to document our lives, but here at Colomba this month, we’re taking a more creative approach; collecting moments as we find them, in the hope that when we look back in twenty, thirty, even fifty years, we are transported to that moment in time, and flushed with joy redeemed.



I don’t know about you, but sometimes the readiness with which we can snap a photo or make a video on our smartphone, leaves me a little numb to its significance. The good old days of polaroids and mixtapes might be gone, but they need not be forgotten. In fact, I often see teenagers these days going about town with a disposable camera – perhaps that particular cycle is about to repeat along with the nineties get-up.

You could go really old-school like my dad, and start looking for tape decks on Ebay, or simply burn the odd CD of recorded moments; stories; conversations; laughter. I’m certainly glad to have a recording of my grandmother telling the story of her life, and clips of my dad laughing in the kitchen.

I’ve taken to printing photos, making collages with concert tickets and snippets of conversation that made me laugh. It’s nice to engage with physical things, and be able to look at them without racking up more minutes of screen time. Let’s make treasure!

Related post: 5 Ways to Embed the Magic of Play Into Your Everyday Life


Pinterest Pin: selection of pebbles and keepsakes - documenting joy 


No doubt you’ve heard us waxing lyrical about the Wild Art Journalling course at emberly. Unleashing your creativity with paints, cuttings and glue to amplify the journalling experience is without a doubt one of the most life enhancing practices I’ve come across. So, I’ve had an idea. Once we’ve started collecting these joyous jewels, we’re going to need somewhere to put them, so, how about a Wild Art treasure box? I’m starting mine this weekend. I’ll find an old shoe box and adorn it with quotes, squiggles, pictures and paint; ready to receive the moments of joy I document. Perhaps you’ll have one for each year. The more organised among us might even categorise, and file them away in the attic! Of course, we are going to want to see them, so please do share your treasure boxes with us on the socials.

Related post: ART IS MAGIC: Let It Find You


What better time to enjoy the beauty and abundance of nature, than harvest season. At this time of year I like to take to the hedgerows. Making jams, gins and potions is one of my greatest joys. This winter I’m going to put away a little bottle of each in my treasure box, to enjoy in the years to come. A little while ago, my whole family sat down in ceremony to consume the very last pot of my late grandmother’s blackcurrant jam. Nothing will ever taste as good. We talked and laughed and remembered her, sucking the sweet nectar of her efforts off the spoon – a gift from the past.

I’ve recently acquired a flower press. I used to have one as a child and thought pressed wild flowers from the Sussex Downs would make a great addition to some artwork and memory making. Perhaps there is a special walk you took that you associate with a field of flax, and decide to press one of those beautiful blue flowers to remember it by. Even picking up a pebble to recall a day at the beach with friends is a tangible memento.

I think these things have great weight and importance in our digital world. They help us to reconnect. On my kitchen noticeboard I’ve pinned a photograph of my grandma’s kitchen noticeboard, where she documented the return of the house martin’s each year. It brings me great joy to look at it every day, and begin to record my own history of avian visitations.

So, send us your treasures; your photos; your thoughts, and let’s look forward to looking back in joy. Connect with us in the comments below or on our socials.



  • Kate says:

    I’ve never been one who can keep a diary long-term, but I’ve started viewing my planner as a journal and using it that way. In addition to my schedule and my to-do lists, I write what I’m grateful for and I use the lined pages at the end to use as a journal/diary when I need to get my feelings out. But just keeping the gratitude part has been helpful for me!

  • Trace x says:

    When I was 8 years old I cut and sewed some paper together and made my first journal! I have been writing in journals regularly up until 8 was in my 30s! My old flatmate sent me a package this year from London (I’m now in NYC) when I asked him what it was, he said he didn’t know, only that I had instructed him not to open it. It was ALL my journals!! I had gracious kept them for me for 20 years without opening them while I was travelling and had forgot about them! It was such a beautiful moment re-reading all my childhood entries!

    It was indeed a gift to my future self!

    Thank you for sharing this post!

    Trace x

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