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Making the Ordinary, Extraordinary

This book is an exploration of the contents of my loft; It delves into the stories behind particular items and how they have shaped me as a person. It highlights the valuable life lessons they have taught me when growing up and the stages of my personal development each artefact represent. What may seem to be very mundane items that have just been forgotten over time, hold a lot of significance to the person I am today. Through this book, I want to breathe new life into these particular items, reliving the memories stored in the contents of my loft.

3 Separation The realisation that I am a separate entity to my mother.

5 Part of a bigger Picture There’s a big wide world out there that has existed much longer than I have.

7 Male Initiation The determination to be accepted by the older males in the family.

9 Family Future The importance of family tradition and to carry on that tradition.

11 We know Nothing I am still discovering new things about the people who are the closest to me.


As a kid, I was always curious as to why my mother kept a lot of the ‘stuff’ that she had. The candlestick style rotary phone being one of them. “I always had my eye on that phone” she told me “for years I always had a fascination for it, and I wanted it”. Anyone who knows my mother knows that she likes to collect quirky things to fill her home with as ornamentation, which I never fully understood. She finally acquired this phone from a friend as a gift, and it stayed on her bedside table for years. It was never used nor even plugged in, which I later came to realise that it didn’t work, so it made no sense to me. It was then packed into a box, and


stored in the loft of our new home.

Part of a Bigger Picture

After moving into our new home in 2004 (aged 12), it needed to be completely renovated as it wasn’t in a liveable state. During this renovation period, we discovered a number of artefacts that still remain a mystery to us; model train sets, a cast iron soldier and two walking sticks that were found inside the wall that separates two bedrooms. One interesting thing that was found more recently was a wooden figure that stood on a wooden beam in the loft. It stands at about 7 inches tall, is very well hand crafted and we still have no idea of its back story to this day.


Whenever I visited my grandparents’ house near Southampton, I would always send my father up into the loft to get the atari, then pester my father or grandfather to play it with me in hope that one day I would beat them. I never did, and on the off chance that I did, oh did everyone know it. At that age, the objective for me would be to beat my father or grandfather at anything, as beating them would be beating the world through my naive little eyes. I was given the atari by my father shortly after my grandfather had passed away, as I had grown the most attached to it. Its represents much more than just a games console to me. It holds precious memories that I shared with both my father and grandfather and I still get it down from my loft from time to time to relive those memories.


Male Initiation

Originating from my fathers’ side of the family, the dolls house that now resides in my loft was constructed in North Baddesley (southern England by my great grandfather in the early 1940’s. It was given to my Grandmother as a gift when she was a young girl and has remained in her house ever since. My sister and cousin would always play with it anytime we visited. Having grown quite attached to the dolls house, my grandfather painted it and was passed onto my sister, where it travelled over 100 miles back to South Wales. It now remains in our loft eagerly awaiting a new generation, and a new coat of paint.


Family Future

We know Nothing

In amongst the piles of photos, boxes and old board games, I stumbled upon a not so familiar mound of books. After inspecting the books, I discovered they were my fathers’ from when he went to sunday school. Unaware that my father ever attended sunday school, I inspected further to find out more about the books, and more about my father. Dating back as far as the year 1973, the books were awarded to my father for good attendance and other similar things. His commitment and dedication to sunday school has resulted in a collection of about 30 to 40 books that is stored in my loft. Being 21 years of age, I thought I knew everything there was to know about my father, but I am still discovering things I never knew about him today.


by Alex Bull ‘Loft’ is a personal reflection of the author and his connection with objects rediscovered in his loft. All images and text are copyright of the author.


Making the Ordinary, Extraordinary. This book is an exploration of the contents of my loft; It delves into the stories behind particular i...

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