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The Things I Love by Amanda Clarke


Welcome,

I am going to take you on a tour through my bedroom, sharing the stories behind some of the things I love. Possessions are more than just things, they are memories. I hope this book inspires you to treasure your belongings and share your stories.

Love, Manda x


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Whilst travelling America I went to a baseball game in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. No, I didn’t catch this ball in the stands of tens of thousands of people - because that would have been amazing. I went to the bottom of the stadium with some foreign friends and we used our beloved accents to score free baseballs. Other than being thrown around my room a few times it has been used once by the Pittsburgh Pirates during warm up.

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If there was one thing I could keep in my bedroom it would be my sixteenth birthday present - Ed, my dog. He is a black labrador crossed with a bearded collie and definately the cutest of all my possessions. I got him a few weeks before my birthday from the pet shop Animal Antics in Mount Manganui. I didnt have a problem twisting Mums arm to buy him but Dad was a problem. But as usual in the end I won. He stays in Tauranga with my parents while I am studying so I stole this photo from my sisters room, she thinks Ed loves her more. I doubt it.

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This tambourine was a 21st birthday present from my Aunty Judy, Uncle Craig and cousins Jack, Tom and Georgia.It has had quite a lot of use in the short time I have owned it from friends, flatmates and myself. It is perfect to have lying around when there are jams up at the flat, anyone can join in by playing the tambourine. One time it was used when all the music equipment had been set up on the front deck and we played to the street below, some drunk guy threw a two dollar coin up at us to show his appreciation.

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While I was in Wellington for my friends 21st I went into town for something to eat and a look around with my boyfriend Lance and my mate Tim. While Tim tried sleeping off his hangover on a street bench in Cuba Street, Lance and I went into my favourite gift shop Iko Iko. We found these planes that he used to buy as a kid so we got one each and built them when we got home. We got one for Tim as well as a sorry for taking so long in the shop.

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I’ve pulled a sickie from work only once before and that was the day before my friend Tim went to America. I spent the day hanging out with him while he cleaned out his room. He came across this mini croquet set in his drawers and happily threw it my way without thinking twice. I thought it was amazing! We played a few games of it before Tim gave up on cleaning and went back to playing his playstation. I think his mum ended up cleaning the room after he had left the country.

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My sister Rebecca and I used to stay up quite late while we lived at home, one night we were working on assignments and listening to C4 music channel. There was a competition to win the book Art of Modern Rock worth $150. I didnt know but Rebecca had been listing all the songs they had been playing which was the answer to win. She was too shy to ring up so I took the answers and called the number. After a few moments of waiting my mouth dropped as an operator told me I got through - Rebecca didn’t believe me. When she heard my voice come through the tv she ran down to Mum and Dads bedroom, woke them up and turned on their tv. When I got the answer right she was screaming with excitment that we had won. Technically we share the book but seeing as I study design I felt it was appropriate I kept it safe in my room.

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Since moving to Wanganui I have kind of adopted the nickname Panda, I think it started when a flatmate came up with a rap about Amanda poaching pandas during a roast and rhyme-time night at the flat. So when my flatmate Charlie was moving out she must have thought of me when she came across this panda amongst her stuff. I loved it and happily welcomed the panda to come live in my room.

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I grew up listening to my Dads music, one of his favourite bands was Pink Floyd. I listened to it a lot, but mostly to the album Dark Side of the Moon. I decided to buy this book immediately when I saw it in a book shop and I am fairly sure it is the reason my Dad decided to take me to the Roger Waters concert performing Dark Side of the Moon. It was an amazing performance - my sister Rebecca was extremely jealous, I bet she wishes she bought the book now.

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This laptop sitting in my room is the result of my mother not wanting to orgainise a 21st birthday party for me. She said you have the choice of a party or a laptop. The choice was simple and my arms were wide open to accepting her bribe and a brand new MacBook Pro.

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If there is one thing I always feel like it is chocolate, especially if I am trying to get design work done. I don’t want to think about how many blocks of chocolate I have consumed while studying computer graphic design.


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I still remember the exact date I started saxophone lessons, it was the 17th of October 2000. I was ten years old. My mum picked up the saxophone from the music shop a few days before and as soon as I got it home it was out of its case. I went to lessons for eight years, played in three different bands at school for the five years I went to Tauranga Girls’ College, and I represented my school at national competitions. I was a band geek. Although I was missing three lunch times a week apparently it wasn’t obvious. I remember being asked where I was going one lunch time in my last year of school and when I replied with “band practice” they were astonished and said “what? Since when?” I like to think that means I was one of the cooler geeks at school.

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The two days I spent in Disneyworld, Florida were probably the best days of my life. I had managed to find presents for my family and friends but nothing was appealing to me. I was spending my last hour in Downtown Disney and being surrounded my every type of themed gift shop you could imagine options were not a problem. I was spoilt for choice. Finally I saw Thumper sitting amongst hundreds of soft toys and as soon as I felt how amazingly soft he was I had to have him. He spent the rest of my travels in America strapped to my backpack with two other toys I came across in my time there. Now he hangs out in my bedroom, reminding me of the best two days ever.

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I flatted with Leah, an international student from America and we became good friends while she was here in New Zealand. We skated to a ceramic shop in Wanganui one day where they make their own mugs, plates and bowls. Leah bought one for a friend back in America and one for herself. I left Wanganui a few days before Leah was due to return to America and when I arrived back from my holiday she had left a present in my room, it was this mug from the ceramic shop we had visited. Note to self: Never leave mug unattended in the flat kitchen.

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Turning 21 means you get a lot of presents and even better money. I think I accumulated around $250 from relatives and family friends. I knew exactly what I was going to spend that money on and I knew my mother would not approve. She didn’t. I bought this longboard with the approval of my skateboarding friends and with the ambition of one day bombing Drews Ave - the hill I bailed on breaking two teeth and obtaining brusies and grazes late in 2010. So maybe my Mum was right by not approving but I have now succeeded in my mission and now occasionally practice the art of hill bombing and sliding.

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I bought these Chuck Taylors from the sports shop Player in Bayfair shopping center in Mount Manganui in 2006. I think the reason I bought them was because I wanted to be cool like my sister Rebecca. She bought purple low tops at the same time. I havnt seen them for years but obviously my feet havnt grown because I still fit these and wear them all the time. I walked my dog in them once through a muddy field and while attempting to clean them with janola I bletched the bottom of one side of the canvas. I was not impressed but that has faded now over the years and is hardly recognizable. Mum is sick of the sight of them and even gave me money to buy some “better looking� shoes. I did to keep her happy but have only worn them once. Waste of money.

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The Things I Love