Sometimes something happens that makes you think. It makes you think back and remember things you haven't thought of for ages, of things you weren't aware you even still knew. That happened to me recently. Unfortunately the thing that happened was my aunt passing on suddenly and unexpectedly.
I found myself thinking back to my childhood, and of the presents my aunt and uncle would always bring back from their often exotic trips, in the days when exotic trips weren't quite so common place. A couple of gifts stand out - the native Indian doll in national dress complete with a white leather fringed skirt and this chalet trinket box.
I thought I still had the doll but I couldn't find it, perhaps I just haven't remembered where it is yet or perhaps I don't have it after all - either way I remember what she looked like, and memories of admiring her.
My chalet was easier to find, infact it didn't need finding at all because it wasn't lost, it's been on the bookcase in our spare bedroom for many years now. It's fairly small fitting easily in the palm of my hand, I can't remember how long I've had it (I'm sure my Mum will know, she's good at things like that) but I suspect it was gifted some time in the 1970s, which makes it quite old now!
It's either Swiss or Austrian, I'm sure Mum will know that too. I think of it as Swiss but I think that's because Swiss and chalet rolls off the tongue more readily than Austrian and chalet. I suspect it might be Austrian, but it's pretty whichever it is!
I have vague memories of it containing sweets when it arrived, but can't remember which sort... I'm pretty sure any sort would have been just fine though. I can't imagine they would have lasted very long either... some things don't change!
Unfortunately over the years I've had a slight mishap with the roof.
But amazingly I still have the broken piece.
I've enjoyed looking at it more closely again, even though it was prompted by a sad event. It's been nice to remind myself of these and other memories and to take a fresh look at this with adult eyes.
I hadn't remembered how much detail it had, nor the rocks on the roof (although a couple of these have rolled off!) I bet they're something I never noticed, or paid much attention to back then or even knew that real chalets (Swiss, Austrian or otherwise) have rocks positioned just like this.
But I know I loved it then, just as I love it and all it represents now.