Elma Family Kitty Living Arrows

Living Arrows 41/52


It’s a combination of sunshine and furniture polish, a rich warm sort of smell. Even now some (mumble mumble) years since I left, one whiff of that polish and in a heartbeat I’m eighteen again, sat in the school chapel for my final school speech day as the light glows through the windows and bounces off the parquet floor and wooden chairs polished to a sheen by the wriggling of hundreds of restless teenagers.  It’s one of my strongest smell-place associations, probably because the polish was industrial strength, but there are others; it’s something I think we all have to some degree or another, a clever quirk of memory.

And it seems that memories aren’t just tied to smells either, but also to toys.  Until recently the girls hadn’t quite got to the stage of playing with the toys that I remember from my childhood; they’re still just that little bit on the young side for the two giant boxes of Lego sat at Grandpa’s house and I don’t think the paper dolls will have survived the passage of time. They have H’s childhood Brio but I didn’t have Brio myself so it doesn’t have the same sentimental attachment as it does for H.

But then Kitty turned four, and thanks to one of her lovely aunts, she acquired her very first Sylvanian Families.


A whole family of kangaroos, some babies on a swing, and a very sweet fish and chip van complete with teeny tiny fish and chips, ketchup bottles and even some mushy peas.


She loves play acting with them; setting out the table and chairs, deciding who’s going to be in charge of the van, and having everyone queue up and ask for their fish and chip supper.



And it brings back so many happy memories of my own.  I never had Sylvanian families myself (I know, seriously deprived childhood, it’s a miracle I haven’t needed therapy) but a couple of my friends had seriously enviable collections; vast arrays of animals and little outfits and houses and all the accessories you could possibly want.


Our little sisters were friends too and I remember long afternoons at their house setting out the houses, making up their family stories, and then taking them all on adventures.


And now I get to do it all over again with my lovely daughter, letting her imagination take the lead, and trying to stop her baby sister, who is naturally intrigued by what she calls “sister’s families”, from running off with all the most important parts!


Is that the big secret about parenting; that it’s the perfect excuse to remember your own childhood and try to pull the very best bits forward for the next generation?

living arrows

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  • Claire @ Clarina's Contemplations 13/10/2014 at 10:06 am

    I always adored Sylvanians… We had a couple of cottages and the bakery growing up… Hours and hours of fun! Enjoy Kitty!

    • Carie 13/10/2014 at 12:14 pm

      I think she’s going to really enjoy them for a while to come from the looks of things – although I’m now petrified I’m going to end up hoovering up something vital – all the pieces are so tiny 🙂

  • sally 13/10/2014 at 1:07 pm

    Definitely that’s a big part of parenting, I do sometimes worry about what the house will feel like with no toys, it just won’t be quite right. And as for children’s books, that’s another problem area, I’m definitely going to have to keep reading some of our favourite picture books even when the girls have completely grown out of them!

    • Carie 15/10/2014 at 6:23 am

      I think you definitely have to keep some of the favourites – I’m so glad my parents kept some of our books especially Pip Squeak because it’s out of print now, and there’s a wind up turtle that I love that lives in a box at Grandpa’s house 🙂

  • Brandi 13/10/2014 at 1:11 pm

    Those are so adorable! A local toy shop has a bunch of sets out to play with–and we have always taken advantage of that! Never had any of our own, though! How lovely for you!

    • Carie 15/10/2014 at 6:24 am

      Oh that sounds like a wonderful toy shop 🙂

  • Jenny 13/10/2014 at 2:32 pm

    Ahhh bless I love these. So cute. I haven’t heard of them but looks like hours of fun to be had. I really need to start getting my two more little toys to play with and use their imagination. I am horrible at letting the house get cluttered with them but I should. #livingarrows

    • Carie 15/10/2014 at 6:26 am

      Oh just wait until Missy Moo hits four – they’re sort of unavoidable around here!

  • Emma T 13/10/2014 at 8:53 pm

    Lovely photos of her enjoying herself playing. I love the fact that N has some of my old toys (well, my Rag Doll, and a few other bits), but he’s also got some of my brother’s old farm toys. So nice when you can hand things down.

    • Carie 15/10/2014 at 6:35 am

      Oh that must be lovely to see them all come out again – I know H really loves the fact that the girls have his old Brio!

  • hena tayeb 13/10/2014 at 11:13 pm

    love it when there imagination develops.. such great stories they weave.

    • Carie 15/10/2014 at 3:19 pm

      It’s really fascinating seeing what she comes up with – definitely a glimpse into her mind!

  • Eline @ Pasta & Patchwork 14/10/2014 at 11:30 am

    Oh my goodness, I loved Sylvanian families as a kid and I could just get right into those pictures and play with it again right now! It really is satisfying to see your children discover the same joys as you did – yesterday I built a blanket fort for M and he just loved it. As did I 🙂

    • Carie 15/10/2014 at 3:26 pm

      Oh blanket forts are the best!!