My parents had two matching blue lamps. When I was about 10 or 11, I was chasing my little sister around the living room early one morning and knocked one of them over. To my horror, it smashed to pieces. It took all the courage I had to confess this to my parents. I was expecting to be punished, but they were surprisingly cool about the accident. I would have been furious! After my father died a few years later, the remaining lamp followed my mother to her next few apartments and, at last, to her final place in a care home. After she died, I adopted the lamp. It reminds me vividly of the years when all our family were alive and together . . . and I love the colour.

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