Glasses - Glasses Direct
Watch - Tissot (something similar here)
Ring - Birmingham, late 19th/early 20th century
I realised quite early on in writing this post that all the items I have chosen are all things which are found upon my person, either worn or in pockets. I suppose it's understandable that the things I love the most are the things I keep with me at all/most times.
Whilst I hate buying things for the sake of it, I am very guilty of liking useful things - items with utility.
At least four out of the five items described here allow me to do things such as tell the time, contact my friends and track my movement. The remaining item is sentimental - somewhat atypical for someone who believes that it is detrimental to have emotional attachments to physical items. We are all human though and even I have my weaknesses.
Each thing has a tale though - a narrative which helps give it a sense of place upon my person. A reason for being there.
The first item on my list is my phone, which is probably the most useful thing out of the bunch. I think I can safely say that whilst I don't love the phone itself, I do love what it enables me to do.
I still find it inconceivable that we each carry around with us a device which (in the case of an iPhone 5 onwards) has over 2.7 times the processing power than the 1985 Cray-2 supercomputer. This is in the same vein that I find it inconciveable that I could technically reach millions, if not billion, of people on social media.
I suppose I chose to go with an iPhone because I am a pretentious hipster (oh how I wish I was that cool) and the more important fact that all of my other devices are Apple made. Having had an early generation Samsung years ago, I really do think that iOS is much easier to use/faster than Android.
This particular phone has helped me navigate across cities and countries, I have used it to take photos of my favourite people, speak to my family and google answers to pub arguments over the validity of obtuse facts. (what did people do before this to settle things like "how many metric tonnes of sand could fill the O2 arena"!?).
I wear this ring most days on my left forefinger, taking it off when I'm heading to the gym for a serious weights session (the raised edges cause all manner of blisters!) It's hallmarked to indicate 18ct gold and platinum, yet it bears no Assay Office or date mark. It's quite weighty and reasonably chunky, but I like the fact I can feel it on my hand as I move. When I'm nervous I find myself playing with the rough edges created by the petal decoration.
It's actually something of a family heirloom and belonged to one of my great grandmothers. In the absence of markings I can only generally speculate as to its date of origin. However my knowledge of my family history leads me to the likely conclusion that it was made in Birmingham at the turn of the century.
There's something quite comforting about wearing something which has known many hands and has been worn on fingers which were related to yours. It's a little piece of my family's past which I carry with me everyday, almost as if it were a protective talisman.
Actually now I think of it, there are some protective qualities to a ring, especially if you are a lone single woman looking to avoid unwanted attention through emulating a wedding ring (I hate the fact I have had to do this for so many reasons, but sometimes it has been the quickest way to remove myself from a situation.)
This Fitbit is actually my second, as I previously owned its predecessor (Flex 1). Unfortunately this was not a waterproof model and ended up with a corrupted display after I subjected it to a long bath... That was part of the appeal of the Flex 2, as it is waterproof and therefore somewhat Bethan proof.
At some point I really want to do a review of the functionality, performance and limitations of this model, but for now we are concentrating on stories...
Over three years ago now I lost over four stone in weight, which I have kept off ever since. Part of this has been down to changing my diet, but for the most part, exercise has been the real game changer. I realised quite early on in my weight loss journey that technology could be a great aid in helping me keep track of my weight and exercise - especially through apps such as MyFitnessPal and the inbuilt pedometer on my phone.
Getting a fitness tracker felt like the next natural step for me as I'm someone who likes to feel firmly in control of my life and my exercise regime. I also enjoy measuring myself and tracking improvement, seeing whether this week has outperformed the last. Challenging myself constantly stops me from being complacent and also keeps things fresh and exciting.
I really do think having a Fitbit helps me to be more active on a daily basis as I now find myself doing things like taking a lunchtime walk instead of staying in the office.
Ah the expensive watch.
This is an interesting one, as this is something I would never have bought for myself in a million years. The idea of spending more than £50 on a watch seems ludicrous to me, yet I own this.
A long time ago I had a very generous, if not slightly guilt ridden, ex boyfriend. This watch was a gift from him, a far too generous gift in all honesty.
After the relationship went sour and we stopped speaking (to this day I have never heard from him again after we broke up) I held on to this watch, despite the fact that I couldn't bear to wear it due to all of the memories it triggers.
For a long time, years in fact, it sat hidden away in my jewellery box, barely seeing the light of day. During some of my poorest moments after university I considered selling it to help raise much needed rent money but part of me always resisted, even when my bank balance was well below 0.
As memories faded and time moved on, the watch slowly lost its emotional hold over me. I started to wear it again, as it was no good to anyone left lingering in a dark box somewhere.
I now wear it pretty much everyday and after four years have only had to change the battery once, last week actually!
I started needing occasional reading glasses when I was about 18, which is when I found out that I am oddly long sighted in one eye and short sighted in the other. Since then my dependency has grown and I now wear them pretty much every day to read, work and drive.
Whilst I can see quite well without glasses, I figure you should use all the help you can get! Lenses make the world ever so slightly crisper for me and help me see in detail. Weirdly I actually find that I feel more depressed when I don't wear glasses for a long time, as if my blurry vision somehow translates into a blurry brain.
After a couple of years of buying and then proceeding to break designer specs, I started to explore more cost effective options. I currently have two pairs from the online store Glasses Direct, which cost me about £60 total.
Whilst they are pretty much all plastic, both pairs are surprisingly robust and able to withstand many a bottom on sofa experience (my no1 place to loose glasses is down the sofa.) I also get quite a few compliments on this style in particular, which is always appreciated!