Tag Archives: poverty

Seeking Shelter


Seeking Shelter is a short film exploring the use of objects, in reminiscence work, to prompt remembering.

This is the 2nd. in an occasional series, In The Object…A Memory.

Picture It This Way

Picture it this way; a worn step up from the pavement to the front door, which is set at an angle to the street corner.
Behind the door hangs a curtain to keep the draughts out during cold winter months. In place of one wall an immense window looks out onto the street, paint covering the glass just high enough to stop prying eyes peering in.
In the room a double bed, two z-beds, which fold away neatly during the day, and a cot. Four chairs and a table occupy the middle of this room. Except for a crucifix hanging from a nail above the double bed, the walls are bare.

At the back of the room and to the right up two steps is the scullery, small and sparsely furnished. From here a backdoor opens into a yard overflowing with all kinds of objects; among the general litter a poss tub and a mangle.

He stands in the doorway framed by the gathering gloom. Streetlights are already lit. Where on earth has he been all this time, she wonders, and in such a state too.

‘Look at you. Where on earth have you been, lad? Get yourself in and close that door. It’s freezing. Come on, get those wet boots off. Where have you been? Where have you been?’
‘Just out. Dunno, out playing.’
‘Come on and warm yourself by the fire. Maybe you can go into nanna’s if she doesn’t mind.’
‘Great,’ he yells and rushes into his grandmother’s room next door.

Sitting by the range, she appears a frail and impossibly old woman to his mind, but he loves her all the same.

‘Hello nanna, where’s my sword?’
‘There, where you left it, son.’

Now he sits on the fender idly playing with his sword, pretending to poke and thrust at the fire.
‘Mind now,’ she says. ‘You’ll damage that if you’re not careful.’
Taking no notice of her he continues his game until finally the plastic blade, placed too close to the hot coals, begins to melt, giving off a foul smell.
He is distraught. With his favourite, his only, sword ruined he begins to sob inconsolably.

It’s curious how some sounds echo across the years, some odours linger.