I reckon every kid goes through a stage where they're fascinated by ancient Egypt. Whether it's the gruesome mummification process or the awesome architecture that provokes interest, I reckon it always surfaces at some point.
My fascination seemed to go on longer than most. I was given books about Egypt, and taken on trips to museums to see exhibits about Egypt. I practiced writing my name in hieroglyphs and I remember asking my Dad to make me an ankh several times. My own crafts were predominately Egypt flavoured, including a board game based on the afterlife and a foam headed stick puppet of Tutankhamun. As you can see I was fairly solidly obsessed for a good number of years, even thinking that I might like to be an Egyptologist at the point I went to secondary school. This faded pretty quickly after my interests rather dramatically widened.
Some years after the main appeal had subsided, Dad and I visited Egypt together. It was the year 2000 and I was an awkward 17 year old who was not dealing well with the heat. But the trip was still incredible. I keep meaning to dig out old photos from the time where Dad is dressed like an archeologist from the 1920s. Not a costume, just the way he liked to dress on holiday.
After the Egypt holiday, although I can't quite remember when, Dad gave me a little blue plastic jewellery box, with the pixelated image of an Egyptian woman stuck to the front (I know Mum must have helped with that bit, he had no idea how to work a computer). On opening the case I found this:
It was the ankh I had asked for all those years previously! Carved out of a piece of mahogany and wrapped with silver wire, it's beautifully simple.
This didn't come out of the box very often for some time after I was given it, but I've been wearing this necklace quite a lot recently. It reminds me of Dad's enormous creativity, and the shear surprise I felt on opening the box. I like to imagine him working away on it in the garage, chuckling to himself over how long it had taken to get around to making it. I hope he knew just how much I adored both the sentiment and the necklace itself.