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MemoryStoria

Everybody has a story to tell

Helping you share your life stories with your loved ones for generations to come


Meeting two astronauts, 30 years apart

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When I was 4 or 5 I met an astronaut. A cousin of my father's was his driver. I guess back then astronauts had drivers because they couldn't be trusted to drive a car - in case they thought it was a rocket. I don't think we talked much. He shook hands with me. And then he talked to my mother. He had spent 2 days in space in total. I'd have called this a weekend joy ride, as...

Да нарисуваш пеперуда (To draw a butterfly)

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От Александра Грашкина Разказвала ли съм ви как имах наказателно домашно по рисуване? В пети клас трябваше да нарисувам пеперуда и крилата все не ставаха идеално симетрични. Затова госпожата идваше, късаше ми листа и ме караше да почна отново. Аз симетрична пеперуда не можех да нарисувам тогава, сега също не мога, но тогава още не беше ясно, че положението е непоправимо. Иначе аз пепе...

The inflation of Christmas presents and the joys of giving

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Just in case you misheard “the joys of giving” as “the choice of giving”, please make no mistake! There is no choice.  My son was a strong believer in Santa Claus until his teens. I am not entirely sure why he was so religiously attached to an old bearded man visiting once a year. It must have been something around his incentives to believ...

Sand Storms in Low Places

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I've been in the path of a Florida hurricane and a Hong Kong typhoon, but these were not particularly remarkable events. The most interesting climatic phenomena I've experienced in my life have been sand storms.  My first sand storm was in Death Valley, California. On a scorching hot May day (110F), we were driving across the desert with the air conditioning switched...

The 1949 Berlin Airlift medal: a first class stairlift confusion

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My father-in-law was in the Royal Air Force during the 1948-1949 Berlin Airlift. That was a while ago.  He now has a stairlift in his house, 65 years later. On the face of it there could be no connection between the two: stairlifts do not take off and land at Tempelhof airport. But there is. The Berlin Airlift was a huge air supply operation launched by the West to stop...

From "brownie points" to "short-selling"

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The first job in my career was a low-paid 6-month marketing internship at a white goods manufacturer. I got it through a personal connection - via the wife of the CEO. She had offered me a home-cooked brownie during the break at language class at university (she was taking c...

6,100 metres up in the Bolivian Andes

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In the summer of 2009, two university classmates and I went climbing Huayna Potosi, a 19,974-foot peak (6,100 m) in Bolivia. I was doing an internship in La Paz at a high altitude and was better acclimatized than M. & A., who came straight from the US. We started climbing from the base camp (located at 5,200 m altitude) at 1 am with two local guides. This was the only way to ...

My first day at school

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By Per Sona Grata. I remember my first day at school with one key thing: a giant letter "A".  Many of them.  In my first class the teacher wrote the letter A on the blackboard and asked my classmates to write it 10 times on the first line of our notepads. I duly did.  Only later did I learn that "the first line" was meant to mean ...

Grand Canyon: a 4,000-mile deja-vu from the air

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Years ago, two friends and I did a 3-week roadtrip across California, Arizona, Nevada and Utah. We travelled 4,000 miles across all the major landmarks of the American Southwest: Napa and Sonoma, Muir Woods, Big Sur, Yosemite, Death Valley, the Mojave Desert, Grand Canyon, Monument Valley, Zion, Fire Valley and Lake Tahoe. We spent a night sleeping in the car, under the stars in the desert&nbsp...

A tale of two uncles

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This story took place in Bulgaria at the end of the Second World War. My mother had a brother who had been close to the authorities (from the ruling pro-Nazi regime) in his village in the late 1930s and during the war. On the other side of my family, my father had a communist brother who became a partisan, escaped to the mountains and fought against the Nazis in 1944. When the So...