In my apartment in Dublin I have a small wooden box.

In this box I keep all the small items in my life that are either of huge sentimental value (such as a tiny eraser my father gave to me on my first day of primary school and my Lego Club membership badge from when I was six), or of essential value (aspirin, sharp knife, passport, etc) to me.

One night last month, under the influence of a significant amount of whiskey, I was rolling my way through every item in my box to my best friend, and she responded that the only thing my box was missing was a photo album. After this the night continued as only those nights do.. and the photo album was promptly dismissed (along with a lot of brain cells!!).

This evening I was going through my old stuff in my family home, and I came across a thin empty photo album, cased in black duct tape, and that small nugget of forgotten information plopped back into my brain, so I decided to bear some old ghosts, and go through all the photos I've ever taken, and pick out the few photos that meant the most to me, so that I could lock them away with my heart, and wherever I am, they can be with me.

As you can imagine I've had an emotional evening. I dredged up memories of births, deaths, family, friends, holidays, disasters, pain and beauty. It is an experience that I will never forget.

The Photos that mean the World to me:
Photos of my brother, sisters, mother and father.
A beautiful sunrise, taken from an airplane on the way to meet my first nephew.
My family opening Christmas presents together.
My favourite place to sit and think.
My best friend.
Photos of my dogs. I have 3.
A photo of my cousin who died at Christmas. She was 25.
The most beautiful photo I've ever seen, though I'm afraid I won't be sharing that one.

One night when everything's getting you down, put on some nice music and spend a quiet evening alone with your memories, you'll feel a lot different afterwards, and you'll remember not everything has been bad.