Friday, 10 July 2020

'Objects of Desire'.


I like to be surrounded by nice things, they make one's life more pleasant.

I'm not talking about expensive things; but objects that are either beautiful in their own right, simply of good design, or what one might call 'attractive curiosities'.


On my desk, in front of me, there is a large mug which contains pens, knives, a magnifying glass, and a few other essentials. For the past 30 years or more it has also contained this antique small 4 inch pocket level. It has become my version of 'worry beads' that I often play with, without really being aware of the fact. The only time it is actually used for its intended purpose is if I've noticed paintings in a house that are not hanging level, the next time I visit I take the level with me, and secretly put them right.


Another favourite object is this antique pewter mug. I bought it at a tiny antique shop in Sussex, when I was teaching at a nearby school. I payed quite a lot for it, but was so enticed by the beauty of its form that I would have been prepared to pay even more than I did. It usually contains coloured pencils.


Obviously I can't illustrate all my favourite objects, but here is another one. It's an old Masonic badge from my home UK county of Sussex. It is beautifully embroidered, and contains a 'Martlet' (Swift) in the centre. It sits on the large fireplace lintel in the sitting room, and represents a tiny bit of home.


And finally, a small pebble from Brighton beach painted by my daughter Tenpin. I love it. We call her Miss Prim.

We all possess objects that we would hate to lose. They may not be valuable, but they are precious. These were just four of mine.

32 comments:

  1. I identify with this post Cro because I feel just the same. I have quite a few things which in their own way are quite precious to me. As you say, they don't have to be valuable. They usually have a dear memory and that will die with me of course. I love your spirit level. I could do with it here as I have a couple of my first husband's pictures which just will not hang straight. I think it is because of the knotting on the hanging string but I just itdare not untie it, so I straighten them at least once a week.

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    1. Wonky pictures really upset me. I don't know why, but they HAVE to be level, otherwise all I see is the wonkiness.

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  2. I have a few things, more recent than old, and I am gradually bringing them out for me to see and touch. I particularly like your pocket spirit level.

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    1. Nice isn't it. Things used to be made to last. I can't tell you how many modern levels I've owned that broke, or fell apart.

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  3. I inherited my maternal Uncle's roll-top desk. In it were many things that I remembered when playing at the desk as a young (pre-school) child when he lived in Clophill. One drawer in the sriting area, which I go through regularly and even use things such as his loupe, remains much as he left it. My house is full of memories. It's good to see some of yours.

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    1. I have a small Georgian desk back in the UK, and I love going through the drawers. Even though all the stuff is mine, I still never know what I'm going to find.

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  4. I have an old London mug that I keep all my pencils,little pencil sharpeners,pens and a wooden ruler that I have had since junior school.All of which come in handy at some point!.Ive also got a very old little tea cup with an old fashioned picture of Brighton Pavilion on it.Not worth anything but I love it!Oh and far too many other things to mention,that all mean alot to me and couldnt bare to part with!xx

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    1. I often think what I would grab first if the house was on fire. Mostly they are things of no monetary value, but mean so much to me.

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  5. Interesting curiosities. I do like your level. I can imagine it being used like worry beads. I too have a similar stone with a seahorse drawn by one of my daughters. One thing I transfer from bag to bag and always have with me is a shell from our local beach in NZ.
    Great reading .... and the comments, as usual

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    1. Sometimes I think it would be good to live in a minimalist way, but the thought never lasts too long.

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  6. I think objects around the house are so much more interesting when they have some personal history or meaning attached to them. Much more satisfying than just buying a collection of bland modern knick knacks to decorate the home.

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    1. I couldn't agree more. The multi-millionaire Footballers homes always seem devoid of any family past history, or of anything personal. I couldn't live like that.

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  7. I have a King Louis the something ornate gilt clock that stood on my grandparents' mantel throughout my childhood. My Grandfather had bought it for half a crown from a junk shop in the 40s. It was black until he cleaned it up. It reminds me of my childhood and my grandparents. It makes me sad to realise that story will mean nothing to my children when I'm gone.

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    1. You'll have to tell them all about it, and put an explanatory note in the back. I'm sure they'll suddenly love it.

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  8. As I look up and without moving I spy a miniature jug with a bird on it,a plate with a dog painted on it. An hand embroidered heart....we all love certain things of significance and memory

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    1. I love your wall of pictures; a real walk down memory lane.

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  9. Especially I love your daughter's painting - one can hear Miss Prim's tut-tut...

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    1. It's sitting in front of me as I write, it always makes me smile.

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  10. I do like that spirit level.

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    1. It's a surprisingly tactile and comforting item. I twiddle with it quite regularly.

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  11. While we use a larger level to hang pictures at times, my eye is good for seeing what is what is level and even.

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    1. It screams at me if they're not level. I like them to be 'perfect'.

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  12. I enjoyed this post. It made me think about lovable objects in our house such as the vintage souvenir copper Empire State Building given to me for free by a junkshop owner in the town of Sultan, Washington State.

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    1. The only things I've ever come out of a junk shop with, were junk.

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  13. I have objects like that about the house, too, that are not necessarily valuable but are precious to me. A couple paintings my grandmother painted, the veg peeler in the kitchen drawer that belonged to a great aunt, and pilsner glasses my parents used.

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    1. I have a veg peeler that I'd had for over 50 years; I'd hate to lose that!

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  14. I have so much ‘ stuff ‘ around, none of it is worth anything but I love all of it .... old clock parts, Victorian gloves, old letters( love the beautiful script writing ) old books, bits of old jugs and clay pipes that I have found when digging in the garden, a pair of children’s white leather shoes , old French shutters ... I could go on and on ... our house looks like a junk shop !!! Love your spirit level and the pebble..... all treasures that could never be replaced. XXXX

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    1. I used to have a box filled with Victorian white kid leather gloves. Some were just very dainty, others were arm length and buttoned all the way up. There must have been about 20 pairs; all brand new. I can't remember what happened to them.

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  15. I am giving away my loved items to my children and grandchildren. I gave my grandmother’s thin wedding band that I had worn for decades to my oldest granddaughter. We both had a good cry when I did that.

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    1. We do try to give away 'family treasures', but people don't seem to want them. Nice rings always find a home, but furniture and objects stay with us. Goodness knows what'll happen to it all when we're no longer here.

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  16. For a minute I thought you were about to announce the level had gone missing. My six inch has left the house, though I suspect where.

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    1. Was it an antique too? Imay not use mine too often, but I would be devastated to lose it.

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