Purveyor of Bollocks to the Crowned Heads of Europe
Sunday, 21 August 2016
The simple life
There was me, only the other day, saying that I did not crave expensive watches, and now H.I. has me bidding on a Cartier for her. She has the identical model, but it has a cracked glass which will cost over £300 to replace. I cannot help but think that if it was a Timex, the glass would cost about £20 to replace. There's alot of snobbery involved in brand names - I mean, who on earth would spend £500 on a horrible little ceramic bauble of a polar bear which could easily be mistaken for something you can buy in a Disney shop?
It has always been like this, though. Whenever archeologists discover a beatifully made object which would have been very expensive 3000 years ago, they always say that the owner was keen to display his wealth. I think it is more a case of appreciating good craftsmanship, and it is just obvious that people with money can afford it a bit of extra gold inlay on their swords. The inlay doesn't make the sword more lethal any more than diamonds set into a Rolex make it more accurate in telling the time.
Try as they might, the Shakers just could not help but create things of visual beauty which would become highly sought after in the sales rooms when they made the deliberately ornament-free, entirely functional furniture. Things which do their job well by being designed sparingly - like unembellished swords - automatically become beautiful. Things which do not are almost always ugly.
Clearing clutter from our domestic lives has once again become fashionable, thanks to yet another silly self-help book which has recently been read by H.I.'s daughter and grand daughter. They are having a clear-out.
Green-Eyes turned up with a bag of stuff to give to her grand mother last week, and this junk was - in turn - given to her mother by her mother's mother (H.I.) when Green-Eye's mother was of a similar age or younger. Got that?
I looked inside the bag, and there were two, rough amber necklaces, some massive beads and bangles brought back from a trip to Morocco about 40 years ago, some necklaces made from sea-shells - in short, lots of stuff which H.I. would not have even worn then, let alone now. She told me to take them to the charity shop, which I did.
About five minutes after I had donated them, I ran into Green-Eyes, and she asked me what I had done with the clutter. I told her, and she almost screamed.
"Why did you do that? I could have sold them in a car-boot sale!"
After I had asked her why she didn't do that in the first place, I had the humiliating experience of returning to the charity shop where I found that every single piece of crap jewelry had been pounced on and was just about to be paid for by the eager buyers.
They were very understanding when I asked for it back, and I was very embarrassed and having to.