Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Momento Mori

Ever since I have known her, Her Indoors has been collecting little bits and pieces, trinkets and pebbles from holidays, sea-shells from far-away beaches, photos of loved ones, etc. and placing them in trays or bowls to contain them, so that they gather dust and are almost impossible to clean without major upheaval. I have to say that I have contributed to these dust-traps too, and the photos show an example of just a few that sit around our compact but adorable, town-house apartment here in Bath.

The hand-bag shaped pot you can see in the top left was actually made by a doctor friend of ours. He is head of Pain Management at the local hospital, though he has done little to alleviate mine over the years, I have to say. Let's hope I don't/do meet him if ever I go up there.

Beneath the shell is a little saucer of sand and shells which we stole from a beach in Crete, along with a dead battery and a brass screw (for some reason). Elsewhere, we have a plastic cup full of sand from a beach in the north of Cuba. We managed to steal some real-estate as we left.

Every year, H.I. decides that we must have walnuts at Christmas, and we always seem to have most of them left over the following year. The main tray contains all sorts of junk, but you can see a photo-booth snap of me and my beloved girlie grand daughter, with a pebble discreetly obscuring our identifiable features. The clay pipe comes from a pub called 'The Grey Goose', which has Civil War reenactments every summer. I bought it from an old man who thought it was the real thing.

The main feature is a fragment from a plate which I made for Her Indoors, featuring a rat character who is an old friend of ours. I was washing the plate one day, when it slipped from my fingers and smashed to bits. I saved the fragment shown, and turned it into a Momento Mori item in the old tradition. It now forms part of the archeological heritage of our compact but adorable, town-centre apartment.

This post should really be in my 'Life Style' section, but I have promised to only do that at weekends, and I couldn't wait. I am currently sitting at home on anti-biotics, waiting for my face to assume as normal proportions as possible, and dreading a visit to my doctor friend to sample some of the more powerful wares from his cupboard before they do unspeakable things to my teeth...


  1. By this evidence, Her Indoors spends a lot of time outdoors. It's a long wait till the weekend to see more of your compact but adorable musings on lifestyle; perhaps you could slip a few posts in under the radar, citing confusion caused by the drugs?

  2. Yes, she goes out every now and then - we have a cat-flap fitted to the door of our compact but.. (etc. etc.)

    I'll see what I can do about the pink posts, Mise. I just don't want to get a reputation as someone who does not stick to his promises - oh what the hell, I blew any reputation I might have had for honesty years ago.

  3. Yes, Tom, this falls under the "Pink and Fluffy" category......interesting though......i do love Bits......

  4. I have a friend whose daughter is a fabric artist. She did a series a few years ago called Your Junk Drawer. Her theory was everyone had one and what it contained said a lot about who you were.
    Interesting to go through those plates and saucers and find out something new about yourself.

  5. A bit like those people who go through Bob Dylan's dustbin Jacqueline? Anyone looking through our plates and saucers would think that we spend most of our time face down on the ground whilst on holiday, and they could be right.

  6. Tom, since I find you somewhat mysterious and intriguing, I have passed on an award to you. See my blog www.razmatazblog.blogspot.com to see what you are in for. If awards are just too much fluff for you...be assured there are no hard feelings.

    Hope your tooth feels better soon--tooth pain is awful...

  7. Other people's curiosities are fascinating. They mean nothing to US, but everything to their owners. Looks to me like that plate broke far too conveniently to have been an accident!!!

    Sorry to hear about the tooth. Surely the worst design element of the human body.

  8. Oops - my comment seems to have disappeared... I agreed with Cro about bad design, and I said to Raz that I was rushing over to view my coveted award. Maybe it will reappear out of the ether later...

  9. so sorry about the state of your face - hopefully you will be back to normal (whatever normal may be...) soon!
    I love your little collections - not because I could live with them displayed here and there (you wouldn't believe how dusty an old farm house is on a good day!) but because I have the same collections, safely stored away for the day when I may "need" them again... maybe just to look at them and remember magical times gone by~
    happy week,

  10. I've been sorry about the state of my face for some years now, Mimi, but thanks for your concern. 35 years of Crystal Meth hasn't helped either. (joke...) Sounds like you have a museum?

  11. It's somewhat comforting to see that other people also collect platesful of odd bits & bobs. In fact, when I got married a few years ago, the most important thing that I moved to the new house was my windowsill collection of marbles/shells/stones/miniature-porcelain-hedgehog/tiny-carved-terrier/jeweler's-loupe/etc.

    But this word "dust" -- what's that?!!

  12. Hello T Clear - sorry, but I've only just found this comment. Dust is what collects on old men like me.