I was thinking recently of how much I cared about my possessions, and came to the conclusion, not really very much. That’s not to say that I don’t value them and enjoy them, for I do; and of course I wouldn’t like to lose them. Yet faced with the question, what would you save from the fire, I just think the baby (if you had one) and the cat (likewise). My writing I couldn’t replace; but then I had the pleasure of writing it. I don’t really have sentimental attachment to stuff. I’d just get new stuff.

So I look at the collection of objects on the sill of my bedroom window.

On the left is a small square ceramic white lidless box, containing about a dozen small green stones roughly the size of an old penny. I have always been very fond of ceramics and also of boxes so this is a double hitter. The stones within are greenstone, which Rory picked up on the beach at McQuarrie Harbour, Tasmania. He shoved them in his pocket and carried them with him round the world on his gap year trip. When eventually he came home, he emptied the pockets of his threadbare jeans out on the kitchen table and gave the raw gemstones to me. I say I don’t feel sentimental about stuff, but had he brought me emeralds, I could not have valued them more. They are beautiful; he bent and chose each one. They are like a talisman. And I have been also to McQuarrie, though not with him. I have walked the beach of the lagoon, and studied the alarming wall of foaming green water piling up in its outlet to the Pacific, while a enormous gull struts along the empty beach as if he owns it, keeping his evil eye on us.

Next come one of two rectangular green ceramic dishes which I bought in Sainsbury’s bathroom section, half price. On each of them stand 2 small candles, layers of different shades of green wax in small clear glasses, a gift from Joanna, and a white ceramic bird. I bought the birds in the South of France, while we were the guests of Hedwig and Hily van bladel, and Hedwig had produced this marvellous shop of furniture and ‘objets’, out of thin air.

Then come a pair of small glass birds, which I bought in a charity shop in Hurstpeirpoint, with Carolyn. I remember we both had a spectacularly good haul that day, for she also spotted for me a black summer suit with a jacket embroidered with white flowers and a flared skirt the same. I said it would not suit me because the skirt was flared at the hem; she said it would be fine because of the embroidery. Carolyn had such excellent taste that one always deferred to her judgement: she was right as usual. I bought it very doubtfully, but it did suit me, and (a great bonus!) it was comfortable to wear.

The glass birds sit on a small rectangular Japanese dish decorated with thistles which Elisabeth and I bought in a china shop in Asakuso, Tokyo.

Finally there is one of a pair of pale green dishes given to me by Joanna, used to serve avocado. (When I wrote this I thought there was only one avocado dish outstanding, but I have since discovered the other.) It holds 2 onyx eggs in a mottled green, white and a pale brown. I do not remember how I came by the onyx eggs. I liked them (I tend to like anything made of stone.) My mother had a collection of them which I used to add to when I saw one. Perhaps John bought me those two for myself; perhaps Eugene gave me them after my mother died. I don’t know – but I’m pleased to have them.

So there’s a collection of objects liked by me. There’s no financial value in them. It is nice to have them, but if (God forfend!) I should lose these articles, I’d be sad, but not heart broken.

I would still have the memories.

About adhocannie
I am a good natured woman with a long memory and a swift tongue. I like loooking at things and thinking about them. Also food, clothes, travel, reading, sewing. I try to see the ridiculous in things, but sobriety of reflection keeps edgting in. I have husband, children, grandchildren, friends... I feel rich in things that matter. I am a happy exile. I like writing. I do not like talking about me (though I do.). You willl be much more interesting.

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