Tuesday, 30 September 2008
Things with soul
I love second hand stuff. I love used stuff. I love stuff with marks on where you can see it has been used, by a real person, and used well. I love stuff with a history, whether I am privy to its history or not. If only the things in my house could talk! Who did it belong to? Cherished gift? Bought from new? Handed down to them? Where was it bought? How old is it? I love the thought of my hands using tools and equipment, especially kitchen utensils and bowls, plates, rolling pins, etc, that have been lovingly used by others. Nothing thrills me more at the recycling centre than finding a big selection of kitchen stuff - perhaps sadly from a house clearance after a family death or house move, maybe they just wanted something new........not me, I'll sort through it, give it a loving home where it'll be well used and loved, looked after and repaired, and do sterling service for many years, hopefully. The quality is invariably better than modern equipment - nice wooden handles (worn by busy hands over time), good edges to the blades, you can see where they've been sharpened; good honest repairs, no airs and graces. Their workaday utility is their attraction. The little apple peeler above became mine a few weeks back, and has been pressed into service this autumn, to peel and core mountains of apples for bottling and cider making, stewing and pies. The quality is beautiful, the colour perfect. Cost pence at the tip, given me priceless pleasure already.
Books too - the thrill never lessens when you find torn scraps of notebooks with recipes, instructions, opinions on, often in recipe and cookery books; forgotten postcards used as bookmarks with pre-decimal stamps on them, elegant copperplate writing. Things of the home, things of the heart. Beauty in the everyday, a constant pleasure for me.