My mother loved antique shops and would regularly purchase something that took her fancy. I used to drive her to Arundel where there is a wealth of shops that sell antiques and bric-a-brac.
The idea of going to Arundel was to have afternoon tea: a pot of tea, scones and cake. We sat at a window seat – always interesting to watch the passers-by.
"I've spotted some sherry schooners in that little shop opposite. I'd like to have a closer look." Inevitably this might be said.
The schooners were parcelled plus a pair of wine goblets which were a present for me. When we got to her flat the day's booty was unpacked and admired. Mother was a 'tea Jenny' so off she went to put the kettle on. While she was doing this, I looked around her sitting room. Two saddle back chairs – antique. A beautiful walnut table, sideboard and chairs – reproduction. Inside the sideboard was a set of Indian Tree china and a very delicate Royal Worcester tea set, a silver Georgian teapot, jug and milk jug– such treasures.
Against one wall was a mahogany china cabinet. Beautiful things looked out from behind the glass: Several antique tea cups – many French or Royal Doulton – such lovely colours and patterns; china ornaments – a collection of brown horses in many attitudes (bought by my father as a present); two tiny paintings of The Lake District, and a little Irish cottage, (not an antique, but given to Mother by the charwoman she had before moving down south). There was a small white tea pot decorated with china flowers – very rare – and two Delft ornaments – boy and girl figurines, and a red and clear glass dish which had been a wedding present. This china cabinet fascinated me and gave me so much pleasure.
"Tea's ready", said Mother as she came in with the trolley with the Susie Cooper tea pot, jug, cups and saucers. "Sorry to be so long".
"Don't worry. I've enjoyed looking at your china cabinet collection".
"You share my love of lovely things. I'm glad, because when I die I can't take them with me, but you will be able to share them with the family".
That happened some time ago and now many of the treasures are with me or my eldest daughter. The younger daughter states that she is minimalistic and never wants possessions. Ah well – it's an interesting world!
how we love them.
As the squirrels gather nuts
so possessions are accumulated.
As life continues,
so do they
and each one
helps to recall
happening, place or person.
When death calls
possessions are dispersed
to family or friends
or we, like Tutankhamun,
might place them in a tomb.