Materialistic, moi? So how come I have so many iconic collections?
Nails. Old ones.
Rope and string, including wonderful dark blue macramé stuff straight from the seventies, and my grandmother’s linen threads on big wooden spools.
Shells, sea glass and driftwood. A lot.
White, and blue and white crockery.
Feathers, and leaves.
Needles, no kidding.
Bones and teeth (animals).
Railway ties, and crumpled rusted bits of metal.
Baskets, including a wonderful builder’s hod we found in our office in Soho. Pebbles.
Two large wicker laundry hampers full of textiles.
Interesting bits of wood. Blue and old bottles. Interesting jars. Tin boxes.
And now, rebar.
I gave my lace collection to the Lace Museum in Bath when I left England, and I left behind a hefty pink granite sett from Normandy, though I still think of it fondly. I have given away my quilts to dear ones who value them, our grandmother’s Paisley shawl to my sister since it suits her home better, my diamonds (!), my rag rugs, regretted, and my mother-in-law’s exquisite, mismatched teacups (as I knew I’d only break them) to a friend who couldn’t believe her luck.
In return I have received crab nets, furniture, books, pictures, seeds and cuttings, a life preserver, wonderful tools, a swanky reading lamp, earthenware pots, a double Bonsack bath, a cast iron kettle…
I love the flow of things, round and round in circles. My grandmother used to say, “It’s no loss what a friend gets.” She was right.