Sunday, 26 June 2011

One thing ...

There's a website here wherein you can post photos and descriptions of the objects you would save if your house suddenly started burning down.  Most people assemble a whole lot of stuff and arrange it artistically for the photo-op, but if I did that I would pretty certainly be incinerated by the time I had rummaged through the wardrobes, cupboards, drawers, attics for the many items I might wish to select.  Presumably those people keep it all in one box, just in case - but where do they keep the box, eh?

I think it would be more interesting to ask us to select just one thing, and write a little story about why they would choose it.  So here's mine.

My parents had quite a lot of brass knick-knacks around the house.  I know this because it became one of my domestic tasks to polish them every week, with nice-smelling Brasso, for a shilling.  When I was about six (probably before the polishing regime started), they decided that my sister and I should be given custody, which was presented to us as ownership, of one each of these.  On offer was a fierce Bengal tiger, or this frog.  My sister, being the elder, was given first dibs.  Naturally, she picked the tiger.

I was downcast.  No, I was devastated.  I had coveted, craved for that tiger.  I think I assaulted her, I'm certain I cried with envy and disappointment.  Of course, when you're six, a week of despondency is a lifetime; I certanly don't hold the grudge any more.  In fact, now, when I look at and fondle this fellow, with his plump body and his blind eye, I reckon I got the best deal.


  1. As I recall it you sub-contracted the polishing job to me. Or maybe I got it when you went off to university.
    But what brass object did I get?
    Rien! Niets! τίποτα! Dim! Zilch!
    (Had I been born at the time? Maybe not. Maybe that's why.)
    BTW it wasn't really fierce that tiger. But it did try to nip one when one polished its underparts.

    As for the house burning down thing, this will take some time to evaluate.

  2. Soaring is quoting Olsen when they broke down in the car and he was asked what he could contribute as a master of languages. One of which may have been Frog.

  3. I have read this post three times now. It is a subject I have thought about sometimes. I will go for my favourite guitar.And ancestor paintings....difficult choice. I recall the smell of brasso very strongly.

  4. Soaring - you're still brassed off about that? We need to talk. But we probably need mediation from Supine. Old wounds take longest to heal. (I just made that up, and like most old saws, it's bollocks.)
    Rog - Hmm. You'd have to ask him, as he is a world authority. I am a humble LH dilettante.
    Rosie - you can't get Brasso over here anymore, at least without going on big adventures to Tesco and such places, so please email a can ASAP, by portal, otherwise my frog will turn green.

  5. Actually Rog I was para-phrasing Oldsen. Different languages.
    I do it a lot. Like many other superb LH snippets.
    And Tim that frog looks a bit green already, not the shiny happy frog I recall. Must check on next visit.

    Still working on the house burning evaluation.

  6. He's actually disguised as a chameleon, and is blending in with the background. In real life he's as brassy as ever.

  7. You can't get Brasso in Britain anymore??? I was always given stuff to polish as if it was a treat, oh ha, ha, nice try, mother!
    You got a good deal with the frog. My brother and I almost fought to the death over a set of 1910 encyclopedias.

  8. OK. Given the obvious assumption that the external backup & storage hard drives are safe & sound in my anorak pockets & the currently incorrect assumption that all of the important pre-digital photos etc. had been scanned, then I guess it comes down to two irreplaceable items:
    My tea mug depicting Kisimul Castle, Isle of Barra, acquired in 1987, used most days & sent through the dishwasher innumerable times yet retaining all its original verve & sparkle. It's a survivor, rather like the original. (I'm touching a big chunk of desktop wood whilst typing that).
    My original copy of a Second Draft Screenplay by Bill Forsyth, November 1981, Glasgow, of an Enigma Productions Ltd film: Local Hero. Acquired online for a modest sum many years ago. It contains many favourite gems, some extras & some variations. The frontispiece is a simple famous poetic quote:
    "What is this life if full of care
    We have no time to stand and stare"

    William Henry Davies

  9. Sorry, can't remember about the polishing - all I know is that I didn't do it!! Tim, I'll swap you the frog for the tiger if you like - it'll be easier for me to clean :)