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Otherwise my novels, short stories, verse, family, music, memories, vulgar interests, detestations,
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Wednesday, 29 January 2014

All that glisters...



When I was sprung from RAF national serice ("Oh frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!") I swore I would never again drink stewed tea, share a dormitory with 23 adolescents, leave a stupid order unquestioned or acquire anything made of brass.

Brass polishing was part of a process intended to convert me from a barely sentient version of homo sapiens (ie, your average teenager) into a Yahoo jelly-fish. Can't complain; it worked. To this day the smell of Brasso evokes a sixty-year-old memory of sitting down to watch a colour movie about the perils of VD. Come to think of it, that film worked too.

Thus in the division of labour chez Robinson the task of rendering metal bright and shiny falls to VR. As it happens we have no brass but we do have silver and, to her credit, VR accepts the task uncomplainingly.

It's a mixed bag, some predictable (sugar tongs, fish knife, cream jug, tankard, button hook) some almost exotic. The decorated item (bottom right) is the belt buckle VR wore as she nursed the damaged and poorly in several London hospitals. Less visible is a spoon and - I like this as a concept - "pusher" with which someone long forgotten marked the issue of my given name. There's more of my christening paraphernalia with that handled and initialled mug next to the tiny flower vase, top right.

The slender stemmed goblet ("Only silver plate," said my insensitive brother-law.) celebrated the ruby wedding of VR's parents. To the left is the only thing of  monetary value, an oldish bon-bon dish on  a tripod.

The circular object, top left, symbolises my 44-year career: a coaster once twinned with a glass decanter, now smashed - a freebie from someone aiming to corrupt my journalistic purity.

3 comments:

Stella said...

Be still my heart! A man with a domestic duty -- or is VR standing just out of range? Only a woman of a certain age would find satisfaction at polishing the silver. May I make one tiny North American suggestion -- buy the stuff that comes packaged with a little sponge -- rub & rinse (Twinkle) and none of that ghastly lemon & salt voodoo.

Roderick Robinson said...

Stella: I had in mind to offer my domestic duties as an introduction to this post. Found an alternative as you can see. However you may as well profit from the list while it's still fresh in my mind.

They are: washing up, drying up, putting away, putting out the bins plus daily bin management, anything that requires entering the loft, driving, choosing, acquiring, uncorking, decanting and pouring all types of booze (mainly wine), picking up The Guardian daily at the filling station, managing the pyracanthus at the side of the house, planning and paying for the villa holiday in France, organising the logistics for getting to and from the French villa, acting as online intermediary for the shared bank account, interposing my body when an unwanted (in fact most are) opportunity for casual conversation arises, filling the washing machine with dirty clothes, providing decisive choices for the made-up meals that form part of my 2/5 diet, changing the filter paper in the extractor fan over the hob, laying the table prior to the evening meal, answering the phone for about 90% of incoming calls, taking responsibility for the recording of any TV programmes, warning VR when the Chancellor of the Exchequer appears on telly and telling her when he's gone so that she may open her eyes, updating monthly a spreadsheet of all household revenue, remaining as silent as a mouse when any Scandinavian crime series is playing on TV. not answering fully when someone asks how I am, dealing with any indoors insects.

Various other things.

Alas it's an unfair swap. VR cooks and that leaves me in a debit balance.

Stella said...

I deeply and fully bow down.