I do so love it when John (Going Gently) buys a new picture or a new ornament - or somebody buys him one as a present. All those pictures on his 'art wall', all those bits and bobs (not to mention the illuminated string of dinosaurs or something he has just bought). And then there is his 'goat' he made for himself which I think stands on his mantelpiece.
Not everyone likes ornaments but I love them. Whenever I have travelled I have always bought something to bring home to remind me of the visit. Years ago - at least 35 years ago - my first husband and I bought a smallish brown pottery bowl decorated with pomegranates (I believe the area is famous for them) in Alma Ata. Almaty, as it has been referred to by Google, stopped being the capital of Kazakhstan in 1997 so it was long before that when I went with my first husband, who died in 1991. Years ago I dropped the bowl and broke it. I 'repaired' it (by no means up to The Repair Shop standard) and an hour ago tipped a dozen Clementines into it and put them on the small table in the sitting room. Then I just sat for a few minutes and thought about our visit there. The bowl triggered that thought and just for a while I was back there. As my first husband used to say 'A moment enjoyed is never wasted'.
But - daft as it may seem - on my hearth I have a bronze half-sized hare (my favourite as you know) who sits up licking his front paws. A present from my niece many years ago as we were walkng round Richmond ('our' Richmond - only ten miles from here.) I adore him and have many one-sided converations with him.
At the other end of the hearth in Summer (he is made of wood and has to fly back to his place on top of the high bookshelves once I need the fire on) sits a wooden half-sized Oyster-Catcher who is in a walking/nay stalking position of authority. We bought him -the farmer and I - at Minsmere maybe twelve years ago. He faces the hare across the hearth.
Last week end a friend bought me a bunch of Sedum from her garden and she moved the Oyster catcher to the middle of the hearth so that she could put the Sedum in his spot. When she had gone I sat looking at the hearth and smiled. I figured the Oyster Catcher was just stalking over to his Summer mate to tell him that shortly he was migrating back to the top of the book case and would see him next Spring.
The electrician came a couple of days ago to give the fire a service. This morning I saw that the bird was standing close by the hare. The question is - did the electrician move the hare or did the bird think - here's my opportunity to have a chat with the old chap at last and wander over to the hare?
Daft question I know but when you get to 90 you are allowed to be daft, If Beatrix Potter can write of 'a foxy-whiskered gentleman with black prick ears and sandy whiskers, seated on a tree stump reading a newspaper' then I can take the liberty of allowing my Oyster catcher to stalk over the hearth to say goodbye to his fastidious friend who spends all his time cleaning his feet.