Photo by Candia Dixon-Stuart
cabinet of curiosities, Calypso Carol, Carmen, Daily Mail, Easter Island, Financial Times, Hawaiian shirt, huzun, Istanbul, Moai, Monteverdi, Nobel Prize, Orhan Pamuk, oxymoron, Panama hat, Rolls Royce, Royal Yacht, Simon Schama, Singer sewing machine, The Longs Arms, Weekend Magazine
I always feel guilty when I destroy the barista’s carefully created fern on the
top of my coffee, but, then, one has to drink the frothy arrangement.
Goodness knows, one has paid enough for it, especially at Costamuchamoulah
must-seen cafe. At least The Financial Times Weekend magazine can be
appropriated from the public wall rack, to compensate. The Yummies always
go for The Daily Mail, I find.
Oh, the ecstasy of finding Simon Schama and Orhan Pamuk in the same article.
I loved the novel Istanbul and was fascinated by the concept of huzun, a state
of collective memory.
Pamuk has gathered a series of objects which he stores and displays in
cabinets and these items resonate with memory traces of significant moments
in his characters’ lives. Once these memories are categorised, they can be
stored and owned.
I wondered if I could rent or purchase a building in Suttonford where I could
collect objects connected with the narrative of my characters’ lives?
Re-winding some of my posts, I could imagine the first vitrines exhibiting a
crystal ball which belonged to Sonia, the medium who lives in Royalist House.
An empty bottle of Dewlap’s Gin for the Discerning Grandmother would
represent Sonia’s neighbour, Ginevra. The latter’s e-novel based on a meeting
of geriatric hearts and minds could be referred to by a mobility scooter, which,
of course, would take up a large glass box on its own- something like the one
which protected HM’s Rolls Royce on The Royal Yacht, Britannia.
Doomed romance would be conveyed by the original Valentine, complete with
its proposal of marriage (never received) which the youthful Augustus
Snodbury slid under the nubile lax mistress, Diana Fotheringay’s door all those
troubled years ago. The diamond ring which fell down the cracks in the
floorboards at The Longs Arms, but which was recovered, though not without
embarrassment, would also speak volumes to the tender-hearted.
Perhaps there could be an unmade bed which still belongs to Tiger-Lily and a
string of knitted women bishops which was removed from the cathedral
railings in Wintoncester, having been yarn-bombed there by Juniper, the
increasingly famous, gender-fluid, street graffiti artist.
The town’s canine lovers might donate a diamante pug collar belonging to
Pooh-Bah and the ever-present risk of animal vandalism might be portrayed
by the photograph of the priceless Pre-Moai figure from Easter Island, which
Andy, the Border Terrier so thoroughly digested.
Academic life could be shown by the Hawaiian shirt which one of the
Willoughby twins wore when he played the solo marimba in The Calypso Carol
at the end of term concert at St Birinus, and which provoked a caution
regarding the upholding of school rules regarding uniform.
Staying on a musical theme, the programme notes for the Monteverdi concert
in Bath which so riveted Drusilla, Diana and Gus would be interesting to study
in future years, as the cast list so clearly displayed Geoffrey Poskett and Nigel
Milford- Haven, of whom much more has to be said in future posts.
Snod’s battered Panama hat, which he sat on inadvertently at the
aforementioned concert and which Nigel effectively ruined by wearing it
when painting his mother’s bathroom ceiling, should be juxtaposed to set
up a dialogue with the alternative headgear which Nigel’s mother fished out
of her black sack and gave to him to wear to the opera, Carmen. Placed side
by side, the museum-goer should be able to detect that this hat which Nigel,
or Caligula as he is affectionately called by the children in his care, is going to
return duplicitously to his older colleague in lieu of the original- oh, drat, I’ve
given away the plot..- will be seen to be a size seven and a quarter, and not
the seven and three quarters which Snod has always sported on his rather
large dome of a head.
History, and family history at that, will be brought to life by the inclusion of a
Singer sewing machine which belonged to Jean Waddell, Carrie’s maternal
I am excited by the prospect of making the intangible tangible. Oxymoron
creates such dynamic tension!
Thank you for the idea, Orhan. I won’t expect a Nobel Prize for it as it would
be akin to plagiarism, but imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
(To understand the exophoric references and intertextuality of this entry,
please refer to previous posts!)