I’ve said elsewhere that I love the TV programme The Repair Shop.
Last night, a woman brought in a badly damaged donkey that had been given to her as a baby. It was a “walker” with a handle for toddlers and it was a reminder of her father, who died when she was a baby.
She said something that surprised me - she nearly didn’t bring “Neddy” in for repair because she couldn’t bear to be parted from him. And I realised I don’t have any possession I feel that strongly about.
Do you have anything as precious as Neddy was for her?
By the way (as always) the repairs to Neddy were done with much love and were a great success.
Our house is full of things that belonged originally to other people, or were gifts, or were acquired at special moments. So lots and lots of very precious things, as they each come with lovely memories. Many have been part of the house I lived in most of my life too.
I love them, but they are just things. So I could live without them.
(Except there is one painting that I would try to save if the house started to burn down - once I has saved the dog and OH of course!)
I have a very precious piece of china… very precious in that it goes way back to one of my earliest memories…
At the crawling stage… I would see this piece every day, displayed at my eye level … on the bottom shelf of the cabinet in Grandmère’s hallway… I loved it and the whole family knew that…
After GM died, I was thrilled when my elder sister asked if I would like it as a keepsake.
Years later, my younger brother lifted it casually, not realizing that the lid/hat was separate… and that piece crashed to the floor…
Deathly silence… while my brother stood transfixed with horror… and me in shock…not quite knowing what to do …
However, common sense/sisterly love came to the rescue … and I rushed to assure him that it was all OK… nothing to worry about… etc etc.
Sadly, he died a couple of years ago… and I would swap that piece of china for him… any time.
The repairs/restorations that they achieve rarely fall short of amazing - though I have cringed at some of the (rare) electronics ones.
For my taste they don’t always get the balance between repair and restoration right - but I guess that’s each to their own view.
It is clear that most of the repairs would be economically impossible, hours and hours of work by experienced artisans would cost thousands, often for items which have mainly sentimental value (eg “Neddy”). I also wonder how many are turned down simply because they don’t have an interesting story to tell to the camera (I wonder if any are turned down as irreparable but that’s a slightly different discussion).
My brain. Well the bit of it that controls what I was going to tell you about a moment ago but which, as soon as I opened the Reply box, the name fled from my memory. It is an apparatus used by seafarers to find out where they were in the world before the days of satellite navigation. It is all in shiny brass and resides in a special box with velvet lined compartments for the different pieces. One of those is a small pair of brass binoculars.
Apart from being very desirable, it is special because it was willed to me directly by my Master Mariner uncle, Harold, as he knew I was destined for a life at sea in common with the family tradition though sadly was more brief.
SEXTANT…just come back to me.
Willed directly, in contrast to everything else he owned which he left to my Dad, some things of which were passed on in due course.
But I can’t find it, it must be here somewhere, I would never have left it in Nottingham, all I have left are the brass binoculars which I now keep permanently in the car. Must keep searching.
And yes Sue, as usual a brilliant programme, but I am just a tad sad that they don’t always bring forward to the ‘handover’ other members of the team who have a more minor, but nevertheless very important, role in the renovation. For instance, the chap who rebuilt and beautifully finished the metal carriage for the donkey. Perhaps he wasn’t there that day, but sometimes they are, because I can see them in the background.
Like you Sue, I love ‘The repair shop’ and in answer to your question, yes, I have something precious that I couldn’t bear to be parted from. Last month I lost my purse in Brico Depot Châteauroux in the car park! Thankfully some kind soul handed it in to the store. My first thought wasn’t for my purse or bank cards, but for a very old and tattered drawing my Mum did for me when I was a child, over the years I have sellotaped it to retain the outline of the little figure on the faded paper. The thoughts at the time that I may never see this little drawing again were heartbreaking, when we went to the collect the purse, the first thing I did was check for the drawing and let Mum know it was safe! Needless to say, I don’t let the purse out of my sight now.
I also have a set of Edwardian dining chairs from my grandparents, who died many moons before I was born, but I used them throughout my childhood and they are now in the gite, now known as the Little House.
We got a couple of things professionally scanned, and touched up a little bit, and the results are very good. It wouldn’t be the same as the piece of paper, but could stop heartbreak if your purse was stolen…
I have 2 other cherished inheritances, both needing attention. A grandfather clock, not sure how old but probably presented to my Grandparents on their wedding in 1910. After Grandad, also a Master Mariner, died Gran came to live with us in Nottingham and I fetched it back from Manchester over the Peaks on the roof rack of my old Packard. It has been working here but somebody tried to stop the quarter hour chimes and damaged the pendulum.
The other is another, but this time indirect, inheritance from Uncle Harold, a pair of brass maritime instruments mounted on a wooden board. The clock which hasn’t worked for a long time, and a matching barometer, which does. Out of the question to haul them all the way to Surrey, and in any case, like Neddy’s owner, I would be loathe to let them out of my sight. Especially as the clock has been repaired once by an expert here in France but still packed up again a couple of years later.