Thursday, 5 May 2016

just looking

Copyright: <a href=''>HHLtDave5 / 123RF Stock Photo</a>

Don't panic - this isn't a how-to-make craft post (although believe it could very well be). 

I recently discovered an old battered metal container with Wall's (as in the ice cream) embossed into the side. It seems that this may have been an old ice cream container from the factories. I loved it, hammered out the dents, lovingly restored it with a coating of a vanilla-esque paint. Why? My grandparents both worked at Walls Ice Cream Factory in Acton, London in the 1950s/60s and this little bit of memorabilia which now holds my old LPs also held some sentimental meaning.

And so began my obsession. I've browsed antique shops before, a brief detour on a holiday high street. But the antique fair I visited last week was serious business. It was massive. Hanging out with a friend, we tried to be all organised and view the whole fair rank and file but like magpies, we'd dart off in search of some vintage thing or a crusty old item that we could restore back to life. (Said friend is way more creative than me but we get the same buzz digging around dilapidated stuff).

Once I got past the ooh I used to have one of these when I was a kid moments and start to really look among the tables and boxes it can be quite a reflective experience. I'm not a fan of jewellrey or fine lace so tended to skip past these but would slow to a pensive halt at spaces filled with suitcases, storage containers, kitchen ware and photo albums.

Some of these items throw their tales out with glorious abandon. Suitcases with faded labels of far-flung places or a regimental history scrawled inside. Or the photo albums, which I have become obsessed by, that lie dustily concealing a whole life for us to peruse the whys and wherefores about the many faces smiling in familial tableaux. 

Then there are the objects that need a little more attention. I wonder what all the battered canisters and containers with scratched off logos may have held at one time. Was it once stashed with love letters to a young romantic or a youngsters collections of nik-naks that were thrown away once adulthood arrived?

When we buy all our bits n bobs that clutter our homes for decades or just for a short while before it's deposited in charity shops, is it likely that in forty years time people will be walking around car parks speculating the life we lived and how quaint or quirky our household objects were? Will it bring back a memory of an old abode or will the excess of the millennial generation pass on to become a desire for minimalism and all things only new? Will our future great-great grandchildren shun their virtual kitchenware and furniture for pine tables and Scandi dinner sets?

I tend to get overly-excited when I see art deco paraphernalia that I can't afford. Then get all whimsical over sixties and seventies kitchenalia with bright oranges emblazoned on plastic cups or Pyrex dishes. Many the time has been when I could have happily laden my Mini Cooper with bounty from yesteryear to add to all the 'projects' already clogging my house up.  

So I step on the breaks and I content myself with just a browse and a brood whilst pondering what I'll time.