Long ago an astrologer told me some things (I had a singing crisis with the Whoop, and wanted to know whether I should just throw in the towel). He said that I would reach - somehow - a world-wide audience. This was meant as a sort of comfort. At the time he thought it might be through singing and cd's, but he said it could be via anything creative, somehow disseminated widely. He mentioned photography.
I did not know what a blog was, then.
He also said that it was OK for me to like Things. Things, he said, give you (me) a great deal of comfort.
My Woodstock glasses give and gave me a lot of comfort. I am quite happy just contemplating them. They hold roses, or a single terrace flower, or a drink. Each is unique because when they were made they were in fact not made very expertly: they were the first commercially-produced glass in South Africa. Flat champagne glasses, sherry glasses, custard cups, tumblers, big and small. Tiny bubbles trapped in the glass hold Cape Town air, vintage late 1800's.
They are hard to find now, and the rarest of all are the smallest tumblers, the ones I love most.
So it was with some alarm that I noticed a gap on the drinks tray when we returned from our long southern summer sojourn. No little tumblers. A big one missing too.
I had wrapped and packed away the 6 beautiful crystal champagne glasses that Bevan had given me years ago, Just In Case. At the time I had looked at the Woodstock, which we use every day, and thought...no, I needn't be paranoid. They're strong.
Be paranoid. If you can't bear to lose a thing, protect the thing. After I inquired of our cat sitter, in an email, what might have become of them, he said they had been broken in the dishwasher. All of them. An odd tale since I have washed them there so many times myself. For all their age they are sturdy little workaday things. They have survived years of our travels and many cat sitters and visitors, and are now gone.
None of this mentioned at the outset at all, when we arrived after flying half way around the world to find him just having woken up, bed upside down, apartment stinking of the cloves he'd burned to cover the cigarette smoke; only upon inquiry, along with a host of other things broken, damaged, stained: Pots, pictures, chopping board, linen, filthy bathroom...the horror.
His answer to these charges, incidentally, was: I am too young to be acquainted with the nuances of home ownership. That's a direct quote. He is twenty-two. He was living with parents at the time, who presumably did not require him to clean the toilet, make the bed, wash his sheets. Etcetera. In retrospect, I should have sued him. It would have been worth a day wasted in small claims court.
The cat, it is important to note, is neither broken, nor damaged, nor stained. And this bears consideration.
(But: We only learned later that The Tick played his amped bass guitar in the wee hours, so that the neighbours wondered what was going on. This explains why our poor kitty was hiding in the cupboard when we came home. It incenses me.)
I found myself lying in bed last night, with my open book unread and un-escaped-to on my chest, just thinking about the glasses. I loved them. They were clear, beautiful in the light, and special, and gave me joy each time I touched or looked at them.
I will miss them.
If you see them, drop me a line.