I’ve already failed at the Oily Smudges Silhouette Quiz tonight so I thought I had better make good my promise and tell the picnic basket story – but made the hideous mistake of trying to post it via my computer – what the fuck is this new Block Editor and why can’t I turn it off?
I have (had) two vintage Sirram cases which I’m trying to sell on Marketplace. My great weakness and one that I’m really trying to tackle is that I can’t create a difference between “that is a lovely thing” and “that lovely thing needs to be in my house.” One vintage picnic set would have been sufficient. Two is a pointless extravagance, especially when they just live under the stairs. But they don’t just have tins for sandwiches, they have kettles and spirit burners and bottles for meths and canisters for tea and sugar….a whole Arthur Ransome novel in a small blue cardboard case.
But they deserve better than my cupboard so I listed them both and one of them has sold to a chap who has a vintage Ford and wants to display it on the back seat, which I think is a much better life for it. But the overall number of picnic sets in my house is still two (bugger, it’s three if you count the 70s plastic one in the loft).
I have an excuse.
I was searching for the Sirram listing to make sure it came up when this one caught my eye.
Not for the loveliness of its tupperware nor its interesting floral mugs but because I was pretty sure it used to be mine.
For proof that I am not hallucinating after the isolation of the latest lockdown, here is me and my picnic basket in Days of Yore, some time around 1992. The future ex-husband is wooing me somewhere in the Highlands.
I gave it to a colleague for a charity auction in 2017 when I was divesting as much as I could of my worldly goods so that it would cost as little as possible to move to Scotland. But then I had to move back and start from scratch all over again, and some of the stuff I had given away I really missed.
Here it was, looking all lovely and still complete and just down the road, saying “buy me back!” It was a metaphor – it was time stop fretting over lost things, buy this one back and look forward to fruit cake and lashings of ginger beer. The charity would have made the money from the raffle, the person who had won it was getting some money for selling it, and the basket was coming back to its rightful home. Everyone gains something.
The very nice lady seller dropped it round the next morning on her husband’s low loader, which was nothing if not thorough, and it turned out it wasn’t my old one, as it’s still got its original tag on it. It’s just one from the same supplier.
But that’s OK. Because really, making progress shouldn’t be about getting your old life back. It should be about getting the things you used to like back, but better.
Here’s the old one on the back of a 2CV of happy memory – I’ve redacted my friend’s face in the spirit of the Holyrood Alex Salmond inquiry. Soon its shiny cousin will be on the back of the W650.
We will be allowed picnics from next Monday and I intend to picnic like it’s 1992. But without the getting married bit. And with more three-legged dogs and motorcycles.