Thursday, 26 May 2011

Once upon a time ...

... in a bed ... in a hospital ... in a city ... a tiny baby was being packed up to make the journey home!  This case has been with her since that day!

It then became a doll's house, a holiday suitcase, a book shelf ... it just about survived the 1960s "Ban the Bomb", "Peace" and "Jesus loves you" fluorescent stickers (you can see the scars!) ... after that it was a storage box, an occasional overnight bag and finally, a clerical robes carrier ... until, one day, a couple of years ago, a very inquisitive dog decided to burrow his way in to find some chocolate!  That's why there's a gaping hole on the lid!

End of useful life ... at least ... until repairs can be done!
 If only it could talk!  When the stickers were removed some of the outer paint came too ... in those days we covered everything with them.  It was a colourful era ... if a rather crazy one too!  Those were the days when we went on Jesus walks following Arthur Blessit and his huge cross ... when camping overnight at the City Hall in Belfast seemed like a good idea.  All I remember of that night is the singing and the cold!  Being a student in the 60s must surely have been one of the most exciting times in history ... though as we moved into the 70s things in Belfast (and Northern Ireland) were to change dramatically.
I'm not sure how much we students felt the trauma of the Province ... it is possible that we were so wrapped up in our little cocoon of protected student life that we didn't really feel the pain.
For us ... living on the edge of "The Holy Land" there were always soldiers in our house ... our landlord was a very generous Englishman who was 'doing up' the property as we lived in it ... so it was always a building site ... into which the whole squad of soldiers on patrol in the area were invited for tea and toast.  It helped that landlord owned the general store on the ground floor so there was always plenty to eat!
You'd come in from the library and often find a row of guns stacked on the bare stairs ... I don't think they were ever carpeted ... that was normal life for us!  Sheba, the huge Alsatian dog, shared the property too and walking her at night meant that you had nothing to fear.  I think she probably would have eaten anyone who tried to attack you.
Little brown case was part of that life ... coming home on odd weekends with dirty laundry ... returning with freshly ironed clothes and a good supply of home made cakes and breads.
No wonder it looks so battered.  I wasn't thrilled when Eliot wormed his way through a tiny tear ... the cardboard was never meant to withstand that kind of abuse ... but I'll have a go at fixing it.  At some stage the original lining paper was covered with wallpaper!  It's not so easy to get that off ... but I've removed a bit of it to reveal the red/pink check of the original paper.
The 365Project theme "vintage" has sent many of us hunting for items around our homes ... and with the object comes the story!

Tender God,
gentle protector in time of trouble:
pierce the gloom of despair
and give us, with all your people,
the song of freedom and the shout of praise,
in Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen. 

Celebrating Common Prayer
Thursday morning. 


lesleyc said...

There's a lot of history with that case! I think it's amazing that you have these things. Is there a story with the crutches too. In some strange way they are more pleasant to look at that the modern, metal version - almost like a piece of wood art...

Rev Elizabeth said...

No, no story with the crutches ... though I could invent one if you like!!!
The modern crutches just don't have quite the same look ... though they are a lot lighter and more comfortable to use!

lesleyc said...

I think you should write us a story for the crutches and please have a dog in it too!

Danny the Dog loves the large boot in my car and I had put up a dog guard to keep him from leaping through into the front. Last Sunday he went very quiet and we discovered he had rapidly and efficiently chewed through two rear seat belts! My fault for not seeing the possibility...