July 12, 2012

Nelle's Handpainted Plums

It's become a habit of late. Whenever I'm in the shopping village, I simply have to race over and see the latest items to hit the shelf in the Vinnies locked cabinet. I'm gathering quite a collection of all sorts. This latest piece is a real one-off.  I asked the sales lady if I could view it and I almost put it back, but.....I didn't.

I wonder what your life was like Nelle Packer. I wonder if you are alive. My instincts tell me you are not. I can see how lovingly you handpainted this plate - our very own great Auntie Joan handpainted a strawberry plate for me in the mid-eighties. I treasure it to this day.

Why has someone brought your plate to Vinnies? Why aren't they treasuring your plate like I'm treasuring Auntie Joan's. Maybe someone was, and maybe that someone is no longer with us.

Your plate is making me think Nelle Packer. I'm thinking the kids will have the odd item to remind them of me, but what after they're gone. 'My things' really won't have any meaning to anyone else and so what's the point of clogging the cupboard.  In fifty years time my personal stuff will be either chucked out or sitting on the Vinnies shelf. I wonder if someone will come along and ask the same questions I'm asking of you Nelle.

For today at least your plate graces the corner of the window, where almost all of "Thrumykitchenwindow's" photography takes place. You can stay there Nelle - I'm guessing until I come home with the latest piece from Vinnies. As I work away in my kitchen you are here, revived, a new home and in the limelight.


  1. I wonder too who Nelle Packer was... she was awfully good with a paint brush though.
    The opshops are such a funny mix. Snap shots of peoples lives, moments, stories all bundled together. Usually with a whole pile of junk to bulk it out and make the treasure finding that bit more special.
    I've got a funny mismatched collection of toast plates. I don't care that they don't match. I care that I love looking at them, (except for two which detest- they refuse to break and I feel guilty about ditching them. My kids need to be more heavy handed!)

    1. Couldn't agree more Brydie. I love your term - 'stories all bundled together' - it really is like that isn't it. I always go to the locked cabinet section where the better quality items can be found. There is usually cups,saucers, serving dishes and the like usually 'made in england' kept in there and the prices are higher than anywhere else in the store. Still, I'm very happy to part with $20 for a single or up to a three piece Royal Albert or Wedgewood item. A couple of weeks ago I bought a dessert plate and saucer, but there was no cup. Oh well. The mix and match rule applies to me as well. Can't adults be heavy-handed - hehehe. Mariana xx

  2. Ma, this is a really thoughtful post you've written.
    I'll surely keep some of your precious cookware - tings that are memorable such as THAT GRAVY JUG. I love that gravy jug! :)
    But don't you worry, your most loved items will remained loved. I promise.
    Love you.
    Issy. x

    1. Wow - news to me the gravy jug has left such an impression on you darla. Sold. It's yours! I'll let you know how much later. If my most loved items will remain loved, then I presume the garlic crusher will be in there somewhere - hehe. Don't forget the citrus juicer that we received for a wedding present over thirty years ago. My cousin who passed away gave that to us; it cost $12 and is still going strong every winter. Pa's put some cracks in it (no surprise), yet she's still cranking along. I'm not a fan of plastic as you know, but this juicer is priceless. Love you too Issy. Ma xx

    2. Oooh don't forget the little blue electric jug - if you want family history then this piece is hard to beat. When I first met your father at the residential college in Wollongong, this jug was sitting on his desk. To think we only stopped using it less than two years ago. Amazing!! Hasn't it been a talking point with visitors who have all felt transported to another time after spotting it. Just love that kettle. A few repairs, a good element and she'll run again like new.