Bond vs. Bond

“I was not born
Into this world
To do another man’s bidding”

  • Fontaines D.C. 

A little different this week. Whilst at college earlier this year I learnt about the ‘Significant Objects Experiment’ which I’ve written about  before. This week Jake and I bought 4 pieces of Belleek in local charity shops and ‘enhanced’ them. We also wrote a fictional back story for each one and we’ve listed them on eBay. They’re all listed under my name, and only we know who created which one.

Our competition is to see which one gets the highest or any bid.

Your competition,, is to tell us who wrote which story.

Your prize ? You get whichever one hasn’t sold by Sunday…which may very well be all of them.

Here are the 4 stories and the objects. If you want to have a look at them on eBay , and maybe even make a bid, you can search under Belleek Monaghan.

The Paradox Trinket Box

“The greatest criminals of all time are the criminals you won’t hear about: Faela H. Bottlecat was nigh on 84 when she came the greatest, most foolhardy pottery thief the world would never know. Forever the swindler, and founder of the Bitter-Knitters, Faela, prior to going into hiding, resided in the east-wing of the Ballinode Nursing Home, as far away from the car park as possible (not that it ever stopped her).
                               As nefarious as she was -and good lord was she- for 84, her love for it all was in the adventure. And so, despite the convenient logic in selling her collection now so as to throw authorities off her scent and make a few bob in the process, she argues that it is to share her love for acting the maggot with the world.”

What a load of rubbish. I would like it known that at no point had I ever stolen a car whose owner didn’t deserve it, and 84? I’m bloody 78! 84, pshaw. These are the kind of things a living legend has to suffer through then is it? Where did all the respect for criminals go? Anyway, let’s dive in:

The Paradox Trinket Box, a personal favourite of mine. From one legend to another, I feel like it and I were meant to be. It was said that this trinket box -unassuming to the naked eye- enveloped within its small form an ocean so vast and so blue it would put to shame Aphrodite. Whoever had written that must not have heard of me, but I digress. As I’m sure you’ll come to discover to the same chagrin as I, something seemed to have been lost in translation. On the outside it bears the look of shells and coral, but on the inside it is a trinket box like any other.

It’s nice to know that legends have a sense of humour about themselves.

I suppose I kept it for this long as a reminder: 1. don’t trust the word of a drunken explorer you’ve never met before, but 2. after the trinket box came to hold the earrings I had worn on my wedding day, and my family locket, it suddenly became more important to me than any paradoxical ocean could offer. Beauty within came from within- how’s that for an old lady’s wisdom?
Live boldly, and all that,
                  Faela H. Bottlecat.

The Wedding Present

Sometimes a wedding present took pride of place in the newly married couple’s home. Sometimes a wedding present sat in the box it arrived in and only say the light of day when the ‘Giver’ was visiting. Then it assumed pride of place, until the ‘Giver’ left, then it was immediately put back in it’s box. And sometimes a wedding present sat in it’s box until the day arrived when the ‘Receivers’ were invited to a wedding where they didn’t know the new bride or groom terribly well, and were only going out of familial obligation, or as a sign of respect to the parents of the new bride or groom, or simply because they’d invited the new bride or groom’s parents to their wedding for reasons that were either long forgotten or meaningless now. This was when that wedding present was finally of use to the original couple. It saved them the bother of buying a present for this couple.
At this point the unloved wedding present had the potential to be weaponized. If it was recognised as a ‘re-gifted’ wedding present, friendships could be lost and generational feuds would begin.

This delightful Belleek Millenium Fruit Bowl was one such wedding present.

Except that Emily loved it. Emily had just married Finn and Finn’s second cousin Deirdre had given them the fruit bowl that Finn’s mother had given to Deirdre for her wedding. Finn’s mother had herself received the fruit bowl as a wedding present from Deirdre’s granny, Assumpta. Assumpta and Finn’s mother had never got on.
Family tradition would have dictated that Emily simply kept it in her attic and waited for the eventual invitation to Deirdre’s youngest sister’s wedding, or if she was really dedicated, given it to Deirdre’s offspring’s eventual wedding sometime in the distant future.

Emily didn’t do that. She was not emotionally attached to any ‘thing’, apart from Finn. She liked things for a time, then changed them for other things. She liked the shape of this fruit bowl. And she liked the colour orange. So she painted the fruit bowl orange and it did indeed take pride of place in her kitchen. It has had that pride of place for 7 years.

And now ?

Well now she’s painted her kitchen in a monochrome scheme. Everything needs to be black, or white or a shade of grey. She still loves her orange fruit bowl, but it doesn’t fit and she hasn’t the heart to put it in the attic. She received an invitation to Stephanie’s wedding yesterday. Stephanie is Deirdre’s youngest sister. Emily thought it would be a lovely idea to give the orange fruit bowl to Stephanie as a wedding present.

I said ‘No’.

The Belleek Pizzazz Vase.

This is something of an odyssey that never fails to put a smile on this old lady’s face every time I think about it. 
As one does, I had broken into the Hunt Museum to filter through their archived inventory. Sometimes its nice to see what they have, what they think they have, and therefore, which one of us has the original. It was all very standard for a Sunday until I happened upon a rather strange box. Everything else was but this was nothing if not peculiar, and in all my years browsing this warehouse I had never seen it before. That was the first red flag. When I looked at it was when it vanished, and only in the corner of my eye was it visible. You only need to look as far as the inscription on my husband’s tombstone to know that I was not a fan of practical jokes, but it was late and I wasn’t going to walk home empty handed.

I got as close to the box as I could and, closing my eyes, I reached out for it. Nothing. I tried to sneak up on it from around the corner. Wrong again. It wasn’t until I had given up after the 30th attempt when it finally made itself known to me. Now it was just showing off. I had taken it home to unbox and words cannot express how much I wanted to send it through the wall into the next room. A vase? There were no inscriptions (which, for magical artifacts, are usually of some assistance) and no light radiating from it (also helpful). Only when I placed my ear to it did I finally calm down. In fact, I was more than calm: it felt as though I was in heaven.
I had returned to my early 20’s, back when jazz was actually jazz. I could hear the music playing outside the bathroom, and I was just looking in the mirror. The memory I had forgotten to never forget. It was the first time I had looked at myself and smiled a proper smile. Not because of some boy whose personality revolved around playing for his county team. It was because of me.

I lifted my ear from the vase and went to bed for a sleep so peaceful I could never fathom. Hopefully, when you listen to the waves inside this vase, you won’t see me at the jazz club (when jazz was really jazz), you’ll see yourself in a moment wherein you first came to love yourself. Take it from an old granny: I don’t care how old I get, I’m as beautiful now as I ever was, if not more.

Live boldly, and all that,
Faela H. Bottlecat

Aunty Perpetua’s Final Gift

I loved Grand Aunt Perpetua. She was unlike any of my other other aunties, and she was unlike anyone else’s aunties either.  She lived alone, never went to mass,wore tartan trouser suits, smoked Major, drank Powers neat, and drove a Citroen DS. She travelled extensively and we got postcards from her from Cairo, Leningrad, Singapore, Paris, Vienna, and Rio de Janiero. She was a whirlwind.

Mam said she thought she was a spy.

Dad said she was a pain in the arse.

I just loved her.

I asked her why she never sent us postcards from the United States and she said that was because she never went there any more. “Why not?” I asked innocently one wintry afternoon when she was sitting in her favourite spot in our house, the old armchair in the ‘good room’ , armed with a healthy glass of Powers and listening to John Cale’s Paris 1919 on our old record player. She asked me to close the door to the hall and then beckoned me closer and whispered conspiratorially that it was something to do with very skinny cigarettes and a revealing photograph of her with two of the Monkees. I was 9 and had no idea what she was referring to, but it felt wonderful to be told a secret by her.

She hated authority and petty bureaucracy with a passion.

In 1976 her local council decided to restrict parking on her street and proposed putting in double yellow lines. Aunty Perpetua organized petitions, protests and a legal campaign. None of it worked. She started parking outside local councillors’ homes, blocking their driveways until she received barring orders. In a final attempt at reconciliation the council offered to put the double yellow lines on the opposite side of the street from Perpetua’s house. She said she was no sell out.

In the early hours of November 26th 1976 three council lorries silently came to a halt at the end of her street. They winched her car to one lorry and quietly towed it away, several men pushing the lorry to get it away from her house before they started the engine. Then they cleaned the side of the road and then they started up the line painting lorry. They’d only gone a few yards when they were chilled to the bone by the blood curdling scream that shattered the early morning silence. A nearly naked Aunty Perpetua dressed in nothing but her favourite Grateful Dead tee shirt,was running from her house armed with nothing more than a tiny Belleek vase that she’d grabbed in haste and desperation  from her hall table to throw at them. She ran along the road , screaming and just as she was about to hurl the tiny Belleek vase at the line paining lorry, her foot caught in a street storm grating and she fell forward into the path of the lorry. The lorry driver was in complete shock and hadn’t the presence of mind to stop.

When the lorry had passed over her it was too late.

Mam told me later that day that Aunty Perpetua had passed away doing what she loved best , sticking it to the man.
Dad later said that she had passed away doing what she did best, being a complete pain in the arse.

They gave me this vase , the one she was holding when she died, to remember her by. I’ve had it for many years. I don’t need it. I have her in my heart.
My rebellious, loving heart.

So there you go folks. Four stories and pieces of Belleek to choose from.

Author: paul

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