Thursday, 13 March 2008
Talking about collections – here’s a collection of my toys that I turned into a still life.
How many of you still have your first teddy bear? It’s funny how people hang onto them for so long, when all the plastic and wooden things are long gone.
My teddy was made of sheep-hide. It was apparently pink when I got it, but I don’t remember it ever being that colour, so it must have faded very rapidly to the dull cream it still is. Unfortunately the wool has worn off in many places through years of cuddling and the moths have bored holes into him to get to the stuffing, whatever that is, but he is still much loved and sits on the cupboard in my bedroom.
The other items in the picture have a story to tell too. The little clockwork teddy was a gift from my favourite aunty, who was also my Godmother. Wound up, he would ‘pour’ himself a glass of milk, then tip back his head and gulp it down, while his little furry tail span round with glee. It’s many, many years since he could do that, and his tail is furless, but I still keep him. In fact, when we once had to pack for an emergency evacuation because of a bushfire, I stuffed him into the suitcase with Teddy. Silly really, but I’m sentimental. (Fortunately we never had to evacuate, because the fire changed course.)
Wendy, the doll, I remember getting with great clarity. I had been begging for a kitten for my fourth birthday. I’d also been asking Mum if I could have the detergent bottle when it was empty (I can’t remember why). About a week before the big day, a box arrived from an aunty who was living in Germany. When Mum put it up on the sideboard where I couldn’t reach it, a strange mewing sound came from the box. I became convinced there was a kitten in there. The fact that it couldn't have survived in a box for that long never crossed my mind. On my birthday I opened the box with great anticipation, to find – the empty detergent bottle. Dad thought it was a great joke. Then Mum brought out what had been in the box – a beautiful doll that ‘cried’ when you turned it over.
I don’t remember where Mickey Mouse came from, but I only remember him ever having one ear. I gave him two in the picture, because the clockwork teddy only has one ear and I thought it might look strange to have two earless toys. The rocking horse isn’t old, but P and I bought it on a trip to Ballarat, and the Jacks are another present that have somehow survived into adulthood.
I told you I was a collector. Just too sentimental to throw memories away.