Tuesday, 24 June 2014


And never called me mother!
Just like old Ellen Wood author of East Lynne from
whence the line originates.
Have you ever noticed how things just disappear
without so much as a by your leave
and it's virtually impossible to say, with any
certainty, when they actually went missing
or, indeed, when was the last time you saw them.
Take, for instance the good old bottle of Airwick
manufactured by Jeyes and guaranteed to kill
a horse fly at fifty paces or a horse for that matter
if the bottle was wide open and the obscene
green sponge wick was fully exposed.
Enough to prevent any small, impressionable young
life form from lingering in the loo any longer than
was physically necessary.  And wash your hands Julia
if you touched the bottle!
Or is it only things beginning with an "A" that are vanishing? 
Author, Airwick - how about Antimocasser?
Who didn't have an elderly aunt who's chair arms and settees
were smothered in the things in order to stop
uncle's hair pomade rubbing off onto the upholstery.
Why they even sold patterns for them
at the local haberdashers.  Some of the best
Long Dog motifs can trace their ancestry back
to such publications (see above).
Aspidistra, Gracie Fields used to cook the leaves
up for Sunday lunch instead of cabbage.
They came in jolly Majolica jardinieres and sat upon
crochet doilies - patterns for which were also
widely available at all good LNS's.
So that's what people did before television was invented!
Airmail letters from far away, exotic places sent by
lovers and penfriends,  relatives and rogues,
royalty and riff raff.
They were all written on lightweight blue paper,
arrived in special envelopes bearing the
appropriate stickers and stamps
and were all guaranteed to add a little spice to life
when they fluttered through the letter box on
a dull winter's day.
A pox on e-mails - someone send me an aerogramme please.
I am suffering severe withdrawal. 
And remember albums?  Sticking in our snaps on
wet Sunday afternoon's with special adhesive mounts
to avoid damaging the corners.
Poo to albums!  Store them on the cloud and be done!
Bet that singed her whiskers!
But one item who's loss will not be widely lamented
is the common, or garden, or novelty ashtray.
Our house used to be full to overflowing with them
and now not a single one remains
even in the guise of a pin tray.
All gone - Alas, Alack and Away.


  1. Joining disappearing things - handwritten letters, kids' money boxes, tea cosies, tea pots, fountain pens...

  2. I loved the blue airmail envelopes! It meant that Grannie and Grandpa had sent me some mail when they were off visiting relatives.

    In another 20 years so you think those things will come round again? I rather like a nice crocheted antimacassar set, the ashtrays not so much.