There have been a few (accidental) plate breakages recently around here the cupboard was looking kind of depleted. Given that there is bound to be further breakages in the years to come I didn't really want to shell out a whole lot of money on replacements. But I couldn't quite face Ikea either. So at last Saturday's flea market I looked out for something that would do for the time being. At the very first stand I found a set of 14 Christmas plates (1975 - 1988) all with blue and white images of a nearby town called Darmstatt. At first I was struck by the fact that someone had been able to find 14 separate scenic shots of Darmstatt to photograph (clearly there's more to Darmstatt than I had realised), then that someone else had chosen to turn the somewhat bleak images into plates, then that someone had bought them at great expense(one of the plates had the original price still stuck on the back - 67.50 Deutschemarks). Then, as I gloried in their incredible kitschness I realised the most astounding fact of all: I had to own them. Yes. All fourteen.
Thieu managed to talk the man into selling the lot for 30 Euros - which works out to be just over 2 euros each. Bargain. Of course, Thieu started googling when we got home to see if they were worth anything but, surprise surprise, they're not. I don't care though. I'm dying to use them. They even have hooks on the back so perhaps I should hang them on the wall when they're not in use? I kind of like just casually telling people to grab themselves a plate off the wall when they come around for dinner.
I have subsequently spent a lot of time thinking about the plates, wondering if there are other towns with Christmas plates (presumably there are) and how far back in time they go. I've also wondered about the previous owner. Some of the plates were still in their boxes. Maybe they were unwanted Christmas pressies to a mum or grandma? Or maybe they're shop remnants. I wish I knew. Of course, kitsch and it's associated high risks of pathos and sentimentality is almost definitely bad for the digestion. Oh well. If people start weeping during dinner at least I can blame the Darmstatt Christmas plates and not my cooking.
The weather is cooling here in Frankers and I have a feeling summer might be over. Just like that. At least this year I felt like I was onto it, wearing skirts even when I was actually freezing, going for picnics and swims in the local lake. We were going for lots of bike rides too until Thieu's bike was stolen from the back yard. Bummer.
We are off the Norway for three weeks on Monday. Auntie Hil said that Norway always reminds her of Adrian Mole's poem and once she pointed that out I couldn't stop thinking about it either:
Norway! Land of difficult spelling.
Hiding your beauty behind strange vowels.
Land of long nights, short days, and dots over 'O's.
Ruminating majestic reindeers
Tread warily on ice floes
Ever aware of what happened to the
One day I will sojourn to your shores
I live in the middle of England
Norway! My soul resides in your watery
I plan to keep an eye out for ruminating majestic reindeer plates while I'm there.