Life, photos but not the universe

Luminous gift horse

I’m in the throes of a giant house clean/tidy and having begun well by throwing out five bags full of books which I’m really not going to read again (honest) and a couple of bags of clothes which I probably won’t wear again, I thought long and hard about the dining room light shade.  Then I opened a cupboard and bravely threw out (well, bagged and boxed up) an quantity of old, possibly not very valuable crockery (it’s wedgewood porcelain but very dated) and other junk antique family <i>stuff</i>.  Then I considered the lightshade again.

Thing is, us Bardsley grandparents are getting a bit long in the tooth and short in the eye (sight) and we need LIGHT.  (No it does nothing for the teeth but is very good for seeing).  And skipping sideways a moment. did you know that the saying ‘long in the tooth’ came from the way in which a horse’s age can be discovered even if you’ve been told it’s a mere baby?  As horses grow old, their teeth continue to grow longer and longer.*  Thus, another saying about ‘looking a gift horse in the mouth’ since horse dealers would examine a horse’s teeth to check whether it truly was young enough to stagger on for another twenty years or whether it was due to visit the knackers yard before giving much use to a new owner.  It would be impolite, therefore to look in a gift horse’s mouth as it would imply that you thought it was getting a bit long in the tooth and was therefore a rather old gift.

Anyway, to return to the subject of light, the dining room lightshade was a gift from a family member and is in fact a rather beautiful thing, being handmade of glass and wrought iron in a kind of fawn colour with a red border.   Very Tiffany.  But not able to contain a bulb above 25 watts.  We improved the resulting gloom a bit by using a 20/60 watt low energy bulb but it still seems to give just about enough light with which to feel your way successfully to the far side of the room and if you turn it on at dusk (or on a dark cloudy day) it’s a toss up whether the light from the window will ever fade enough for the light in the dining room to be visible at all.  Then we put various lamps around the edges of the room which means that the dark centre (if only it were about chocolate) remains semi-penetrable at best.

We have been reluctant to examine its teeth so to speak.  It was a gift.  But in the wake of my current clearing out, I suddenly felt that its time had come.  I went out and bought a new light fitting and today, Barney fitted it.  It has three spotlights using three 40 watt halogen bulbs.  Its shades are made of opaque, white glass.  It makes the room look quite cheerful and Oh wonder of wonders!!! We can see!

*the agonies we encounter at the dentists can only be imagined for horses who need their teeth regularly filed down to stop them becoming painfully intrusive.**

**And you can still tell how old they are because there’s a groove on the tooth which cannot be filed away but which grows with the tooth.***

***Only if you’re an extremely experienced horse person though so lots of people probably still buy horses which act like two year-olds but are in fact about to drop dead of heart failure.


December 2, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , ,


  1. “if only it were about chocolate”

    ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

    I think I actually snorted when I read that bit!!!

    I wonder about my accumulation of belongings sometimes. . .

    but I’m whittling away at them, as you describe you are – this week it was three bags of boxed games that I don’t think the children ever played (Nancy fished The Worst Case Scenario Survival Game out of the pile, and we had a very amusing half and hour!)

    thanks goodness for charity shops!

    hope all’s well


    All very well thank you Inukshuk )
    I’m still whittling too – and not just throwing out my junk but persuading another person to let me throw out his! This is giving me some satisfaction : )

    Comment by english inukshuk | December 3, 2010 | Reply

  2. Oh you’re a brave soul. And a smart one.
    Himself is a keeper of stuff.
    I’m a keeper of stuff…..omgosh am I a keeper of stuff.

    In the meantime–Happy Happy Birthday to you!!! (just had to ONE MORE TIME!)

    ((((((((((((( Mig )))))))))))))))
    Welcome to your reduced bus pass. 😉

    Oh yes Mel, we too are keepers of stuff!!!!
    Thank you again : )
    (Not sure if I’ll get the bus pass yet but I’m going to go and look at buses anyway. It only takes half an hour to get to the nearest one – on foot)

    Comment by Mel | December 3, 2010 | Reply

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