CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Cotswold Life today CLICK HERE

Adam Edwards: The love object

PUBLISHED: 09:41 14 February 2017

The mouse now sits on my bedside table. It reminds me of my wife, my daughter and many happy times

The mouse now sits on my bedside table. It reminds me of my wife, my daughter and many happy times

Archant

‘So what five things would you save from your home in the event of a fire? In my case it’s a small Russian china mouse’

This being the love issue I’ve been pondering where exactly my intense feelings of deep affection do lie and, once I have excluded my daughter, my chums, my small Cotswold home and my adoration of liquor, I am stuck.

I might, for example, say I love the Cirencester Tesco Extra but it is not, in truth, a deep romantic or sexual attachment but rather a figure of speech to explain my antipathy towards both Waitrose and Lidl. In a similar vein I love a spicy takeaway lamb Jalfrezi –rather than, say, a bland chicken tikka masala; I adore a well-rolled Cuban cigar while hating a Hamlet Panatella and I have a passion for Thistlecrack in this year’s Cheltenham Gold Cup.

What I no longer love, however, is objects. I find it baffling that anyone should profess undying adoration for a car or an urgent desire for a wristwatch. It is a mystery how anyone can be emotionally attached to one pair of trainers over another, dote on a designer bag or worship a retro swivel chair. That said, I have been wondering, if I were a Viking, what objects, if any, I would wish to have buried with me in my Longship as I set sail for the after life.

There is a jolly game that can be played at a dinner party when conversation slackens which is to ask your neighbours what are the five objects that they would save if their homes were burning down. Relatives, pets and photographs, one must assume, have already been rescued. The remarkable thing about the question, particularly considering our modern love of the consumer world, is how few people can name, off the top of their heads, five things that they do love and would save.

In my case there are a couple of paintings that have been hanging in my various homes for the past 30 years that I would wish to liberate from the burning building, but then a pedant might take me to task arguing that there is little emotional difference between a photograph and a painting. Then there is the only item that was particularly left to me in my father’s will - a small, worthless, dented Georgian toothpick holder (my siblings and I had to fight over the rest of the kit). I love the joke of the silver container (I do hope Father meant it as a joke) but I am not sure it is really worth saving.

And so what is left. I have noticed since my parents and my wife died that it is the silly, unimportant things that I love. There is, for example, a half completed exercise book of my mother’s badly scribbled recipes, my father’s old tweed cap that I now occasionally wear and most importantly my wife’s white china mouse that stares at the moon.

After the death of Stalin, the one-and-a-half-inch high porcelain rodent escaped from the USSR in the skirt pocket of my wife’s Russian mother. My late wife inherited it and loved it, but even so it sat for decades mostly ignored and unnoticed in the dusty corner of a trendy 1950s picture frame. I never gave the mouse more than a passing thought until my 21-year-old daughter landed at Heathrow after a gap year holiday in the USA. “I’ve got a tattoo,” she said. And there and then, in the arrivals lounge of Terminal 3, she took off her right trainer, pulled down her pop sock and on the inside of her ankle showed me the perfect outline of the white Russian mouse.

”How did the tattooist manage such an accurate depiction?” I asked. My daughter explained that for years, without so much as a by your leave, she had travelled with the mouse in her wash bag as both a memory of her mother and a good luck charm. When she was in Los Angeles she took a photograph of the mouse on her phone, sent the picture to an artist in the UK who drew the outline and then sent it back to the States for the tattooist to copy.

The mouse now sits on my bedside table. It reminds me of my wife, my daughter (and her cheek) and many happy times. It is, I have concluded, the only object that I love enough to save from my flaming cottage; the only thing I will take to the afterlife, although more likely in a small rowing boat than a Viking Longship.

For more from Adam Edwards, follow him on Twitter @cotswoldhack

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Cotswold Life visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Cotswold Life staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Cotswold Life account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More from Out & about

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Stephen Roberts walks in the footsteps of the Oxford scholar who enjoyed attending parties dressed as a polar bear, and once chased a neighbour while dressed as an axe-wielding Anglo-Saxon

Read more
Tuesday, November 6, 2018

I send this postcard from Cirencester, complete with the discoveries and viewpoints from four members of my family – both the young and not so young

Read more
Tuesday, November 6, 2018

If you’re looking for things to do in the Cotswolds this month, we have gathered plenty of events for you to pop in your diary

Read more
Tuesday, November 6, 2018

One hundred years ago this month the guns fell silent, marking the end of what was to become known as The Great War. Stephen Roberts remembers the impact the war had on Cotswold lives from 1914-1918

Read more
Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Being a region so steeped in history, there are plenty of locations in the Cotswolds with spooky stories from over the years. From bloody executions, eerie apparitions and headless horsemen, we pick 23 of the most haunted locations throughout the Cotswolds to visit if you dare

Read more
Tuesday, October 30, 2018

New bat cams installed at Woodchester Mansion help study protected breeds while also becoming an added attraction for visitors. Jo Barber looks at the work of one of the UK’s foremost bat experts and the mansion’s valued volunteers

Read more
Tuesday, October 30, 2018

From an all-boy, all boarding prep school for just 30 pupils, to the quietly trailblazing yet still traditional school it is today – here is a snapshot of Beaudesert over its 110-year history

Read more
Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Of all the castles in the region, none have seen as much war, romance and royalty as Sudeley over its dramatic 1,000-year history. And with such a colourful and eventful past, it is easy to see why some people believe there could be spirits from bygone eras which still wander the halls and corridors to this day

Read more
Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Following a record year for ‘visitor giving’ donations via local businesses, applications are invited to fund conservation projects

Read more

Thanks to the impact of ground-breaking comedy This Country, the quiet market town of Northleach has become one of the Cotswolds’ hottest film locations. Katie Jarvis is sent to investigate

Read more
Monday, October 15, 2018

What started as a business ploy by one Cotswold firm has developed into an inspirational garden

Read more
Monday, October 8, 2018

If a bit of English eccentricity is your thing, spend an enjoyable afternoon exploring the delightful follies of Faringdon

Read more
Monday, October 1, 2018

Visitors to the village of Bourton-on-the-Water can now escape the well-trodden tourist trail at Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust’s beautiful Greystones nature reserve and its newly opened visitor centre

Read more
Tuesday, September 25, 2018

No pain, no gain? Walking, cycling and horse riding make getting fit a lot more enjoyable than that

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory A+ Education

Subscribe or buy a mag today

subscription ad

Local Business Directory

Property Search