Monday, 15 June 2009
The family silver
When I was a little girl one of my favourite jobs at home was polishing the brass and silver either with my Mum or more often my Gran. There was quite a lot of cleaning to do as the family seemed to have accumulated a collection of brass candlesticks, horse brasses and various pieces of silver. We'd spread newspaper over the large kitchen table and go round the house picking up the items to be cleaned. I thought it was amazing that you applied a polish that made the metal even dirtier but when you rubbed it away with a clean cloth everything was sparkling. I even liked the black dirt that accumulated on my fingers as I worked away. I'd sit and chatter happily to my Gran who one day asked me which was my favourite piece. I chose this little jug probably because of its shape and eventually after I'd left home she gave it to me. I didn't realise how much this ritual meant to me until many years later my Mum died. One of the first things I did in the house was clean the brass and silver, strangely it was a comforting thing to do and today when I've been polishing all these memories came back.I don't have much silver myself, but I do like these napkins rings, a collection I started when my Mum gave me a pair from the house, as she did this pretty sugar spoon. I don't imagine I shall be taking any of my pieces to the Antiques Roadshow, but as far as I'm concerned they are priceless, and today at least spotless.