09 November 2011
The fish servers came from Bogowantalawa in Sri Lanka, the fishes are from Barcelona, the seal waiting to start dinner is Canadian, and the rug is Turkish. Ranking these by age might involve overmuch time-travel, so we’ll go from who got what when.
My grandfather was born on a tea plantation in what was Ceylon. His family came back in time for WW1. Though his brothers didn’t, Grandpa survived, as did the fish servers, which now come out when Roy the Fish (who we think is a Time Lord) has called in his van.
I got the rug in Ankara in 1980. The dealer told me gravely over tea that it was Ottoman. Co-incidentally, my favourite thing to eat in Turkey was anchovies served on a sizzling hot tile. The blue fishes on the tile in the picture were ‘rescued’ the same year by my now wife from a house that was being modernised in Sabadell near Barcelona. The other bits of tile around it came from the same place, and you can see more of these in Barcelona in Parc Guell.
This heroine of architectural reclamation was given the seal by our son when he came back from a gap-year trip. It was carved by an Inuit artist called Emily Mannuk. The seal’s diet (if he/she weren’t a piece of basalt) is of course fish. And weirdly, Roy the Fish has just been round. So, tonight we too travel in time – back to Bogowantalawa.
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