Obligatory oddities

So now we’re all ensconced in the CBD, and as snug as two bugs can be. Apart from losing my job within the first week of moving in, I’m as happy as a clam. For someone who claims to ‘travel light’ and be ‘like not a possession-head, man’, I’ve had to deal with a lot of paraphernalia over the last few months.

After storing most of my priceless valuables (books, some knick-knackery) I’ve discovered that I think about a book I can’t access about once every three days, on average. Even if just to prove a point ‘to myself’. That’s approximately 2.3 books every week that I cannot live without. If only someone would invent some sort of hand-held electronic device that finds, stores, and displays written information! That person would be rich.

So now that I’m living in a small 1-bedroom flat, I’m astonished at some of the weird gear I’ve been dragging about with me (such as the crappy green plastic bowl I bought in West Africa I pretty much cannot function without). While washing machines and clotheslines and other useful items get thrown back to the great Freecycle unwashed, I’ve been trailing some items around the world with the same demented single-mindedness as a pooch with an old blanket.

Womaton: present from the Flying Carosone, circa 2009.

It reads: “Womaton – a woman’s tonic. It gives help where help is most needed. It makes weak women strong and sick women well. Contents – 6 fluid ounces a full eight days treatment. Manufactured by WOMATON LTD SYDNEY, NSW.”  If I am out of sorts, I am sometimes accused of “not taking my Womaton.” Here’s some other clues as to what it might be here and here.

Tintin keyring: present from Le Natal, circa 1988.

One of my oldest mates is completely obsessed with Japan, and has been since she was a wee thing – in fact until recently it was the only foreign country she’d ever been to. This was a prezzie from the Tintin shop in Tokyo.

Ring case: present from Annoi, circa 1990.

For some reason, my mates and I liked to commandeer the AV room in the school library (at this time ‘audio-visual’ meant a TV, VHS player, and many brown vinyl chairs). Important developments on the Doug Anthony Allstars front would be discussed, the evening’s gossip interpreted and birthdays celebrated, including my 15th, when I was showered with gifts. This little box keeps all my priceless rings made by my Aunty Schnall, and once contained a toy pig, which has since gone missing.

High class little forks: bought country oppie, circa 2008.

Nothing more high class than 13 or so plastic little forks in enticing colours like pale blue, pink and black. Perfect for skewering single baked beans, and will be the name of my first band and cover of the first album.

Cheney Cheer: bought at Syber’s Books in Windsor, circa 1998.

A fake book, perfect for storing…little things.

Phantom mug: from Monkey’s of Melbourne, circa 1985.

Anyone remember this great shop in the ‘80s? I think it was on Chapel St. You could buy all the best Phantom merchandise here, including great tall glasses, plates and of course these mugs, which my dad was in the doghouse for putting in the dishwasher years ago. Supping from one makes me feel instantly at home wherever I am.

Pointy shoes: bought in Rajasthan, India, 2005.

Although I am the queen of the winkle-picker, these never get worn. They’re almost totally unwearable and impractical – the soles are made of flat leather that leaks immediately upon sighting a drop of rain, and the heels create huge blisters at the back. I purchased them in Udaipur, India (where they’re traditionally worn by men on their wedding day), but the minute I don them I feel like one of those frizzy-haired old ladies in the hills who wear a lot of purple that I know I’ll turn into one day. Then I take them off again quickly.

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