My nan died on new years eve last year. She lived in a scarily huge house in the center of Canterbury - stunning to look at yet crumbling on the inside. Ever since I was a kid the house has simultaneously mesmerized and terrified me. The grand staircase, the humungous portraits lining the yellowing walls, the labyrinthine corridors with secret hidden stairways leading to secret hidden rooms. Apparently there's a room without windows or doors somewhere in the middle that no-one has ever been inside. (Yeah wtf?) There used to be a huge dolls house in one of the upstairs bedrooms - when I was little I would creep in, re-arrange the delicate furniture, but after a short while run out spooked by the eerie silence... or maybe a creaking floorboard... or a spider. Wouldn't help coming face to face with this dark and sinister portrait of Napoleon that used to lean on the wall on the way to the bathroom, his eyes following me as I sprinted past, heart racing. Freaky shit. Anyway, the last 5 months my mum and her brothers and sister have been trying to clear the house. The lady who came to take some things for auction apparently said to my mum "The only other house I could compare this with is Windsor Castle". LOLS. I'm trying to paint the picture of the size of this place, so when I tell you that the whole place, from top to bottom, was filled with a lifetimes collection of antiques, you'll understand the sheer scale of STUFF that was crammed in. The amount of 'antiques' that filled that house is ridiculous. It's a bit like those hoarder people's houses that've been on TV recently. Pretty sure they propped up the walls and that's the only reason it hasn't crumbled down yet. A lifetime of belongings that a lifetime of traveling and luxury has provided. In the process of riffling through the plethora of things, Mum brought back a few little things she found for me. This is one of my favs:
It's a chip from a Monaco casino where my nan and her hubby went on their honeymoon in the 40's. I don't know how much it's for - whether its a huge amount or not, but it's really beautiful. It has a lovely pearl shimmer to it, lined with little gold bits. I've sort of adopted it as a new lucky charm. Lady Luck. I wonder if it brought luck to my nan? Maybe that's why she kept it? A souvenir of an extravagant night on the Cote d'Azur. I want to turn it into a necklace or a bracelet, but of course would rather not poke a hole in it.
I'm not really a 'lucky charm' sort of girl, but since this transplant doo-dah I can't help but hold on to and wish upon little belongings for luck. I also end up creating and looking out for omens, signs and weird coincidences that may point to when i'll get the call. Apparently Freud used to be very superstitious when it came to numerical coincidences - he used to add up, divide, multiply important dates, meaningful numbers to determine when things might happen... including his death. Freud was sure he was going to die when he was 62. (Coincidentally, or not, the last two digits of his phone number). I did get a bit "oooh ahhh"-y when 40 days and 40 nights had passed - I couldn't escape all the Biblical connotations. Also when Prometheus the movie came out. The titan Prometheus stole fire from Zeus to give to mankind so as punishment he had his liver picked out by an Eagle everyday for eternity... Livers. Ooh. You can find patterns and meaning in anything if you're desperate enough!
I'm not religious - never have been. But it's times like these where you realize just why religion can be so important to people. The security it provides is unmeasurable; the comfort and support it can bring to people when they're unsure or worried or crave some feeling of being looked after is priceless. I've found myself wishing upon stars.
Star light star bright first star I see tonight, I wish I may, I wish I might, Have the wish I wish tonight
|It worked for him goddammit!|