Thursday, March 05, 2009


I feel a little like glass at the moment. Transparent and breakable . . . Fragile and not very viscous but I know that everything's slowly sliding to the bottom and the older I get, I have much less clarity than I did in my youth. Yes, I'm rather like an Elizabethan window pane that's past it's prime and needing a little refurbishment and renewal. A little spit, polish and restoration.

I remember having tea in a little Tea Shoppe in Winchester many years ago, one of those low ceiling Elizabethan places with beautiful blackened beams and a rammed earth floor. The door frames were so small, we virtually had to duck to walk through the door into a dimly lit tea room with neat little gingham layed tables and a roaring open fire. The windows were a conglomeration of tiny squares of thick glass with a circular centre, a symptom of being 'blown' rather than moulded or rolled. I was amazed that restorers were having a problem replacing and repairing these little window panes because . . .since glass is a liquid . . .over the hundreds of years, they'd thickened at the bottom and been rendered fragile and thin at the top. Hard to imagine something so rigid and versatile is actually moving all the time.

I like glass . . I can't be trusted with it. I drop it, I knock it against the flickmixer when I'm washing up, it slips from my hands without any provocation. It flies off the side table with the slightest flick of the finger and shatters into a thousand pieces like a broken windscreen. One Christmas, I actually removed an empty bottle from our glass-topped barbecue table and the whole thing shattered into a million little pieces like a trashed windscreen.

I find glass on the floor days later when I run round with the vacuum cleaner. I'm so predictable with particularly Champagne glasses that I receive at least a dozen every Birthday and/or Christmas to replenish the ones which have become shattered casualties throughout the year. I'm a standing joke when it comes to breaking drinking glasses. the term "Taxi" is frequently yelled at me as glasses tumble on a weekly basis through my apparent clumsiness. Hot tip? Never buy me glassware . . .ooops . . too late! I have no more than 8 matching glasses and yep, they're Red Wine glasses (of course I drink white!) or blasted Stuart Crystal sherry glasses . . who on earth drinks Sherry! But again,they're pretty and sparkly and belonged to people I cared about.

I cringe when anyone gives me anything made out of glass. Like the little Venetian glass bowl with a lid that my mother bought from well. .Venice. The Cavan Crystal photo frame that was a gift from my Padwan's family and is still waiting for an appropriate photograph. My Grandma's cake tray that comes out once in a blue moon at birthdays, high days and holidays. Also her jug that was so often placed on the table filled with Dandelion and Burdock. I love the vase that my daughter bought me for Christmas to replace . .you guessed it, the one I smashed just before. It's perfect for my favourite flowers - Lillies.

Then I have a lot of useless glass. Waterford crystal decanters that I simply can't part with because they're heirlooms, the crystal Bell that sat on my Nana's mantle and a delightful Chinese perfume bottle that I salvaged from my Aunt's belongings after she died whilst everyone else deemed her possessions rubbish and couldn't wait to get rid of her stuff. I love the mirror that my mother in law bought me as a housewarming present because 'everyone likes to make sure they're just so before they leave the house' so it hangs by the front door .

So whilst Glass and I have a chequered history and I would never recommend ever buying or giving me good quality glass (It just ends up in the cupboard to be admired and never touched). It has a quality about it that I appreciate. I can't drink out of a paper cup and spectacles (God who says 'spectacles' without an opening ceremony being discussed) with plastic lenses just don't seem right. Nothing catches the light late in the afternoon as a finely cut crystal. I even like the sound of glass when you dampen the rim and gently smooth your finger around it in a circle to make it sing.

I had photos. And I don't know whether it's blogger or my shitty internet but I've had a devil of a time posting, visiting and commenting this week unless I can do it after work, at work. So apologies for those of you to whom I've been less than regular. New ADSL2 Naked Broadband has been ordered and hopefully will be in place to save me bashing my head against the glass screen of my computer (no it's not really glass) and reduce my hypertension!


Anonymous said...

Hi Baino. Not so bad with the glass, unless you count all the windscreens I've had broken by road debris, over the years. That and I'm still picking up glass from broken Christmas ornaments! Damn old shag carpet...

ian said...

The stained glass is more durable than the lead in which it is set. It softens with the heat and the glass is then pulled downwards by gravity. Many stained glass windows are bowed at the bottom after centuries of this process. Short of dismantling the window, there not much that can be done. Beauty set in a failing frame - there's a lesson there somewhere

Candie Bracci said...

Nice post,and I do feel like glass too those days and I have to say that I had hard time posting too like when I read all the theme thursday blogs,windows keeps on opening and opening making my computer stuck so I have to switch it off and then switch it on again,it's very frustrating and I think I'm gonna break some glass if that continues.Sorry,very angry today.

Pythagoras said...

Ah too bad I was going to send you some Reidel Vinum. As for glass and being breakable - crash! Anyway I do not like the glass metaphor. And if allow myself to feel like glass sometimes, my stubborness arises. I become more dangerous. Those broken pieces become individual weapons and someone or something is going to die by a thousand cuts! I don't know what will break me and I don't want to find out. I look upon my forefathers and my parents for strength and inspiration. If nothing broke them, I have no reason to allow myself the priviledge of being breakable. I am a fighter. Of course that is just me. I need to think of a more appropriate metaphor for myself. As for you dear Baino, you seem to be flexible, having read you for a while. I don't really expect a shattering sound from down under.

Cuppa Jo said...

Lovely post. Thank you.

Sorry about the glass curse though. And I had no idea that glass was liquid as you say and that it settles. Is this all glass? Or just old glass?

Sandy Kessler said...

Ilove glass in fact my desk is glass- haven't figured out why though because the glass is stuck on my car window, glass broken in bedroom, and just about every expensive piece I've broken-- must be the challenge.Great post..blogger picturing sucks lately!!sandy

Leah said...

Moody and well-written...just what I can relate to!

You know, just to share my clumsiness, I broke a glass in the bathroom this morning--just slipped out of my hand as if by magic!

Brian Miller said...

nice pic. sorry we did not get to see the others. we too have a cabinet of mismatched glasses. i am in a race with my boys to see who can shatter the remaining it seems. i understand feeling like glass at times. love the word pic of the glass in the Tea Shoppe. Glass...always moving, beautiful yet fragile...tis life.

Dakota Bear said...

Sorry to hear your penchant of breaking glass, but continue to enjoy it as much as you can.

Colette Amelia said...

well you broke the mold on this theme! great!

willow said...

I love that you say "whilst". Lovely glassy post.

Bimbimbie said...

Some days a pair of rose-tinted glasses are called for*!*

steph said...

"I feel a little like glass at the moment".

That sounds very like a 'half-empty' glass!

Remember, Baino...

Glass can also be stylish and sparkling when full of bubbly.

Roll-on a reason to celebrate!


Jay said...

I love glass! I actually collect little glass jugs and utility glass tableware! And yes, I do use it!

I think the key to not dropping glass is never to handle it with wet hands - and if you tend to be clumsy, use rubber gloves when washing up.

Oh, and never, ever pick up an old jug by the handle without supporting it with the other hand.

I do have to agree with the feeling of being brittle and fragile like glass though. That's definitely me right now.

Melanie said...

I too am a glass lover and have a very small collection of some items. It would be larger but my family conspire to break it all. I am often heard saying "I cant have anything nice" and its true. So should you ever be served champagne at my house, it may well come in a vegemite jar.

Dot-Com said...

Maybe people should just tell you it's plastic and you wouldn't worry so much :-) Hope you post the pictures when you get the good old interweb to cooperate.

Grannymar said...

I have some very fine old glasses that belonged to my late MIL, people always think they are plastic!

Blogger is a pain at the moment for leaving comments. I lost several today already.

Kath Lockett said...

What a lovely post, Baino. I'm rather similar in terms of having perpetual butter fingers when around wine glasses and I'm not much of a drinker.

Our cabinet is full of sets of 3 glasses and when I turned 21, my boss at the bank handed over a beautifully-wrapped box of crystal glasses that I dropped. Right there in front of everyone. I never lived that one down....

Ronda Laveen said...

Yes, I have had trouble also with "Windows" sticking and Blogger server problems last night and this afternoon. Your depictions were so vivd and you wove the story nicely. I, too, wait for the rubish others don't want and I think I will go find my great grandmother's crystal footed cake plate. Thanks.

kj said...

dearest baino, so much wisdom and thought in this post. first off, i can confirm i know less and less each day, not more and more. while that leaves me confused, it also opens me up to experiences and information in a fresh way.

next, i hadn't thought of glass as a fluid moving substance, and of course it is. that is so cool.

next, so you love glass and you break glass. you're a well rounded woman.

i will think of you when i encounter and/or appreciate glass from hence forward.


Evening Light Writer said...

I love your description of the tea shop, I love a great cup of tea. I wish we had a tea shop close, especially like the one you described. This was a wonderful Theme Thursday post, I've enjoyed reading all the posts. Each person has a different, fresh look at glass.

Mrsupole said...

The Tea Shoppe sounds great, historial sites are something everyone should visit if given the chance. I say take the glass out of the cupboards and enjoy. Even if it breaks, at least you got to enjoy it. If it sits in a cupboard and gets broke, where was the joy. The great news is that glass can be recycled, so even if it gets broke as long as it is recycled it is turned into some else. What a great process.

Great post.

And I too have been having a hard time today, it would not let me on and it kept saying there was a Servor Error. Good thing this screen is not glass. I just got off and took a break. Hopefully it is okay now.

River said...

I don't have much glass at my house. my drinking vessel of choice is a coffee mug. I do have a nice set of jam jar glasses that are used in summer mostly for soft drinks. No wine here, ever, so no need for any wine glasses.
I remember the mirror by the door when we were young. It's where we checked to make sure our hair was tidy, our collars were straight, and our clothes tags weren't sticking out of our t-shirts or sweatshirts. Pity more people don't check for this nowadays.It's an annoyance of mine to see tags sticking up out of peoples t-shirts. My mum used to check the mirror everyday to make sure she didn't have lipstick on her teeth. That's another thing that I see on too many women.

Megan said...

Hey hon I read this earlier but of course my boss came over right when I was getting ready to leave a comment! Worst!

So, you are a breaker, eh? Well, Annie is known as a spiller. Sounds like we should not get you two together!


nick said...

Oops, I seem to have arrived rather late. You and glass clearly don't get on, I can't think of anyone I know who's so glass-averse. Reminds me of a neighbour once who was obsessed with glass ornaments, she had hundreds and hundreds of them. Good job you never visited, they'd all be done for!

Baino said...

Apologies for the late reply folks. Internet is sucky.

I've only broken one windscreen Suby but we're still picking glass off the floor from when Clare's car was broken into!

Beauty in a failing frame . .Oh Ian .. can I keep that?

I share your pain Candie, my internet at home and at work has been worse than dodgy today. The competition is rife is it not. Yours and Mouse's were two of the most beautiful today.

Pythagoras? Noice! I have managed to drink from a Reidel glass without breaking it but that's cos they're so thin they bend . . .I am fragile at the moment but far from broken. You and I share a tough will.

Hey Jo (sorry couldn't resist the Hendrix connotation) All glass is liquid but moves so slowly you'd have to be Methusela to notice.

Just don't take anything OFF your desk Sandy . .seriously I broke a table that way.

Leah stop drinking in the bathroom!

Sorry too Brian but hopefully in 15 days my connection will be spiffy and more photo blogging will commence. Beautiful and fragile . .hehe I'd like to think that's me. More buxom and bolshy in reality.

Thanks Dakota. When one glass breaks, another is poured into.

Cheers Collette. I tried to reach you today but was thwarted by the interbugs.

Why Willow, I am nothing if not well spoken.

Bimbimbie . . do you have a pair I can borrow. Yours is a site I've had trouble with . . .so glad you email instead.

Thank you Steph my darling. I am always half full. Except when I'm half empty and if the glass breaks there is always another mismatched one in the cupboard!

Poor Jay, I know, you've been through the mill lately. Rubber gloves? Nah. Can't be bothered. I just buy cheap glass. One thing I'll say for the old cake stand. It's incredibly sturdy.

Mel apparently it's the latest craze to be served 'bevvy's in jars you'r up to the minute girl!

Nah Dotty can't be bothered with pics now. Moving on. Plastic? Moi? Never.

GM is it? So it's not just me? Actually I have some sundae glasses that people 'ping' just to see if they're not plastic. They're the old 1930's style pre lead crystal and almost feel plasticy.

Plugger you only need to do it once in spectacular style and you're labelled for life. The table was my undoing. (Great for clean ups tho everyone just says 'let me do that for you')

Rhonda, I need one of your classes . .I really do . . and a massage . . and a raki session . .

kj yes, I'm well rounded ..and on a more serious note . .I learn ever day too . .that's the point I think although sometimes what we learn is not welcome.

G'day Evening haha. . .I'm sorry, I haven't been able to visit yet but I will. It's a great idea isn't it. I love the Thursday Theme.

Mrs . .hopefully it's just a blogger thing but very frustrating. I actually have the most beautiful white Shelley Tea Set and have been threatening 'high tea' for some time. I'll make the cakes and sarnies if you pour and do the washing up . .I'm scared of breaking it!

Oh River, I love your comments. Yep that was my MIL's point. You have to 'straighten up and fly right' before you leave the house. It's such a lovely mirror. No wine? Fine then . .I'll bring my own!

Hey yourself sugar lick. I tried the same trick at work today and just got "Error 400" damn and blast. Spillerpuss and I would get on just fine . . my best friend is a 'bumper' injures herself, I just smash shit! Hmmmm. . strains of "Smash it Up" in my head now! (secret between you and me . .first glass I poured tonight because Friday is my naughty night . .I missed the glass completely . .sloshed it all over the cook top and took half an hour to clean it up . . kitchen smells like a pub! Shh now . .no-one need know)

Miladysa said...

This has to be amongst my favourite Baino's posts.


M x

Baino said...

Aww fanks Miladysa .. frankly it was done in a rush and a temper! Just heard from my internet providers that there's a problem with the install *sob*

Kris said...

The internet is made of glass. Glass tubes.

Avid Reader said...

I loved glass until I moved to Los Angeles and had it flying around my room during an earthquake. There is just something weird about little glass doo dads flying off shelves at the same time lamps are falling over and ceiling light fixtures shaking violently. It really put me off glass for a few years. Wooden things became very attractive.

Baino said...

Kris I can't get over the naked you popping into my comment box!

Avid . .that must be awful. I've experienced a tremor but nothing that's had things flying! The price you pay for living on the San Andreas Fault I guess!