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Hail Hestia, queen of the Tchotchkes

My brother Jon and I have a game or tradition as you may call it that we somehow managed to pick up on our travels throughout Europe together after I graduated. Every year on our birthdays we try to outdo each other by seeing who can get the tackier gift. This often transfers to travel as well because souvenir stands are Tchotchke heaven and the only real trouble is managing to narrow it down.
I have everything from a toilet seat wall clock to Farrah Fawcett nesting dolls. Each piece a bit more hideous than the last. But as much as I consider these unique eye sores, they also hold a special, gaudy place in my heart.

The first night in my new flat ~and by saying flat I’m probably being generous as I sometimes have the feeling that I’m just renting a walk in closet~ I was I had to admit feeling a little homesick. Whether living in a dorm room with a bunch of hormonal, gossipy school girls or back home with Aunt Claire with visits from my brother I was always surrounded by life. But here, in my dingy, dark little home I soon found that the quiet of the space was deafening. That doesn’t even make sense on paper but I’m not sure how else to describe it. Anyway, after sitting for awhile, feeling sorry for myself and perhaps consuming a bit too much wine I decided that there was no point wasting any more time moping and started to tackle my boxes and begin personalizing my space.

As if summoned by an Accio charm the first box I decided to start on of course happened to be my collection of tchotchkes. By the time I had finished placing the last one on my small buffet hutch it was late into the night and I felt like i had spent the evening with family. Every piece, no matter how ugly and in fact at times the uglier the better, brought back a happy memory. It didn’t completely cure my homesickness but it definitely made me forget about it for awhile. I know that eventually I will settle in to this new lifestyle but it’s good to know that in the meantime I have my memories to keep me company.


Hestia Jones

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February 2009


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