On finding that Claire had taken this photo of a corner of our dining room, rather than becoming instantly depressed at its untidy state, I decided to bravely post it for all the world to view.
On closer inspection I was struck by the diverse range of stuff, and idly wondered if I could find something there for each of the letters of the alphabet, in a way similar to a couple of my blogger friends who have a 'alphabet' thing going on their blogs, e.g. Jay from 'The Depp Effect' and SisterTex from 'Spacial Peepol'.
Let's start, predictively, with 'A': Immediately I spot my new "Black & Decker" electric Alligator shears under the sideboard. I can hardly wait to use them. I fell in love with them in the hardware shop where they were accompanied by one of those little videos with an elegant lady using them to prune and cut up a little tree for firewood. I hope they make me look elegant too.
For 'B', I have chosen Beer Bottle. It's on the far right on a shelf. (You may have to click on the photo to make it bigger.) But this is no ordinary beer bottle.
It is a Beautiful Beer Bottle with gold writing; "SobeRing Thought Beer". This one is empty, but previously has contained the 1% beer that Peter Jackson had a company brew for 'The Lord of The Rings' movie, so that the actors could drink real beer while being filmed in the pub scenes, but without getting too drunk to remember their lines.
'C' is for ceiling - an old house such as this doesn't always have right angles in the corners so these fibre bricks shapes are a sensible, if ugly, choice. I've never liked them much. One day I might get contractors in to change them.
'D' is for the bevelled diamond-shaped piece of glass in the lead-light door that you can see reflected in the mirror of the sideboard, or dresser. This house has five doors like this, matching. They were the biggest deciding factor when I bought the house. I think they are delightful.
The brightly-coloured thing hanging above the table begins with 'E'. It is a woven woolen 'El Ojo Dios' - or 'Eye of God' from Mexico. It adds an exciting emphasis to the otherwise empty wall.
The white vase contains Flowers that begin with 'F'. They look real and many are fooled, but they are fabric.
'G' is for the Glass of the dud light bulb that lies on the sideboard. I am pleased that it has blown because it means I can replace it with one of the new energy-efficient ones. I am grumpy it is still lying around and hasn't been wrapped carefully in newspaper and placed in the bin.
For 'H', I draw your attention to a souvenir from our recent touristy trip to that film site near Matamata. It's the Hobbiton brochure tucked behind the handy, hand-made box (made for me by my daughter).
'I' is for the Imitation fur material that has been used to make the dog's bed. You may notice there are two - one inside the other. This is a convenient way to store the one that our cat Pippin slept in when he was alive. It provides double the insulation.
'J' is for Jersey (or pullover) that someone has dumped on the sideboard.
The dull green Kete, or flax woven basket, is my choice for the letter 'K'. You can also see lengths of flax strips waiting to be made into another kete.
'L' is for the Light coming in through the french doors that illuminates the whole scene. If we didn't have light, we wouldn't see a thing, and my post would have to have been on some other subject, possibly far more lacklustre. Thank goodness for that lovely light!
'M' is for Mirror on the sideboard. There is also one around the corner above the kitchen fireplace, and another on the door of the old wardrobe we use as a pantry, so there's no shortage of mirrors in our dining room and consequently little excuse for spinach to remain long on someone's front teeth.
'N' is for that lamp that, when the children were little, I used to leave on all night and use as a Night-light.
That special beer bottle is sitting on our 'O' for ornamental Overmantel. You can't see it very well from here, but it is very over-the-top and ornate. It was another of those deciding factors when I was about to sign the deeds to the house. In fact, the last words I uttered before signing were: "The overmantel definitely goes with the house, doesn't it?"
You can see it better here. But this was another time, because no-one had left the beer bottle yet. Obviously.
'P' is for Pratchett. Reflected in the sideboard mirror must be at least one of my Terry Pratchett Discworld series books. It has to be, because that bookcase is populated with the whole series. And that's a profuse number of them.
'Q' is for Quadruped, or four-legged creature. Shelly the dog. In her bed. Quietly watching Claire take the photo.
'R'. The odd purple rubber object in the bottom right-hand corner of the photo is Shelly's toy. It consists of two parts that screw together, and it can be filled with an appropriate sticky edible substance like peanut butter. The idea is that, in order to reduce restiveness, the toy is filled and then screwed up, and the dog spends a long time using teeth and claws to unscrew, and then tongue to lick out the aforementioned substance. A reliable, rewarding, albeit repetitious recreation.
'S' is for sideboard, of course. The original word meaning a board, or table, on the side.
'T' is for Toilet paper which has been left on top of the books in the bookcase, so that it can be transported to the nether (ha ha) regions of the house, i.e the toilet. Some people call toilet paper 'toilet tissue' but I have never shirked from called a spade a spade. Or, in this case, toilet paper, toilet paper.
My ex-husband didn't even feel comfortable writing 'toilet paper' on the grocery list. It was six months after our marriage before I realised what 'TP' was.
'U' is for Undertaking. Of which is this has been a big one. I have done my utmost to unify this unique and unusual collection of objects by using the alphabet usefully.
'V' is for Virginian Oak, the trees in the etching. It's also for vase, and visitor's book.
'W' is for weaving which you can see evident in the kete, the El Ojo Dios and also the wee wicker basket.
'X' is for Xylem, or fibrous supportive plant tissue, which is all that is left of the flower stems and bracts of the agapanthus after I dried them and put them with the fabric flowers.
'Z' is for zooming in, zooming out, zig-zagging, and zooming about the picture, as you follow me on this alphabetical journey.