Monday, 18 June 2018

Everything Has A Story

I started full time paid employment in the September of 1980 when I was just 18
I was a junior bank clerk at the National Westminster Bank in Rhyl.
I was a terrible employee, but I was popular enough with the junior staff, a big bunch of youngsters who worked behind the scenes in the machine room.
In October 1980 I received my first pay cheque
And what did I buy?
A CB radio? A new grandad shirt?. Brand new furry seat covers for my Austin 1300? The latest Yazoo LP?
Naw
I bought a Carlton ware 1930s lobster fruit bowl


And I was pleased as punch with it

Postscript 
On Friday I received a fuel delivery from our local coal merchants. As the delivery guy stopped to present me with the invoice he noticed the bowl on the kitchen counter top and said pointed to it saying " I like that!" It was only then I realised I had owned it for 38 years

115 comments:

  1. Nice story, nice bowl as well.
    I bought my first 2 dowel crowns (I am not sure they are called that way in English?) from my first payment, about 40 years ago. And they are still in my mouth!

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    1. I think those are root canals and forty years is a great lifetime for them :)

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  2. My 15 year old grandson would love this bowl. He loves anything with lobsters on (don't know why). On his bedroom wall he has a large lino print of a lobster and wears a t shirt with one on the front. Weird child!

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    1. Sorry, my comment had all been 'ME, ME, ME'!

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    2. And that's fine raymondo put itback

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    3. Nah! - but thanks anyway.

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  4. What a great thing to buy with a first pay! I really like the idea

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  5. I approve of your taste and choice of how you spend your money, not that you need anyone's approval.

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    1. I also later on bought some antique marble fruits

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  6. The world is your oyster...I mean lobster...I mean lobster bowl.

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  7. it certainly is a conversation starter!

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  9. For a youngster you had great taste, I love that bowl!

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  10. Yeah, we have a few things of similar moderate value. I am not sure that I like the lobster bowl.

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  11. I think your lobster fruit bowl was a real investment piece. I like it. Attractive and useful too! :)

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  12. I tie memories to things, life is a collection of memories, some we hang onto for decades.

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  13. I love this story!

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  14. I love stories . . .
    and right you are . . .
    Everything has a story.
    This was a good one, really like that 1930’s lobster gem.

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  15. 1971 a library assistant and I bought books..........no surprise there.
    My Jury's out about that bowl as I don't want to be rude!

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  16. My first paypacket winged its way into Dolcis for a pair of patent red stilettos. I wish I'd bought a nice lobster bowl! Still, they did help me catch a husband hehe x

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  17. That is such fun bowl John! I recall buying china twice when receiving pay raises at two different jobs - a beautiful aubergine bowl with a lid and china spoon for serving sauces, and a whole service for 8 of Noritake's 'Diary of an English Country Lady' (Edith Holden) with all the wildflowers, birds and Nature touches. Still have the latter, recently packed it all up and stored in the attic for whomever wants it eventually! Just don't use it now, use all white china, but haven't the heart to sell/give to the thrift shop because I still love it.
    Mary -

    P.S. Yesterday's 'Dad' stories were awesome, many very touching. You have such a wonderful bunch of blog friends John.

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    1. Yes that's why I've gone down the." Pedestrian " route today

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  18. You showed spirit at an early age ... I like the unexpected, the different - and your lobster bowl. It's fun. It's retro. More fun and less retro than a dish recently passed on to me. It's large and it's square. Unfortunately, it's also avocado green. Think British bathroom, ca. 1979. Rather unfortunate for an ardent cook who prefers simple Pyrex and stylish flaming orange Le Creuset. Don't say it, John. I am not a snob. But once you are lecreuseted there is no going back.

    U

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    1. I showed spirt for things like this .....everyday spirt eluded me

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    2. I was lecreuseted Ursula but I do find it too heavy these days x

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    3. Good point, flis. I shouldn't admit to this in public but what the hell, my reputation being in tatters regardless: About eight years ago I broke my wrist and bones and stuff and had some wires put in to realign my lower arm. Brill. The next day I flung, in a fit of uncharacteristic temper, one of my Le Creuset pans across the kitchen. Weeks later I still found pasta in unlikely places. Give me another twenty years and my flinging Le Creuset will be over. As you say, it'll be too heavy. The funny part of the story that weight of pan on lifting and my swing was such that one of my wrist wires flew out as well.

      Le Creuset greetings, what's your favourite colour in the range?

      U

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    4. "Everyday spirit" eluded you, John? That sounds, given your persona now, so unlikely. Mind you, working in finance, any, has potential to knock the stuffing out of anyone.

      U

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    5. I was a gauche teen

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  19. It's fun that bowl.

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  20. Most people that young would have bought something frivolous or trendy, while you invested your money in something useful with enduring appeal.You were mature beyond your years already.-Mary



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  21. With my first wage I bought a bone china tea set, mass produced item but I was pleased. Long gone.

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  22. You can still get coal delivered??????? No, that's not the only thing I took from this post but it did hit me...I don't think we can get coal here. As a kid I loved it when the coal ma came...I loved the sound of it rushing down the shute and into the bins in the basement. Your lobster bowl is lovely.

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    1. I used to fancy the coalman.. I was about fifteen and he was probably seventeen. The men on the coal wagon used to rib him when they saw me so I think it may have been a mutual thing... Then we got gas central heating and I never saw him again.

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    2. My dad was a coal man for a day but mum said he got too dirty x

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    3. He was a dirty old coal man lol.

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    4. Dirty,dirty young man x

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    6. There is nothing I can say to respond to that John.. :-)

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  23. Great story! And a great bowl, well worth the money out of your very first paycheque!

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  24. I love your lobster bowl. Wish I could find one like it!

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    1. https://www.ebay.com/itm/Rare-Carlton-Ware-Lobster-Bowl/232792912610?hash=item363389f2e2:g:jDoAAOSwI0danZkw

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    2. Love your bowl John.. the one on ebay is nowhere near as attractive. Your sense of style for creating a welcoming and eclectic home was evident at an early age

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    3. Thanks John. I've been on Etsy. There are some similar ones, but not quite as lovely as yours! I like that one on Ebay too.

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  25. So you've always had class! Far more than I: with my first grown-up pay in 1986 I paid my mum for board and lodging and bought a bottle of grown-up perfume, White Linen by Estee Lauder. I wish they still made it. x

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    1. Too bloody right I did

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    2. Anonymous1:32 pm

      They do still make White Linen, it is the perfume I wear.

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  26. I think my first pay cheque paid for my rent, and a month's tube fare from Bayswater to Bank.

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    1. Sixpence hapeney in those days

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  27. My memory of my first pay was saving it to go to London which I was secretly arranging without my mother's knowledge. I took three weeks money with me, all of £21, and thought I was rich and dined on chicken and chips every night. I had never had chips before except as fish and chips from a chip shop. I like the bowl, it reminds me of the kitsch things that were around in those days.

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    1. You maverick u

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    2. My tube fare from Euston to Oxford Circus was 6d. We spent all lunch hours in Peter Robinsons (Top Shop as it is today and still there)!

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    3. Who did you go with?

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    4. I lived in a hostel on my own but used to go to Top Shop at Oxford Circus with friends from work in our lunch hour.

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  28. I bought my mum a tea service and my dad some wine with my first pay ...... you have obviously loved beautiful things from quite a young age John. XXXX

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    1. My sisters are the same , I have no idea where it comes from

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  29. My first paycheck was spent on a bottle of perfume, for my mom.
    If she was here now, I would definitely buy her more <3

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  31. My first paycheck probably was a deposit on a telephone. My never to be parted from object is the vase my grandmother made in 8th grade.The turn of the last century.

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    1. Can you send me a photo ? Or blog one

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  32. I love that bowl! I have a similar small bowl with black olives and leaves. My first pay was for a wedding present for my sister.
    Greetings Maria x

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  33. That's a really special treasure - Carlton ware is amazingly beautiful, and highly collectible - you had great instincts for being so young! It's interesting how some of us are born "old" with eyes to see what others miss. Use it in good health, John!!

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    1. I collected several lobster dishes before buying up tons of art deck Burleigh ware. Which all now sit on the kitchen tops. I also bought a beautiful Charlotte Rhead vase at this time but smashed it throwing a cushion at an old boyfriend

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  34. I started work a few weeks before Halloween, so I bought a bunch of makeup and what not to turn myself into a zombie (decades before zombies were cool.)

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    1. Top man! Everything zombie rates highly in my book

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  35. My first monthly pay cheque when I started teaching was sixty eight pounds after tax. Love the bowl.

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  36. Only a gay guy would spend his first paycheck on vintage china! LOL

    (Let me just make clear to your other commenters that I'm a gay guy myself so I'm allowed to say that. I can't remember what I spent my first paycheck on, but it was probably something similar.)

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    1. Steve, hi. You leave many a comment here which, over time, caught my attention. Actually "checked out" your blog (or should I say, your trials and tribulations) earlier today.

      It's an interesting point you make: Are only those who belong to the same demographics (in this case "gays") "allowed to say" something/anything about same which may lend itself to be misconstrued? I am not being funny here. Only recently I asked a coloured (as opposed to my shade of white) person if it was ok to call him black. Can't be too careful, these days. Anything that can be misconstrued has a good chance it will.

      U

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    2. Steve.....on reflection you are so right

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    3. We had a friend .. one of those friends that you marry into the friendship .. my husband knew him forever. He was an Interior Designer and his wife was Fashion Model.They were almost too beautiful to socialize with.
      He helped my husband with his ( my husbands) collection of Frogs.
      We have Art Nouveau Candle sticks that are long legged frogs .. we have a snuff box that has a tiny frog made of jade, sitting on the lid ..
      I won't go on about what we collected but once you start, it is soon easy to make it a hobby .. a frog here a lobster there :)

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    4. I love antiques ... and my sister's saying about them
      " you don't own an antique , you just look after them for a while"

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  37. I have no idea what I spent my first paycheck on, but I do remember feeling like a "grown-up" making my own money!

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    1. It's a nice feeling . Like the time you walk through your first house

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  38. I like that, too. But it's definitely not something my 18-year-old self would have ever considering buying... for my 18-year-old self. You have always been a wonder!

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  39. I collect Roosters. No idea why .. I bought one in Paris and that might have started the collecting .. My husband said once that I collected jewelry- which is true .. lol

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    1. Send me your address I have one for you

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    2. Oh you don't want to go to that effort ! and expense !

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  40. About 70 years ago I bought my mum a very small pretty pale yellow leaf shaped Carleton Ware dish. It came back to me many years later when she passed. I just went to the china cabinet and way back in a corner I found it. I will put it out where I can see it, and enjoy childhood memories. Thank you John!

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    1. Yes look at it and remember

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    2. How very lovely .. I admit to having those sad days that come along now and then, and just looking at or holding a little figurine or photo of someone that I miss so much , is a tiny bit of comfort .. of all the photos that I have, I keep a photo of myself and my mom, I was about 4 in the photo but my mom looked so fantastic in a suit they wore in the 50's, high heels etc ..

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  41. I can see why it stood out to the coal man. It is unusual and fun to look at.

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  42. My Father gave each of his children a few coins from the milk check. Started when I was very young, but spend it? No, we trailed into the local bank to deposit them into savings accounts. I still have trouble spending money on myself.

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  43. You had great taste even then! It is beautiful.

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    1. I love everything Deco

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    2. Rachel .. What about it ?

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    3. Rachel you are entitled to your opinion, however I think to insist this style of bowl is 'kitsch' is bordering on insulting. It is a style of its time 'character' pieces that stretched the everyday into art and released us from some of the pompous & melodramatic designs that people lived with for years and in the late 50's & 60's people had fun with it. Sorry that you can only see the sillyness and not the style!

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    4. I thought it seemed more kitsch than deco. Don't get angry about it. It was only a thought, not etched in stone. Perhaps I should have put a question mark after kitsch. Actually I like the bowl.

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    5. What a response from Elle B. Good grief.

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    6. And kitsch can still be appreciated and have its own style.

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  44. My first paycheck was spent on Christmas presents for my friends and family.

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  45. My first paycheck:

    I bought 1)a cheap record player/stereo so I could play the "Beatles Greatest Hits Volume 2" album I won on a radio contest, and 2) a pouch of pipe tobacco so I did not have to pilfer secretly from my father's pipe tobacco.

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  46. Oh! I forgot... I think the bowl you bought is actually quite amazing. The one on ebay that you site.... it pales in comparison to your bowl.

    PipeTobacco

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  47. As commented above love, love love your bowl! Great choice.
    With my first paycheck I put a lay-by on a hand made silver and opal bracelet and paid it off religiously over 6 months AND a blue perfume atomiser for my mother. She considered both my purchases to be frivolous and indulgent and never used the perfume atomiser which I felt very sad about.
    I still have the bracelet, wear it regularly and still love it to bits :)

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  48. I was 16 when I went to work for National Youth Corp sanding and painting elementary school desk. We also got bused to Painted Desert National Park again to do painting. My first check I bought groceries for my sisters and grandma. We were orphaned at a young age and stayed with an elderly grandma. We hadn't had a decent meal in ages hence the grocery shopping. I felt all grown up.

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  49. Mrs Tiggiwinkle - they do still make White Linen. I know because I wear it every day! Best perfume ever made! Look for Estee Lauder.

    John, that's a gorgeous bowl, and shows your early great taste. I'll bet you wouldn't still have the fluffy seat covers had you purchased them!!

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  50. I must have spent my first pay check on shoes as my first job was in a shoe shop !

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  51. We all like it too.
    How ever did you get into nursing?

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  52. I thought I was the last person left to use the expression "Pleased as Punch" it was nice to read you do so.

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