Nostalgia among the dust
Every now and then I have a burst of enthusiasm for house cleaning.
Not the standard floor sweeping or window cleaning at which I am remarkably disappointing. But more the disposing of unwanted articles that gather dust in various corners of our house.
Recently I stumbled on a set of wall ornaments huddling in the bottom of a cupboard.
If you are familiar with the flying ducks that were once so popular, then what I found is the alpine version featuring three mountaineers in climbing attire. Kitsch is the word that immediately springs to mind.
They were part of my inheritance from a favourite aunt who departed this mortal coil in the first few years of this century.
I haven’t managed to get them mounted on a wall to this point, so I have probably failed in my duty to her.
The mountaineers are safe for the time being, resting peacefully with two miniature porcelain dogs.
Actually it was a pretty good day for cleaning because next to the mountaineers were a set of books I have kept from the 1960s.
As a kid I remember of a lot of other kids with the same books. One was Nestle’s World on Wheels, the other was the Shell Project Card Album — Transportation.
As their names suggest one was produced by the Nestle company and the other by Shell Petroleum. The books were designed to be filled with cards that were collected every time you bought a Nestle chocolate or you filled your petrol tank at Shell.
If my memory serves correctly most of the cards in the Nestle book came from what were referred to as three-penny blocks.
But then there were also some that came from six-penny or one-shilling blocks.
Naturally finishing the set was not an easy task, with some cards rare or almost impossible to find.
There were more than 100 cards to complete the book.
With the aid of several family members who didn’t mind the odd chocolate I did manage to complete the Nestle book but, sadly, the Shell book remains incomplete some 55 years on.
Needless to say my attempt at cleaning up was an abject failure.
I must admit to a little disappointment too as I’ve learned my Nestle book is now worth $12 on the open market, a small amount of chocolate in today’s money.