of Favourites

February 13, 2011

Recently, A friend of mine Chad, wrote a very interesting piece about brand loyalty.

It got me thinking about my own penchant for certain items and brands. Though in truth, brand is incidental. If I happen across a particular thing that I enjoy, or become fond of, I become very loyal to that item. So much so, in fact, that I’ve been known to buy that same item in bulk, if possible. Not an outrageous consideration, right? Well…perhaps just a tad outrageous. Outrageous because when I really like something, really am fond of it…I wont use it, wear it, or even take it out of it’s packaging (at least the surplus ones) If that isn’t outrageous enough…stay tuned.

My biggest fear is that if I covet an object, and use it, that I won’t be able to replace it once it’s worn or empty… That they will make no more.

Chad’s piece had me thinking on some of these things. My favorite things.

Moleskins are a good example. I’m a huge fan. I love how simple and utilitarian they are. I enjoy that they include such a rich history that is documented in every one, on an insert. Write in them?? Heavens no! I would only muddy up their perfection. They remain blank, and I continue to buy them.

French Army Button Fly Khaki’s. Years ago, I had a pair. One. I loved them. They were coarse, baggy, and over stitched. I wore them thread bare. I looked for replacements for decades. then…the internet and…mother-lode.One hundred and twenty pair. Khaki’s for life. Outrageous. Told you.photo 1

Still though, I can’t imagine having to break into the bottom trunks for replacements as the others wear thin. Even when I’m to old and feeble to put them on myself.

Some things, cannot be replaced. Usually in the form of gifts. These things are even more precious and see even less light of day because of the increased level of anxiety over their possible loss or destruction.

I’ve had many nice lighters over the years but these two are my favorites. Both were gifts. The closest is aNimrod Pipe Lighter. Given me by my Father. As a child, I had stolen another one he had and lost it. That he gave me this one, having that certain knowledge, makes it all the more precious. The farthest one, is a Ronson Lighter with the raised medallion of St Christopher. Given me by someone very special and in the vein of “She who cannot be named!,” will not be named.photo 5 (4)

Some items may not have been that significant at their beginning, only to have grown so after time. This Skull Cap was in this fashion. I wore it for quite some time before it’s retirement and it’s held up very well, considering.

The Muslim whom knitted it, did fine work. I wish he’d had two on him when I came across him.

Another cap of huge consequence, is this Woolen Flat Cap. Again, an irreplaceable item and gift.

A treasure from the most wonderful, proverbial English man of memory, my Grandad.

The artifact it adorns though…

An authentic Golliwogg. The only item I still have from my childhood. Those unfamiliar with it’s history might be interested to learn that for may years in Britain, the Robertson’s Marmalade Company offered coupons on the side of their labels that one could redeem for one of these stuffed figures. So it came to pass that my Brother and I both got one. I believe the offer was in affect till the late seventies, surprisingly enough.

Hardly an art aficionado or collector. My very blunt tastes direct me usually to Angels and Nudes.0392Fortunately for me, they are in abundance by sculpture, if not in life.

I have certain affinity for hidden things or hiding places. Hoping, even, someday to have a swinging bookcase wall to curtain a study. For now though, as space permits, these Fake Classic Book Box‘s will need suffice.

Hidden deep in those very classics, reside my lifetime supply of 0394

Of which, they no longer produce, By the by.

In the realm of shaving, it is this set of Crabtree & Evelyn Brush and Soap and Soap Dish. Nomad scent only. Merkur Futur Razor, as well. For home use. For away…

I shave…alot. I shave alot as I travel. I DO NOT use an electric razor. The very thought. These two brushes are favorites. The Crabtree & Evelyn Travel Brush is what I use currently and the one shown is an…extra. The other is a wonderful Self Contained, Stainless, Inscribed Travel Brush and was also a gift from unnamed sources.

There’s no place like home and to feel at home, I employ this Metal Penitentiary Compartmentalized Tray. Also inscribed. I got this gem from the Iraqis, after having been invited to dine in their chow hall. I made mention of the tray with some astonishment that I’d not seen one for some time and viola!

Put my cobbler in any other place than the triangle at the top and you’ll find my Titanium Sporkjutting from your neck. Promise.. I change wallet’s as I do lighters. Per occasion. I rarely use this Banana Republic Leather Billfold, but thrill (yes thrill) at the prospect.

photo 2 (5)Cardinal, Venal, or Mortal?



I distinctly recall my Father leaving for a Vietnam. When he did, I remember his carrying a Black Faux Leather with White Stitching Overnight Bag exactly like this one. Everyone in the Military carried them at the time. I couldn’t find one for years and still look, to no avail. This will not be used. Nor will the other. A brown version of the first.

Ahhh. Shoes. Perhaps my one gender confusion other than an insistence for high tread count when purchasing linen. These Earth Shoes (Yes, that correct, the very same parodied by Robin Williams when identifying a Lesbian) of course, have never been worn and still retain the cardboard form Keepers inside. A shame really, as the beauty in these shoes is how they wear. Not so much a shame to actually wear them though. Again, no longer made.

Pre Zappo’s Dr. Martin Wingtips I say Pre Zappo’s because before the internet they were hard as fuck to get my hands on. I do wear them but only for certain occasions and so am confident they will last.

Pre China Dr. Martins.I say pre China because until the last decade the factory was a mile from my Mothers home in England. Where, she would purchase “irregulars” for pocket change at the outlet attached to the factory and open to the public. Then sending them on to America to the hands of her grateful Son. These two pair are survivors of that era. I still happily wear the Steel Toe Three Hole Shoes but not the Baddass Blue Seven Hole Boots

Dont ask. I have a thing for Abby Cups. I have always had an eye for miniatures. At one time I have the huge one as well, big enough to put a small palm tree in. It broke. No longer made. Should have bought a dozen.

A doppio without a saucer is no doppio for me Even more so in this Cobalt Fiesta Ware Cup and Saucer

I dig Cobalt. I dig oil lamps as well. When I came across a crafts store that sold ceramic wicks that just fit in the top of bottles…I bought a few.

Mr. and Mrs. Bose Dock. Of course I have matching iPods! Or did…but gave the white one to another will not be named (You know who you are) Mr. Bose is lonely and looking for a replacement.

My proud and coveted, if limited, collection of End of Days, Apocalyptic DVD‘s. A personal favorite of reading and film.

I imagine everyone likes and wants to be appreciated

While I might prefer the more subtle approach, being as this is the only Certificate of Appreciation I’ve ever received and that it was from the greatest group of individuals…is humbling rather than grandiloquent.

Dad was a cop. Cops wear Badges. Dad wore his proudly and his Son is proud to inherit them. They wont make more. Not that could ever fit him anyway.

My retired Handmade Name Bracelet

Of gifts, it is those borne of hands that are most meaningful. This burgundy knitted scarf is just so. Given me by someone dear, I cannot wear it without considering the time and thought that is weaved throughout. It just happens to also look quite dashing with my black Cashmere coat.

The Pen.

Not any pen, mind you, but the very fountain, to the watershed, at the backside of my eyes.

A pen so gracious and subdued. Plain, and as such, elegant.

Writing very little in my own hand these days, it may have been this neglect that had her leave me for another. So like the residue of any lover of consequence, I am reminded that it was her that had my illegible hand made legible. A perfect fit. A consummate match. Only made more obvious by her absence. Reveling though, that I might still see her from time to time, in photographs such as this (thanks to the generosity and efforts of another) or in person. When, I’ll hope to mask the desolation but also wishing her well.

This reminds me of an espresso machine I once knew. Man, what a dame!

But I digress…

This Pen remains, and will remain, my absolute among favorites.

I simply remember my favorite things and then I don’t feel so bad.

2 Responses to “of Favourites”

  1. Fahrenheit519 said

    This is my favorite blog of yours, ever – and that’s saying something. Other than a redemption story, there’s little more I love than a discourse on the Little Things. I’ve thought of doing a series akin to this, ‘A Few Of My Favorite Things,’ but you’ve beat me to it. Foiled again.

    • ofreh said

      Foiled? Hardly. Perhaps motivated to do a captivating version of your own, as I was motivated by another’s. Thankfully, favorites differ for us all and I look forward to spying yours.

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