Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Kitchen Statement

Last week I went to see the play The Guru of Chai which I thoroughly enjoyed. Its sarcastic premise debunks the mystical, spiritual hokum we are fed 'from The East' where people go to find themselves and return spouting empty aphorisms and diarrhoea. The eponymous guru sells chai from a railway platform and tea towels in the foyer. I bought one because it made me smile (not something you would usually expect from a tea towel I admit) and it is a souvenir of the show (plus the programme was free).

When I got home, I realised I have several 'best' tea-towels. As well as the scrappy old checked things, I have some beautiful bold designs of cabbage trees and pohutukawa that I bought on a festive impulse one Christmas. I have gifts from friends and relatives that have special meaning, such as the 'talking heads' with cultural icons I was given when I became a New Zealand citizen. It's not that I collect them - it's just that I seem to have accumulated them.

I'm not actually a collector, as such. I do collect leather bookmarks and I try to match them to the book I'm reading with some degree of relevance. For example I'm currently reading Sophie Hardach's The Registrar's Manual for Detecting Forced Marriages with a Charles and Di commemorative bookmark stuck between the pages.

Culture clash on a 'talking heads' tea-towel
When Him Outdoors was trying to find a pen to jot down a number the other day, he noted that lots of them in the pen pot had dried up. 'Do you collect pens that don't work?' he asked, rather unnecessarily I thought. I know he thinks I'm a little odd, but seriously!

So, I don't want to begin collecting tea-towels, nor do I really want to save them 'for best' because that has always seemed to me as though you don't value your own cirumstances enough. I don't want to put them on display (they're just pieces of cloth, after all) or keep them hidden away in the kitchen drawer. But neither do I want to see them smeared with bike/ lift/ bacon grease and discoloured with grubby hand-prints. Any (clean) suggestions as to what I can do with my tea-towels before they get out of hand?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I too love tea towels and don't keep any for best although I do have ones that I keep for Christmas, some that I keep for a specific season such as winter flowers and birds, some that I use when I am missing my beloved Lakes and finally those that remind me of my children in New Zealand, Borneo and Yorkshire. I have even had some framed at various times so that I can look at them any time of the day and finally, I often give friends and relatives tea-towels to say that I was thinking of them when I was away. I rarely use them to dry crockery.