Tossed and turned last night! Turmoil seeped into my fitful sleep. Was so worried about my ashtray. It was getting pretty battered now - being forced to live outside and everything - but, and to semi-quote the Clash - should it stay or should it go.
This indecision's bugging me (thats enough Clash now). But you see, its a nice ashtray. Husband and the kids bought it for me at the Transport museum in Convent Garden. Its only a tin thing but it has the London Transport sign on it - No Smoking. The irony is not lost on me. Not that you can remotely SEE such an irony as it has long been covered over with 5 year old ash and burn stains.
I mean, don't get me wrong, I do wash the thing but time has not been kind to it. But to replace it with what? I remember my mum and gran would wash all the ashtrays in the house every morning - or at least run a cloth over them. The same cloth that you would wipe the table with too. Never done me any harm tho'.
My Gran had a beautiful ashtray and a cigarette box. It had a picture of Piccadilly Circus on the front and when you opened it, it would play a tune - don't ask me what it was, I can't remember - but I coveted it like you wouldn't believe. It was so unbelievably glamorous. At the age of 7 or 8, Piccadilly Circus seemed as accessible as the South Pole! Even if I did live in Greater London.
I didn't ever see it after she died. I didn't expect to really. Not with three aunties and an uncle (whose wife was apparently a scrounging cow, according to my mum). But the ashtray - I thought the ashtray could be mine. But that also became as dust.
It was a lovely heavy red glass round thing, with a polar bear sitting on top. Much too nice to use but my relatives used it anyway. This could well be in some aunties' cupboard.
As way of compensation, my mother in law let me have a similar one of her mum's , when she passed away. It had that same lovely red glass and shone proudly at me. I was thrilled and touched but I secretly dreamt of that polar bear thats now lurking somewhere round Clacton way. If you see it, let me know.
In fact, I bet everyone remembers a lovely glamorous ashtray at one point in their life. Whether they're a tin thing with an advert for beer on or whether they're some rare china creation. And the thing is, where the hell do you buy one now?