Monday, 11 January 2010

Spare a thought.......

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?


Stigmum said...

I'm such a cheap skate, used to pinch them from the pub! "Carlsberg" embossed on bottle green glass. I had a whole collection, big, small, no more....
A musical ashtray! I'd love one of those! Do they still sell them? Do they sell ashtrays at all nowadays now the quit smoking campaigns are everywhere we look, everywhere we listen and the stub police are lurking for fines? (I use a tiny transparent glass thing I bought in a charity shop... incase you were wondering that is... so dull...)

Marie and John said...

Just did a search on Yahoo and found that Amazon sell ashtrays. They're under kitchen and home.

Also found loads at

You'd be surprised as to how many places sell ashtrays. Just put 'ashtrays' into Yahoo or Google and you'll see.

My mam and dad were given an ashtray as a gift from the jewelers when my dad bought my mam her engagement ring. You wouldn't get jewelers doing anything like that now...



Suburbia said...

No idea Jen, but I like the sound of the polar bear one. I hope you find it one day :)

Any snow your way???

Jennysmith said...

Lovies, Treasures, thank you for your priceless comments.

Ah yes, the pub, Stig, of course! Rich pickings on those tables outside. Why didnt' I think of that!

Yes, I seem to recall posh ashtrays at Jewellers' in the past, Marie. That website looks wonderful, will get onto that right now.

Yes, Sub sweetie, a great load has now fallen. Its like an unwelcome guest making its return. ARen't you sick of it!

French Fancy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
French Fancy said...

oops, too many typos for me to let that post stay x

One becomes attached to ashtrays over the years. When I gave up about 9 years ago I slung all the ashtrays out except for one in green glass with swirly colours in it. I occasionally look at it and see if I can still smell tobacco on it - but no. It's all gone.

Hope you find a new ashtray worthy of you soon

Argentum Vulgaris said...

Polar bears in Twickenham? Well, I never. I've got a polar bear fleece blanket, sent to me from Alaska at Xmas.

*Looks at dirty grungy ashtray off to the side*


Polly said...

You got to check the second hand stores with the lovely retro thing happening - we had some beauties back in my smokin days, all brown cut glass and big enough for a weeks worth of buts!

Argentum Vulgaris said...

Jennysmith, just passed an award on to you. Visit NR II to pick it up.

吃飯 said...

Everyone fastens where there is gain.........................................