On Wednesday, I will be one month away from the start of a new school term, and a part of me is already itching to start. I know this because I picked up a flyer for a local business today and found at least a half-dozen grammatical errors during the first reading. Personally, I think the flyer represents an element of fraud (it talks about how great a particular hostel is, but neglects to provide any information about the surrounding crime-riddled neighborhood ), but the fact that someone didn’t bother to proofread it is amazing. I was half tempted to whip out my red pen and do some marking, but I guess I’ll let someone else worry about that.
Today was a great day, albeit a tad warm. I’ve done school related work for the last few days – preparing course notes and doing research; I’m supposed to be editing some encyclopedic entries, but mentally, I’m spent at this moment. I decided, therefore, to take advantage of some free time and visit a local antiques mall. (The offending flyer was one of several in their lobby.) I used to visit this particular business often, but I’d gotten burned out by those visits; there’s only so much stuff that one can buy and own before it becomes redundant and ridiculous. I was addicted to the hunt (as well as the buying and acquiring) for a while; finding cool ephemera for pennies on the dollar, and buying it all because . . . why not? A perfect example of a fun and enjoyable hobby taken to outrageous limits. I think it’s been about two years since my last visit, and while I had no intentions of buying anything, I did want to pace the floors to see if there was any new merchandise calling out to be purchased.
I did find a few things, including a series of pamphlets for American soldiers arriving in Great Britain during World War II. Essentially, they were mini-lessons for US troops to avoid any kind of culture shock during their stay. I have a few of the items printed for this purpose, and they were designed to help American troops play nice with their British counterparts. To some degree, they’re fascinating, if only for the condescension they contain – essentially, “Don’t laugh at the Brits; they’re doing the best they can.” But they also make interesting period studies of the 1940s and international attitudes. These were surprisingly cheap, so I grabbed the bunch to add to my collection. Maybe one day I’ll have time to scan them for an online audience.
The other ‘big haul’ was a pair of trumpet glasses. I should post a photo (and probably will at some point), but these are two small glasses for some sort of alcoholic drink. They’re called ‘trumpet glasses’ because they resemble the bell-end of a horn. I was especially interested in these because trumpet glasses were very popular during the late 18th century. I have long discussed my interests in historical dining, and to be totally honest, a set of trumpet glasses have been on my “must have” list since before I can remember. I had a chance to get a set of them about ten years ago and didn’t. An e-mail to the vendor who’d been offering the glasses in his online store said that he had so much trouble in trying to sell his original batch that he’d never carry them again. My only regret with mine is that there are just two glasses, and not four. (Ideally, I’d love to have a full dozen, but I always was a bit greedy with stuff like this.)
There were tons of other things – including a lot of old Soviet military ware – that I would have loved to get, but I’ve no room and no real use for any of it. The Soviet stuff is promising, though: Ever see those ‘murder mystery dinner party’ kits? I’ve wanted to do one of those that was set in a post-WWII/early Cold War time frame. That stuff would definitely help set the scene, that’s for certain.
I also came across a huge stash of vintage cookbooks, and you know what that means, don’t you? With autumn fast approaching, I’ll have the time, money, and weather needed to venture back into the kitchen for some vintage meals, and I’m actually looking forward to that.
It’s not a pricey place, so maybe I’ll go back. Only this time, I’ll take some common sense with me.