Originally posted in 2010, before I lost my complete blog.
I will be re-posting some old posts so I can get my memories on-line again, before they are gone forever. Some of you may remember them, but I hope you will enjoy reading them again.
I raked my hand through the glittering gems in the tin. They were all different colours, shapes and sizes. I would hold them up to the light, one at a time, and see the different colours sparkle in the light. This was my diamond collection. It had taken me a long time to collect them all. In amongst the gems were lots of beads too. Red, blue, yellow, all different colours. I loved my diamond collection. Of course they were only coloured glass really, but to me they were diamonds.
The day came when I was asked to give them up. All of them.
It was the 1950’s and dad worked as an interior decorator. He didn’t decorate just any interiors, but the interiors of the very wealthy. He worked for a firm that dealt with all the rich and famous people’s decorating requirements. Because of this, he knew all of the latest decorating trends, before they hit the average houses. Some never did because of the huge cost involved.
“OK girls, I’m going to do something very special today, but I’m going to need your help. I will need all of your diamonds. Would you let me use them for this special thing I’m building?”
My three sisters also had diamond collections and we wondered why dad would want four tins of diamonds and beads, but we eagerly rushed to get our tins.
“Do you mind me using these?” dad said to each of us as we handed him our prize collection of dazzling gems. We all said we wanted him to have them. We had no idea what he was going to do with them, but the fact that it would help him was all that mattered to us girls.
Later that day, he called us all upstairs into the large front room to see the ‘special’ thing that he had built.
Along one wall was a large, concrete fire surround, and there they were. Our diamonds in all their glory. Embedded forever in the concrete.
We slowly walked the length of the surround, looking for our very own diamonds and would squeal with delight when we spied one of our favourites, especially if it was in a prominent position, right at the front. We didn’t mind, one bit that our diamond tins were now empty. We’d soon fill them again.
I know this sounds gross now, but back in the fifties it would have been the envy of many, and was obviously the fore-runner of the large stone fire surrounds of the sixties.
I’ve searched for a photo that shows the fire surround, but unfortunately I don’t seem to have one. You’ll just have to imagine it.