Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Souvenir Spoons

Grammy enjoyed travelling and she liked to punctuate her travel diary with souvenir spoons. But when you've taken your last trip and the time comes to hand in your passport this mathematical equation remains: One ardent traveller PLUS a penchant for collecting souvenir spoons EQUALS a big pile of spoons.

And the variety! The business end of the spoon comes in all shapes, sizes and designs. Brighton even has a picture of the Royal Pavilion on it. Then there are the various shafts. But it's the top end, the pictorial end which makes the statement and displays the ingenuity of the souvenir spoon designer. Here a “real” opal centred on Cooper Pedy, there a black and white penguin standing on Bruny Island and look, a wee kiwi hanging from the black ferns of New Zealand. Gold medal, however, goes to the two jubilant miners dancing atop the Kalgoorlie gold-plated extravaganza.

I can see the benefit in buying souvenir spoons. They are relatively cheap and easy and light to carry. Oh! And you can use them. Well ONE you can. Perhaps half a dozen; but hundreds? They surely must have some real use. They do have memento value to the traveller. But isn't it true that they mostly accumulate in an unused drawer and tarnish?

One could devise all manner of party games based on the spoons.(Do spoons spin?) They could be used to teach geography. (“Here's a spoon for each of you kids. Draw a map of it and list its main industries.” “Sir, where's Expo 88?”) Whereas some are salt spoons and there are jam and honey spoons, most are teaspoons, so you could have endless afternoon tea parties without visiting the same place twice.

You could become an ardent collector, going out of your way to add to your collection. Or you could become an armchair collector and travel the world on Ebay. I must check out the going rate for souvenir spoons at the flee-markets and local garage sales. Maybe there's a dollar to be made in wheeling and dealing in spoons. I am sure that some would be more valuable than others. “I'll swap my Miniland, Coonabarabran, (with a black Tyrannosaurus Rex) AND a Port Arthur Powder Magazine for The Royal Wedding 29 July 1981.

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