Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Defined by my Coasters

In the summer of 2000, when dinosaurs still roamed the streets of south London and there were only eight Doctors Who, I hefted my possessions from my sister's flat and moved in with Nimbos. To help us chase the estate agents working on our behalf, I signed up for my first ever mobile phone - a chunky grey thing with a flip-open cover that made me feel achingly trendy. My trusty pager, with a handy clip attachment for fixing to my belt, was never seen again.

I worked for a internet start-up and the bubble hadn't yet burst, so for the first time in ever I had money in the bank. As well as showing off to my new girlfriend and taking her for meals in Pizza Express, I also bought an hilarious set of items for my new home with Nimbos.

Six coasters showing the roundel from the title sequence of Mr Benn.

I'd never owned coasters before and I still don't really see the point of them, but they were the pride and joy of that flat. They really tied the room together. People would call by our flat and comment on those coasters and we'd beam magnanimously back.

When I left that flat to move in with the Dr a year later, I took the coasters with me. People still commented on them, but more in the way on enquiring how long the Dr would put up with my all dorky nick-nacks. And then something very odd happened indeed. People started thinking of me as a Man With Coasters, and went and bought me more.

The above picture shows just a small part of my collection. You'll note the six Mr Benn ones aren't included - they're in a cupboard somewhere, along with the set showing specimens of ancient Greek sculpture and ones with quotations from Winston Churchill. You can see the thought that's gone into the selections: booze and Daleks suit me rather well, and designs by William Morris and the Greek stuff goes down well with the Dr. Those ones of buildings were hand illustrated by an architect chum and are really rather lovely. It would be churlish to be anything but grateful to have such thoughtful and generous friends.

And yet.

If I am defined as a Man With Coasters, it's because I already have them.


Le Mc said...

As a person who grew up in a home without coasters, I can now honestly say you can never have to many.

Clemmo said...

Mrs Clements collects coasters. She's got millions of them. And she never dos the fucking washing up.