12 Feb 2013

Umbelliferous plants and Turkish luck.


Umbelliferous plants are my weakness, whenever I see their spindly arms I can't help but sneak a few into my bag to dry.  Umbelliferous; umbella meaning 'sunshade' in Latin and ferre meaning 'to bear'.  Sunshade bearers. 

They are stored in my Brass Elephant.  The Brass Elephant is an oil burning lamp I got given in Turkey.  A long time ago a friend and I, having between us worked hundreds of hours in cafes, supermarkets and a fairly unpleasant pub, bought two tickets to Europe and spent a perfect summer meandering, catching unknown trains and getting lost.  
In Turkey I found perhaps my soul home, a small cafe tucked behind a door as magical as the one in the secret garden.  The threadbare seats were covered in blankets and throws, the place was lit by cracks in the tin roof and candle light and the only thing you could buy were glass thimbles of thick sugary tea. 

Everyday, after exploring, we would hunt for the hidden door that led to the cafe and drink syrupy sage tea.  I think the owner was just so tickled that we turned up evening after evening, despite perhaps being entirely unwelcome - you know that moment in the film were the slightly clueless tourists walk into the dingy pub and everyone stops talking to stare at them - that on our last night stay, he sat with us and drank tea.

When we got up to leave he handed us a gift for good luck and walked away.  The Brass Elephant has lived with me ever since and now houses my Umbelliferous collection.

Umberliferous Elephant Umberliferous 2 umberliferous 3


  1. That brass elephant is gorgeous as is the thought of the beautiful experience you described! So lovely. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Your brass elephant is gorgeous, and I love beautiful items with a unique story, like yours from Turkey!