Gold Dust Woman


I don’t know who decided that jewellery was going to be my thing. I suppose the realisation that I could and would wear anything was convenient when it came to buying presents (no sensitive ears for this girl). This is still the case, thanks to Dad and his travels. Some gems include gold Pharaohs from Egypt, silver moose from Norway and baseballs from St. Louis. Last week, during a very idle moment, I spent an hour sifting through my Brussels collection (there are more in Ireland), making the observations that:

a) There is very little of monetary value

2) There is much of sentimental value

iii) The scope for tales is great.

As part of my countdown for Canada and as writing practice, I’ve decided to wear each item at least once in the next six months and to write a little post about that item, based on something that happened when I wore it or someone I associate with it. Yes…even the gigantic peacock feather earrings that tickle my shoulders.

I was walking home from work the other day, thinking that this plan was already doomed to fail as I had nothing to say about these earrings.

20150812_183408Thankfully, one of the local crazy ladies was willing to put me out of my misery. She sometimes drops into work to use the facilities and is so cheery and happy that no-one can bear to stop her. One day I passed her on a street corner, singing loudly. Not for money, just to serenade anyone coming towards her. She is destined to put a bemused smile on everyone’s face.

On the day of these earrings, I met her on Rue Gray. I looked up to find her blocking my path and our interaction began as follows:

Her: “Excuse me, do you speak French?” (in French)

Me: “Yes, I do. Can I help you?” (in French)

Her: “Are you sure you speak French? Can you understand what I am saying right now? Because I need to speak to you and I only speak French” (still in French).

By now, I was confused about my ability to speak any language but I managed to convince her that I understood. She launched into a spiel about how there had been a flood in her building during the bad weather, exacerbated by the tram works on Avenue Buyl. Her landlord was a plumber which made things more complicated and she was really quite concerned because it was affecting her cat (I won’t lie, I got a bit lost when the cat came into the story). She went on for a while, not appearing to need my input, so eventually I asked what I could do for her, thinking she needed money. She shook my hand and said “I’ve just come from the swimming pool. I was swimming up and down thinking about this and how I needed to talk to someone about it. You were the first person I saw and you’ve been very helpful. Thank you”. And off she strode. I hope she stopped somewhere along the way to sing to passers-by. It really does brighten one’s day.


4 Comments Add yours

  1. Sean McCarthy says:

    Great idea Sylvia. I will do this for all the ‘junk’ I have in my shed. Everything has a story. As you said monetary value = 0 sentimental value = a lot


    1. Thanks Dad. I’ll have to do a whole section on your presents down through the years!! So many countries 🙂


  2. well NUMBER ONE-I’m glad your obscure earrings are all going to get an outing. They are a very Sylvia trademark.
    And b) That’s a sweet story about the crazy lady. We all need someone who’ll just LISTEN sometimes x


  3. PS Sean-the junk is your shed makes for great props when the cousins convene in there. Please don’t get rid of any of it!


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