Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Hidden in the recesses of time

Thinking not very deeply about diamond stud earrings, and other such flashy items (like nintendo jewellery) and reflecting a little on a letter to the editor that appeared in today's Otago Daily Times about Prince William's gift of his mother's engagement ring to his wife-to-be.   The writer was irate that William was giving Kate a second-hand ring.   Surely that's a very recycling thing to do, apart from any sentimental associations? 

My wife received a secondhand ring too, when we got engaged.   We weren't particularly well off at that stage, and it seemed reasonable enough.   One of my daughters subsequently dropped it down a hole in the stairwell wall and that's the last we've seen of it.  (I have no idea what my daughter was doing playing with it.)

I didn't give my wife-to-be my mother's engagement ring because I'm not even sure if my mother had one.  She was married in wartime, and I suspect engagement rings were regarded as a bit of an extravagance.   Apart from that my mother was still alive when I got married, so if she did have an engagement ring, she may not have been keen to part with it.

On the other hand, my grandmother's ring is something I do have - my English grandmother, that is.  (Again, I don't know if my New Zealand grandmother even had an engagement ring - she had nine children in due course, which probably would account for any lack of rings in the house.)   My English grandmother's ring could easily be recycled too: it looks exactly like a curtain ring.  It's perfectly round and thin as can be.    How it came to be in my possession is something that I no longer remember - not because I'm losing my marbles but because I don't actually recall ever knowing.   Maybe my mother received it at some point, perhaps when my grandmother died.   Who knows?   Hidden in the recesses of time.
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