Godparents

I know who my godparents are although sadly they are now all deceased; my mum’s sister, my mum’s best friend and her husband. I was always very close to my godparents and think I was very fortunate as many people lose contact after their childhood. In our kitchen drawer we have a rather fancy silver spoon, the back of the bowl decorated as well as the handle on which my mother’s initials P.M.M. are inscribed.

Deviating slightly I didn’t realise there were so many parts to a spoon; obviously there is the bowl and the handle, then there is the bowl tip, drop, shoulders, stem and terminal or tip. I’ve also seen illustrations which give bowl rim as the very edge of the bowl, and transition rather than or instead of shoulders. Decorated or decorative parts also have names; the bit at the back of the bowl where it joins the shoulder is the heel, a decorative line is I think called the thread, especially down the back of the handle and the different shaped ends have different names,, The idea of a spoon as a handy small container or scoop must have come from shells, using an object rather than the hand. Once people started using clay, did they then make an earthenware scooping thing, or had they already devise a spoon shaped item from wood or bone or horn, or maybe metal? Certainly later other all sorts of metals were used and by Tudor times it was common to give Christening spoons. There are of course so many different spoons, but maybe that’s for somewhere else as I need to get back to my mum’s Christening spoon.

As well as Mum’s initials, the year was inscribed – she was born in November 1925 but the spoon was dated 1926 so that was obvious when she was Christened. I know she was Christened in Winchester Cathedral where the family were living at the time. However, Mum’s family were quite ordinary so  firstly how on earth did they gt her to be baptised in such a prestigious place, and who was her god-parent who bought her the fancy silver spoon and had it inscribed? You can see the font where she was Christened; it’s made from a dark stone and was carved from one single block of stone and weighs about 1½ tonnes. It’s decorated with carvings of the miracles of St Nicholas. and was brought to Winchester from Tournai, in Belgium, in about 1150. It’s supposed to have been the gift of Henry of Blois, the grandson of William the Conqueror who was Bishop of Winchester at the time.

But who gave the spoon? How can I find out? It’s a puzzle and a mystery, so I’m going to write to the cathedral and see if they might help. My mum once visited it and was looking at it when a friendly guide told her all about it, adding that it was never used for Christenings, mum of course politely replied that she had been Christened in it! My featured image is on mum, aged about nine by which time the family were no longer in Winchester but Pavenham in Bedfordshire.

16 Comments

      1. Lois

        Definitely talk to the older generation, all too soon for one reason or another you can’t! I’ve always been interested in old stories but for some reason never wrote them down – I think it was I couldn’t find the right “voice” which I have now with my blog. I’ve also done a couple of pieces as creative nonfiction – have you come across this? It’s a really interesting way of writing – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Creative_nonfiction

        Like

      2. debbiedrury

        So true. We were going to go through my grandad’s biscuit tins of old photos and write on the back in pencil who they all were and where they were taken, there were so many we just looked and talked and intended to write the next time we visited. Unfortunately he was hospitalised before we next saw him and we never did manage to go through them. So frustrating, he was the last of that side of the family, apart from a couple of my mum’s cousins who wouldn’t know everybody. We have exchange old photos and info over the years, mainly at funerals. We live several hours apart, so not easy to do.
        Some of what I have written fits this genre – not that I knew until I just looked at your wiki link! Thank you.
        I should do more, may interest our son at some stage in the future. I do want to write about the old house we moved into when I was 9.
        Also what I wrote with our son and we read for my dad’s eulogy would have fitted this too. He had dementia for a couple of years and I want to remind family and friends of how he had been for 80 of his 83 years, so they went away with positive memories of him, and not remembering the shell he had become. This helped us too.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Lois

        It’s so diffiuclt with the way family’s are spread around now – I know in many ways we keep in contact better because of mobile phones and social media, but too often we’re just exchanging news and catching up, and we don’t seem to talk about what we remember, and what we remember our parents and grandparents telling us. My family are all interested in knowing the stories etc but aren’t writers (or think they aren’t!) I guess I know more about the family than most, and have done a lot of research into our family’s stories – especially the Tasmanian connection.
        I’m glad your son helped with the eulogy, I’m sure he will want to get involved in learning about the family. My son is interested and I hope I’ll pass things on to him. My daughter isn’t really, but maybe she will be when she is older… it sometimes happen as we move on in life, doesn’t it?!
        Oh do write about your house! House histories are so fascinating, interwoven with memories and stories! Some people have even ended up writing books about the homes they have had!

        Like

      4. debbiedrury

        Yes, it was an interesting old house and lots of stories. Your link about creative non-fiction has set me off about Christmas, and related stories. The problem will be keeping it coherent and not wandering off in too many directions. I need to keep some of your list in mind and maybe print it off to remind me.
        We wanted the eulogy to be a celebration of dad’s life, and not all doom and gloom.
        As well as starting to write I need to gather together a couple of things I’ve written previously.
        And to remember to proof read what I’ve written before I post it – just reading what I wrote above I noticed a couple of grammatical errors!

        Like

      5. Lois

        Oh my gosh, proof reading before posting – I’m a terror for not doing that! I always mean to but somehow forget. I’m now editing my next novel, last few bits, then send off for a proof copy and hope there aren’t too many typos!
        Yes, once you make a start on the old stories then they form a sort of shape, don’t they, and you can begin to play with how you want to write and what you want to write. Good luck!

        Like

      6. debbiedrury

        Thanks. It’s so difficult proof reading your own work, you read what you intended to write! Colin is really good at it, but as a retired language teacher he gets nit-picky about the grammar and wants to change my sentence construction. So it becomes more his than min, if I’m not careful. It’s not the sort of thing he would choose to read – too story-like, which is sort of the point!

        Like

      7. debbiedrury

        Sure sometimes just for the sake of changing it, when I was doing my degree I got to the stage where I would keep the original and when he re- read what he’d changed, and re-worded it, it would go back to what I’d written in the first place!

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.