Over Christmas, we’ve had a house full of family.
Now we’re getting ready to move house.
The new house is sure to be smaller.
During our St Silvestre meal this evening we discussed what furniture we’ll try to find room for.
We agreed that the épergne, bought at the end of the nineteenth century by Travelling Companion’s Great-Grandfather, who worked in the City in shipping, should come, kangaroo and all.
It is two feet tall. Who even knew what an épergne was?
We should put stickers on the undersides of such things with their history. How it was us that cracked one of the épergne’s bowls. How on Boxing Day, at the house of Travelling Companion’s Aunt, it used to be in the centre of the dining table piled with fruit. How the leaves of that dining table, a polished walnut table that came from Travelling Companion’s Grandfather and is now in our house, used to drift apart. How one evening our friend T.H. turned up with wire to tie it together.
We should put a sticker on the underside of this house, telling what we know of its history. The soap and perfume factory, the dealership in American cars. Poking around in the cellar, the new people or their children will find the sticker one day.
(Bungoma, Kenya, 2013)