Welcome to the Usmeum of Ordiments. My home is full of objects that have been accumulated through not just my lifetime but that of generations of my family before me. Each of these objects has a story to tell; when I have friends visiting I often feel like a museum curator as I tell these stories. A librarian by trade, I have become custodian of the family archives, and have been thinking for a while about compiling a history of our rather unusual family. However I was stumped as to where to begin, how to structure it and connect the various strands and threads of the story. Then a friend gave me this novel, which has been the inspiration for my approach with this blog.
For each post I will select an item at random, photograph it and tell the story behind it. In this way I hope, after 6 months or a year, that the story will emerge and take shape through the objects in my home, just as the story of the relationship in Shapton’s novel is told through the objects in an auction catalogue.
Why the Usmeum of Ordiments? The title represents two childhood mispronunciations of mine: a museum was a “usemeum” and my collection of china animals were “ordiments”. As this is my family story I like the idea of “us-me-um” (or even, given my Glasgow roots, “Yous-me-um”); and my 2 small nieces, to my delight, also call ornaments “ordiments”. This blog is for them.
I hope I can be forgiven for remaining anonymous, given the value of many of these items – but at least in time this blog may provide proof of ownership and provenance!
I hope you enjoy my random ramblings.
– Hoarder of Babylon.
NB: All material on this site is subject to copyright and may not be reproduced without the author’s permission.
- "Auntie" (Mabel Zoe Watson, Grandad Lane's cousin)
- 14th century
- 18th century
- 19th century
- 20th Century
- Glasgow family
- Grandad Lane's cousin)
- Hebridean family
- Lane family
- Our House
- The objects: