This week Gentleman Scholar and chocolate log connoisseur Oscar De Winter, brings us his thoughts and experiences from the bowels of Martha Trust
Lust - You're not in Hereford much anymore, what do you miss most about Martha?
Oscar - The clientele and the staff. The last time I was in there, I was fresh off the boat and had my suitcase with me. The handle on it had snapped whilst I was abroad, and so I had to use a silk tie to fashion a makeshift handle. The case itself still has a few miles in it so I’ve not thrown it out. Apparently the woman behind the till was very impressed by this, if her softly cawing murmur and greedy eye were anything to go by. The old gentlemen who were congregating around her,
their own eyes dulled by too much time amid the Crust, resounded the same opinion, like a Greek chorus. “Waste not, want not.”
Lust - What are your top golden finds?
Oscar - Without a doubt my top find is The Shell Owl, for one penny [pictured
on the here alongside a fellow charity shop owl].
Not since Sandro Botticelli realised The Birth Of Venus has someone so expertly
channelled the beauty of Shell As Art. Whilst one may reside in the Uffizi and the other on top of a stack of books, there is no question that the two masterpieces share a common genius. It is hard to date The Shell Owl; the superglue that is the binding force of the bricolage is heavily yellowed and The Shell Owl certainly shows signs of wear and tear. Where It has been, I cannot fathom, but It has been
places I have no doubt. As to why It exists, I am equally clueless. Is it a quiet, reflective homage to St. James, with the shells having been diligently collected by some wayfaring pilgrim along the Camino de Santiago? Is it a fertility statue, a fetish comprised of symbolic vulvas? An unwise children’s toy made by some unfit mother? Whatever it is, its Minervan mysteries are safely locked away. The Beak Shell, the keystone in this dilapidated assemblage, is missing; no secrets shall come to light any time soon.
More from Oscar to follow!