Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The first aid kit

While not posting here, I've been clearing things out of my mum's old place and into overflow venues, including her new place.  It's a big job! with not so much time for writing (aha, at last a legitimate excuse) or sewing.  Still time for knitting though, what with all the commuting back and forth.

In my travels through the cupboards I came across this tin I remember well, which ended up getting stacked in my storage room with this book I don't remember at all:

This may make sense, since mum and dad didn't consult me about where we would go on our driving trips.  But I did have a lot of contact with the tin, which housed all the first aid stuff.

The tin lived at mum's feet in the front of whichever very big car dad was driving at the time - in the 70s all cars were big, but we needed an especially big one because when I was new, there were five kids to cram in around all the camping stuff.  (By the time I was starting school, the oldest ones were working and didn't come away any more.)

Diversion alert:

The other thing that lived at mum's feet was a square Tupperware container full of sandwiches.  We were all prone to carsickness which mum sensibly put down to hunger, so if anybody complained she would ask what flavour was wanted and hand back a neat triangle - white bread with mustard and ham, or butter and peanut butter (you need the butter to be able to swallow, since the lemonade jug didn't come out till we were out of the car.)

Sometimes we even got peanut butter with potato chips layered between the bread.  It sounds totally disgusting, doesn't it?  But it was delicious, unless you ate it too long after it was made or the chip bag opened, such that the chips got soggy or were stale to start with.

Return to main subject: 

The label is scratched off the bottom of the tin so I couldn't say what sort of cookie - or possibly tea? - was in it when it was purchased, but with all those animals it must have been irresistible to buy in the store when she got it. Also it's hinged at one side which makes it perfect for future uses; you can't lose the lid or leave it somewhere to be stepped on by a bleeding child or an anxious sibling. 

I love how resourceful and far-thinking mum is, even to the extent of choosing a cheery, attention-keeping tin for something so basic as a bandage box.  She would say now that the tin should be tossed, being too messy and scarred for use.  At least, this is what she said about our original cookie tin, a repurposed round stripey Peak Freans tin that held the chocolate chip cookies she baked weekly, when she let me have it years and years ago.

She's right in a way.  But these things, when you use them for so long, develop a second life.  And I think the first aid kit, even empty of bandages, still aids.

1 comment:

Northmoon said...

I love old tins!! I have a particular fondness for Peak Frean tins. They have remarkable themes going on - birds, flowers, butterflies, hunting and animals to name a few.

And they are reusable. I too have first aid in a desert flower tin, dog brushes in a portrait tin, knitting needles in a woodpecker tin etc.