My mother used to say, quite often, 'I don't know how I came by it but.....' and and she would then go on to explain the qualities of the object, or figure of speech or, even, a thought that caused her to retain its use.
I was cooking the other evening and selected from the cupboard a couple of items that I, definitely, 'came by' from my mother.
And I cherish both of them: not, I think, so much because 'I came by them from my mother' but because they are remarkable artefacts.
No, why do I say that? Of course it pleases me that they came from her and to recall that she had such a clear vision for really good objects and also that it was she who was my earliest and most powerful influence in the seeking of superior objects - and indeed of figures of speech and thoughts.
I think I have mentioned already that I also inherited all her aluminium saucepans, most of which must now be well over fifty years old and, despite being somewhat battered and bruised with the odd loose handle, they remain superior to any other pot or pan in the cupboard except, possibly, for a non-stick, cast-iron frying pan - from Ikea, believe it or not.
But the objects I selected from the cupboard the other evening were two of her racks.
The first is the rack upon which she always roasted meat.
In my view, and I assume it was hers too, the fact that it is small in length and width but relatively tall in the leg, affords it qualities that are not provided by the customary racks supplied with the roasting pans of present day cookers.
It allows for all surfaces of the joint, or bird, to be roasted (and browned) above the cooking juices, which, since the bars of the rack are set well apart, fall freely into the pan in readiness for making the gravy.
And the second is her cake-cooling rack.
I must confess that neither of us are bakers so it is seldom used for cooling cakes but it is used, from time to time, to cool other items that are best cooled with air beneath them.
It is just such a beautifully made object and I get pleasure from it every time I set eyes on it and handle it.