I like to visit the city when I've been away for a while. My first stop is usually the Franciscan church where I visit a side altar devoted to St. Anthony, the finder of lost things. I usually make a small donation here as a thank you for the safe return of one or other of my daughter's cats, one of which has a propensity to wander off and not be seen for a week or more. Call me naive or superstitious if you like, but I always pray to St. Anthony when something gets lost and I - or he - usually find it again.
I like wandering round the stores when I'm not actually looking for anything specific. Charity shops with their huge selection of books are first on my list. It's amazing what you can find. It reminds me of a story called The Book Bag by Somerset Maugham - see a review here. Set in the old colonial days of the British, it is related by a traveller who, having learned his lesson once while imprisoned by illness in a
hill-town in Java without enough to read, now carries a giant laundry
bag of books with him everywhere in his travels through colonial
outposts. Without that book bag, he says, he would "never had heard the singular
history of Olive Hardy." Maugham's stories are fascinating for the glimpse of life on remote jungle stations which they give.
A few months ago I wrote that I was looking for something to hold a set of kitchen utensils which I'd received as a Christmas present. I had very definite ideas but after exhaustive research in all the stores I still couldn't find what I was searching for. So I did what every sensible person has done in similar circumstances, I adopted the motto: if you can't get what you want, then want what you can get. So I found this inexpensive solution:
Do I admire this utensil holder when I'm working in the kitchen? To be honest I don't even see it. It serves a purpose, I'm glad I've got it, and that's the end of the story.