But let's bend the laws of time and space (just like Gok Wan bends the laws of morality and decency on so many levels) and travel back to Wednesday. That's it, take my hand....
There I am look: walking into a charity shop, betwixt the relative boredom of queueing in a bank with just one teller on duty, and the joy of a sausage and egg ciabatta at my favourite eatery.
I should have taken a photo of my lovely brunch, but:
- I didn't have a camera on me
- I would have looked like a real weirdo!
But If I had have broken the cardinal rules of food, photos, weirdness et al, this is what the gorgeous feast would have looked like (only moreso).
Anyway, pay attention! I've already moved inside the shop and am browsing. You nearly missed the important bit.
Look - Mrs H (she who must be obeyed - or at least nodded to, whilst sneaking items from the basket back onto the shelves) is in at the china section in a deep and worrying way.
I am there, extracting my daintily spotted hanky from my breast pocket and gently wiping away the beads of sweat on my forehead.
I look worried don't I?
Oh how embarrassing, I am actually clutching my wallet with a look of sheer terror in my eyes. I am indeed my father's son. As they say in San Diego "tighter than a duck's arse on water" (how rude those San Diagons can be!).
But what's this? I have picked up an item! I am checking the price. I have not fainted, nor reached out to stabilise myself.
Oh mercy! Who is that, moments later, stood at the till opening his wallet? It is our hero (look at the moths set free). What's that white note in his wallet? Could it be an Edwardian fiver? Is the Queen blinking in the daylight?
And look! Oh woe. I am paying (yes, paying) for the cluster of items being carefully wrapped by the shop attendant. Little old ladies in the vicinity are swooning at the very idea. Generations of Hurley forefathers are spinning in their graves.
Somewhere in deepest, darkest Pembrokeshire, Old Pa Hurley (out working to keep Old Ma Hurley in the luxury to which she is accustomed) felt a shudder travel the length of his spine. He knew a Hurley wallet was being opened!
"Sacrilege." Old Pa Hurley mouths the word, barely believing what must be taking place. Is this what he has climbed out of restaurant toilet windows to leave Old Ma Hurley to pick up the tab for all those years?
Hold on tight dear reader, we are travelling forwards in time to the present day. Do you want anything from the Duty Free trolley? No? OK.
So here we are. Back at Saturday the 22nd.
What was this item that caused such an outrageous expenditure of money? What could possibly result in the rusty padlock being taken off that wallet (seen in public less often than Arkwright's battered old Oxo tin)?
Now we come back to the info I found online about the item (see my opening sentence) which had caused me to break the unwritten rule hitherto followed by all Hurley men, since the Archangel expelled Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden, viz spending money (i.e. don't do it).
Prior to today I had no idea what this type of porcelain was called, though I had seen it before.
It had always tweaked my interest. It is quaint, seems to generally be associated with seaside towns (though I'm sure there are many examples that break that observational rule) and seems to lend itself to being collectable.
On seeing this particular piece I felt obliged to get it and it now sits in our bathroom.
The name on the jug (which I assume is a milk jug given its size) is 'Freshwater East' and having spent many a Summer Holiday at that part of the Pembrokeshire coast as a wee bairn, I felt honour-bound to cause uproar amongst the Hurley members of the Church Triumphant in Paradise by spending some money.
And so it is, circa 30(ish) years later a little part of Freshwater East (the vague association being the carved name), though I like to think it may have had a spell in a gift shop in or near to the delightful seaside holiday destination of yesteryear, has found its way to our Hurley household today.
Now whenever I see it my mind is cast back to those happy days holidaying, especially with my Nanna Huzzey and Da (Grandad Huzzey), now passed away.
I just hope that when Old Pa Hurley reads this blog entry he can find it in his heart of hearts to forgive his erring son on this matter.
Yes, I spent money. Yes, it is a trinket. Yes, I didn't even try to trick Mrs H into paying for it... Hitherto unforgivable crimes amidst the pantheon of my forefathers.
Materially, my only excuse is that I promise to work extra hard over the coming weeks to make up the 30p that the jug cost.