Thursday, January 17, 2013

New Year, New Hobby

It's never too late to embark on a new hobby. People I know have done so, and successfully too. An ex-colleague bought a Harley upon retirement and rode all over the country, his wife a willing partner. 

As for me, I had long wanted to build a collection of old china, ever since my late grandmother left me a pretty blue-and-white porcelain bowl (pix below) almost a century old.

Grandma's champagne-hued serving dish
Grandma's extensive collection of pinggan mangkuk lama had somehow disappeared, I know not where, following her demise. I was too busy raising a family in Kuala Lumpur to keep track of things.

Over the years, there were intermittent forays to the weekend flea market at Amcorp Mall, Petaling Jaya, to look at things. There were lots of interesting items but you really need to poke around a bit to find the ones worth buying.

Enter Che'Pon, a lady of both means and leisure. Had it not been for her, I would still be stuck at 'thinking' (about starting this new hobby).

Che'Pon, in her late 50s and retired, is nuts about old stuffs. She would go the distance to get what she wanted, in particular trawling the internet looking for items at bargain prices. 

Her home is a treasure trove of barang lama, all restored and lovingly maintained; crockery, furniture, cameras, vases, jars, pots and ewers, Peranakan heritage items, brass iron and belanga (cooking pot) .. 

When I first stepped foot inside her lavish abode, I was pleasantly surprised to see a beautifully restored almari dapur (kitchen cupboard) taking a prime spot in her living room. 

[Remember those pre-refrigerator days when leftovers were kept in a multi-tiered wooden cupboard, the doors of which enclosed with mesh, with each cupboard leg placed in a small bowl containing water to prevent ants from getting to the food?]

She told me she bought it for a song (well, almost) but the restoration had cost quite a bit, naturally. The end result, however, was a charming piece of woodwork.   

Pieces of old crockery, mostly of bunga kangkung motif like the  Chinese teapot below, were showcased in the cupboard. Those plates transported me back to the 1950s; we had used similar ones for our meals.
This bunga kangkung motif was very popular back then.

A fortnight back son Naj and I decided to pay a long-overdue visit to the Amcorp Mall flea market. He had wanted to check out old typewriters (he's an earnest collector) whilst Mom just wanted to browse around. 

Told him I used to have a 'Remington' eons ago. Well, actually it was Grandpa's but I had used it as much as he did. That Remington has since disappeared without a trace too.
Tok Ayah's trusty Remington, now living in eternal bliss in typewriters' heaven, I think.
dolu-dolu punya - translucent cookie containers..

dessert dish.. orang dulu panggil piring dodol.
That trip resulted in the haul above. Glad to report I'm on my way to old china heaven. These six cookie containers with covers and five matching side plates can be considered my starter kit.....


Ezza Muffinbiru said...

Make sure ada almari yang sesuai untuk letak semua pinggan mangkuk ni...kalau idak..habis lebur pecah berderai dek kelalaian kita or anak kaki empat tu...pengalaman saya ni kak..hehehe

Cat-from-Sydney said... now....which one would be nice to use as catfood dish? har har har *evil laughs*

ninotaziz said...

Bunga kangkung plates bring such nostalgia....

Kaira Andrews said...

LOVE that container kuih dolu dolu tuhhhh =p

Tina said...

My mom has the container kuih dolu2 tu..but it's in clear glass, not tinted. And we still use them every raya too! we've had them since the late 70's, I think!

and the champagne-hued serving dish - I remember mom having one, but dah lamaaaa tak nampak!! must cari! alahai, terasa nostalgic and sayang pulak kalau tak jumpa!

islam44 said...

Mashallah sister :)

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Alva Lee said...

Wow. I remember drinking plain water from the bunga kangkong teapot <3

hanna said...

.which one would be nice to use as catfood dish? har har har *evil laughs
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