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  • Silver bowerbird

    5th June, 2014


    I am in a club – you might also be a member – it is the Guild of Cutlery Thieves. Not very exclusive, and it could be said that once you’ve used cutlery, it’s been in your body so there is some level of attachment and relationship. That actually provides incentive for a personal spoon set. Truly a tragedy of the work kitchen commons, with the silverware snugly safe in the drawer until they are taken home like so many stolen wildflowers. The flowers in the photo are Viola tricolor/tricolour, or heart’s ease. Well-designed cutlery eases my heart and tummy.


    Heart's ease with fork

    Wild silverware flowers


    My shame revealed – today I smuggled 5 teaspoons, 1 big spoon and a fork back into the work drawers. I’m sad to give up an Alex Liddy teaspoon, which had the perfect shape and weight. I loved that teaspoon more than anyone. However, I must resist this urge to acquire cutlery – which is largely out of laziness, because I don’t want to wash my container and cutlery till I get home, so they both go on a mini-break with me. My parents say that airlines used to encourage passengers to take the metal cutlery home “to increase brand awareness” (I think this is a bit sketchy). We have some SAS spoons from 10 or 20 years ago!


    An Australian artist, Perdita Phillips, did some work around humans as bowerbirds – which I feel is relevant – and there has also been an academic study on teaspoons disappearing in the workplace.


    One of my colleagues calls dessert/soup spoons “mother spoons” and teaspoons “babies”. Sometimes we have to hide the mothers in the baby compartment so that there is one available for lunchtime – kind of a band-aid solution, like when we couldn’t reserve library books in primary school, so we would hide our favourite ones in the wall bar-heaters. I remember this now and am impressed that the whole place didn’t burn down.



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