Sunday, July 19, 2009

racing car

It's my car!   Liberated!   This Corgi model of a 152S BRM was my pride and joy when I was about 8 and it was brand new.   The fact that she now looks a little battered is the result of her being my favorite racing model.   The race track was the hallway of 14 Hillside, opposite where I lived, where Andrew Pemberton and I would have endless races of our model cars.   If one used the threshold of the living room as the starting line, one could get - with an energetic push - the car to go all the way down the long hallway, through the dining room, and tumble over the little step into the kitchen.   We raced car against car against each other - but this one (ergodynamically designed in the first place) was a winner.   Around this time my role model was Pat Moss - sister of the racing driver Stirling Moss, and herself a rally driver and show-jumper.   Looking back, it's striking how few women there were in the very early 60s with whom one might consciously identify - to be sure, Pat Moss was less glamorous than another show-jumper, Pat Smythe, but somehow more adventurous.

Although I'm now back in New Mexico with the car, this morning, when I photographed her, I was still in Wimbledon, and she's posing on another period piece - a Formica topped table from the 1950s.   This was our old kitchen table - I have very strong memories of it being the launching pad (when I was 6) for a plate of liver (yuk), frozen peas and mashed potato that my grandmother had served me and that I was violently refusing (but why such anger at liver?) - and it also being the site of a very guilty pleasure when  I was about the same age: I would take a very small piece of butter from the fridge, stick it on the edge, and lick it, slowly.   This same treat is, of course, now enjoyed (though off the NYT, not this table) by our cats, as part of their morning ritual - though I've only just, and with some puzzlement, drawn the connection.

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