Tuesday, 16 March 2010

There's a gollywog in every room...

Browsing through a quaint antique shop in Matlock I stumble across several things that probably shouldn't have been there:

- A grotesque face moulded onto the front of a terrifying jar marked in scrawled black letters. "Pickled Onions."
- A magnificant tea pot of a lady in a ball gown, that seemed highly impractical for daily use.
- Countless 'canvases' that were actually just A3 pictures of Michael Owen and Tiger Woods folded over a box.
- A TV guide from the 1980's.
- A video entitled "Des Lynam on Boxing"
- And my absoloute favourite: A copy of hello magazine, dated November 2009.

"Are you sure this is an antique shop?" I ask. Sadly i'm answered with a nod. I begin browsing through the shop and stumble upon a glass case filled with jewelery. It isn't the jewelery that interests me though, it is Fern Britton's autobiography sat amongst it. "I'm really confused." I say to my friend, who is staring at a taxidermied fox. "Is anything in here an antique?"
"No, no I don't think so..." I pick up a gollywog from the side marked at £45.
"There's a gollywog here." I say, thinking my friend might be interested. She turns to me, and says wide eyed and slowly as if the words she is saying terrify her. "There's a gollywog in every room..."
"Really?" She nods. I go off to investigate and find that she is in fact correct. Several gollywogs lie amongst the 'antiques' in every room, all marked at ridiculous prices. I go back to find my friend who is looking at some yellowed wedding dresses. "I found Narnia." she says smiling.
"You know, the lion the witch and the wardrobe."
"Yeah I know what Narnia is, what do you mean you found it?"
"Look!" she exclaims pulling back the wedding dresses and revealing a room full of real fur clothing. "It's the Narnia of animal murder."
"Indeed." we enter into Narnia and start looking through the furs. I stumble upon yet another gollywog. I hold it up with disbelief. I hear my vegetarian friend approaching. "Don't let her in here! She can't come into Narnia, it will traumatise her." We go back out and distract her away from the furs. We leave the shop via the flight of stairs, that has a helpful sign reading "Please don't jump down the stairs" and walk along the high street passing a pub named 'The black's head'. I look up at the sign swinging above the door and notice an incredibly racist illustration. "That's terrible" I say pointing out the sign.
"I know. And what's even worse is, they changed the sign a few years ago, and the locals petitoned to have it changed back..."

Matlock, an incredibly pretty, but incredibly racist town. Who'd have thought it?