We were on our way out of Matlock a few years ago, pre children, on a cold Winters day. We’d done a big walk, and were tired, and keen to get home, and bumped in to an antique store on the way. In those days, we always found it virtually impossible to walk past an antiques shop, without going in for a good snoop and a rummage. We used to collect things back then, like lots of things, pottery, ceramics, glass, furniture, art, everything pretty much, and whenever we had a little bit of cash, we’d put it aside & buy something beautiful together. Pre children as I say. It was vast that antiques shop, it was one of those that’s crammed with all sorts of things, from all sorts of dealers which means you’ll find all sorts of things, trinkets and coloured glass, books, fine art, to plant pots and trombones. We browsed & snooped. Picked things up and put them back down. All rather disappointing, with nothing grabbing us, until I spotted this fellow in one of the rooms at the back. It was cold in there and was the sort of room where things that haven’t sold end up before their final destination of ‘storage’. Everything was piled high. These beautiful things with history, aged things, like people really, that have been loved and cared for by someone in the past, but now sadly languishing. It feels wrong ! I could feel the stare of big beady eyes on me. A cockerel. There he was – perched on top of the pile of piles. Staring. I stared back. I knew I liked him. I had to stand on tip toe to catch him. Paul thought he was marvellous. So we bought him for under a tenner and carried him out really carefully. He got a good clean when we got home, and we de-grimed him, after which he looked a different creature. He was blue for a start.
I’d like to think that he enjoys looking down from his perch on the mantel. That’s where he sits. Visitors often pick him up, and admire him, but I feel relieved when they put him back down as I often imagne him being broken by accident. We’ve never seen another one like him which surprises me as he is over 50 years old (which is knocking on for a rooster), maybe it’s because he’s come all the way from Hungary and there wasn’t much call for Hungarian Roosters back in the 1960s. I recently introduced him to lots of people on our social media pages, and everyone went crazy for him. The value of something is always determined by how much its loved and wanted. So he’s been immortalized. I wonder if he knows.