The wealth and beauty in the time-worn.

In Japan they have a word Kintsugi and it relates to keeping something and continuing to use it even when it has become damaged and care-worn. I am finding that as I age in our very materialistic and modern world that this idea resonates greatly with me. I feel that I myself am almost Kintsugi as I have been broken and fixed so many times.

I no longer feel the need to have everything shiny and new and in the latest style, it is as if I feel now more than ever that there was a time where it was the meaning that gave the value and this was more important than the monetary value of the “thing”. On my wall I have a clock that my mother got for me many years ago and its monetary value is meaningless but it still adorns my wall, she got it for me because she thought it would appeal to me and it still holds that value and the love that came with it deep within.

Sunday afternoon was very cold and wintery and in an attempt to stave off the cold we ventured into Bruccianis for a hot chocolate. Bruccianis is on the promenade at Morecambe and it opened in 1939 and still occupies the same building and much of the interior design and decor is still untouched and it is now a grade 2 listed building.

For me the comfort is in its menu. It takes me back to days gone by when I would warm my hands on a mug of Horlicks in the Bus Station cafe in Rawtenstall after shopping with mum, Terry Jacks and “Seasons in the sun” playing on the radio. The menu here boasts Horlicks, Vimto, Bovril and the ultimate decadence of the Knickerbocker Glory. It isn’t shabby chic, or modern art nouveau but simply still the same as it was many years ago.

Its wealth and beauty is that it is what it is. No charlatan here. A place to warm up with a hot chocolate in the winter-time and chat with family and friends or a special ice-cream treat at the beach in a red-hot summer when the sand feels like it is on fire. Sometimes we don’t need perfection what we really need is congruence and familiarity.


Morecambe by the sea

Icy cold toes, winter sun

Horlicks comforts me.


© Alison Jean Hankinson

I am submitting this for Haibun Monday at d’Verse, it breaks the rules a tad, but I think it reflects change and perhaps it is also indicative of a change yet to come, a return to a different set of values.


Author: alisonhankinson

Walking tall whenever I can.

30 thoughts on “The wealth and beauty in the time-worn.”

  1. Ah, a lot of comfort lies in the familiar things and they are better left unchanged. I love how you have shared this little piece of personal history and its importance for you — the warmth of it is felt.

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  2. “Sometimes we don’t need perfection what we really need is congruence and familiarity.”
    In my seventh decade, rejuvenated (never say retired), I couldn’t agree with you more! Well, actually I could if I knew these places and these menu items. But — I understand exactly what you’re saying. There is a comfort in certain things of the past — for me, it’s taking out my very old Christmas ornaments for our tree — one from my kindergarten teacher with my name block printed on it in her exact printing…..a very fragile tiny airplane that was my father’s as a child….a fragile glass bell that was on my mother’s tree as a child….a ribbon rose my father made for me. And on the food side of things — at least once every winter I make a lunch of tomato soup and a grilled cheese sandwich and think of my mom making that for me. There is a soft smiling that comes to us as we grow older and the wonder of where we’ve been rises to the surface. Thank you for this lovely write.

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  3. I always keep clothes and keepsakes well past their expiration date. Every decade or so, my wife insists I shed the things I have not looked at or worn for several years; just a different mind set.

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  4. Those things and places are precious and warms our hearts. No need for things to be shiny and new but rather familiar and brings us solace and comfort. Love your backgrounder and photos.

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  5. That Japanese wisdom chimes with me, too, Alison, and I so get what you are saying. If anyone asks me what I’d like for my birthday or Christmas, I often reply that I have everything I need – because I do. I love my old worn Dr Martens and favourite faded dress. With some things it’s the when, where and who they remind you of that matters the most. My favourite item of furniture is my grandfather’s footstool, which was where I sat at his feet when I lived with them as a child. Apparently it was originally a kind of low-legged, high-backed fauteuille that originally belonged to his parents. I’ve re-upholstered it several times but I’ll never give it away. Anyway, shiny and new wouldn’t last long in our house!
    Back to seaside charm… Your picture of Morecambe is quintessentially British and reminds me of seaside places I know and love.

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  6. oh dear, you took me back to my grandfather’s lap and warm hugs, he swore by Bovril when we were sick and I feel Horlicks coming out of my pores from all the mugs he made for me. your haiku is just the warmest one i have ever read.

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  7. I know Horlicks only from ‘Call the Midwife’ but your mention of kintsugo has me thinking of my one and only ceramic mug I use for coffee, tea, and water all day long. It was from our first house (left there, not new) as a married couple and the handle has since broken off and there is a chip on the rim but on the mug is one Chinese character 寿 meaning ‘longevity.’

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