05 April 2012


Thefti anniversary again on us ~ April 6/8 ~ fifth anniversary of the 2007 double filch of my personal bling [posts passim].
As good a time as any for a genial tour d'horizon in tranquility of the main points of the thievery.
april 8 date snapped in kitchenTo be edited and updated at leisure, but at least to be got on with while memory is fresh.

  • Elginised - my invented clever description of my jewels, inspired by Lord Elgin's disputed snaffle.
  • Luluthia stench ~ another good one, a variation on Cee-lo's excellent song but tuned to fit the jools theft:
    'Driving thru Gouvia, baubles bereft,
    To where even the luluthia have the stench of theft.'
    Always liked that one.
  • FInteresting how the culprit date switches between April 6 and the 8th.This could be why: our ferry to Venice was indeed on the 6th so the actual physical snaffling of my jewel box (yes, even the box was taken) and into the suitcase would have been sometime during the morning of Friday April 6, 2007.
    Full Moon ~ This year, 2012, April 6 marks Spring Full Moon and April 8 marks Gregorian Easter, the two key dates of the theft. Then we board and set sail for Venice.
    We arrive in Italy, are met and driven back to 'Villa Thefti'.
    A day or two of faffing around and then ...
    The big handover.
  • CGiyuku G-irate link ~ wonderful word, worth the theft alone.Background - when I discovered the theft and branded and red-handed the thieves, I noticed that their anger at being so humiliatingly busted almost matched mine as theftee. I put this down to shock at being so promptly nabbed and shame and self-disgust at the sheer vileness of the deed.
    How did one of my Seattle pals put it?
    G"Oh my god, can you imagine how far down the moral sewer you would have to swill to find a double act like that?
    What a piece of work!"
    Always admired that succinctness and quote it to friends in a hurry. It's also a clue to how the filch was pulled off so easily: all of us have ideas of grubby little deeds we'd like to pull but we're fearful others might catch us out and then we'd be seen for the low life grubs we are.
    No such worry over diddling my girls out of their heirlooms because the accomplice 'fence' operated at the same level.
  • unSalley Vickers' foreword to Wharton and reference to all-explanatory 'self-referential'
  • deuxTouching Letter in the Press - good poignancy power.I collected cuttings and references which I pinned up by way of hints that other people, too, placed a value on heirlooms and mementos.
    I had a suspicion that the double-theft was pulled off as easy as slime because neither thefteur was encumbered with thoughts of fuddy-duddy old-fashioned sentimentality about mementos.
  • alphaMemory: choosing one favourite jewel and living with it in mind for that day, visualising evils and ills opposite to the wording or design of the bijou itself.Best bulls-eye: the jewelry I least expected to respond to the evil eye. In 1984, my mother-in-law gave me a wonderful set of cuff links and tie pin that she spotted in Austin, TX, to celebrate the Year of the Pig birth of our first daughter.Had I been allowed to keep the set, these would have gone to San Antonio-born Georgina.
    Come the day when the Texan pig links were my 'bling de bitch' as I trudged round the quadra-cursèd garden, I could NOT for the life of me think up any contextual evil that fitted.
    Very very soon after, I overheard my mother on the phone commiserating with Villa Thefti over a trampling invasion of wild boar.
    Brilliant, ingenious.

  • DVILLA THEFTI - if I dont spell it out here i'll forget whence came the clever name for my brother's place in Italy.Some dinner guest had commented that one was hardly seated a table for an hour before one was made aware that the 'Italian Place' was the butt of every family joke about laughing-stock security.
    My mother was always telling how often it was battered and burgled and how one could not exit to use the external jakes without locking every door and window.betaNow as home to the other side of the family's purloined preciousness, someone came up with the two-way moniker, Villa Thefti: stolen from and now stolen to.
    And a damn'd sight easier to remember and pronounce than the real name.

  • Many more memories to follow as they occur.
  • Thief alley: forgot about this. That thar is the infamous corridor connecting the two bedrooms and where i had my box of jewels stored. Of course, with the door shut at either end, you can nick what you like so long as the owner doesnt suddenly burst in.0300 hrs of an April morning is pretty safe.
  • Main jewelry drawer - I'm very fond of this pic. Anna and I were having a drink the day after a convivial dinner with mum when she had repeated her expansive offer of a lovely coral bracelet to my younger. It would have gone very well with the 'luck red corral' cufflinks I'd reserved her right from her early age.So I was lamenting that the generous promise of the bracelet [see left]would not be complemented by the filched cufflinks. We decided to go peek at the bracelet in the holy of holies (later dubbed Thief Alley). As we stood there gazing but no touching, I remarked how odd it was that here we were, just looking at a a piece of bling already confirmed by the owner as being left to Anna.
    Imagine what it must have taken to be standing in the same closet and actually remove my entire jewel box, slip them into a suitcase and take them all the way to Italy, then hand them on - all behind the owner's back.
    I added my little bit that always sends the church ladies into a tizzy - most of the journey, i would have been carrying unawares my own stolen jewelery. That always gets the fainter of heart going.
  • Gunsight of God ~ shows how long ago the theft took place. I was still actually entering the church along with mum, not delivering her and then slinking off to join pals for coffee at the old 69.Particularly fond memory: sitting there cramped, no distraction or entertainment ... I suddenly noticed how like a gunsight was the cross. Suddenly I mouthed or rather telepathed a prayer to Le Bon Dieu, that if He really wanted to make himself useful, He could put some teeth in my daily incantations and prayers for plague and pestilence to flow from my treasures (depending on the motif) and afflict the Philistines. Doesn't matter, but I don't think a single misfortune befell anyone - save for the boar raid - so don't waste your time on spells and bubble-bubble talismen.
  • REFERENTIALSelf referential: that text is the scanned foreword by Salley Vickers to Edith Wharton's The Touchstone. Best bit of reading I'd done. I'd never heard the phrase 'self-referential' and was struggling to understand what sort of minds could perpetrate such a piece of work. 'Self-referential' says it all. Lovely phrase.
  • jewel caseJEWEL CASELovely slam-bang here.
    My mother suddenly produced one day this beautiful chinoiserie box and suggested wouldn't it be nice for the girls - to keep their jewels in. I think I'd just been reminiscing aloud on some grubbier aspect of the filcherie so April '07 was fresh in our mind. Quick as a flash I fired back along the lines of,

    "Yes, sure ... if they'd been allowed some fronking jewels to actually keep in it."
    Either way, the line came with perfect timing and no cue needed from me; the best kind of prat-fall.

  • CORFU CARDI: Once it sunk in that I lived in a culture of theft, overnight I became expert at spotting candidate filchees. That gorgeous orange cardigan was given to me by my wife on one of our holidays in Corfu circa 1980. Lovely colour, voluminous and warm, with pockets!
    Just prior to visits by the Villa Thefti contingent, there'd be furtive packing of assorted goodies as 'curry' party favours.
    The trick was to watch where my belongings were secreted and simply retrieve them a day or two before the grand arrival. This cardigan was tucked into a chest along with some books and other knick-knacks.
    A fun game was to retrieve the good stuff and pack in their place a close equivalent, such as grungy T-shirt, cheap ballpoint pen, frayed paperback of no possible interest, ditto CD, and so forth.
    I gave the cardigan to Sasha when she came to stay - she being the one who lent me the CD that I played at Villa Thefti in my brother's bedroom and hence saw on the dressing table my stolen jewel box.
    The next time Sasha passed thru Corfu, I introduced her to Tasia and explained that this was the lady who indirectly saved me returning home ignorant that my jewels were missing, calling the local fuzz and embroiling both Tas' and Kosta in reputation-ruining suspicion.
  • ANNA AIDE-MEMOIRE ~ lovely stay.2009. June 20 - 21 August. Just the happiest time:
  • Picnics
  • Outings
  • Meals out
  • Chilling and chatting
  • Vigour and Life back in my life.
  • TYPHOID MULCHER ~ In my jewel box were two darling wooden cats bought for me by the girls, the first ever gifts they saved up for and bought out of their meagre pocket money.
    I found them in a porcelain bowl when i got back from Italy and the shock of discovering the theft.
    As people have pointed out, bang goes the excuse that my box was snatched up in a moment of absent-minded enthusi-toadyism, and bang the excuse that they were assumed to be my dad's, dead those 25 years.
    It was a calculated theft, examining the contents and, self-referentially, removing what wasn't deemed theft-worthy.

    I snapped them in different poses round the garden but have only now spotted what a gem of a Stephen King/Roald Dahliscious scenario I missed.
    Aggrieved slave paces the jardin ploughing the fields and scattering curses hither and thither. He is discovered and dismissed (after robust questioning) and everyone else fired and troops loyal to the palace brought in to weed and clip and pluck and rake.
    Every seed and stamen is inspected the moment it is gathered and many are the inspection points between soil and the Big House, any flaw being punished by instant death to the coolies of the workforce responsible.
  • Mulch fulch: the filtered raw material is delivered to the
    workhouse door where, lowest of the low, lower even than a greek-less white woman in the Cradle of Democracy, Typhoid Ioanni crouches enchained, his only job to operate the wood-chipper shredder that churns and knifes the bulk into schmulk.Typhers loves his machine; he loves more keeping the whip from his back when he does not clean the machine and keep the blades grim-reaper sharp.
    What no one realises is that his fingers carry a magic Ingredient-X all-purpose defiler death-dealer killer.
    Upstairs is young master slaverised carer trudging round calling down all the pestilences of heaven, and there he is dispensing death with a rub of a finger.
    In come the filtered weedings and rootings and clippings and calibrating, and out go the barrels of death.
    God i live the image. i could have slaved a little peacefuller with that in mind.

  • TIELESS IN GAZE: No sooner do i post about my ties than an old flame responds, and i quote because i can't translate her germano-english (one of the things i loved about her. Love):
    "Ha! You see, I follow your blogue. You dont not remember that evening when i come for our nice evening and you are angry over the stealing of your silly tie clips and cuff links.
    I hear the shoutings in the kitchen so i wait and then i come in and you are still shouting about how come your mother can know you will never wear another tie and there you are with a tie, so why she steal without no asking.
    I try to calm you and then i take a picture and you look so angered.
    I dont say at the time but i am angered for you and for anna and the other one (sorry i do not remember the name) who are stolen from also."

    Ah yes, I remember it well.

  • Good for her for remembering. At time she caught me in that sulky snap I had no idea what a culture of theft I'd been sucked into.
    Good word: when i told my girls of the theft, my elder, Georgina, mailed back
    "Why would Ya-yà do that?', which leaked tears. My spitfire Anna (16) mailed separately n sans consultation, "Dad. That totally sucks. Remember i still love you."
    Saltier larmes.
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