Friday, February 20, 2015

Friday Favorites

Favorite Things 

Alliteration is one of my favorite things, perhaps to excess at times. I have come up with a category I am calling “Friday Favorites” and am going to try to run with it for awhile.

This came about because I am reading Remodelista: a Manual for the Considered Home by Julie Carlson. While I believe that I am not the intended audience for this tome, it turned out to have a certain resonance. There is a section titled “The Remodelista 100” which presents the contributors’ favorite everyday objects. I was surprised to discover that I own (or have owned) quite a few of them myself.

So, I have decided to present, no particular order, some of these along with my comments and see where that leads me.

Opinel Knife

An Opinel knife is a simple wooden handled pocket-knife. They have been manufactured since the 1890s in the town of Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne in the Savoie region of France.

My “No. 8” dates back to the 1970s. I purchased it after first reading about these knives in the Whole Earth Catalogue. It is a very simple folder with a locking carbon steel blade in a pear wood handle.  This one mostly saw use on picnics, as I preferred something more heavy-duty when hiking or backpacking. Still, it might have sufficed for that. Tradition says that “Every farmer in Savoie keeps an Opinel in his pocket. In rural life, the Opinel has become an essential tool, used in agricultural work or simply to cut slices of the flavorful local saucisson or tomme at lunch time….”. Picasso is said to have used one for sculpting. 

Mine is now in semi-retirement. The blade shows some wear and pitting because I failed to maintain it as rigorously as I should have. But, it is still nice to have around.

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