My brother and I went to Saint John in mid November. In the uptown mall, Brunswick Square, the annual Christmas craft fair was happening. Beautiful objects beautifully displayed. I said to my brother, “I want to look for knitting or crocheting tables. I’m looking for a crocheted toilet roll cover.” “Huh?” he said. “You know, you used to see them years ago – pretty lady dolls with skirts that covered the roll of paper, or poodles on top, or a hat.” “Oh, I’ve seen hundreds of those – the Sally Ann, Value Village, anywhere.” “I’ve never seen one there, and I’ve been looking, so if you find one get it!”
There were acres of tables of knitted and crocheted goods, complete with ladies with needles clacking and hooks hooking. Kitchen towels, scarves, hats, mittens – all lovely but nary a toilet roll cover.
I hadn’t thought of them in years until we moved and I realized that in the upstairs bathroom there was nothing that worked right to keep an extra roll handy. I remembered the dolls, beautiful in hats and huge skirts, and the poodles. We never had one in our house when I was a kid, but some friends’ mothers had them as did elderly people we used to visit. I thought they were just too wonderful for words. The epitome of la-de-da. Even as an adult, I’d never had one or even thought of them until this autumn when I realized it was just the ticket for our bathroom.
Since then, I’ve continued to look in thrift stores and craft stores but with no luck. My brother remembered, and also looked. Before Christmas he made an all out effort, but to no avail. So I got the list instead. Seventeen stores in three cities – thrift, craft, gift, dollar and hardware. Indeed, it is the thought that counts. This thought also entailed a lot of driving and going in and out of stores. Thank you.