Sunday, December 22, 2013


You may recall that I wrote a post last month discussing the Oxford Dictionaries' selection of the word selfie - defined as "a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically with a smartphone or webcam, and uploaded to a social media website" - as its Word of the Year. Imagine my surprise when, just the other day, the WordSpy website announced its Word of the Day as shelfie - defined as "a photo of one or more shelves, usually bookshelves, owned by the photographer."

How about that? And how about a couple of shelfies from my study, from where I compose this blog each morning?

This is the shelf where I store some of my favorite fiction. The Lord of the Rings shelf is on top, and you can see three of the wizard figures we've collected over the years (which seemed to fit in with the Tolkien books and the Harry Potter series on the next shelf down). Also on the top shelf is a genuine crystal ball I bought at a flea market in Germany a long time ago as a gift for my parents ... as far as I know, it didn't help them keep track of what I was doing*.

And on the other side of the room is the shelf where much of my non-fiction is stored, along with assorted mementos and other odds and ends. In the middle is my pickelhaube - the spiked helmet of Imperial Germany that Agnes gave me for my birthday. Next to it on the right are a genuine chunk of the Berlin Wall and a length of rusted barbed wire that once adorned it**, souvenirs of my time in the early 80's stationed in what was then West Berlin. That particular shelf holds part of my collection of books on the Second World War. On the lower shelf is one of the dozens of David Winter Cottages (well, castles, in this case) I've collected over the years, and on the upper shelf are a few mementos of dance competitions in which Agnes and I took part. Only partially visible on top are a genuine (former) East German Army helmet and two old trophies - one from a humorous speech competition and one from a dance competition.

Just a couple of shelfies to help you get to know ol' Bilbo. More than you ever wanted to know, I suppose, but hey - it's my blog, after all!

Have a good day. More thoughts coming.


* There is a small chip broken out of the ball. I wrote a story to go with the crystal ball, explaining how the chip came to be there ... I thought it was pretty good, but sadly, it's been lost to history.

** Thanks to my good friend and colleague Dave, who served in Berlin with me and procured those pieces for us when the Wall came down. It was also Dave who found the East German Army helmet for me. I have interesting friends.


eViL pOp TaRt said...

I enjoyed this glimpse into the inner Bilbo. Great objects on your shelfies!

Mike said...

Knowing all the books you have these two shelves can only be a fraction of your collection.

Elvis Wearing a Bra on His Head said...

That pickelhaube is the ultimate in cool headgear. Wearing one will make you stand out at the mall. Neat stuff; nice shelfies.

Insane Penguin said...

The crystal ball and the German helmet are neat!

Anonymous said...

Cool Imperial German helmet. What state is it from? I can't quite make out the arms. Wuertemberg?


Bilbo said...

Banister - yes, the crest is from the state of Wurttemberg (where Agnes is from). The helmets can be ordered with whatever state crest you like. This one is a replica of the boiled leather parade helmet with brass fittings, rather than the steel combat helmet. I'd wanted one of these for a long time, and when I finally found a source, Agnes got it for me for my birthday. Woo-HOO!

Anonymous said...

I'd love to have a helmet! Can you post up the URL for the shop? Thanks!

Now, where did I put my monocle...?


Bilbo said...

Banister: ask and ye shall receive ...