A Season of Stuff: one for the manor

A Season of Stuff is a writing challenge that I will be doing for the length of Spring 2016.  The plan – to pick some object from within my personal possessions each day and write about it – its history, its significance, etc.  Come on in – check out my stuff.


I think upon buying our house Emma and I knew that it would eventually have a name.  We didn’t rush to give it a name; you don’t want to force these things.  But somewhere along the way, like every good punk house (and we do consider it a punk house, read my thoughts on that in the “Drag Me Home” compilation/zine), it ended up with one: Torley Manor.

But where did the name come from?  I don’t really remember how it came about.  Clearly the first half of the name is derived from the street that our house is on, but why manor?  I can only guess that I was inspired by Calgary Manor, one of the punk houses that Social Distortion/Youth Brigade end up at in Another State of Mind.  The residents described themselves as “one big happy family” and in the movie they cooked up a huge meal for the bands and all the local punks.  It always seemed like such a great example of punk community.  Of course they also say “Most of the punks come party here”, which does not accurately describe our house, but whatever.  Anyway, I don’t recall pulling that out as a reference when the name “Torley Manor” came about, but it stands out in my head as a possible influence.

*  *  *

Almost every year our friend Bethany goes off to “ceramics camp”, a weeklong getaway where she gets away and does pottery/ceramics.  Some years Eric the Red (her partner) goes along with her.  Several years after we bought the house and after the Torley Manor name was well established he went along to ceramics camp and that year he made us this ceramic nameplate.  It’s just a slab of clay with stamped in letters and three owl designs (they are not what they seem!) stamped in the corners.  A couple mounting holes and glazed up.  Nothing fancy but a nice addition to the house from a friend.  It’s been hanging in our kitchen ever since.


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