More on those tacky touristy “trophy” tea towels

tt tas

What do you think of those touristy tea towels? Tacky and trashy, or terrific?

Delightful or dated and daggy?

What memories to touristy tea towels bring back for you?  Today I re-found a treasure trove that brought back so many laughs and memories!

Yesterday I posted about how I hadn’t thought about tea towels in ages until I saw a collection of vintage touristy ones in an antique store I popped into between business meetings.

TB in cafe

tea towels 1

Here’s the link to the original post:

I was tempted to buy one that I thought was “so bad – it was good!” Can you see the retro appeal?

tt retro

Just the image alone made me want a big fat juicy “Australian” hamburger – with lots of onion and pineapple and beetroot!

The adventure continues – and gets better!

These days, I’ve recently moved back to the same city my parents live in (Brisbane) and I try to pop out once a week – just for a cup of tea and a chat.

We started talking tea towels and the old ritual of families talking as they washed and dried up.

I can’t remember YOU ever washing up – says my dad.

I remember he DID DO the washing up – says mum jumping to my defence- He did it twice!

Everyone’s a comedian!

Then my dad says how the talk of tea towels brought back memories of his aunties in the 1940s doing the “jitterbug” around the sink  while washing up. He hadn’t thought about that since the 1940s!

So many memories – warm and sweet like a good cup of tea!

Next thing my mother gets out a  whole box full of all these tea towels I’d bought for her when I was jet-setting TV journo travelling the world.

There were so many – and they brought back memories of so many work assignments. And they were all in pristine condition.  Never been used! She saved these treasured “good ones” from doing any dish duty!

Trips to Ireland:

tt ireland

and Wales:

tt wales

and of course England:

tt york

tt lake district

To me touristy tea towels may be daggy – but to mum’s generation they are  colourful trophies of having travelled to exotic places or knowing someone who travelled to cool places.

1977 calendar

My mother proudly displayed her trophies one by one  including a cool calendar one – from 1977!

Who would have thought we’d get so many laughs and memories from tea towels!

Best of all – also in the box was something I hadn’t seen in decades –  a real treasure – my  old Spiderman pillow case. I don’t know how that got in there!

spiderman pillow case

Now that’s something even my son will think is ultra cool! He loves retro too. Maybe I’ll pass on this Spiderman pillowcase  heirloom to him – or maybe I’ll use it!  Maybe we’ll  alternate and “share it”! 🙂


3 thoughts on “More on those tacky touristy “trophy” tea towels

  1. i like ’em….the tackier, the better. i’ve seen them used as upholstery (not always successfully) and upcycled into skirts (some are wonderful) framed as quirky art (great if REALLY kitschy). Old, nationalistic tableclothes are good too.

    1. Glad to know other people like the kitschy. I find them strangely comforting and they remind me of the security of childhood and the colourful optimism. Love the “art” images of different places. And yes I love the proudly nationalistic images! I’ve seen delightfully daggy tote bags too!

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