My parents are from South Wales, born and bred; and occasionally that background slips past their facade of retired professional couple in unexpected ways.
Between Christmas and New Year, we made a lightning visit up to see them and drop off presents. Before we left, my mother presented us with these spoons:
and it knocked loose a memory of the old carved wooden spoons we’d see at their parents’ homes and that are now tucked in display cabinets.
These Welsh lovespoons were a symbol of affection, made as part of the courting process.
A young man would carve one and give it to someone he was interested in. If she was interested, she would accept it, and some believe this is the origin of the word ‘spooning’ to mark a couple who were together.
An interesting site to check out with more information can be found at http://www.Welsh-lovespoons.co.uk and they also sell examples. (Note: I’ve no links with them and only found them as a Web search so I can’t speak from personal recommendation.)
Seeing the wire-bound spoons with their decorations certainly speaks to me of their being inspired from somewhere along the same tradition, even if that wasn’t foremost in the mind of whoever made them. I am sure though that it was in my parents’ minds when they bought them for us as a gift, and as such I’ll be finding somewhere safe for them to live.