Ali Matteini

a life creative

My Grandmothers’ Stones

Here’s a few of the stones my grandmother polished about 40 years ago.


Actually, I had two stone-lovin’ grandmothers. Hence the seemingly dodgily-place apostrophe, you grammar-pronto fiends.

After my last post, Mum reminded me that my German grandmother, Hedwig, had also been a lapidarist. My Polish grandfather Yusef had made her a tumbler out of an old washing machine – now that’s love, and a pair of outlandish names.

I’d half forgotten that Hedwig had dabbled in pebbles; about 20 years ago she gave me a beautiful faceted topaz that she’d cut and polished herself, and I had a friend set it in silver. I can’t provide photographic evidence of this because when I was a vet nurse, a lifetime ago, we had a famous singer’s dog come to board with us on a regular basis. It was a weimaraner and was so far out of its head stupid as to be be a wonder it was alive at all. It was what we lovingly termed an “oxygen thief”.

One day I was hooking on its lead, which was more like lassoing a sturgeon, and it rocketed up on its weimaraner skyhooks, bopped me in the eye with its snout and suddenly the topaz was no longer around my neck.
Presumed swallowed.
Prognosis: Oh, shit.

(Is it just the breed? We had another, completely discrete weimaraner swallow a fist-sized garden rock three separate times and had to have it removed from its stomach three times at $1500 a pop back in the day. Yet another regular weimaraner patient had a bicycle seat fetish and subsequent obstructions and bank balance haemorrhages).

At the time of the topaz incident we were dismantling the kennel room for repainting and we all sifted through absolutely everything, so the chances were high that the pendant was inside the dog, and was big enough to be a possible problem.
For a fortnight my job was to watch for the telltale signs of gastric obstruction and follow the canine around with a stick at pooptime and poke about in all that joy for my grandmother’s topaz.
Two weeks of boarding passed with nothing medically untoward to report – and no topaz.

I’ve read supernatural stories of lovers who have lost wedding rings and other beloved objects of meaning only to have them show up on remote beaches on the other side of planet decades later. Even in our family we’ve had the odd thing or two happen (another set of stories for another post). In any case I hope I’ll be walking along Alberese beach one day and my grandmother’s topaz will wash on in and be like, “hey, there you are…”

So, weimaraners aside, I had two grandmothers who both enjoyed the art of coaxing a smooth, reptilian-skinned, lightning-flowered cabochon or a icy geometric beauty out of a chunk of rock. I have no genetic choice but to love creating jewellery.


4 comments on “My Grandmothers’ Stones

  1. Angela Highstead
    August 15, 2015

    My sentiments too. Sounds as though genetically you have no choice……… As a dog tragic the doggy stories had me laughing out loud. Thank you for the vivid descriptions. Angela xxx

    Sent from my iPad


    • Kittykatmandoo
      August 15, 2015

      I think I’d buried that memory. It was traumatic for all, except the dog.

  2. Liz
    August 15, 2015

    Gorgeous stones Ali

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


This entry was posted on August 14, 2015 by in Gioielli, Grandmother, Jewellery, Kittykatmandoo and tagged , , , , , , , , .

Recent Posts


What’s Happening on Monte Amiata:

Follow Ali Matteini on

Enter your email address for creative updates straight to your inbox. Spam free zone!

Join 906 other followers

Blogs I Follow

Flag Counter
for wordpress
Tours Truly, Tuscany

custom retreats and workshops in tuscany

A Ciência nas Coisas

Fatos e Curiosidades sobre a Natureza e tecnologia


"per l' allegria il pianeta nostro è poco attrezzato. Bisogna strappare la gioia ai giorni futuri "

The Artistry

by Isabelle Warren

the poet's billow

a resource for moving poetry

Two Twitch A Tale

Linking collage work to the meaning of personal and universal symbols.

At Home in Florence: Italian Renovations

This is my adventurous story about buying, designing, and renovating homes in ITALY


guardian of irish mythology

Gathering just-a-bit-o moss

Attempting not to make too little or too much sense


I help you unlock the peace and strength already within you

Tara Sparling writes

Book Humour. A Sideways Perspective on the Bonkers Business of Books


"C’è molta speranza, ma nessuna per noi." (Franz Kafka)

A Holistic Journey

Finding my way back out of motherhood -- while mothering


Expatty-cakes: Diary of an American southerner turned expat

Grand adventures and global wanderings. Next stop: Italy.

Martin Diotte

Creative Artist


Discover the truth about mental health

⚡️La Audacia de Aquiles⚡️

"El Mundo Visible es Sólo un Pretexto" / "The Visible World is Just a Pretext".-

Lady Of The Cakes

Vignettes from a multi-lingual, multi-cake-eating freelance existence


Eyes ten degrees above the horizon

Crafted in Carhartt

about women who do amazing things

Fugitive Fragments

by Mike McGuire

Tricia Drammeh

A Creative State of Mind

elizabeth frattaroli

Writing for Children and Young Adults #amwriting

Jane Dougherty Writes

About fantastical places and other stuff

Lucy's Light

Underground Energy - Scientific Documentation of the failures of an OCD albatross + friends


A topnotch site

Blood On Borrowed Wings

I write, I love, I run, I play, I break things.

Rachel Carrera, Novelist

Writer of psychological thrillers and other things guaranteed to keep you on the edge of your seat


In the Groove...

Interno Poesia

Blog e progetto editoriale di poesia

Poesy plus Polemics

Words of Wonder, Worry and Whimsy

Lasciatemi Pensare.

se non sarò serena, mi rasserenerò

Globe Drifting

Global issues, travel, photography & fashion. Drifting across the globe; the world is my oyster, my oyster through a lens.

Indie Hero

Brian Marggraf, Author of Dream Brother: A Novel, Independent publishing advocate, New York City dweller

Vonj Productions

Bringing you love through spirit!

A Mirror Obscura,

Poetry, musings and sightings from where the country changes

Aisha's Oasis

A peaceful place to relax while on my wild joyride to Egypt from South Carolina.

The Perfect Nose

Sewing, illustration and design.

%d bloggers like this: