It is difficult not to have ornaments. Small statuettes made of ceramic or metal, sitting on shelves gathering dust and having private conversations with one another. Most of my ornaments are inherited, but not in the genealogical sense of the word. They weren’t handed down to me by relatives. They are fragments of other times or of specific events: things that were temporarily placed somewhere and no-one ever moved them. I have never purposefully gone out and purchased a small statuette of any kind, with the intention of placing it artfully on a shelf.
Small porcelain figurines are adapted for mildly rebellious domestic acts. Ceramic mammals and birds deploy smoke, nail varnish and barbed shrapnel, and are lashed to wooden handles for throwing at unsolicited visitors.