August 31st / September 1st 1973

• “Went to Ottos. Went to Hannas”
• “Dad got bottle top from shop. Went up Mariannes. She had Beodeck!”

Otto and Hanna were yet more relations of my Mum’s.

Hanna’s husband Ib was a famous Danish sculptor, responsible for several famous public works including (later in his life) a piece that sits opposite Copenhagen’s Town Hall Square. We have a small early sculpture of his which one day I really ought to get valued… if only for insurance purposes. (He died in 2003)

The bottle top is one of the many occasions where my Dad became my hero. There was a local (to my Mormor) grocery store that had a promotional display of large replica Carlsberg beer bottle tops in their window. Every time we walked by I said I wished I could have one of them to put on my bedroom wall. I must have reached that interminable ‘pester mode’ that many kids do.

Then, one day walking past, my Dad suddenly scooted into the store, had a few words with the owner and came out carrying one of the tops. He was made up, I was made up.

I have treated this bottle top with kid gloves ever since, moving it carefully from home to home. It currently resides in ‘our smallest room’ down in the basement and never fails to still make me smile. I still carry the joke in my head that “one day I drank the bottle that it came off”, despite that fact that in terms of scale the bottle would be about twice my height!

For the life of me I can’t remember who Marianne was. Perhaps she was one of my Mum’s old school friends or co-workers from before she moved to England?

Anyway, she had a Beodeck

It was an example of (what turned out to become) timeless Seventies hi-fi styling from Danish manufacturer Bang & Olufsen (B&O).

Equipment from Bang & Olufsen was ‘the unnatainable dream” for many hi-fi geeks in 1973, me included, so instead of engaging in any social conversation with Marianne or my folks, what’s the betting I instead stared in wonderment at her stereo system?

Indeed, if Marianne is still alive I’ll warrant she’s still mopping up drool off the inner workings of the BeoDeck.

I have never, ever, owned any Bang & Olufsen equipment, but its fact that every so often I have visited eBay to see what ‘Vintage” stuff is being offered. I guess the yearning never goes away for such attractively-designed things?

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