My father rather loved the humble ‘basket’.
During his life, the wicker basket played numerous invaluable roles in history. Across England, factories used baskets for the packing and delivery of a range of goods. Many a wicker basket could be found buckled by leather straps to the handle bars of a pushbike.
During WWII thousands of baskets were used for the transportation of messenger pigeons. Baskets were used to house shell cases. Airborne pannier baskets dropped supplies of ammunition and food to the troops.
Wicker furniture, prominent in the Victorian era, has endured numerous reincarnations over the years, featuring today, on many Australian verandahs in the original and a plastic version.
The art of weaving fibrous materials into a pliable shapes feature throughout human civilisation and across many cultures. Vines such as the kudzu vine, bittersweet, grapevine, honeysuckle, wisteria and smokevine make good basket weaving materials.
Baskets created from perishable materials, rarely survive the ravages of time. The oldest examples of baskets have been carbon dated back to between 10,000 and 12,000 years old.
While not exactly sent off down the river Nile, like Moses, my father was laid to rest in a woven casket. He would have wholeheartedly approved being the environmentalist that he was.
This was truly fitting for a man who would have said, ‘No need for a fuss, you know I’m no longer here. I’ve gone to meet my maker’.