So I thought I'd make a small, but representative, selection of the dozens of magnets currently on display, relieve them of the notes and out-of-date vouchers they normally keep in place and share with you their origins which turn out to be quite international...
Top Row (left to right): A pair mini-clogs featuring Miffy, the rabbit created by the Dutch artist and writer, Dick Bruna.
Cartoon of David by a caricaturist with whom he worked at some corporate dinner. She caught something of his character really rather well: the impish twinkle, perhaps, just before he produces your chosen card!
One of Oscar Wilde's cleverisms purchased in the shop at London's National Portrait Gallery on a trip there with our friends Val and Michael..
I'm not sure where I got the ceramic dodo, but I've always had a kind of empathy with these absurd, hapless birds so cruelly condemned to extinction by unthinking Man.
Second Row: Ena Sharples (a memorable early character in Coronation Street, played by Violet Carson) from the shop at Granada Studios in Manchester, during a visit there with my best mate, radio producer, Malcolm Prince, when we were making a series about soap operas. Alas, the Studio Tour is now sadly closed to visitors.
Las Vegas bottle opener brought back from the Strip by my old pal, Irascian. Decorative and functional - the gift, I mean, although the same could also be said of the giver!
Souvenir of The Living Seas pavilion in EPCOT Center, Walt Disney World, Florida, the opening of which I attended with my good friend and fellow Disney historian, Richard Holliss. You won't find Mickey Mouse there these days as it's been re-vamped as The Seas with Nemo & Friends. Hmmm...
Keepsake from Hearst Castle, San Simeon, California, the fabulous, fanciful home of William Randolph Hearst who was the original inspiration for Charles Foster Kane in Citizen Kane. It was bought on a unforgettable visit with the aforementioned Malcolm Prince when we were driving from San Francisco to LA during the making of a radio series about Walt Disney.
Kangaroo decorated by an aboriginal artist bought in The Rocks Market, Sydney Harbour, en route to New Zealand on Rings business.
The Wicked Witch from The Wizard of Oz, although I'm not sure where she came from -- other than the West, obviously!
Third Row: Rocket from the Tintin adventures Destination Moon and Explorers on the Moon bought at a Hergé exhibition which David and I visited at the Centre George Pompidou, Paris.
John Tenniel's Humpty Dumpty (from Lewis Carroll's Through the Looking Glass) bought from that Carrollian cornucopia in Oxford known as Alice's Shop.
A stylised representation of the classic Doric architecture of Paestum, brought back from Italy for us by Richard and Chris Holliss. A reminder that whilst we know Venice like the back of our hand, most of Italy is, well, a foreign country to us...
"Aah, Bisto!" The classic 'twenties advertisement featuring the Bisto Kids by cartoonist Wilf Owen. This came from the nostalgia section of the shop in the Imperial War Museum. Not being a great lover of planes, tanks and guns, I'm afraid I spent most of my time in the shop!
100% Toro from Spain, courtesy of our own dear Polkadotsoph. Like all great logos, it's 100% simple and effective.
Bottom Row: Edinburgh Festival poster from our last visit in 1997 - goodness, is really that long ago?
One of a set of magnets given away with Findus frozen products in 1992 when Disneyland Paris had just opened and was still known as EuroDisneyland. Of course I have the complete set (God knows how many packets of fish fingers I had to get through!) but this magnet is of my favourite section of the park, Fantasyland, and features Peter Pan.
E H Shepard's Pooh and Piglet (though manufactured under license from Disney, naturally!) with a caption that I used to try and heed when approaching the fridge in the days of my diet! I must start looking at it again!
Athena's Owl from a tat-shop in the Plaka, Athens. True, the head is too big - but then maybe that's due to all the wisdom crammed within!
Memento of the Jurassic Park attraction at Universal Studios in Los Angeles, visited during yet another American jaunt with Mr Prince. "Was this work?" you ask. Well, let's just say it was research!
This is, believe me, only a fraction of the stuff on our refrigerator. I'll give you a further tour another day.
In the meanwhile, why not tell me - or show me - what's on your fridge?
Oh, yes, and happy birthday greetings today to Sibley-blog regular, Boll Weavil...
Many Happy Returns, Boll!