Thursday 25 September 2008

Neither beautiful nor useful

Not all the boxes moved from the old back kitchen and shed have been sorted yet, because I have been remarkably disciplined in not putting anything away in the new cupboards unless, William Morris-style, it has been examined and found lovely or necessary, and this can be a slow process. I'm now getting down to the dregs, and quite fascinating they are too, as they also include odds and ends that never got quite cleared up from my mother's last two houses. So, today's disposal heap contains:

  • 2 small half-full bottles of artist's linseed oil and one of acetone
  • a set of those stepped wooden Christmas lights that look so pretty lit in a window (can't remember what they are called, but this set hasn't worked for years)
  • a heavy and rather ugly brass door knocker in the shape of a hand
  • 3,265 coathangers (approx.), all dusty
  • an unopened tub of aqueous cream, bargain-sized, to last a lifetime
  • a navy leather briefcase from when I worked; I can't bear to look at it now
  • lots of clip frames, some with 1980s Habitat prints in them
  • 4 address books, the oldest dating from 1969; goodness, how one's handwriting evolves! And who were all those people?
  • the cordless phone that I dropped in the washing up water last year and which has played up since

There's an awful lot more, but it's all equally dull. The charity box is filling up, but unless I discover a keen market for old coathangers, these will go in the bin.

But - and I'll give myself a fanfare here - I had a decisive moment after years of prevarication, and rang Community Furniture today to arrange for them to collect the hideous and rock-hard sofa that I bought in 2003. I have failed to turn it by some miracle into the welcoming, comfy, cosy, reading sanctuary, filled with plump cushions and fluffy throws, originally envisaged. It was a mis-buy, one of those appalling mistakes that you don't own up to quickly enough to say to the shop "Take it back! I'll have something else instead!" Cushions and throws made no difference; it was made of granite, threw one backwards into a position that invited chronic back problems, and was far too big for the room it was meant for. And it was brown.

As it sat, accusingly, banished to the upstairs sitting room, it seemed to grow harder and more dreary in appearance, probably because nobody would sit on it except the dog, and that was only because of all the cushions. Some homeless family might be pleased to get it, but, to be brutally frank, I find that hard to imagine. Maybe I shouldn't have that fanfare after all; maybe I have just perpetrated a nasty con trick on some unsuspecting family who will have five minutes of excitement seeing it being carried into their home, before disillusionment and numb behinds follow. Maybe they will have a dog though....

1 comment:

mountainear said...

What a familiar sofa story - husband insisted on a designer Italian job - straight from the Milan furniture fair. It seemed a small price to pay for domestic harmony.

I will admit it looks very smart - but it's horribly uncomfortable. We find ourselves lolling elsewhere.

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