Pictorial blethers

By blethers


It's not that I wasn't out today, this first day of dark teatimes, because I was at church this morning. But after that I didn't go for the usual self-flagellating walk in the rain, so I found myself at teatime contemplating a corner of the living-room (which we never call it, the room where we tend to be in daytime) and thinking about things.

I was contemplating a lifetime of gathering possessions, of the difference from when we set up our first home together in a three-room flat in Hyndland where the big front room acquired furnishing over several years: first the curtains, a large old glass-fronted bookcase, one set of Ladderax shelving (now a collector's item) and a piano; then a beautiful persian carpet of the same pattern as one which features in many official government group photos, then two easy chairs, and lastly, when I was expecting our first baby, a sofa. We've changed the seating three times since, and the piano twice, but the carpet and the other pieces are still there.

This room in the photo, however, had its equivalent in that first flat: an Ercol dining room suite in the dark stain that marked so badly that Himself had to sand down and redo the table top after tea was spilled over it by a Russian friend at breakfast ("Catastrophe", said Jurij, head in hands) and two Cintique easy chairs, of which one is in the photo in its third incarnation (the original covers have long disintegrated). Most of this furniture was given to us as wedding presents; the only additions are the stack for the wi-fi (how old fashioned!) and the ever-growing collection of paintings on the walls. 

How does it happen, this creation of home? And how hard it is to dismantle! I remember regretting hugely that we had to get rid of my parents' dining table and chairs, but feeling happy that I had room for a neat little side table that they'd had made specially, in the same strange wood, to hold several books as well as a lamp. It now sits beside the futon in the study where I am now. 

Incidentally, the rug in this room was bought when we threw out the fitted brown floor-covering that we installed when we bought this house 47 years ago; because there is a through way from the kitchen to the hall it actually developed a hole in it, which we patched with a bit trimmed off when the carpet was fitted. Eventually we removed it; Himself spent a scary day with a hired sander to clean the floorboards and we bought the Persian rug to sit in the middle where people didn't walk. (Later we had underfloor insulation installed - old floorboards can be draughty!)

Amazing what you can dredge up on an inward-looking day ...

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