I love ‘junk shops’, auctions, antiques markets,’pre-loved’ websites, ‘Gumtree’ – you get the idea. They fascinate me. I could, and do, spend hours just wandering, admiring, imagining, learning, guessing,bargaining and yes, even eavesdropping………
That chair, for instance, – where has it come from (and in some cases – where HAS it come from!)- how old is it, does it look worn, was it given up happily or reluctantly by its previous owner….. perhaps its owner departed without knowing the fate of his/her possessions – a house clearance, for example, where it became part of the flotsam and jetsam of endless ‘stuff’ streaming from another lifeless home to the refuge of the second hand market. What now? Completely removed from its familiar niche, it stands awkwardly in its new position drawing unwanted attention from a gawping and pawing public…..what if it can feel? What if it knows it’s been rejected? What if….. ………….my fanciful thoughts are interrupted – it’s like ‘Goggle Box’ for the ears……
‘Wid ye look a’that Effie!’……..
‘Whit a state! Can you imagine huvin’ that in yer hoose? How much? Whit!!!! Ah don’t kerr if it’s a bloomin’ Chipp’ndale ah widnae gie tuppence fur it! Onyway, ye jist don’t know whose erse’s been oan it ….. gie it a shake afore ye sit doon…..’
‘Sit oan it? Efter whit you’ve jist said? Whit wid ah waant tae sit oan it fur? You don’t even like it!’
‘Nawbut – ah’m thinkin’ mare aboot you……..you could pit i’ in yer shed ‘n’we could ge’ye a wee table ‘n’ a rug an’……’
‘Hau – hau- haud right therr, pal! Ur you tryin’ fur tae tell me sumh’n??…..
‘Nawbut, it’d gie ye a wee place – jist fur yersel’….an’ look there’s the very dab ….. a paraffin heater….. noo they’re rerr’n waarm…..’
‘Thassit!! Ah’ve hud it uptae here….. jist come fur a wee look roon, sez you, ye neverr said nuffink aboot a divorce…. auld furnichur?…..ah’ll gie ye auld furnichur….’
Besides the Day Trippers, there’s the D.I.Y /Restoration Brigade, the Home Stagers, the Bargain Hunters, the Curious ….and then there are those who conduct themselves with an air of purpose and business, who seem to know with certainty what they are looking for – an era, a maker’s name, a place of origin, a ‘tell-tale’ mark, a fair price…… yes other dealers cometh….. with their pocket hand books and tiny magnifying instruments to seek out that which has perhaps slipped unnoticed through the price net and has consequently been undervalued…. (well let’s not make a big song and dance about it but let’s bag a a bargain! ) And then there’s my sister and me.
We start in the modern world – in the restaurant where we have lunch first, accompanied by news and general chit-chat. We then journey into the past through the lanes and stalls with merchandise aplenty to spark off tales of times past before returning eventually to the coffee shop – with perhaps a purchase or two – for yet another refreshment and titbit.
While sitting thus engaged during a recent outing we met a couple of old friends from ‘The Shotts.’ This was the second happy encounter I’d had with ‘The Shotts’ within a short space of time. I met teaching colleague Linda and hubby shopping in Motherwell-sur-Clyde . One hug and all my happy days spent in St. Pat’s came bubbling out like popping candy on my tongue.’Long time not having seen’ John and Evie, we proceeded to have a hilarious time. We exchanged priceless antiques by way of personal memories and stories and listened and watched as each of us talked and laughed….. Hugh would have been the same age as John……….it was a special, precious meeting. Money can’t buy that kind of experience.
I returned home on a ‘high’, energised and looking for ‘something’ to do. I decided to clear out…. Err no….. I don’t mean ‘leave’ ( I’d only just come in after all!) I mean ‘streamline’ my own possessions. ‘Get rid of what you don’t use or need,’ I said firmly to myself before beginning.
What DO I actually need?
Honestly? – not a great deal. All of my real ‘treasures’, I know, are in my head…….the rest is just ‘stuff’….. I can’t ‘take it with me anyway when I finally do ‘clear off’ …… it would only be left to special others to ‘clear up’ and ‘clear out’….. soooooo why not have the ultimate ‘clear out’ before the final ‘clear off’ if that’s at all clear to you……… This is what it is to be WISE…… I think I’m getting it, Lord…. it has taken a while mind you but I see where you’re coming from….. camel and eye of a needle and all that…. I know what I’ll do ….. I’ll have a house clearance…….. pack some essentials and then……..hmmm ………I wonder if Effie wants to rent out that shed……. and that chair might just come in handy……………..
‘Chair sold to the lady with the Queen Anne legs!!’ ( I think I am in need of food………) x