This chair. This lovely chair.

This chair.

This chair.

We have decided to give our old and trusted chair a place in the sun. Back in the days of living in Holland, painting clock dials,  and having very young children, we bought an old Saxon farm house that dated back to the sixteen hundreds. It was so old it had a National Trust preservation certification. The man who sold us the farm had fourteen children, seven sons and seven daughters. He used the farm as a holiday place and had it filled with not only the sound of many children but also many old pieces of furniture. They were mainly patched up old farm furniture.

Some would call those pieces ‘antique’, especially the armoires, but we prefer the term ‘old’. As part of the sale and a quick settlement he decided to include most of the old furniture. It also included old kerosene lights that used to be lowered from the ceilings for lighting by the counterweighed use of heavy steel balls. Perhaps they might have used candles in them as well.


When we decided to go back to Australia and after finding out that return visas had expired we had to go through the whole process of re-migration. In our favour was that our three Australian born children had Australian nationality as well as Dutch. A jovial Australian consular official put the stamp of approval within minutes and wished us luck. A nice bloke! Immigration officials now are of a different breed and are more likely to call in the black-shirted Border Control force, possibly with guns drawn.

We had all this old furniture packed in two large wooden crates back in 1976. It included most furniture that we still use today. Alas, and sadly so, one of the old wicker chairs had to be retired. When I think how our children and us and many others have had the joy and generosity of this chair, we do not have it within us to now carelessly dump it on Shire’s rubbish heap.  It would be cruel if not wantonly insensitive to leave it to its fate and get murdered and crushed by a large bulldozer.


We have decided to give it a rest in our front yard. It sits there now all bleached and worn looking, and next to the gas meter. I hope it doesn’t mind! In time this lovely chair might well be given its final rest and get reclaimed by the garden. In the meantime, it gets the afternoon sun but is also shaded by the Hebes when it gets the summer heat. I can’t but almost shed a tear when I think how much comfort and joy this lovely chair has given us.

This lovely chair. Thank you.

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22 Responses to “This chair. This lovely chair.”

  1. Curt Mekemson Says:

    How lovely, Gerard. Seriously. Better written than most obituaries. I feel the same way about inanimate objects that have served me loon and well. I suspect its ‘old bones’ will appreciate the warmth of the sun. –Curt

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Carrie Rubin Says:

    A chair full of memories deserves a special spot for sure. But I still can’t get over the 14 kids. Yikes.


    • gerard oosterman Says:

      His name was Hoorn or Ten Hoorn. A wealthy man. The Dutch used to have very large families. They say this was due to the very severe storms that raged across the Low Lands. People sought each other out for shelter.
      My mum told me I was conceived behind a dyke during a dreadful howling North Wester storm. They ditched their bikes and hid between the reeds. I came nine months later during a lull.

      Liked by 3 people

  3. kaytisweetlandrasmussen83 Says:

    He had to be a wealthy man to support all those kids, but on the other hand, if he sent them each out to work, think of the money he might have made!
    I can see that lovely chair in a few months with greenery entwining in its slats; an invitation to kindly forest folk to come and relax in its confines. I liked this post very much.

    Liked by 2 people

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      He was wealthy and seemed to like us during the negotiations. I think his wife must have been fertile and just had all those kids one after the other.
      The Stalenberg family had sixteen children and were featured in the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper in the late fifties at their arrival in Australia.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Yvonne Says:

    I’d love to see a close-up photo of that wonderful chair, please.

    [My Dutch neighbour (over the back fence) is such a good gardener. He’s out there every day, he says he just loves it. I’m enjoying the fruits of his labour, such as very sweet rhubarb.]

    Liked by 2 people

  5. kaytisweetlandrasmussen83 Says:

    A few years ago on a trip to Mexico to visit my family some friends and I took a cab. The driver asked us each how many ninos we had. One friend had 4 and the other 6; when he got to me I was embarrassed to say I had only 2.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. petspeopleandlife Says:

    Gerard, wicker can be repaired. Look or advertise for a person that repairs wicker. If not, put a solid seat in the bottom where the wicker is worn and then get a nice soft cushion. The chair will be like new, You can even get some type of something to spray on the wicker which helps to preserve it. I hope the very best for that chair. It deserves better than to be placed out in the weather.


    • gerard oosterman Says:

      The wicker is beyond repair because its legs are wood- worm eaten. The cane is riddled with it and had this already in Holland where we treated it with some form of poison that came in a spray. Thank you for your kindness towards our chair. But it is alright outside amongst the birds and nature. Our kids, (when still three in number), all did drawings while sitting on it, and read Dr Seuss books.
      ‘Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened’. ( Dr Seuss)
      It holds fond memories for us.

      Liked by 4 people

  7. nonsmokingladybug Says:

    The chair got a nice retirement place, I would suggest a plant as a companion?

    Liked by 2 people

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, and even though its resting place is out of the way, it will get a visit every three months when the gas meter gets read by the gas man.
      It has all the beautiful Hebes growing around it. It was such a great chair, four generations of Oostermans sat on that chair, including both my parents…Heaven knows how many generations sat on it before we got that chair back in 1974 when already then, it was quite old.

      Liked by 3 people

  8. Heyjude Says:

    What a lovely resting place for your chair. I think it will be very happy in the sunshine for a good few years yet. Not a bench, but almost 😉
    Jude xx

    (since I don’t have the opportunity for a chat on M-Rs blog any more I figured it was time to look you up and say hello)


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