A Lily as fair as a Rose.



At times beauty should be allowed to take precedence. Last week, at a time just before dusk, a ray of sunshine lid up a bunch of flowers on the table. I was sitting a few metres away from it and was struck by its moment of beauty, I took the photo.

The vase of lilies resting on our table tells a story. The lilies, the story is of its obvious beauty. The table’s story is of a life-long history,  possibly much more. I recently painted the top in white gloss. It needed it. Even though the table is of an antique age and valuable best left as it was, at the age we are in, anything of monetary value becomes somewhat inconsequent. Who cares? It gives us great pleasure eating at this table, all white and shiny.

This table and most of our furniture we got while living in Holland in the 1970’s on a very old Saxon farm with a thatched roof. The farm was for sale and with the bargaining between us and its owner, the inclusion of some very beautiful old furniture, the deal was struck. It included the old table whose top is now painted white, giving rest to the vase of lilies.

We had all this furniture shipped over after we returned to Australia. It included amongst many items of great beauty, 11 chairs with thatched seats that through the decades became badly worn. It took some time to find someone who still had the art of rethatching those chairs. He was an old man living in an inner-city suburb of Sydney who took one look at the chairs and knew the period the chairs were done originally in. He managed to re-do them perfectly and till now we sit on those chairs enjoying his artistry.

The chair is not just for sitting,

its beauty in the eye outlast,

mere convenience of rest

the story keeps unfolding

for those who read chair


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15 Responses to “A Lily as fair as a Rose.”

  1. Therese Trouserzoff Says:

    Beautiful work, Gez.

    The sunlight pouring through my window – just like honey

    Became brighter.

    Many thanks

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Andrew Says:

    Old furniture is like an old friend. I have kept all my parents good pieces and they still look good. A bit marked but good solid pieces with a patina of memories. When we finally downsize it will have to go. I shall try not to be sentimental but I can keep the memories even if the furniture has gone.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. doesitevenmatter3 Says:

    I love this blog post, Gerard! Thank you for writing this and sharing it with us!
    ‘Tis lovely and beautiful…the lily and the table (furniture)!
    Yes, the story DOES keep unfolding! 🙂

    I have an old table that came from Germany. (I can date it back to the sweet lady who gave it to me…she brought it from Germany in the 1950’s. I never thought to ask her how it old it was when she gave it to me in 1980. 😦 )
    Someone is asking about borrowing it for a time…but I’m not sure I can let it go, even knowing I will get it back. ??? Furniture that has sentimental value and holds precious memories are like friends of the dearest kind. This table I speak of…I will pass on to my daughter some day. 🙂

    HUGS for you and HUGS for Helvi!!! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      It is amazing how we managed to fit the furniture from Holland in our apartment/townhouse. Yet, the place doesn’t look crammed.
      Yes Caroline, those pieces that relatives give or leave behind manage to give us satisfaction through the decades. They tell stories.
      We are in the process of clearing things, especially paper stuff in the form of old documents, bank statements and old gas and electricity bills. At least furniture is solid but what is the use of stuff one never looks at, all filed and lost in musty drawers?

      Liked by 1 person

  4. hilarycustancegreen Says:

    Such a beautiful lily! and you’ve given me an idea for our old, much loved, but battered table.

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, perhaps we are going a bit hippy again by painting tables. One has to be careful though. We painted an old oak dresser many years ago in Holland. I spent days stripping the paint and re-French polish it with shellac to its former honeyed beauty after having it sent to Australia. It is our pride and joy dresser in the dining area.
      And hugs to you too. Helvi is doing fine. We are back to daily walking.


  5. kaytisweetlandrasmussen83 Says:

    It’s interesting that as we age, the monetary value of historic furniture dims and it’s more important to be comfortable and just enjoy it. It’s a nice table and I’m sure the chairs are lovely too. How nice you were able to fine someone to re-do them. I guess it’s a dying art as so much is.

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      The saying, “You can’t take it with you” rings more truer as we pile on the years. Mind you, the new ‘middle aged’ has moved up a notch or two. The new middle aged are now in their seventies. Even so, I am not going to join the army or become a tram conductor.


  6. shoreacres Says:

    Your lily is beautiful, there in the light, and I like the thought of it on that white table. As it happens, I just painted a small table white. It’s small — about 14″ x 28″, with two shelves below the top and spindled legs. It was in my bedroom as a child. I gave it to my mother, who put it on her patio, and the two shelves were ruined by rain. A woodworker friend with all the right tools rebuilt it, I painted it, and now it’s giving pleasure again.

    Another odd connection: my mother re-caned chairs for a time. I still have two pressback chairs that she did. There always was a huge garbage can filled with water and cane strips sitting around. I can’t figure out how to make a lattice crust on a pie, let alone cane a chair, but she was a master at it.

    I’m glad to hear the regular walks are back on, and that Helvi’s feeling well. Give her my regards!


    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Our seats of the chairs were re-done with pleated paper string. Any organic import has to comply with the strictest rules and regulations. Many diseases from insects that the rest of the world suffers from are being kept out of Australia, hence those strict import rules. We are still happy with the painted table tops.
      Helvi is gaining weight steadily. It’s strange to gain weight as a desired aim when most people do anything to lose it.

      It’s funny how we do get comfort from familiar pieces of furniture through the years.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. petspeopleandlife Says:

    I can readily realize the meaning and sentiment of your furniture. I know it is beautiful to you and Helvi. Were you ever lucky to find someone who could re-cane or thatch the chairs. It is all but a l lost art these days. I have a rocker whose seat needs to be re-caned and I doubt that I will be able to find someone. It is a chair from my husband’s parents home. The lily is really quite beautiful and yes one could compare its beauty to a rose. The color is ex


  8. petspeopleandlife Says:

    Sorry I did not get to finish my sentence I hit return and it “flew away.”


    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Re-thatching is still being done. I suppose, antique furniture shops might have contacts. That’s how we came to re-do our chairs. He lived in Sydney and was very old, still thatching away. His wife kept an eye on him while he was doing it, sitting next to him.

      Liked by 1 person

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