Posts Tagged ‘Chair’

A Lily as fair as a Rose.

April 9, 2018



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


This chair. This lovely chair.

November 2, 2015
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.

A Room of one’s own with basic Furniture

January 6, 2013


A room of one’s own with basic furniture.

This is what most of us yearn for. A kind of space that welcomes us without criticism or mouldy remarks.  Better not to have anything in it as yet, but a chair might be considered as the basic and most essential piece of furniture to start off with.  Old furniture talks and have stories to tell especially if one is used to spending days in solitude on own thoughts and remembrances.

A mistake that many make is buying new furniture. Of course new furniture is without stories and is best left to buy for those that are either, as yet, without stories or are unable to tell worthwhile stories. Much of new furniture have such unyieldingly hard materials, nothing ever can be taken in. Or never even, harsh as this might seem, leave a story worth telling. So, the dilemma is profound here; either risk stories from others on pre-loved aged furniture or no stories at all on new furniture.

Some years ago we inherited a comfy reclining chair which we used in our first room at King’s Cross. The seating part was quite low with soft kapok filled buttoned down dark brown cushions, both the seat and the backrest. It had a movable back that with the use of a brass rod could be moved forward or backwards by fitting this supporting rod in the groves of the arm rests at the back of the chair. The further back the rod the more the recline. It would not surprise me that those that recline the furthest down have the better stories to tell. Sitting up straight doesn’t encourage story telling. The lumbar and vertebrae are compressed and this blocks vital story telling nerves, just ask Sigmund. He knew a thing about the libido of women and free association without any hindrance, but…. always on a reclining couch. We all know that no stories are more riveting than those told from women who relax horizontally, especially if accompanied by a suitable noble-man smoking a Henry Winterman.

Freud was a great cigar smoker and indeed, understood its addiction but also thought it was a great surrogate for and from masturbation. “The one great habit,” he conceded to Carl Jung, never specifying which one it was.

The type of reclining chair that we bought was the same my father had throughout the years I lived at home. He would recline in it and smoke his Douwe Egberts, while his wife cooked the evening meal. He was a pensive man inclined to stare ahead of himself as if lost in his musings. He might just have been relishing his cigarette without wanting to spoil those moments with chatter or idle doodle-talk. The chair facilitated this pastime with perfection and curling rings of smoke was the very proof of it.. The angle of recline just right and I doubt there could have been a chair that would have better fulfilled the role of a man and his cigarette. On the right hand arm rest he would have an ashtray that invariably, but not always, would tip over on the floor when we ran amok past the chair. There were so many children then, and the house was small. This would upset my mother but did nothing to unbalance the equilibrium of dad and his cigarette ensconced in the chair. He would barely notice and just continue with yet another glorious puff.

Now-a-days, any story alluding to smoking could well be frowned upon, but… it used to be normal, let me tell you. I smoked myself, but not anymore. I am so much the better for it, or am I?