Posts Tagged ‘Hebes’

A normal day.

October 27, 2016

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When the forecast was for rain, it was decided to quickly put in some more plants. Two star Jasmines and a couple of Hebes had been bought the day before. Retirees often have time on their hands and planting things and gardening helps time pass. Helvi suggested a few times I go and visit a men’s club and pass time talking to men. I am not sure if she is not a bit fed up with me hanging around. I remind her I am retired and free to pass time as I see fit. ‘Yes, but you often take naps,’ she tells me. But I told her straight out that I always thought napping was a very proper and well known past-time for elderly, especially men.’

Anyway, I did try and join a Men’s shed. It was last year. I walked into a local Men’s shed and noticed a lot of carpenter and building equipment. Lots of different electric tools, bench- saws, drills, planers, even a welder with eye goggles. A few men were busy making things. My idea of a men’s club was a bit more Singapore-Raffles like. A kind of establishment with easy chairs and a raconteur holding forth on the benefits of retirement in Venice or Thailand. Anyway, this Men’s shed wasn’t talk friendly, with all the machinery whirring around. I noticed a large nervous rabbit in a small birdcage. His master was making a hutch.

I would not really know what to make. I remembered a good friend of mine who spent a fortune on all sorts of tools. He proudly showed me a small wooden box with a hinged lid for putting in and allowing sheets of Kleenex tissues to protrude. I advised that the obvious next home made thing could be a wooden toilet roll holder? Perhaps one could varnish it or even make it look a bit antique? Some years ago making things look antique was popular. The art of making antique has since been surpassed by ripping into brand-new furniture. The side-board or dining table with chairs is now deliberately hoed into, roughed-up, and smeared and wiped white. For good measure sometimes copper nails are banged into the furniture as well. It is to get this much desired French-colonial-farm-country-side look. Some combine this with huge hanging clocks also given the same genuine faux French treatment.

I did not end up joining a men’s club. Just now I dug some holes for the plants. They will be growing against the paling fence. I gave them some extra chicken manure. Today was just a normal day. It is raining now. But that’s alright too.

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.