Vintage steps - complete with paint-splashes
A day off for Alec last Friday - so a day off for me as well. I had planned a visit to two or three antique shops during the past week, but they had not happened, so when A asked for suggestions, I turned away from the recent surfeit of garden visits to suggest a trip northward, into Oxfordshire, to Haynes of East Challow - a reclamation yard/second hand furniture store and seller of all things DIY and blokey that I have visited for thirty years. (It assuages my guilt, Dear Reader, to have at least one part of the venue where poor A does not have to trail around, arms dangling, doing his best to look interested in my weird, wonderful and totally obscure interests!!) I've not visited for a couple of years, so was delighted to find the furniture barn packed to the gunwales with all qualities of old furniture, from beautiful Georgian bookcases to ratty office furniture.
My eye settled on half a dozen pieces which would be 'just perfect' - but (fortunately) I now drive a much smaller car than the people carrier of past days, so 'Restrain and reconsider' was my very motto - which I did. In the end I purchased just two items - both of which I love to my clodhopping size sevens!!
Item one was a very fragile looking step ladder. As is my luck, one of the few items without a price label - so I asked the proprietor (in another part of the yard) 'how much?' She asked me to identify it and almost immediately told me that it was part of their working equipment, so 'not for sale'. Then just a few minutes later, she asked me again - 'where was it?' - went to look, and came back saying, 'no not used by us' and I could buy it for £15.00. I was both relieved to know that nobody did actually risk life and limb by climbing an item that did not look as if it would support a four year old - but also tickled pink that I had found something I had been looking for for ages - a ladder on which to display my houseplants!
Item two is also garden oriented - a lovely, hand-thrown terracotta pot, which someone has 'artistically' (NOT!!) - painted with black paint. Fortunately, that is coming off with much soaking and scrubbing with a wire brush (bought in the DIY and tools shed on A's advice) - a little paint left behind will be no problem (makes it look rather 'Etruscan', I think) and I will have added one more interesting item to the garden landscape.
Many of my Internet friends seem to have the same propensity for seeking out quirky 'bits and bobs' for next to nothing. Fran Redondowriter does the same on the other side of the planet - different 'stuff' but the same sense of fun, discovery, and inherent call to creativity that the discovered items hold for both of us. I hope everyone reading this has a call to some form of exploration, discovery and creativity today - whether it be in your garden, kitchen, art-room, or science lab. It's what lifts us out of mere existence and makes us more fully human, isn't it? and we can all be, I think, at least a little happier as a result..
(This post is the first I will be sharing on Rebecca's Sunday 'Postcards from Paradise' at her ever-creative and inspiring Recuerda mi Corazon. Why not pop over there to see other blog posters who are sharing a little bit of their own Paradise today?)