Saturday, 24 February 2007

Look who's thrifty now, Brown Owl

I can't go past a pile of abandoned household detritus without, at the very least, having a poke through. Having had my poke through, rare is the occasion when I don't decide that something - half a tent, a ceramic otter - deserves rescuing. My friend says people throw the things they throw out for a reason; usually that reason is that the things they throw out are crawling with Vibrio cholerae. This may be true, but I suffer from congenital archivitis, exacerbated, so my analyst tells me, by the trauma of failing to earn the Thrift Badge at Brownies. Besides, it's only a matter of time before an enterprising young pharmaceutical company patents cholera as the all-natural weight-loss drug (right up there with intestinal worms).

On my way home yesterday, amongst a pile of typhiferous mattresses and tuberculific wooden slats suppurating on the footpath, I met with what I privately call, in moments of profound passion, an escritoire. Others, less given to bestowing fancy French names on ordinary items of furniture, might describe this same entity as a "desk", but these people are missing out on one of the principle joys of foraging through piles of abandoned household detritus, where desks are escritoires and white elephants are les éléphants blancs (or something). As I was saying, I met an escritoire. I looked at it; it looked at me. It was love at first sight.

I galloped home, dumped my bag and my latest pot plant (a hybrid tea rose, for those who take an interest in such things, with blooms of cream and crimson). I galloped back again. I dared the passing cars to abduct my escritoire. None of 'em did. It may be that I looked scary enough. It may be that the cholera rumour has spread.

All well and good, only then came the feat of lugging her home. I managed. She's here.

Thanks be to my poor benighted bodkin, which growns retrospectively from every joint. My biceps were barely up to tooth-brushing this morning. Bruises sprout on both knees. I suspect I dislocated a hip, or a spine, or an elbow. Hard to say.

Apropos of yesterday's letter from Olchik, and to all those seeking conversations with strangers, I highly recommend conspicuously hoiking something twice your body weight up a busy street. Blessings be unto the seventh generation to the dog-walking couple who helped with the last two hundred metres of desk-lugging. Blessings in moderation to the old man who stopped with me on the pavement, squeezed my upper arm, pronounced "You're strong", and slapped me genially on the back. Also blessings to the kind young man who offered to drive me and my escritoire home. Had you not been behind the wheel of a two-seater Mini, I'd be forwarding your details to Olchik today.

8 comments:

Adrian said...

I'm gorgeous! It's jealous!

No wait...I mean:

It's gorgeous! I'm jealous!

alexis said...

You can both be gorgeous, Adrian. I was thinking of sanding it (not you) back, and painting it cherry red. I spoke with the family furniture restorer last night, and he sounded appalled, so I'll let that plan simmer until I've had a serious think. The chair in the photo was another street salvagee (and another victim of my sand-it-back-and-get-out-the-garish-enamel -paint proclivities).

wool spaniel said...

Sorry to bring this up after such an unseemly delay, but I remain in a state of shocked disbelief that you did not get your Thrift badge. (What were they thinking??? Was there ever a more deserving recipient?)

The escritoire is gorgeous and would look fine as is or in your choice of bright colour. Tp of the Day: Enamel is better than acrylic for furniture with moving parts.

alexis said...

Aw, thanks, WS. I pride myself on my obsessive-compulsive thriftiness, and have lately been getting quite anxious about the fact that there is no compost heap nearby whereon to recycle my vegetable peelings.

Enamel paint beats acrylic hands down as far as I'm concerned. Even on walls. (Here I'm remembering fondly your bright yellow kitchen in Annandale.)

wool spaniel said...

Ah, you bring back memories. The beloved canary wall, just across from the pile of rubble which was the corner of the living room. The teensy weensy little sink. The walnut faux timber random groove wall panelling. The genuine life-sized cockroaches with their disturbing nocturnal habits...

Goodness we had fun being young in that place!!!

But back to the point: it sounds like a found worm farm enamelled in bright daffodil might be just what's needed for the Harlot balcony. Or, in the interests of even greater thriftiness, simply eat any vegetable peelings oneself.

Karen said...

What a lovely find- and a hard-won one. I do exactly the same thing. When I was a child and there was a throw-out, I would go around with my father to see if there was anything we wanted. There's nothing embarrassing about scavenging! Have you seen "The Gleaners and I", a very beautiful documentary on this subject?

Anonymous said...

wow gold
wow gold
wow power leveling
wow power leveling
wow power leveling
wow powerleveling
wow powerleveling
wow powerleveling
World Of Warcraft power leveling
World Of Warcraft power leveling
World Of Warcraft power leveling
World Of Warcraft powerleveling
World Of Warcraft powerleveling
World Of Warcraft powerleveling
wow power level
wow power level
wow power level
cheap wow power leveling
cheap wow power leveling
cheap wow powerleveling
cheap wow powerleveling
codeheart article
Warcraft Gold
World of Warcraft Gold
cheap wow gold

Anonymous said...

Yukon gold casino review