Tuesday, 15 January 2008

Chairity begins at home

Among my recently professed passions are quinoa porridge, the history of scurvy, and chairs. I can pinpoint the very moment I fell for quinoa porridge. Likewise the path to scorbutology. But my zest for a well turned rung, my zeal for a snug mortise, has crept up on me, slowly, so that here I find myself - quelle surprise - cohabiting with no fewer than eight (eight) chairs.

This orange fellow was my first independently acquired chair. I rescued him from certain death in my sister's garage and for many years used him as a stationary laundry basket, before his promotion to the rank of armchair-in-chief to the Reading Room of the Leichhardt Ladies' Hostel. Last summer he moved with me from Leichhardt to the 'Bourne, bringing, for his own inscrutable reasons, a bevy of cat fleas. He likes sitting by the sea and vegetarian sushi.

This chair is white. For camouflage.

I bought this chair in a junkangerie in Northcote for $15, and am in the slow process of stripping back several layers of paint with a safety pin. By doing this I have discovered that this chair was painted first white, then butter yellow, then canary yellow, and then British racing green. My chic friend, Jennifer Anne, says she likes this chair's distressed look. Some go wobbly-kneed at damsels in distress, some at chairs. At least if you go wobbly-kneed over a chair in distress, you can sit on it without violating anyone's corporeal sovereignty.

I found this chair on the footpath one night outside the office furniture shop. It had a tear in its upholstery and a missing coaster. I nicked a coaster from one of the other chairs outside the office furniture shop and Bob was my uncle. Bob's avuncularity was displayed particularly in that silver tube you can see extending up the chair's side. It responds to deliberate pressure, so that the backrest is at once firm and yielding. This chair is the perfectly ripened grape of desk chairs. This is the chair I sit in as I write my critically acclaimed sentences about perfectly ripened grapes of desk chairs.

This gal was the fruit of a council clean-up in Parentville. Me mum did something nifty with a clamp to restore her to 'er former glory, and I spent many a happy hour sanding her back before letting loose with the turquoise enamel. There are persons in the second hand furniture industry who would wax apoplectic at the thought of turquoise enamel paint on a nicely stripped wooden chair, but to them I say "Have purple velvet cushion, will travel". Indeed.

Cheap as chips on ebay. But then I had to pick them up from North Mont Albert, in the rain, by public transport. At least I had something to sit on as I waited for the bus home.

Last year I decided to take up exercise. Fifteen minutes after this decision I had run three quarters of the way round the block, when I saw this champ idling on the footpath. This was a message, thought I. Do not run. Sit. And to this very day, I do.


TimT said...

We are chairs, hear us roar!

Dale Slamma said...

They are lovely.

eyrie said...

All most covetable. I wish I had such luck scavenging!
I do, however, have a very beautiful armchair I inherited from my great aunt. I am very proud of how nice the autumnal upholstery I chose for it looks. Sadly, I have to cover it up, on account of naughty cats and their sharp claws (and, even so, she's still always scampering under it, for God knows what purpose).
The NGV has a very nice furntiture collection, for when one can't quite make it to the V&A...

alexis said...

Cheers, chairs.

Jo said...

Chairs? My arse.

JahTeh said...

My dear Harlot, some time in the future I will be freecycling a lounge suite, your name is first on my list.

alexis said...

Well, thankee-doo. I don't really have room for a fully fledged lounge suite just now, but I guess I could chuck out the table or a desk or something. I live in hope that one day I'll upsize from my garret into a place that can sustain a lounge suite with ease.

Jo, you're funny.