When I was younger, (17) my boyfriends father owned an antique warehouse; I used to love many a stroll around it on a Sunday afternoon after lunch. I'd hanker after all sorts of curiosities. I've always been a skip-rat; one mans rubbish is another mans treasure! So true with me!
More often than not, of course I couldn't afford anything in there at 17, but I did fall in love with one item. It was love at first sight... I couldn't stop staring at it. People have been known to say antiques have "spoken" to them. They feel a connection with them. I've often wondered if this is about our past lives, do we brush by a piece of another life? Its certainly an eerie feeling...
An art deco lamp 'spoke' to me. Solid Silver with four huge pink glass globes the size of melons. I desperately wanted to take it home with me. I felt it belonged to me! (I sound like a kleptomaniac!) But it was hundreds of pounds and I could barely make my rent each month!
The next day, my lovely boyfriend came to my home, in the back of his car, he had the lamp... I was so happy. It was probably one of the first things he had given me. It wasn't your usual young love gift, a CD, a bottle of perfume, a MIXTAPE! This was something I really really wanted. This was the start of something for him too, he went on to buy me lots of collectibles, but this was very special to me.
That was over a decade ago, and I'm still shocked that it has survived 8 house moves and 2 toddlers... But it has. My husband will not even touch it. I have told cleaners in the past not to touch it, the children know its not a toy, and I've carefully lived alongside it, in awe of it, ever since.
Today, my little son, who's 1, ruined all that. We call him crashbangwhallop!!!!
He just LIKES breaking things and making them crash... My lamp came off the worse for this little phase hes going through, and... I cried. I actually cried. (I'm not a cryer!)
DO NOT BE FOOLED BY APPEARANCES!
HE IS A HIGHLY SKILLED DEMOLITION EXPERT!
It made me think about what I really love in my home. If you're anything like me, people give you things, pass 'stuff' onto to you, buy you things, "lend" you things for your home.... (Mother-in-laws are the WORST!).... And eventually you end up with a house full of nothing that matches AND little you've actually chosen yourself! I hate seeing waste, so I end up saying to myself,
"...it'll do for now, shame to waste it. Recycle blah blah...."
The items I LOVE, that I've purchased are mostly second hand, I'm not a huge fan of BRAND new furniture, its so soul-less!!! But my lately-departed lamp was top of my list. An orange eames chair from the 1960's is also another dearly loved piece, with its original covering. A few other little victorian occasional chairs from an auction AND all my pictures. My art...
I love my Helmut Newton,
My Edward Hopper and my old, French, black and white photographs.
The only piece of new furniture I have that I love is a rather unique dressing table on stilts with closing cupboard doors that is completely mirrored inside.
I'm still trying to rationalise my loss from this morning and keep telling myself, this is just stuff. I couldn't actually SAVE it in a fire, of course I'd grab my kids first, and probably a box or two of photographs.
I've heard some crazy things people would save in a fire, their phones?! their laptops?! Alright I have to admit, yes I probably would grab some of my shoes and a handbag or two- what can I say?!
But I'm surprised how happy I am to let go of almost everything but a couple of things, and my CLOTHES. I'm shocked at how sentimental I feel about my clothes. I see my collection having begun amassing at around the age of 15, (and back then Daddy dearest was wealthy and generous! It was a short phase!) I can't believe now that at just 15 I could easily blow a £1000 on two pairs of shoes! My father made it worse by being a firm believer in having the matching bag/shoes/belt/coat/jewellary and lipstick...
No wonder I had a BAD shopping habit by 18!
So the clothes that I have collected over the last 15 years are just priceless to me. I like to store everything perfectly. I "retire" my shoes, before they reach anywhere near outworn, I take them to get re-soled, re-heeled, then I sit and clean them, repair any tiny scuffs and scrapes, wrap them back up in their original boxes and tissue and they go into the loft; retired for a quite life of reliving their wild years with other, fellow party shoes of a 'certain' age!
You think I'm joking? I sometimes think that my clothes are human and my shoes have a SOUL!
I'm off now to begin calling specialist glass workers, and blowers to try and replace the broken lamps... sob sob....