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Posts Tagged ‘furniture’

I see trouble on the way
– Creedence Clearwater Revival, 1969

Human beings are mostly water (or, after last Friday’s dinner party, mostly wine; I am meeting some very hospitable Berran locals). It’s no wonder then that so many of us seem, like the tide, subject to phases of the moon.

The full moon is the one we discuss most, usually in terms of weird complaints and aberrant manic behaviour from the public and colleagues alike. But I reckon that there’s a corresponding effect in the days at the opposite end of the scale, around the dark of the moon. I’m still studying it, but it seems to bring out a sort of negative, cranky-pants streak, a helpless-belligerent, passive-agressive sullenness, or else a kind of deer-in-the-headlights cluelessness.

On the weekend the road users were all nutso. In Fyshwick, despite having the right of way I slowed down for a bike rider who clearly hadn’t looked towards me. When he did, and noticed I had slowed for him, he pursed his lips and shook his head at me, to signal I was clearly a villiage-idiot-Volvo-driver who drove too slowly. What, he would rather I barrelled through the intersection dragging his mangled bike and person because I had right of way? Well, I rather wish I had, he made me feel so small.

I was still fuming sullenly a little later when, while cruising a narrow road beside Lake Curly-Gherkin, a fellow in a very large Landcruiser leaned over to fiddle with something and began driving directly at me. Too shocked to honk, I took evasive action and narrowly avoided a head-on with both the Landcruiser and various walkers and ducks. Really, it was too much. I had to go home and have a lie-down on the couch.

And I’ll spare you today’s details; a Monday from hell, the kind of day that makes one wonder how it is people don’t go postal more often.

All the tramping around on the weekend was in search of an item of second-hand furniture: a dressing table, to compensate for the dab of a bathroom in my funny little house. I’ve realised a curious thing about the Berra that is unlike any other city or town I’ve ever lived in before. There’s almost no second-hand furniture. All the usual sources, like the Salvos and Vinnies, are wastelands of 80s clothes and 70s pottery knicknacks. No furniture.

Wow. What do the Berra students do? In my salad days I would have slept and studied and ate and everything on the floor if I had not had second hand furniture. In fact, as I look around the loungeroom now, the only item I bought new was the couch. Once I would have thought, I should grow up; now I am embracing my inner recycler. Why do I need so many new things made from stuff freshly chopped down or dug up, when oftentimes there’s a perfectly good old thing that has outlived its original purpose and needs a new home? And if acquired for a bargain, so much the better.

Not that I run an orphanage for old unloved stuff. Much. Except for a lovely vintage bookshelf from a garage sale in Armidale. CD shelves made from recycled timber and copper by a clever friend in Nundle, that somehow go with a wing-backed timber and green vinyl armchair. The TV / stereo stand from the junk shop in the former Walcha theatre. Some funny old stools from those Melbourne salad days, a green vinyl footstool from the Hobart tip shop to go with the armchair. A little round dining table I don’t much like except that it was my Grandma’s, and I still miss her. And now – well, while I’m still searching for the dressing table, I didn’t come home empty handed. Check out this example of the Berra’s style heyday: a 70s coffee table, all dovetailed timber and curves. Delicious.

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