I remember a time when bamboo furniture was the height of fashion. I quite like bamboo, it’s got a natural, comfortably curved appearance but Hubby isn’t a fan. I don’t think it’s the appearance that he doesn’t like, it’s more the squeaking and creaking as the furniture moves under stress… And the fact that I fidget.
Many, many moons ago,our neighbours had a set of bamboo shelves and as I had expressed a liking of them, they came in our direction when they were no longer wanted. I’ve been wracking my brain to remember where they’ve gone, I can’t remember giving them to the girls, or getting rid of them in any other way, but they don’t appear to have moved with us. They’re not in the attic, I was up there the other day poking around in the boxes looking for ornaments to put on the mantlepiece, they’re not in the shed, there is a set of shelves in the shed, but it’s the much shorter set we used to have in the cupboard under the stairs with shoes on…
Of course, I cut off the middle shelf of the bamboo shelves to fit them in around the electric meter… and wedged them in sideways into the cupboard under the stairs next to the coats. They’ve got shoes on them… Out of sight, out of mind.
The settee in my kitchen “Light box” from our last house was made of bamboo, luckily it was in a place where Hubby very rarely sat so I could fidget and wriggle to make the settee creak as much as I wanted to. Unfortunately when we moved, my little settee turned out to be not quite so little after all and had to be sent back with the van as it wouldn’t fit through the front door.
We’ve still gone for a natural feel to the furniture in the new house, but we’ve done it with wood rather than bamboo. We’re down to our last piece of bamboo, this piece has been around since the girls were tiny – a magazine rack.
I had the magazine rack from one of those parties… Do you remember them, house parties full of ladies drinking coffee and eating cake provided by the hostess. Invitations would go out and you would be invited to go along, to eat and drink, to watch a demonstration, and then hopefully to buy something from the product range.
I went to many a party with no intention of buying, lured in by the “bums on seats” promise to the hostess who would receive a free gift for throwing the party. I hosted many a party too, for giving up an evening, providing simple refreshments and inviting as many friends and family as I could, I would receive my free gift, often something from the product range that at the time I would otherwise not have been able to afford. This is how I got my magazine rack. Its served its purpose well but now that everything else bamboo has been sent to other homes (or dissappeared into the back of beyond in the cupboard under the stairs) it’s time for it to move on.
In those days when the girls were small and spare pennies were few and far between I managed to accumulate a surprising number of “things” without very much outlay at all. I used to play the catalogues quite often. I would send off for a new catalogue and choose one purchase from it, (usually clothes for the girls because I soon discovered that if you feed then they grow). I would make my purchase and spread the cost over a few weeks, usually twenty weeks was the accepted time. Once my purchase was made, I would choose a free gift for opening a new account, a toaster, or new kettle or something similar. Then once my purchase was paid for, I would close the catalogue down and open up another one… For another free gift. .
As the bamboo rack has had its time, so have the social shopping evenings and catalogues. With the Internet available on pretty much any gadget you can lay your hands on, you can still shop from home with tea and biscuits but it’s not always a social occasion. However, I was window shopping with Mum-in-law on my mobile phone last week, looking for a new magazine rack. The bits of new furniture we’ve bought are apparently made from Mexican pine, with an antique wax finish, but the little fixtures and fittings, handles and hinges etc are small, black, round, and metal.
Well, there it was… A small round black metal magazine rack, even Mum-in-law agreed it would look much better than the bamboo one.
Hmmn, then I had a problem, Hubby’s not tight with the pennies, if anyone is frugal in this relationship it’s me, but I see the little things and add them all up to make the finished picture, whereas Hubby sees the big picture first and when the big picture is finished then maybe he’ll think about the little things, but maybe not. Or to put it another way, should I really be buying a magazine rack that we don’t really need when there’s still so much to do in the house.
I made a spur of the moment decision and I bought it. I justified the purchase to myself by deciding to give it to Hubby for Christmas.
I really am no good at this spending money thing, before long I was starting to feel guilty because I’d really bought it for me, not Hubby, then I started to worry that maybe he wouldn’t like it, maybe he would prefer to keep the bamboo one, and the thought of worrying until Christmas made the decision to tell him it was on its way. I showed him the picture, and as luck would have it, it looked much better than the picture when it arrived so now it’s got its own little spot between the TV and the bay window… And the bamboo one is looking for a new home.
More from before : Delving into the murky depths of my “Memory Vaults“