Where did I go wrong? We have so many possessions! With the odd exception for things not yet invented 25 years ago, I don’t believe there was anything I wanted for back then.
Which makes me wonder why we ended up with more than twice the belongings of the early years. We still don’t actually have that much furniture, and a lot of what we do have is inherited, or re-used/upcycled, or maybe from that large furniture shop we all know.
It was a lot harder shopping at IKEA before 1987. Not only do we have a vintage IKEA kitchen; it was imported all the way from Småland, with personal service (yes, indeed) from Jean. (He was probably named for the creep in Miss Julie.)
There was no freegle then, so we advertised everything we wanted to get rid of in Loot. The old kitchen ended up in four new homes (and all I can – still – think of is the man who had not even provided his poor wife with a cupboard in which to keep her pots and pans, for 35 years, while she gave birth to and fed five children), and I seem to recall the living room carpet went to warm the feet of the vicar in a draughty hillside vicarage. No money for anything new.
We even brought with us the furniture left behind by the vendors of our previous house, and most of it lived here for a good many years. We no longer have the Resident IT Consultant’s student pad bed; the one with the loose slats. But we have hung on to the armchairs he bought secondhand in Oxford. When he was teething, Son found the armrests perfect for some quiet gnawing. That, and the third kitchen drawer.
The Grandmother’s (and Grandfather’s) sofa and armchair, bought when they were newlyweds are here. They arrived by train, all by themselves. Favourite Aunt’s sofa and armchair also live with us. My desk is from my first – real – flat (and let me tell you, that was a long time ago), and has been joined by an identical one formerly belonging to the Retired Children’s Librarian. Vintage IKEA.
I could go on. Won’t, though.
But the main problem is not the furniture. It’s what’s stored in cupboards and on shelves. Just because you can put something away, doesn’t mean you should.
I’m stupid enough to believe that in the next place I won’t.