Wednesday, June 29, 2011
When Home is... Not an Old Desk
I spent half-an-hour fighting with a piece of furniture this morning. I never thought I could feel so angry with an inanimate object but when I stood with the intention of going to get a hammer to smash open the stuck drawer I realised the battle was over and I had to walk away.
This desk has been with Stuart and me throughout our entire relationship. It was his childhood desk and before that belonged to one of his uncles. It’s not an heirloom piece with the veneer increasingly chipping away, the ink stains and the many engravings Stuart made with a compass when he was 13. When both uncles visited a couple of years ago they spotted it.
‘What are you doing with that old thing?’ said one.
‘I can’t believe Germaine has let you keep it,’ said the other.
We laughed. It is awful but until now has been very practical.
It can fit into small spaces: hallways in previous apartments and a room barely two metres wide in this house. Fitting perfectly under the window in our study / laundry / utility room it has always been a piece of furniture we keep meaning to replace but never get around to.
Not any longer. The relationship is definitely over now. I could deal with the shabby appearance but I can’t deal with its unpredictability.
Last week I couldn’t find my Dictaphone even though I knew it was in the drawer. I had to leave the house with a notepad instead to interview Paula Cowan, the owner of environmentally-friendly cleaning and personal care products, Solution Living. She was very patient with my stilted questions as I wrote down everything she said.
The next day I found the Dictaphone, right at the back of the drawer, under crepe paper. I have no idea how crepe paper got in there and what it was ever used for.
Anyway, I had no such concerns this morning of finding my Dictaphone on my way out to interview author of Eating for Two and cookbook editor Kathleen Gandy. Sadly, the drawer had other ideas. It was completely jammed shut and no amount of pulling, rattling and screaming at the stupid thing would open it. It can’t be the crepe paper as I’ve thrown that away.
Just like I’m planning to throw away something else... I may miss the Smurf wrapping paper Stuart lined his drawers with when he was 10, but as I can’t open them anymore it doesn’t really matter.
On the upside, my note-taking skills are improving and I will be posting the interviews with Paula and Kathleen soon. Once I find a desk.