Stuff you end up with

Green laundry basket

Gods know how we got onto the subject, but someone was telling me about their laundry basket the other day. It’s green (this isn’t relevant) and it is old (this is) and she was dumping stuff in it when she noticed it for the first time in years. She hadn’t bought it, it had been her husband’s, and he brought it to the marriage along with a box of U2 CDs and a potato allergy.
When she asked him he said it had been in a house he rented and he used it pack his stuff in when he moved out (probably those CDs). This was FIFTEEN YEARS AGO.
Look around – how much stuff have you got that has been around for years that you never knew, never imagined for one minute would still be with you?

I bought my ironing board as a student in an emergency dash to Safeway when the old one broke after me and my housemates hilariously used it as a cat obstacle course. Tried ironing on a table, burned the table, had to walk through the streets of Sheffield carrying an ironing board (didn’t have a car. Another hilarious anecdote). It was the smallest, cheapest board in the shop and I still bloody have it, five covers and four irons later.

1930s coffee percolator

This is it! This is the actual percolator!


Another friend has a coffee percolator (she is a posh friend) given her by her aunt after she broke her cafetiere. She was visiting the aunt (actually, I think she was a great aunt) the day it broke and was telling her about it so the aunt dug out this old percolator, the last remnant from a 1930’s breakfast set (she must have been a great, great aunt). It had those old black and red wires (which I think are probably totally illegal now) but everything worked perfectly, and made much better noises than the cafetiere, which she never got round to replacing. Twenty-years later, Aunty Elsie is long gone, but the percolator still gets used every morning.

But I can top all that. Me and my then partner had met while working in the same office, but he thoughtfully got a new job forty miles away. We tried living there for a while, but the commuting was a killer (almost literally – I drove into the back of a lorry trying to get home late one night) so we stuck a pin in the map exactly half way between the two towns. A biggish (for two people) crumbly old house was going cheap, and these were the days of 100% mortgages.
It will be a good investment, we said, we’ll do it up and move on within five years. That’s exactly what he did (the moving on, not the doing up) and I am still there, in my stop-gap, investment buy, un-done-up house, one marriage, four children and TWENTY YEARS LATER.

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