Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A tiny tidy downstairs

Yesterday we did a tiny tidy under the house. That's right, not only did we have major clutter to contend with upstairs, but downstairs was in a dire mess also.

There were family photos in frames, so old and deteriorated we couldn't make out facial features, drums of mystery substances (all very toxic no doubt), rusted sickles and rakes, and bits of the house that had fallen off (above).

I also came across an old cane basket, painted pale blue (below). It has a little sign saying 'Billie', who as it turns out, was the family cat. I've seen a photo of the cat, he's white and fluffy, and looks as though he could have had an attitude. We have a cat who regularly visits us. His name is Pan, and he's black and white and fluffy, and has that same feline aloofness.

When we first moved in I was having a quick poke around under the house when I saw a large metal cage. I briefly pondered what it had been used for, then of course was immediately distracted by something else, and forgot about it.

At a later stage I was looking through some old photos upstairs when I saw a picture of Doris, the elder daughter. She was sitting in the backyard, about 20 years of age (80+ years ago). Beside her was the cage and in it was a beautiful big cockatoo.

It was yet another lesson for me in the passing of time. During the 1920s and 30s the cage no doubt was an everyday feature for the family, later to be discarded downstairs once Cocky bit the dust. Then I come along in the year 2009 (the future!) and find it sitting downstairs in the dust.

It made me think about what treasured possessions of mine some stranger might ogle over in a hundred years time and wonder about it's previous life. While you can't take anything with you, our possessions can outlast us. More reason to surround ourselves with beautiful things!!

1 comment:

  1. I recently created an installation that incorporated this fabulous blue painted seat lent to me by a friend. It was antique and had been in the family from the beginning. With my installation I talked about the history of objects and it made him go home and uncover some of it's history. It was originally a dining chair from a Hotel restuarant and when the business no longer existed family members must have divided the furniture between themselves including the chairs. From there some family member painted it this gorgeous blue and over time developed this lovely chippy, distressed look. My friend has old black and white postcards of the Hotel and in the photo of the restaurant are the chairs in their original state.