Sunday, April 29, 2012

We advance.

For furniture to depart for storage tomorrow, we needed to:
a)      clear out and pack the contents of the sideboard;
b)      get everything off the table, where refugees from the deluge were piled high;
c)      clear knick-knacks off the mantel-piece to allow access to the huge mirror above, a legacy from a previous occupant.

a)      and b) are done. A destination for the knick-knacks has been selected, and their removal shouldn’t take long.

The process is rather alarmingly like what will have to be done when we die. The contents of the sideboard vary interestingly from absolute-rubbish to high-sentimental-value to some-commercial-value. In the last category I would put a Russian doll – there’s a name for them; I can’t think of it – of which the outer shell is Diana, Princess of Wales.

We bought it at a hardware store on West 23rd St – corner of 7th Avenue, maybe? – sometime in the 90’s. We should be able to figure out the date from the stamps in our passports. She died in ’97, but was she still alive when we bought it? The next doll is Prince Charles, then Will Carling (a former captain of English rugby), Captain James Hewitt, and finally, the homunculus in the middle, Dodi. It cost something like $40 which is a lot for a Russian doll. We left it there and went away and then thought, no – must have it; and went back.

The images have the slightly “off” look of English faces rendered from photographs by an alien artist. It would be fun to try it on the Antiques Road Show.

Once the furniture is gone, there will still be a good deal more to do, but it’s a start. The whole process has something of the appeal of a jigsaw puzzle. The one that stumps me at the moment is the hanging corner cupboard, holding china and glass. There’s no room anywhere else, that I can so far think of, for more china and glass.

There is a sense in which I am enjoying this. I said yesterday that I hate dealing with the world, but that’s not entirely true. My husband is not up to keeping track of all the various firms we are dealing with, and accepts with uncharacteristic docility my announcements about removal men and furniture restorers. I had always assumed that at this stage of life his sister (older than me, younger than him) would be hovering in the wings, letting me know what I was doing wrong. But she is dead. I’m on my own.

Tomorrow I will try to get a date for the ceiling-demolition from the demolishers, a new name on the list.

Anyway, we’re meant to be talking about knitting. I have reached the antepenultimate stripe of the snood, BBA. And it’s time to go look at the sky. 


  1. Re the matryoshka - tabloid history, at least, suggests that that may not be a complete record... But what an astounding conceit, on the part of the designer... Let he, or she, that is without sin cast the first stone...

  2. I suppose it is an opportunity to "tidy up" but I am sure you would rather be knitting!

  3. Is this the doll? This looks like the same one on Etsy with better photos Good Luck!

  4. rosesmama1:47 PM

    I know the store, on the corner of 9th and 23rd. They have, or, at least, had, a phenomenal selection of matroyshka dolls.

  5. Hopefully this will not be the case for you, but when a friend needed floorboards redone because of water damage and the flooring company was paid directly by the insurance company the floor company put in an inferior wood instead of the matching hardwood and charged the insurance company the proper hardwood price.

  6. =Tamar12:06 AM

    It might be a good idea, if possible, to have a friend with written authorization standing by while the work is done, taking pictures for a "souvenir" (record) of what was installed (and perhaps even by whom).
    Pictures to be printed out and kept in a permanent record form that can be copied so you always have the record even when someone else needs a copy. This may be overkill but it could be useful if only as an admonition to the installers.

  7. Anonymous6:31 AM

    Jean, this has nothing to do with your post of today, but I know you're a fan of Madelinetosh yarn. Madelinetosh is headquartered in the same county in Texas in which I live, and yesterday was the grand opening of their new retail store in Fort Worth, TX. I went to the store yesterday, and it is a large, very lovely store filled with Madelinetosh yarns, as well as a few other brands and some fabric. I forgot to ask if the store will be taking online orders and if they will ship internationally, but I can ask that at a future visit to the store.

    If you ever need any help in purchasing some Madelinetosh yarn, I would be happy to buy it for you at the store and ship it to you.

    Mary G. in Texas