Tuesday, 15 February 2011

How Old Did You Say!

My daughter has bought a motorhome just like her dad. (No, her dad's not LIKE a motorhome, he's GOT a motorhome.) It's a Volkwagen Devon Moonraker. And it's old, again just like her dad. Twenty nine years old, and that's old for any motor. It's called Dottie and the whole family, Alison, Simon and the children, Ted, Tommy and Angelina absolutely adore it.

It's age is a small concern, But what the heck, many modern appliances are not exactly built to last. And I got to thinking, some of the appliances in our house are knocking on a bit. Not counting of course my clothes, but we can't both afford new clothes and my wife looks better in her new skirt and underwear than I do. (I have not tried them on, honest; anyway they were too tight!)
I was not thinking of inanimate objects but man made 'machinery' with moving parts. I'm a collector/hoarder by nature; some say mean. Plus I have never been known to throw away anything in my entire life and I do expect things to last. Especially things my wife has to use.
(In my front garden is a wheat/corn cutter made in Loughborough around 1880. Marked T Beeby. Double Cut. Only its long since seized up and has bits missing, plus my wife seldom cuts corn nowadays so it doesn't count.)

Now the mangle, that's different. The rollers are a bit pitted but I keep telling my wife, its good for a few years yet. She doesn't grease it enough, no wonder its hard work! Plus the butter churn works as well as the day it were made. Some days, especially on hot days in summer she says its too back breaking for comfort. Says I don't think about her. 'Cause I do' I sez, 'if its too hot, have a rest, don't make so much butter, use the little 'un.'

My wife's short of nothing. Cleaning, how easy is that with modern appliances. Our vacuum cleaner is a Hoover; only the best will do. Sez on the bag 'It Beats as it Sweeps as it Cleans.' I've still got the original guarantee; bought on the 7th March 1946. Mind you, I'm thinking of taking it back as the brushes are showing signs of wear. She moans about it sometimes. Reckons the new ones are more efficient. 'Rubbish' I sez (Reckon that were right quick thinking). 'Rubbish' I sez, 'a good workman never blames his tools. Anyway, how would you know what a new one's like.'
I've got to go, I can hear her shouting my tea's ready. An' don't think she's totally hard done by. She'll be in the tin bath by seven, then washing her hair and drying it by her ultra modern, two speed, HMV, art decor style hair drier. Now I concede, it may be a tiny little bit old, but come on, as I told her last week, 'New clothes or new appliances, one or the other. I'm not made of money.'





































to be continued.


What's the oldest thing you own?

23 comments:

jacksofbuxton said...

We have a gramophone at home,still in working order.

In my shop I have a certificate for someone called Charles E Woodcock on him joining The Buffaloes on 12th December,1921.

CWMartin said...

Man, Ken, your place should host an Antiques Roadshow episode!
I think the oldest thing I possess is me. It's not all that old or very valuable, but so it goes.

katie schommer said...

My parents are one step away from what I would call "neurotic" about collecting antiques. Their couch is from the 1800's...And I knew more about Eastlake furniture and marble top tables by the time I was 10 than most adults. I used to hate it but now it's grown on me...and I love your collection as well!

Rosalind Adam said...

What's worrying me is that I remember the time when hoovers and hairdryers looked like that, but they've long ago given up and been replaced with plastic objects of far inferior quality... you're not REALLY still using them, are you?

Katie said...

One of my Dad's favorite sayings when I was growing up was, "I've got boots older than you!" Now, only in my mid 30s, I can actually tell kids under 18 I have boots older than them, and still wear 'em! My house is jammed full of antiques but I really love those boots the most.

Valerie said...

I remember the old wringer, much more efficient than modern appliances and cost nothing to run. All the old things lasted longer than the gadgets sold these days. Look after your wife, like you say some things are made to last but don't overwork her in case that theory is proved wrong.

Mark said...

I think the oldest thing I own is my house, the stones of which are 100 million years old - but should that count? Now I'm almost getting philosophic

Monica said...

My violin, formerly my great-uncle's violin was made sometime in the early 1900's. It is still very much in good working order. Your storytelling and appreciation of antiquity is much appreciated!

RJR said...

Trigger from "Only fools and horses" had the same sweeping brush for 20 years ! 7 new heads and 5 new handles though ! :)

RJRDaydreamer

Star said...

Another good one, thanks so much!

Jeneane said...

I am rather enjoying my new old house - which like Mark's is probably full of millions of years old stones. I realise that by English standards 130 years isn't vey old but here in NZ that's venerable. There's a pic of it on Lady Mondegreen's Secret Garden Sept 3 post. Loughborough and all those words evocative of early engineering companies cast into the old ironmongery, grace loads of old equipment here too, because guess where it all came from...

slommler said...

The oldest thing that I own is an umbrella stand and a Emerson floor fan. Both work great still.
But I do feel for you wife...get her a new sweeper for heaven's sake. Or tell her I said just go out and get one herself.
Hugs
SueAnn

Ayak said...

I've got shoes and boots that are well over 30 years old and still going strong. They just go in and out of fashion, and I hate the thought of throwing them away.
As for electrical appliances...they really aren't built to last in Turkey so have to be replaced far too often.

ILoveMyDogandMy Music said...

I own several pieces of furniture that belonged to my grandmother and great-grandmother. My grandmother had a very large house filled with furniture that she and my grandfather bought and things that belonged to her mother.

JeannetteLS said...

Now we rarely see a man kind enough to remind his wife she need not use the full-sized churn on a hot day. Chivalry lives. I had a Hoover Beats as It Sweeps, but from the sixties... threw it at my ex-husband when he told me he was leaving me on my fortieth birthday. He was so surprised. Don't tell your wife this, however. She might get ideas.

Oh. Let's see. The oldest thing I own. I have three drawered side table of some sort, that is about 200 years old, and a hand-hewn rocker that was my great-great-great grandfather's. It may have been his father's as well, but we have a picture of our ancestral traveling "doctor" sitting in it. He sold his "elixir" throughout the Northeast and as far west as Ohio.

Your blog encourages rambling, Sir. Right soon, you'll be out plowing the fields for your wife's spring plantings... winter can't last this year much past June.

My first visit. I see why so many read your writing. Add me to the list.

The Boat House said...

Thanks for my laugh of the week Grumpy! We, (my husband and I) love old stuff too, although the oldest in our home is probably my husband. We both have memories of all of your wonderful treasures. We live in an area where Steam Engine shows and Lumber Jack Rodeos are major events.

Love the VW van, but it needs big flowers painted all over it.

Have a great week.
Nancy at the Boat House in Birch Bay

Karen Fisher-Alaniz said...

Well, other than my house (1907), I have a wheelchair that is about the same era; very cool but no one gets why I have it. And I have a quilt from my great+ grandmother dated in the late 1800's.

Thanks for the recent visit, Ken!

Lynn said...

Not sure of the oldest thing I own, but your post brings to mind a saying my dad would repeat often, "Use it up, wear it out. Make do, or do without.". This was an often repeated phrase to remind us to make use of what we had, and that the things we owned were not/should not be disposable.

sailingcook said...

I wear a necklace which has a "piece of eight". It came off the Atocha which sank in 1622 in the Florida Keys. Bought it from a "treasure hunter" who had worked with Mel Fisher. Makes you wonder how many hands that coin passed through and what it bought.

amanda said...

I thought for sure I would have the oldest item on the list but I was proven wrong. The house I live in was built in the 1870's which for the city I live in, the 1950's are prehistoric.

rhymeswithplague said...

I have two items from the 1890's: My father's father's moustache cup and my mother's mother's wedding pearls.

Love your blog, and I don't think you're so grumpy!

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