It’s been on my mind a lot of late that more and more of us are looking to upcycle, recycle, reuse and repurpose. Some through necessity but mostly out of choice.
I don’t think it’s just an age thing – although age certainly does bring increased sentimentality. But also, I’m finding, a desire to reconnect to the past through objects that have seen their fair share of history and, in turn, have many stories to tell.
When we moved into Paradise – one year ago to the day – there were many connections to the past. The original homestead burned to the ground some years ago but the fireplace and sliding lounge doors were saved and are now part of our farmhouse. When M and I first saw them ( not knowing the history) we immediately talked of changing them but a year has softened out attitudes to many things. History and connections to the past being high up on the list. Horseshoes litter the paddock that is now home to about 3000 baby vines (just planted for your future Pinot Noir drinking pleasure!) and a variety of broken bits of old china, glass and some parts of old farm equipment that cannot be explained.
We also have a woolshed. A fabulous, wildly romantic, over 100 year old woolshed overlooking the vines with the beautiful Wither Hills in the background, that I dream of converting to a wonderful accomodation retreat for visitors ….. Sadly my enthusiasm has met with the bare faced practicalities ( from those who know far more than me) that it is riddled with wood borer and likely to collapse at any time…..But, not to be outdone I am playing the repurposing card and tugging at the historical heartstrings, so we may yet find a way of keeping her raw and natural beauty for generations to come to enjoy – even if she’s being enjoyed in a slightly different way than our wooly four legged friends !
We have also taken a real pleasure in sourcing pre-loved furniture that can be lovingly restored and given new home and meaning. Visits to antique shops and on line searches have become a hobby that only a few years ago would never have been part of our thinking. And I love it.
I also seem to have come full circle in my style choices. When living in the North Yorkshire Moors, my 19th century ‘Weavers Cottage’ would only entertain being filled with suitably old style furniture and effects. Sadly these were no longer wanted as they made way for a modern style in the next life stage and I pine after their loss.
Thankfully there are a few items we still have and treasure from family that take pride of place in our home . M’s favourite chair from his beloved Granny which could tell many a tale, being just one.
Sentimentality and connection are such a powerful part of who we are and those items that reflect that are to be cherished.