Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Granny's Treasures

This blog (and myself) have been having a sort of 'identity crisis'.

I've spent the most part of the last few months worrying about Grandma's flat and her pretty awesome furniture and other lovely objects - and Dad's desire to just, uhm, throw it all away!

How do you put a 3-room city appartment (with balcony) into an already overcrowded house/attic in countryside suburbia?

No, we couldn't take the furnaces: one was built-in and one got donated!

I spent some time over at her place, going through things, putting lovelies into boxes etc. (and other random stuff - yes, my parents were sometimes shocked with terror at some of the things I wanted to KEEP! There were some scenes, yup..) It wasn't easy. Sometimes, it was downright difficult. It was also a healing experience...

Granny had a pretty, err, unique sense of style... ;)
This was sitting atop a fridge and I still have no idea what it is!! (It's pretty though, isn't it? I hope they haven't thrown it away??) Next to it are some seeds and an Uncle's custom wine ;)

None of the photos really do the AWESOME credenza filled with princessy stuff justice!!! It was one of the most AMAZING things for us kids in Granny's flat, and it's an awesome mixture of tacky and classy - though on most of the photos it just all looks, err, tacky lol! But ^^that's just the best way to describe Granny's style, I guess!!

There was decades of unwanted birthday gifts and such in there!! ;)
Some of the choices were hilarious: Coz oohed and ahhed over the violet glasses (you can't really see them here, Coz found them very arty and stylish lol), but in the end I had to tell her that Grandpa really hated them and never wanted to drink from them cause he saw them as too 'funeral-like'! lol!

One shelf missing... Yeah the dolls scare me too - Aunt and Mom had a great fondness for them though: memories!! Coz2 actually took the scary shell-chicken!! (They love chicken and hens and geese at that house!!) I was soo relieved... (Nobody wanted some of the even tackier mementoes though, no idea what to do with those?? Boxed'em up so far!)

Cousin took some of the beautiful plates and cups and glasses that were on exhibit in living room - we almost killed each other over a vase, but other than that it went pretty well - we had a 'Grandma-remembering party over a weekend and divided the credenza princess china fairly'.. Okay, except for the vase, maybe.. but I'm now stuck with some lovely tiny coffee cups I have no idea what to do with rather than play princesses lol!! (PS That's not Granny in the photo above!!)

My motto was (of course): no waste! (Or as close to it as possible!)

But where to put the couch and armchairs and other... things?

This did bring some stress at times inbetween, and some really nasty looks from the family - there was some trash (especially when I wasn't looking!!) I tried to jump around and prevent just trashing stuff wherever I could... I've learnt some lessons too, couldn't really push it as it was... we were all kinda upset and cranky most of the time anyway.. (when in the same room together lol) Sometimes I had to remind myself this was Mom's Mom, and so no wonder she was cranky and upset too.. And Dad - well, he never lived with Granny for years and it wasn't his Granny - sometimes I had to remind him of that too!

(My Dad is of the 'toss and buy new' variant! Though he prevented me to donate some things that I would've lol!)

The Albanian ex-neighbours (and their relatives/friends) took some furniture and other things (which I then fretted over, but hey! I hope the couch will be treated nicely, it was SUCH a lovely couch to sit on!) It was an adventure taking it down from the 3rd floor with VERY many stairs!! (And no elevator.)

What can I say to people asking to get stuff for free: measure your elevator first!! Aargh!! The electrical furnace was pretty heavy too..

The flat wasn't Granny's and we couldn't keep it so it all 'had to go'...
Maybe if we were more savvy we could put some stuff up for sale, but in moments like those you don't really think about such things.. It would be very difficult to make money from the sadness.. you don't think right in moments like these...

In the end, Dad only got to take a rather ancient cooker/oven in bad shape and an old washing machine (no idea whose? it was in the cellar) and an old-er radio to the landfill to be recycled. We hope they get recycled proper.

The really old radio may get to be taken by Uncle or a museum/private collector. (Not sure if Uncle can be trusted, he has had moments of 'let's take it to the landfill' too!!)

How can you not love this couch?? <3 <3 <3

The arm chairs, the lovely bed frames and the oh-so-lovely ancient couch (in rather bad shape, but with original upholstery!!) got donated to an organisation where people with cerebral palsy renovate gifted things and sell then... I didn't know they would threaten with sawing off the armchairs and dressing them in jeans then though!! (Bad modern design - the huge benefit of those arm chairs was the ease of sitting in them even for tall people!!) And they said they'd take out the upholstery from the couch and put in foam!! Grr!! It was a time when I REALLY wished I had moved away and had my own flat or house!! I hated Dad for a few days!!

They just needed some renovation 'underneath'!

I really wish we were given more options or time or knowledgeable help in doing all this.. to properly find good homes for the stuff...

I preferred not to be around for the final days, and well, my backache sorta flared up too... (I tried to lift a table that was pretending to not be heavy all by myself!!)

This photo doesn't really give the door credit, I really LOVE the ancient doors... (Okay 1960-ish..) Many other photos didn't turn out' right' either, I hated my camera for a while too, the light wasn't right, or the close-ups weren't right.. And I thought I'd photoed it all already and didn't bother to look at the photos when I still had a chance to photo... It's all gone now... Our garage is pretty full though!!

Coming back home was stressful: everything Granny's was packed and packaged with such great care - and on the front lawns of neighbours there was just soo much STUFF - to be thrown away and taken by the trash-collector next day!! (No wonder my back flared up!) I was scared for our pretty furniture for a bit, hence the lifting of the evil table and moving it closer to the house! (and bad back intermezzo, so I couldn't go and rescue some more stuff!! yikes! I think at that point the parents would have probably disowned me-??) Stress DOES cause backache though, there's a great book about it if you're interested. I also promised myself to start exercising again once it gets better!!

As for now, just RELAXING - on my new bed!! :) Which you'll see in a few days, haha!! :) Also fishing for a new and better ergonomic desk online. And ogling tiny flats at Apartment Therapy with great desire!! Some great tiny flats there!!

There is a certain liberating feeling of emptiness of a more and more empty flat...

Our house feels pretty cluttered up now though!!

And I am contemplating where to put it all!! Aargh!!


  1. Aww Layla, I enjoyed seeing your Grannies preciouses (what we call treasures in our house!) I think I would have liked her house, it looks full of interesting and shiney things! I'm glad you got to keep some things for yourself - you can have an awesome tea-party with the tiny coffee cups!

    My nan and grandad lived with us for the last 10 years of their lives, so not only did we have to clear out their house when they moved with us, we also had to clear out the granny flat attached to our house (the garage!) when they died, I remember it being super stressful, all that family in one place, all wanting the same stuff..argh! I felt the same frustration at having to donate/landfill stuff, but I do agree that at such an emotional time for your family it isn't always a priority you can push...it's difficult isn't it? :(

  2. Thanks so much for stopping by my blog & for your helpful comments. I'm still learning about the eco-world. Great goals you have. Hope you find plenty to do with all your "new" stuff!

  3. wow O_o that definitely is a big job!! >< Look at all the stuff!
    at least there was kind of a reason to bring family together? :p
    Hope you are not too frustrated <3

  4. How wonderful that you were able to see all your Gran's things with such loving eyes. And I hope that your enjoy your new treasures as you treasure her memory.

  5. Thank you for all the comments! :)

    I really appreciate it.

    It was a really difficult time, though great for family bonding in a way - I got closer with Aunt and met some very cool new people etc.

    We heard the couch has been renovated, not sure if we dare to go take a look though!! :)

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