A LADY AT LEISURE
The choice between antique furniture or cosmetic surgery is made
Ihave been buying furniture from an antique warehouse. A light mahogany lady’s wardrobe for me. A chunkier, darker version for the chief. A sort of old-fashioned his and hers. They are nicely solid. The craftsmanship is superb: brown inlaid with a honey-coloured wood; the insides lined with fabric. And guess what? They came for a song. Because no-one wants old any more. It might be reliable and classy, but old is just so very yesterday. A large polished dark oak table that cost me a thousand pounds twenty years ago is now worth just two to three hundred. And that’s on a good auction day. It’s such a shame. Especially when you can see your face in it. The sad truth is that plodding Victorian and Edwardian is out. And thrusting shiny pine, or oiled oak – at vast expense, of course – is in. Anything made from metal and glass seems to be popular. Or how about a flat-pack? Not that I’ve anything against these often useful creations. One of the best kitchens I saw came f rom Ikea. The chief ’s office is furnished courtesy of a similar store. The thing is, how long will they last? And perhaps not so cheap when you have to bring in a joiner to put it all together… Nobody wants old any more. So a glance in the mirror makes me wonder whether a bit of work on the (old) face might soon
‘ It might be reliable and classy, but no-one wants old any more’
be in order. A new cosmetic clinic has opened in the locality and it guarantees great things.
It promises to send sags scurrying away. And it pledges to iron out rotten wrinkles. Best of all, all this can be done whilst you’re wide awake. No having to go under the knife.
I think I would rather be detoxed than botoxed. Then there is the price. Hundreds of pounds a pop – which will, no doubt, have to be repeated six months down the line when the cat-eyed effects wear off.
Then perhaps it would become addictive? Where would one stop? You could end up putting off that bathroom makeover to pay for personal building work.
‘We can make you look ten years younger,’ sounds enticing. But in this case I am a timid soul. Do I honestly need to be filled full of potions? Do I really want features that are, well, propped up by injectables?
The answer is: probably – but not just yet… The matter is finally decided when travelling on a train. Opposite me is a woman with dark hair. She must be in her forties. Honestly, who can tell these days?
She is an attractive soul. But her face is so obviously full of filler. Cheeks have been plumped and lips are bee-stung swollen. Not a muscle moves on this glowing, unlined visage. I watch fascinated as we whizz by.
In the meantime, it is back to the (old) furniture. And if I can give you a tip: now is the time to buy an old sideboard. Now is the moment to invest in a nineteenth-century walnut dressing table. Or a boxy wooden bedside cabinet with brass knob. They will never be cheaper.
So get down to the antique centre – the local one, not that place on Bond Street – and do some buying.
Then, if you have a garage, stack the purchases carefully, cover with a blanket, and wait for your investment to grow. Which it will. Especially when the flat-packs start to pack up. Because the old ones are the best ones…