Monday, 29 August 2011

A Tale Of Love, Lust, And A Beautiful Oak Desk

I was in a charity shop recently when I saw a glorious 1950’s oak desk exactly like this – and I fell in love with it. Oh wonderful wood!

my desk!

It took my breath away – honestly, I just stood there, fascinated.

It was in really good condition – apart from being utterly filthy and having sticky labels on the drawer fronts. It was £45. I so wanted it! Some elbow grease, soap and polish and it would look fantastic. My dress patterns could be filed in the drawers, there was room on top for standing a sewing machine- or for cutting out – or spreading out a whole collage of crafty bits. The nifty pull out shelves to the left and right would hold still more stuff. Such potential!

craft-roomI could have a craft area looking just like the ones pictured in Mollie Makes, all covered with photogenic items.

I walked round it, stroking it, dreaming of what I would do if it were mine. Then I made a list

  1. if I purchased it, would it fit into my little car?
  2. if I did get it home, do I have any idea where would it go?
  3. when we retire to Cornerstones, could we possibly take such a large item of furniture with us?
  4. do I have £45 to spare?
  5. has the dining table proved inadequate for cutting-out activities?
  6. am I dissatisfied with the table in Steph’s room where I often use my sewing machine?
  7. do I actually need this beautifully made piece of furniture?
  8. will it significantly enhance my life
  9. will it help me do more for the Kingdom of God
  10. what would Bob say if I went home with it?

matizI tried out all these questions in my head, and also shared them with the kind assistant. Then I reluctantly climbed into my little blue car and drove home. When I got home, I asked Bob the 10 questions. His answers were just the same.

  1. No
  2. No
  3. No
  4. No
  5. No
  6. No
  7. No
  8. No
  9. No
  10. Where are you planning to put it, Ang?

So I concluded it wasn’t love at first sight, just lust. If I had bought it, I would have ended up being cross with myself for spending money I could ill afford, on a piece of furniture too large for the space available, which I did not really need in the first place. And I would come to hate the desk, and be miserable whenever I saw it.

Shakespeare was right about lust [Sonnet 129]…

Enjoyed no sooner but despised straight;
Past reason hunted; and no sooner had,
Past reason hated, as a swallowed bait,
On purpose laid to make the taker mad.
Mad in pursuit and in possession so;
Had, having, and in quest to have extreme;
A bliss in proof, and proved, a very woe;
Before, a joy proposed; behind a dream.

…I’ll get over it. And someone in Oadby will go into the AgeUK shop and get a real bargain. But not this woman!

I just had to tell you about it -  and now I can forget about it and get on with the Important Things In Life. Thank you for listening!


  1. I think we could all do with taking note of this lesson and applying these questions when out and about! It can be all to easy to be influenced by what we see in magazines and on other blogs and 'think' we need these things when in fact we don't.

  2. I recently bought an Ercol dresser from a charity furniture warehouse- something I did need and had room for , so no problem with that. But there was also a Hornsea pottery tea set and canisters dating from the 70s. They were in pristine condition, were a great price and I wanted them very much. When we went back to buy the dresser ( having measured the space) the Hornsea stuff was still there. I didn't buy it, despite wanting it. Why? Because it was the wrong colour to used or placed on display in my kitchen, and I would have just put it away in a cupboard. That felt wrong, so I left it behind, and I got over it, but I know how you felt about the desk!

  3. The difference between want and need. Thank you because it is so often easy to make the wrong decisions and reading this is so encouraging and helpful when I want to make right decisions.

  4. Good post. The desk reminded me of the ones or teachers had at primary school. I do tend to steer more towards traditional furniture as the modern stuff is overpriced and won't stand the test of time.

  5. Oh! This is valuable and right and worthy, and I will remember it often in the Year of Living Small, but oh!

  6. An attack of the wanties, but you kept your head (and the space in the house it would have taken up!). I read (can't remember where) that the love/lust feeling we have for an object we want to buy,then do ,has completely disappeared by 9 months, then it becomes (no pun intended) just part of the furniture.
    Jane x

  7. I had a desk just like that but it wasn't comfortable to machine at .
    I,m a charity shopaholic , but now I,m going to remember your wise words , It's not love , it's LUST


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