Sunday, 5 February 2012

Diversionary Tactics

Having established that DVDs do not count as TV, I can report that today, 36 days into 2012, I have watched NO television, and two DVDs. One of the DVDs I needn't have bothered with only it was lent by a student who thought it might entertain me. I felt, therefore, obliged to watch it, though I suffered several fidgety moments and toyed with the idea of skimming through it and selecting a couple of moments that I could relate in response to the inevitable question, 'Did you like the film I lent you, ma'am?' with the reply, 'Yes, I especially liked the bit when the detectives lifted the dead man's head from the table using a pencil in each ear.'

But I didn't. I was polite in his absence and watched the whole thing thus maintaining a guilt-free conscience.

The biggest issue with not watching TV is filling the hole it leaves with other more meaningful activities, the danger being that non-TV watching can become like TV watching only without the TV in your line of vision a.k.a staring at the wall. I have done a little of this, and although it has been mildly therapeutic in a meditative kind of way, I now recognise the need to make sure I plan and am proactive in my evening's choice of entertainment and not resort merely to reading, Sudokuing and generating stuff for school. (Although I have enjoyed the reading enormously! I never complain about reading too much.)

To this end, and inspired by a magazine article and a craft blog I discovered, I set about trying to find an arts and crafts club thingy to join that was local, and failing that, an arts and crafty adult education thingy at the local adult education centre. And I drew a blank on both.

This led me to think I ought to set up my own arts and crafts club. You know, meet up once a fortnight, share ideas and skills, have a bit of a gossip and a bit of cake etc etc.

And whilst I was thinking about this today, I got Andy to get my Gran's sewing box from the loft. I say 'box' but it's more like a little table made from a box and a drawer and set on legs. It looks 1950s style and I rescued it from Gran's house when she died in 1986 before it got slung away as rubbish. I had always intended to have a go at refurbishing it by ripping out the linings and replacing them and tidying up the varnish. Start with the easy bit, I thought. Get the lining out and replace that.

Easier said than done. The lining in the drawer came out easily enough - a piece of stiff card covered in fabric and glued down with what I can only describe as horse glue. It came off pretty well with the aid of a cheese knife in the shape of a small machete.

But the lining in the main box was attached with small rusted tacks and more horse glue about half an inch thick and very reluctant to part company with the wood. Also, the lining around the sides of the box seemed to be attached to corrugated cardboard which was very reluctant to being teased off in one piece. However, once I'd started a-ripping and a-cheese-machete-hacking I had to carry on.

It was a messy job. I scraped a knuckle. A couple of patches of glue refused to budge and I suspect that when the sewing table eventually disintegrates, those two patches of glue will remain intact, hovering in the air and defying anyone who approaches them with a full-sized machete, let alone one built for the slicing of Stilton.

I cleaned and polished the outside of the table as best I could but I can't help but think the varnish could do with being stripped off completely, the wood rubbed down and the whole thing repainted/ revarnished/ refinished some other decorative way. And that would involve, I suspect, the use of highly dangerous chemicals and/or a highly dangerous blow torch effort and I'm not quite brave enough to tackle that kind of renovation just yet.

Still considering the Much Malarkey Arty-Crafty Club idea. Not sure of the hows, the whys, the whens and the wherefores yet, but I do know I like the idea.


Olly said...

Ooh, I wish I lived near you - I'd love an arty-crafty club!

Your sewing table sounds like one I inherited. No need for chemicals - you can rub it down with sandpaper/steel wool, and then stain and varnish it (use an all-in-one product), it will be worth the trouble - I love mine.

Denise said...

Thanks for that, Olly - I had got as far as the steel wool option, well, as far as discovering it as an option!

It's half term next week so the rubbing down, re-staining and re-lining of the table will be on my list of things to do.

I wish we lived near each other, too - I suspect we'd be great pals! Shared double birthday cake all round!!