‘I can hardly believe my own eyes! Is it really possible that someone over there is actually taking a photo of me? Here, among so much clutter and all these weeds. And there was I, thinking I was both unloved and forgotten. Invisible you might say.
‘Be that as it may, I still have my memories to bring a little sunshine into my life now and again. The fact is that, not too long ago, I fancy I looked rather stylish and would welcome lots of frequent visitors. A practical garden chair, almost indestructible. And with armrests, too! Most of my relatives lacked armrests. But what does that matter today? I’ve been standing out here in the storms and the snow and hail. Things soon can’t get much worse.
‘A long time ago someone mentioned that I was made of teak – you know, the tree that grows in Asia but doesn’t like the European climate. I seem to recall, too, that the person who bought me had to pay a pretty sum back then.
‘Today, however, my situation is anything but desirable. What a comedown to be so cruelly abandoned. Yet perhaps there is still hope. Clearly, someone has bothered enough about me to take my photograph and perhaps thinks that my days in the sun are not yet all behind me.
‘We chairs are blessed with a deep-seated optimism, you see. It’s a legacy from the trees, the foremothers of the vast majority of our kind. And I, for one, am no exception.’
There are trees still standing today that are as old as the pyramids of Egypt, dating from a time 2,000 years before the birth of Christ.
The world’s oldest living tree is in Sweden. It is a Norway spruce, which research has shown to be 9,500 years old. It is known as Old Tjikko. I know, it’s almost hard to comprehend, isn’t it? Nine thousand five hundred years old. Heavens above! It’s mind-boggling. Hard to take in.
Anyway, here’s wishing Old Tjikko and all the other trees in the world good health and a long life! And the same goes, too, for the garden chair amid the clutter, and for all the other chairs that we love so dearly.
Gun Bjerkander Handberg
Note from Editor:
The stories and anecdotes shared on the blog often relate to lost and forgotten chairs. Author Gun Bjerkander Handberg very much wishes for us to consider the value of all chairs which have been crafted with care and skill, using materials from nature such as oak, cane or teak in this case. By taking time to restore an old chair or reupholster a tired looking seat you are saving not only trees and materials, but embracing furniture that already exists by reusing it and giving it new life.
Find chair inspiration in the publications from the series Please Be Seated – Historic Chairs & the Tales They Tale, which relate to this blog and are written by Gun Bjerkander Handberg. All three books are now available online