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Wednesday, 2 March 2016

THE DECISION ABOUT THE CHAIR




Sometimes in life there are monumental decisions, and sometimes there are simply decisions.
Faced with a huge bill for car repairs, the decision about whether or not to sell this little chair becomes more and more one of head rather than heart.

Let me tell you about the chair, because it’s more unusual than you might think. This is a Campaign Chair, Victorian in era, and it comes apart – for taking with you to the battlefield. Truly! It was lovingly restored and re-covered a few years ago, the red leather seat adding to its quality. But it’s a little worrying having something like this around. We treat it with great respect, but as such it doesn’t easily fit into our everyday lives, and we haven’t really got room for it.

Why am I hesitating? It depresses me to think that I will miss it if it goes. We have sold many and various items in the last few years, either to raise money or to create space. You have to harden your heart, and I find this difficult. At times when life is depressing, one clings on to those familiar and loved objects which have been collected over the years. And who isn’t feeling even slightly depressed at the moment? My wonderful cousin with Parkinson’s Disease strives to maintain a positive outlook, and so should I – who have so much to be grateful for. This winter, though, has stretched my optimism to its limits. Am I alone in feeling conspired against by all of those establishments who strive to control our lives? Open any newspaper, switch on a radio or television, or consult your computer or phone, and you will be attacked by all things depressing. This is not good for anyone.

How important it is in life to maintain one’s sense of humour and hopefulness, and keep a cheerful spirit. This is my philosophy, but it is being sorely tried at the moment!
If anyone reading this is feeling run down, exhausted and depressed, then you are not alone. In fact there are thousands of us struggling to keep going, to maintain some kind of equilibrium and to feel that we are needed, appreciated and respected.

So I would like you to imagine, if you will, a Victorian soldier taking his chair with him to the 
battlefield, setting it up in his tent and using it in an entirely unsafe, hostile environment – because it maintains his dignity. This chair is a little reminder, perhaps, of his home and his family. It enables him to keep up the pretence that life is normal – when all around him are the brutal sounds of battle and the smells of death and disease. The picture of peaceful civilised life embodied in this piece of furniture is what gives him hope that he will go home. We all need something to give us hope.

The more I think about it, the more difficult the decision becomes…

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