Today the antique dealer's Polish boyfriend and his equally strong buddy came by the Historical House to take most of the nicest pieces of furniture we still have in the Historical Attic. I wasn't there for the epic removal down three flights of very old stairs, but B.A. said it went very smoothly.
I was there this morning, cleaning out drawers. Although I am becoming minimalist and there is no space for it, I am a little sad thinking about the loss of B.A.'s great-grandmother's old desk. It wasn't a grand desk--the very thin veneer was flaking off, ]the original drawer knobs had long since disappeared, and it was too small for a full-time journalism job. But it was my first desk in Scotland, and I wrote an awful lot on it, and it was B.A.'s last piece of his family's furniture.
What else went? An oak chest of drawers with a mirror, a painted screen, the cane-backed chair that lived in the bathroom, two inlaid tables, a glass-topped coffee table, a pine chest of drawers. a Victorian kneehole desk that was really too low but fit in the guest room, an elm stool.
Mostly I feel badly that B.A. had to give up his furniture. However, there is some comfort in the fact that he will get some money for it, and it will presumably go to homes, good or bad. B.A. was adamant that the furniture was not going to end up in a skip. When I tried to get rid of our good dining-room table a couple of weeks ago--it wouldn't go through the hall door of the new place---my kind friend helped me stuff it in the back of her car and drove to charity shop after charity shop in the rain.
I couldn't find a charity shop that would take it. My pal would have driven me to the dump, but I couldn't bare the thought of telling B.A. we had thrown "such a good table" in the landfill. So we took it back to the Historical House, and I put it in an outbuilding. Hopefully someone will be able to take it apart, and then we will be able to get it through the door.
Another reason why I don't like losing the furniture is that it makes me think of families on their way down, like James Joyce's family. However, as property owners we are presumably on our way up and really have lost only our Historical House-derived delusions of grandeur. When you are the sole tenants of a 17th/18th manor house, it is very easy to feel like you own it!
As always I am comforted by the thought of the garden. Although we don't have room for flocks of furniture, we do have room for two people---especially with a long garden rolling out below our windows.