Monday, September 13, 2021

The Barn Door


Remember how I said our cardoon didn't bloom well this year? I should have emphasized "yet" -- because now it's blooming like crazy. I think it has eight flowers. They're smaller than they've been in the past but the bees like them just as much.

I survived my medical test. It was without a doubt one of the strangest tests I've ever had to take. I was asked, after 12 hours of bland food and 12 hours of fasting, to exhale into a glass tube, which was rapidly capped and labeled with the time of my exhalation. I then had to drink a sugary solution once, and repeat the breath test nine more times, using nine more tubes, over more than two hours. Finally, I was asked to package those tubes containing my breath into a box and ship it back to a lab.

I find the idea of mailing my exhaled breath very weird.

However, I'm playing along. And I was so happy when it was all over and I could finally eat again. Dave bought waffles and we ate them with bacon and real maple syrup made by his nephew in Michigan.


Afterwards I was feeling super-efficient (and relieved), so I decided to walk Olga and run some errands. I took a big bag containing our bedsheets and Dave's shirts for the laundromat/cleaners and also my medical test to drop in the post box. I dropped off the laundry with no problem, but the test, it turned out, was just a hair too big for the slot in the mailbox. Argh! I was outside the Post Office, which was closed, and I saw a woman knock on the door so I thought I might be able to drop it inside if someone answered -- and they did, another woman in a glamorous green dress. I asked her if I could drop my test indoors and she said they were having a "private party" -- so, no. The idea of a private party at the Post Office on Sunday afternoon sounded a bit bizarre, but then, we have quite a stylish Post Office.

Undaunted, Olga and I went on to Kilburn Grange Park, where she chased her Kong, lolled in the grass and even menaced (sort of) some squirrels. Remember when that building behind her was a construction site covered in scaffolding?


I saw this chair sitting outside a shuttered shop with some empty boxes and other debris. I asked the guy who ran the grocery next door if it was trash, and he assured me it was -- he said it had been there several days. So I texted Dave and asked if I should pick it up. The finish needs some work, but it's Danish and was probably quite expensive when new. We agreed that I should.

And that's how I wound up walking home with an exhausted, very slow-moving geriatric dog, carrying a box of my exhaled breath and a Danish modern chair. And then, about halfway home, aware of what a spectacle I must be, I realized that my fly was down and probably had been for hours. Life's little absurdities!

Oh, and I forgot to mention the man we saw while walking to the park, wearing a t-shirt that said, "It's Allergies Not the Rona," which I thought was pretty funny. I would have taken a picture but, as we've discussed, I had my hands full.

54 comments:

  1. I wonder how many people figured out you were carrying a box of air — along with the chair, geriatric dog, and open fly. You must have been the talk of the town. I remember that style chair from Norwegian design. Nice!

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    1. Even if they didn't know it was a box of air, I must have looked pretty odd.

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  2. The chair looks nice. To save you the bother, it was suggested to me to use chalk paint on my bedroom chair. I haven't done it yet, but I looked it up and there is minimal sanding and it is easy to use. The result seems good.

    The breath test sounds very strange.

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    1. Interesting! I don't know about chalk paint. I'll have to look into that.

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  3. What an interesting - and humorous - day you had! Had me smiling, and then laughing. The fly was the punch line of course!

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    1. I definitely had a "WHAT ELSE COULD HAPPEN?" feeling when I noticed that.

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  4. Were you flashing in the park? And who was menacing the squirrels - you or Olga? Poor little things!

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    1. I was indeed flashing in the park, albeit without my knowledge. To be honest, neither of us were all that menacing.

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  5. Hi Steve,
    Thanks for an entertaining post! All very bizarre. The chair is great. One of my best ever skip finds is the chair I am sitting on now, a metal framed bent plywood chair which I love. The things people throw away!

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    1. We have four found chairs, all different. An ugly but sturdy one is mainly used for utility purposes (changing light bulbs etc); an attractive but flimsy one is a hall decoration. The other two are usable!

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  6. The extraordinary adventures of Steve. The pictures evoked by this post were awesome. Thank you for an excellent laugh.

    Once we were at a mall (back in the day) and I came out of a store to see my husband red faced in silent laughter. "What's so funny?" I asked as the tears rolled down his cheeks. "Watch!" he said. A local doctor came out a different store. His fly was down, but also his shirt tail extended out of it, and bobbed along as he walked.

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    1. LOL -- at least I didn't look quite THAT ridiculous. In fact, to be honest, I think my t-shirt covered most of my inadvertent sartorial offense.

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  7. You really should get yourself a van Steve, all these finds would make you some extra pocket money at a car boot, lol
    Briony
    x

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  8. I've never heard of that kind of test, and then that they had YOU mail the tubes of air!

    Great score on the chair. I can't believe someone would toss that out.

    Lastly, Olga looks quite regal in that shot.

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    1. I had no idea a test like this could be done at home. We'll see if it worked!

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  9. Such a strange sounding test! I hope it turns out okay. You certainly had quite a day for yourself. I guess we all have a day like that every now and then. I hope today is a better day for you. Hugs, Edna B.

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  10. That's a POST OFFICE?!?
    I'm speechless.
    Well, I'm sure you were a sight but nothing that crazy in a big city like London. Cool chair.
    Is this a test for H.Pylori?

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    1. It's really more of a community center that contains a post office -- and also a cafe and an indoor playground. It's a former church, hence the elaborate architecture.

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  11. So now I am wondering if on another blog, someone has posted a picture of the funny man they saw with a dog, a box, a chair and his fly down!
    Fun story, Steve! Thanks for the smile!

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    1. I should search Instagram and see if I come up!

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  12. Hahahahaha! I wish you'd handed your camera to someone to take YOUR picture.

    I need that tshirt - fall allergies have kicked in for me & I'm sneezing & coughing & looking VERY SUSPICIOUS.

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    1. The funny thing is, the guy wasn't sneezing and didn't seem particularly bothered!

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  13. Thank you for my first laugh of the day. I wish there was a photo of you in this very funny moment.
    Hope all goes well with that breath test.

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    1. There may be photo evidence out there. If you find any, let me know!

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  14. I love that chair and would have taken it home as well.
    I hope the H2 breath test comes back negative and will not show any intolerances so you don't have to change your diet. I ever heard of people doing it at home, usually it means spending hours at an outpatient department.

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    1. I don't think any of my problems are severe enough to warrant a change in diet. If it's revealed that I have intolerances I'll just live with them. (It's supposed to be looking primarily for "bacterial overgrowth," whatever that means.)

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  15. The imagined visuals from your post are pretty damn funny. The chair looks to be an excellent find. Hope the Post Office is willing to take every breath you took (slight variation on a song lyric). :)

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  16. Well, it's a nice chair but I'm sure some people took your photo as you walked home with these large items!

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    1. I often wonder how many people take my picture just as I sometimes take theirs.

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  17. your description of your walk home has me laughing. The visual image is quite funny. That chair does look like a keeper.

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    1. It's solid and in great shape, too, aside from the slightly discolored finish.

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  18. I wonder if the woman at the Post Office noticed your fly down. If she HAD noticed it, she might have encouraged you to join the party!

    That is a weird thought about mailing your breath. Then again... are you familiar with a Cologuard test?

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    1. I don't think it was that kind of party! LOL

      I am familiar with Cologuard. I've done that one too. This one seems even weirder to me because breath is just so...insubstantial.

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  19. "And that's how I wound up walking home with an exhausted, very slow-moving geriatric dog, carrying a box of my exhaled breath and a Danish modern chair."

    This sentence, never before or again written (I assume) is priceless.

    I saw a T-shirt with the quote: "Things going wrong make the best stories." Well, not always. But in this case, yes!

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    1. That's a good quote, and so true! Whenever I have a day full of mishaps, I think, "Well, at least this will be good for the blog."

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  20. Don't refinish the chair! If it is an authentic mid-century modern piece you'll devalue it by refinishing it.Collector's items should always have the original patina . When i was at Christie's I saw so much good stuff ruined because owners wanted to clean the thing up before bring it in for appraisal. Sorry for the bad typing, I have a cat leaning on me.

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    1. Oh, good point. However I think, as John says below, it's probably not an original mid-century chair but a recently manufactured one. Honestly I probably won't refinish it because I'll never get around to it!

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  21. a desanctified old church? post office only one of the occupants. I bet you were a sight to see.

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    1. Yeah, it's a post office plus cafe and indoor playground, inside a former church.

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    1. I'm sure it's not from the '50s, if that's what you mean. But still!

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  23. Steve, you and your test gave "catching my breath" a whole new meaning. It's no laughing matter but thanks anyway.

    Olga, stay strong, there'll always be another squirrel round the corner,

    U

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    1. Another good phrase I wish I'd thought of while writing this post!

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  24. Great score on the chair - I like stuff like that. Does Olga have to stop and rest when she's tired?

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    1. She does rest sometimes -- like she's doing in the photo, lying in the grass. But she's usually ready to walk again after just a few minutes.

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  25. Ah yes, just another London derelict. 😁

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  26. That was such a good laugh, thank you! And that chair , i mean , was there any question really??? Fabulous find. I love it. And the building housing the post office is so fabulously quirky! Only in London!
    Glad to see the Olga building in better condition. Covered in building plastic is looked war torn. much better now.

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    1. Bentwood by Erik Jorgenson, 285.00 quid- that is what my phone tells me...

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    2. It would have been perfect for that mid-century furniture sale we went to! I figured it would probably cost £200 -- maybe not if bought in bulk (for a restaurant or something).

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