I’ve been flogging things on eBay the last few weeks. The biggest item I’ve sold is my mum’s old outdoor setting. This was a beautiful piece – a stone tile table imported from Italy. The tiles are smoky and have a natural variation from one to the next. The result is a subtle checkerboard, with a border of mosaic tiles. Mum bought it for $1500 some years back. When she knew she was dying she asked us all what we wanted of her possessions. I nominated the table, and nothing else. I loved it, it’s my style, elegant and a bit different. I’m sorry to see it go, but need the money.
There were some dramas selling it. The first time around the purchaser contacted me to say they couldn’t afford to pay for it, and the sale was cancelled. I re-listed it.
The second time around there were more bidders, and I got a couple of hundred dollars more than the first time. One of the bidders was in regular contact with me. She asked a lot of reasonable questions, and expressed delight for the setting. I wanted her to win the bidding, and she did.
This morning she turned up with her father to collect the table. Her father is a handsome Italian with a full head of almost blonde-silver hair. He wore a flannelette shirt, red skinned from regular exposure to the sun, and an engaging smile. He spoke with a heavy accent, though his English was good. He told me that he was a concreter by trade – there’s a lot of very fine Italian converters.
His daughter asked how old did I think her father was? That’s always a tricky question. I thought a sprightly early seventies, but said 65-70. Turns out he was 77. That’s the secret, I said, keep active and stay healthy.
Eventually we loaded the setting into the trailer, and I explained a little of the table’s provenance. It was important to me that it was going to a good home. It was my mum’s setting and I hoped to keep it. That was not to be, and so then I wanted it to go to someone who would enjoy it in the spirit mum would have wanted. Lot’s of good times there, I said, lots of wine. Then they drove off.
I feel a little sad. I’ve lost a connection – just a piece of furniture, and it had to happen. I was glad to meet these people. Good, generous natured people. I am always reassured when I meet such people. Almost grateful in a way, and possibly more so now in my situation than ever before.
Now I’ve got to sell the rest.