Sunday, 15 January 2006

New Furniture from Footpath-Land

Some people don't seem fully convinced that you can really & truly get good stuff for your house by adopting Womble practices ("making good use of the things that we find, things that the everyday folk leave behind.")

So I thought I'd show those people the amazing "new" couch I am presently sitting upon.






It is brown. It is orange. It is velvety! Swirly! MODULAR!! GOES ROUND CORNERS! Science Fictional! Pucci-esque! Should probably be in the first-class transit lounge at LaGuardia in 1977! But was actually made by "Zonderosa" of South Melbourne! And someone left it on the footpath, bizarre, but true. Gues it was just our lucky day. (We are due for one, because the car is broken and the garage can't figure out what's the matter with it.) Apart from smelling a bit odd it's in pretty good condition. And FREE FREE FREE. That's a massive saving of INFINITY!!!

Since I took these pictures we rearranged everything and the sunken lounge looks so cool I had to play a Curtis Mayfield CD in its honour. The cat loves it too.

edited to add: the correct spelling of the company that made this furniture. Does a Googlewhack count if it's the name of a defunct suburban purveyor of chairs to bachelor pimps?

28 comments:

Glen Fuller said...

hey, if you post a list of symptoms with your car I can have a punt sussing out what's a matter with it! first things to check with any break down are 'fuel' and 'spark' I am assuming it has fuel and spark is slightly tricker to check but we will get to that bridge when it is time to, you know, go across it...

Glen Fuller said...

ooh ooh I should post a pic of the couch i found on the road!

Lucy said...

that's awesome! Around here there's no limit on what you can put out for the garbos so every week is a womblish bonanza. I've only managed to snag some books so far, though.
and now I have the Wombles song stuck in my head... I had a friend who'd once lived in Wimbledon and when I reacted with glee, she started her obviously well-rehearsed explanation that she'd never actually seen the tennis etc, but Wimbledon always means wombles to me.

Zoe said...

Very nice score. Baz seems comfy.

As for the whiffy bit, my dad sent me a copy of a book called "Spotless" (who you calling grotty, dad?) She suggests using carpet cleaner rather than upholstery cleaner on couches (after testing colourfastness by wiping a patch with a vinegary rag of course!) as the foam is drier and the general principle is to use as little water as possible.

Sorry, have become slightly obsessed by this book. Haven't actually cleaned anything of course.

Lucy Tartan said...

I was thinking about sprinkling it with bicarb soda then vacuuming it out, but as it's so old and of unknown provenance it might be better to use something stronger.

The car is misfiring then stalling on hills. Usually it will start again after a minute, but it stopped completely (wouldn't turn over) & had to be towed the other day. The garage have had it twice, and a different garage also had a look & couldn't locate the problem. They eliminated: leads, spark plugs, fuel lines, fuel filter. The distributor has been taken out & sent somewhere to be diagnosed, so I guess they suspect it's that.

Pavlov's Cat said...

I misread the first line of your second paragraph in the above comment as 'The cat is stalling and misfiring on hills.' As they do. Thank you for reminding me how desperately I need to see the optometrist.

Ampersand Duck said...

Note to self: move to Melbourne.
No-one in Canberra leaves things on kerbs unless it is formally organised (we actually have a thing called 'Second-hand Sunday' but it's piss-weak).

Glen Fuller said...

how old is the car? on hills? i find it hard to believe it is the distributor unless something is fatally wrong with the rotor (ie it is so unbalanced or broken that it becomes 'loose' on a hill incline, it would not ever run if that was the case).

So the fuel stuff has been checked? Is it carbie or fuel injected? first thoughts on incline-dependent parts of the car are:

1) fuel pickup in the fuel tank. the general grumpiness re: hill starting/stalling leads me to think there is something amiss in the pick-up. Older cars can collect fuel tank 'silt' (bits of rust, metal, crap from the servo fuel tanks, etc) you'd be surprised how much crap is in a tank. Depending on the vintage of the car, it may have an intank fuel pump, and fuel filter connected directly to the intank pump. My NIssan Silvia used have problems with the original intank pump (this was, of course, at high volumes after I had changed the turbo and air flow meter setup). One of my other cars, a V8 XD falcon, had problems with crap in the tank. Anyway, first question is, has any of the mechanics mentioned the fuel tank to you?
2) If carbie'd the floats for the carbie could be stuffed, depending on vintage and type of car. This is a long shot. If fuel injected then the injectors may be clogged with crap from the tank. This is also a long shot and not really incline-dependent.
3) Perhaps more likely, on the spark side of things, is that the condensor (in a circuit with the distributor) is shot (should only cost a copuple of bucks). one of the escorts i used to have always seem to chew through these. Also related to this is the wiring for the condensor. In older cars the plastic insulation becomes frayed and buggers up.

hmm, without knowing what sort of car it is, those would be my road-side break down first thoughts.

Anonymous said...

That couch is awesome. And it looks more cool-retro than offensively-bad-taste-retro. Much jealousy.

ampersand duck: I'm pretty sure it's illegal to dump stuff on the kerb here. I got an amplifier out of a skip on someone's lawn in McKellar once, though, and a friend dug two perfectly usable 19" monitors out of a dumpster at the ANU. It's crazy the stuff people just throw out.

Glen Fuller said...

oh, if it is the distributor, and it has been something going wrong over time, then you would expect the car to backfire lots before it goes totally cactus (this is the unburnt fuel combusting during the wrong part of the four-part cycle), another one of my escorts had this happen. funny story actually, well maybe. i use to pick my little sister up from the bus stop when she was in high school and i would 'coast' down this massive hill with the car in gear 'engine braking'. one of escorts used to backfire like crazy and one day another road user got very irate about the amount of noise my car was making. my little sister used to get really embarrassed too. anyway this guy started screaming not so pleasant, but very useful advice, like "CLean your fuckin points on the distributor you fucking idiot!" My sister and I could not control ourselves and burst out laughing and the other dude also had someone in the car who was laughing his arse off too.

Lucy Tartan said...

It's a ten year old suzuki swift.

Craig said...

Oh you trendsetter you, dig the couch. It seriously is funky. Reminds me of vector artwork that's popular at the moment. Happy wombling!

On the car, get your mechanic to drain the fuel tank and fuel lines. Could be water in there. A friend had a Honda Civic that did exactly what you describe on hills... turned out water was pooling in the manifold and dripping in up hills! What a bastard that problem was to find...

Galaxy said...

Now I have the Wombles song in my head! 'Underground, overground, Wombling free ...' I love the Wombles. My sister once lived in Wimbledon as well. She gave me a very strange look when I asked if she'd caught a glimpse of any the furry, round recyclers. But I managed to get quite excited about the tennis aspect of it too...

Lucy Tartan said...

I've had it in my head most of the day as well.

R H said...

During the gentrification of St Kilda with places being gutted I moved into one of the last wine dog rooming houses. There was a scrappy two-seater couch in the hall. I asked what it was doing there and someone laughed and said "That's the love seat."
It turns out the caretaker had discovered it on the footpath one fine evening and been quick to grab it.
He needn't have hurried.

Scrivener said...

Kudos to Glenn Fuller for offering what I can only presume is sage automotive advice. That's awesome! I only ever offer entirely useless advice on the internets.

And kudos to you, Lucy Tartan, for keeping the kind of blog that can attract readers with actually useful skills!

ROB said...

And massive. That is definitely something to lounge on.

Mao the Burmese Cat said...

Note to Ampersandles Duck:

Yess,move to Melbourne, bring me salmon.

I likes it this couch because it has a pretty cat on it. That really makest it beautiful.

I shall do your meme now, given that the new kitten is lockst up so I cannot eat it.

boynton said...

There's a 50's laminex dresser here which was Bysidaroadie. Nothing beats Free.
OTOH - a friend scored a retro-ugly armchair once (retro-ugly as opposed to the retro-chic of your suite) which came with baggage... but that chair could/should write a book.

R H said...

I don't like alluding to my OVERSEAS TRAVELS.
God no! And I hate those awful people who do it. Can't stand them. On and on they go, about all those bloody stupid foreign places they've been to.
But still, sometimes it can't be avoided. (Not by me, anyway.) Okay? Good. Well now, at Berkeley Calif. I found a communal park where people did vegetable gardening. They were mostly black people, and the place was a sort of hang out for them. Near the road there was a thing like a wishing well with a little roof on top. While I was loitering there a bloke pulled up in a station wagon and started dumping bag loads of clothing into the well. Straight away there was a rush to rummage through it it all. A fat woman and a starved looking bloke got into a tussle over a pair of trousers. Neither would let go. There was a tug of war until finally the bloke hollered "Yo' only wanna sell 'em, ah wanna wears em!"
I don't remember who got them, but later I saw this woman down the street pushing a pram piled high with clothing. She had a very calm look on her face. A look of accomplishment. I know that look, I've seen it a lot at the markets.

Brownie said...

Craig and Glenn, I am so impressed by your knowledge.
Lucy, that fabric has such a great pattern and has the Baz Seat Of Approval.
Re the smell - Febreeze?
I have a velvet recliner found by the road. I put it on my lawn and hosed it on a really windy sunny day. squeaky clean. fan-fkn-tastic.

and Mao, you burmese boofhead, YOU should be locked up so you can't eat the kitten.

Lucy Tartan said...

Yes, thanks guys for all the good advice. Now I have some things to suggest if the current plan doesn't work out.

We bicarbed the couch and brushed it and vacuumed it. It's nice and clean now & good as new. No really.

The couch it replaced was 1930s, so this is a spring chicken in comparison.

tmz_99 said...

thats rather the score... love the pattern, it's very very funk..

Mao the Burmese Cat said...

"Mao, you burmese boofhead"

Racialist!

JPW said...

Pretty good. Pretty, pretty, pretty, pretty, pretty good.

Kate said...

yes, the joys of the caring sharing life here in melbourne. ones person junk is anothers treasure, or something like that... all for free.

I miss the old school hard rubbish collection days where the whole neighborhood had theirs on the same day, so the entire street was like a massive treasure hunt. However, Banyule offeres us 2 annually, but booked in at our convienience. So everyone has theirs on different days. No where near as fun.

Anonymous said...

Friends of mine in Noo Yoik furnished an entire apartment with age and decor consistent art deco furniture, including the Jazz Age carpets, all in immaculate condition, from stuff they found dumped in the street.

- barista

R H said...

The grinning Medici at Hobsons Bay Council have stopped the chuck out altogether. They have apparently decided it's too lowering, especially for the Williamstown area. But dirty old Maribynong are still running it. Because if they ever stop they'll be copping mattresses in all the car parks, and they know it.
Unfortunately my joint is full right up with junk and I haven't room for more, but all the same, I keep an eye open because you never really stop, and what's more if I do make a footpath discovery I can always present it to someone else.
And I do. Especially at Christmas.
No matter who they are, anyone passing through these glorious chuck out streets can't help being enormously interested in it all. It's just human nature. It's also human nature to add to garbage you see laying around, which was a big problem in the old St Kilda days. The Council were worse than anyone. More rubbish fell off their garbo trucks than ever went in them, and the crew were always drunk. But that's another matter.
Pride prevents most people from having a scrounge, but fortunately I have no pride at all. None whatsoever. Which is why I've done so well. Say what you like, and laugh all you like, but you'd shut up straight away if you came here and got a look at all my footpath victories, not the least of which are an ice chest, and a 1930's wicker-chair commode! Okay?

Good.