The occasional downside of living far from the hustle-bustle

Inherited Manse couch

Okay, people, picture this couch…

Hudson couch in teal

… replaced with this one. Don’t you love the midcentury style? More to the point, don’t you think the teal colour would go splendidly with our real-life midcentury curtains? (The same ones that hung in our living room when I was a kid here?)

“The world could end and you wouldn’t know it,” our Queensborough friend Marykay once said, describing what it’s like to live in our pretty little village. I think of that often when I come home to Queensborough, drive over the hill that’s on the edge of town and down into our little valley with a river running through it. When you come over the crest of that hill, and our life-size Christmas village (at least in wintertime) unfolds before you, you really do feel like the world outside could end and you wouldn’t know it. I like that feeling.

But every now and again that splendid away-from-it-all-ness of Queensborough proves problematic. Like today, for instance. When a nifty midcentury-style couch that Raymond and I had made up our minds to splurge on for the Manse proved to be unattainable. Why? Because: “We don’t deliver there.”

If you’re a regular reader you might have seen my post last night, a little celebration of the happy and cozy living room here at the Manse where Raymond, Sieste the cat and I spend our winter evenings. (It was also a celebration of the third anniversary of Raymond and me buying this house that I grew up in. A happy post all round!)

I wonder if, in reading that post and looking at my photos there, you remarked on the sofa (or chesterfield, as we used to call that particular piece of furniture when I was a kid). It came with the Manse when we bought it, and is a kind of puffy white affair made of faux leather. It’s old and greyed and the first time I saw it I thought it would have to be replaced immediately; but it turned out to have the great redeeming quality of being thoroughly comfortable to sit in. And so for these past three years we’ve kind of closed our eyes to the couch’s less thrilling features and just gone ahead and used it. Every now and again, though, I see it as a visitor to the Manse might, and think, “Good lord – that couch has got to be replaced!”

Gramercy couch

My first choice for a new couch for the Manse, since rejected.

I wrote about one possible replacement, which I found at The Bay in downtown Montreal, in a post here from last March. But I’ve since decided against that great-looking lime-green chesterfield; online reviews have suggested it’s not all that sturdy, which may be why it seems to be permanently on sale at The Bay. (Still, it is a great midcentury colour!)

But a backup sofa that I mentioned in that same post, and that I’d also seen at The Bay, has now become my first choice. It is called the Hudson (appropriately enough), it also features great midcentury style, and it too is on sale at The Bay at the moment. You can see one photo of it at the top of this post. Since Raymond and I were in Toronto this morning, two blocks away from the flagship Bay store at Queen and Yonge, we popped in to have a look, and here’s a photo that I took there:

Hudson sofa

The Hudson sofa, as displayed at the downtown Toronto Bay store. For some reason the colour, called pumpkin, is always used when this couch is displayed; it’s not my cup of tea, but I hope you can appreciate the funky midcentury style of this made-in-Canada “chesterfield.”

We saw, we sat, we liked it. We chose the colour: teal, to match our vintage curtains – the same curtains that hung in our living room back in the 1960s and ’70s when I was a kid in this house. Those curtains have totally grown on us – even Raymond can sometimes be heard to say favourable things about them. And now here we were buying a couch to match!

Or wait – not so much. When we made inquiries about how to obtain our new chosen chesterfield, the “we don’t deliver there” situation arose. Good lord, you’d think we lived at the end of the world!

Oh, wait a minute…

I was determined to win this. “There has to be a way,” I told the salesman, a very affable chap who clearly was trying his best to get that couch into our possession. He’d run out of ideas, but I had not run out of determination: “There has to be a way.” The salesman thought some more, and then allowed as how deliveries do go out from the Bay’s central warehouse in Toronto to its various stores – and that therefore our couch could be delivered to a regional store. And there is a store in Kingston, which is a little less than an hour away.

Okay, so – now all we need is a way to get a very large box containing our new teal curtain-matching chesterfield from Kingston to Queensborough. It’s going to be too big for Raymond’s little red truck; suddenly that plan to get a trailer – or a bigger truck – is looking very sensible.

Anyway, if you’re still with me, stay tuned. I think we’ll figure out a way to get that couch to the Manse, and I think it will look splendid. I’ll show you photos if and when it gets here. I am operating on the following principle: When you’re in a place where the world could end and you wouldn’t know it, you need a comfortable and stylish chesterfield to sit on!

8 thoughts on “The occasional downside of living far from the hustle-bustle

  1. Katherine, we’re one of your many acquaintances with a trailer, and Peter’s dutifully kept the snow cleared from around it this winter. Bring the chesterfield home!

    • Oh my goodness, thank you for the offer, Brenda! We might just take you up on that! Raymond has yet to set up his truck with a lights system for a trailer, but the kit for it has been bought and, if doing the work in the wintry weather fails to appeal to him, I’ve urged him to get our friendly auto mechanics, Derry’s Dipsticks and Driveshafts, to do it for us. Then we’d be good to go. So nice to think this plan might actually work – thank you again!

  2. I’d offer our trailer but it is put away for winter. Perhaps Raymond really needs a trailer for all this nostalgia shopping. My buddy Ed Hyde builds dandy-fine ones in Madoc

    • Raymond absolutely does need a trailer, gng, and I think that after this experience it won’t be too much longer till one appears in the back or side yard of the Manse. So handy for so many things! (Including, of course, nostalgia shopping.)

  3. I have a set of Love seats – gay that I had made in London ON for $1000.00 each. I am will to let them go for next to nothing, say $50 ea OBO since it is you. The reason, we are downsizing as we are getting older and have a lot of furniture to get rid of. These also have arm guards for wear. I have other furniture from the 70’s such as tables etc. Only if you are interested. I have a old antique coffee table that the top comes off and us used as a tray, plus you can put pictures under the tray. Just needs a little tender loving care. It is quite valuable and I would let it go for $50.00. Anything else you need, let me know and I probably have it to get rid of.
    Nancy Lou

    • Thank you for the info, Nancy Lou! I kind of have my heart set on the style of that sofa from the Bay; the fact that it’s seriously caught my eye not once but twice now (many months apart) suggests to me that it’s what’s right for us in the Manse’s living room. But I’d love to take a look at your to-be-downsized stuff one of these times – that antique coffee table, for instance, sounds most interesting!

  4. Pronk Canada machine shop, built right here in Queensborough rents out it’s trailer for $25 a day. Strong, full working lights and light behind your vehicle. Wouldn’t even know it’s there. Just a thought!

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