Saturday, 16 April 2016

Floor-length mirror...



About forty-three years ago (that's too accurate - Ed), Mrs O'Blene and Scrobs were safely wedded and living in a small flat in Hastings. Scrobs used to work in Brighton back then, catching several trains at unearthly hours and not really enjoying the job either, but that's what life's all about when you're starting out, isn't it!

One of the kindest men you could wish to meet shared an office with me at the time, and he was an inveterate hoarder of all sorts of objects, as he used to get down to the Saturday market at crack of dawn, and purchase bargains galore. He also knew where to pick up other bargains all over the place, and would get these items back home in his old Morris Traveller.

One thing we didn't have in the flat, was a full length mirror, and we'd just hope that any wardrobe malfunction wouldn't be displayed before we got to work. (Mrs O'Blene was teaching in the town back then).

My chum learned of this non-ability to reflect ourselves, and offered me a solution, which, after discussing with Mrs O'Blene we decided to follow up. He had learned that The Grand Hotel in Brighton was being refurbished, and rushed down there to see what he could find. The wardrobes were being ripped out, so Chris toddled off home with one of the gigantic wardrobe mirrors, which were going for a song. And his wife got very annoyed at all this stuff appearing all over their house too, I suspect...

So,  money changed hands, and Chris helped me to rope up some sort of handle for this enormous, heavy monstrosity which I could only just lift, and dropped me off at London Road station. Scrobs then had an hour holding the thing steady on those awful old rattlers they had back then, and also a half-mile uphill drag to get home from the station. It wasn't easy...

That Sunday, we were still moving the thing around as it was now getting in our way, and in desperation, I had leant the blasted thing up against the front door just to get rid of it.

The dead tree press has a lot to answer for, from then on.  We used to have the Sunday papers delivered (must have been super-rich), and after the usual lie-in, a trawl through the news and several fags and coffee was the norm.

The paperboy then provided a new way to make the earth move, as he found he couldn't get the two Sunday rags through the letter box, so he gave them a gigantic shove, which pushed the blasted mirror back, and immediately afterwards - down...

Crash...

So that was the end of that little escapade; bummer really as it was a superb piece of work, and I'm sure we would have still had it to this day...

5 comments:

rvi said...


Ooops!

But I won't ask you whether one of the papers was The Sunday Mirror.

Sen. C.R.O'Blene said...

It definitely wasn't, Reevers!

We used to take The Sunday Express and The Sunday Telegraph back then! They didn't have all the 'special' sections and were still quite slim compared with the bundles of trash they print now!

The Mirror, as always, was probably the last paper we would read, and it hasn't really changed!

A K Haart said...

Maybe it was Victorian. I've seen remarkably thick, heavy glass in Victorian mirrors. Did you have seven years bad luck afterwards?

rvi said...

Phew, that's a relief to know!

Back in the late 1950s/early 60s I used to do an early morning paper round before heading off to school. The midweek days were quite easy and no problems, but it was about that time that all the extra weekend supplements and magazines began to appear. The Sunday round was so heavy and thick it had to be split in two, so I had to return to the shop to get the second half into the bag. Tiny letter boxes, just wide enough to take a normal size envelope or a normal weekly paper folded into thirds were a pain in the whatsits as the weekend papers had to be separated individually so that all the bumf could be squeezed through on to the mat behind the door. I suspect that many customers were not best pleased as they had to collect the pieces after my heavy handed methods of delivery! Nobody complained (to my knowledge!). Indeed I think many were sympathetic to the weekend travails of their all-weather early morning paper-deliverers.

Last time I was in England I happened to walk past that paper shop. It is still there and operating as such, but now instead of a chirpy flat-capped, heavy smoking cockney fellow, the person behind the counter was of Asian countenance. I wonder if they still deliver papers to the local natives?

Michael said...

Well, we're still married, Mr H...