It's been a lovely day here today and this afternoon I was out in the garden pottering for a while. I moved this white plastic seat onto our tiny patio until I get the little bistro table and chairs painted with a fresh coat of wood preservative and put in position for the summer. It was very dirty having been outside all winter and I set to scrubbing it and whilst I did I pondered on how an old wooden seat even if worn and tatty would be attractive whereas this one just looks horrid (it wasn't much better when it was new as then it was too sparkling white!)
This got me thinking about plastic and UPVC and to wondering why it is that natural things have the ability to look beautiful even when worn which plastic things never have. How much nicer would a proper wooden barrel look here instead of this horrid green plastic water butt? But have you seen the cost of such barrels?!
And here is another one outside the kitchen door along with a plastic watering can - doesn't look like the sort of vignette one sees in Country Living magazine when they have a wooden butt and an old metal can does it?
How much nicer is our beehive compost bin than the bright green plastic one (why is everything green do they thing it will blend in with nature? Some hope!) ?Our beehive will look better when it has weathered a bit and when there are plants growing over the fence behind but that plastic one will look like that for ever!
Pictures from an old CL magazine
Look at these lovely old buckets - not a plastic one to be seen...
and here's a real shed with vintage tools etc - doesn't it look great?
My thoughts then turned to the house and its UPVC windows, loft and wall insulation and so on - all of which were here when we bought it. Now there's no denying that UPVC windows keep out the draughts, keep in the heat, and I never have to take a mallet and the rolling pin to them to get them open in the spring after a wet winter either! But there are disadvantages - when they get dingy there can be no coat of paint to freshen them up, we are stuck with white and the doors are white too which I would never have chosen. This house will never become a pretty tumbledown place like stone built homes of yesteryear will it - what will happen to all that plastic, glass fibre and foam? Is it more ecological to have a warm well insulated house like this or a draughty badly insulated old house? I fear the plastic in our home is here to stay for hundred of years long after we have gone.
BUT .. then I thought that plastic has its advantages as I moved these green chairs into a patch of sunshine (doesn't look very sunny in the pic I know) and we sat and had a cup of tea in the garden - wouldn't have wanted to sit for long but it was beautiful to be outside in February drinking tea and listening to the birds in the wood alongside our garden for the few minutes it took to drink our tea. Plastic is light which is why we changed the old metal watering can we used to have for a plastic one. I suppose that as with most things in life it's a case of swings and roundabouts and whilst the old vintage stuff might look better sometimes the modern plastic has its advantages. Just a pity we inherited quite so much of it from the vendor when we moved here - we will gradually change some of it but I guess we are stuck with the wall insulation and the doors and windows!!
Hope you have had a sunny day too.