Henry Shires @ Piece – Stuff(ed)

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HENRY PROFILE NEW + PARISIt is fashionable among some circles to advocate living in a cave with nothing to protect your modesty but a skid marked loin cloth and a rice bowl, with two natural wood chopsticks as your only possessions. Just as fashionable in fact as it is among other circles to have a huge house in Brighton with a brand new shiny black, preferably practically amour plated, four wheel drive parked outside.

Every time my wife finally nags me into “sorting out” any part of overstuffed domain, I always feel the same terrible pangs of a life and small fortune apparently waisted almost entirely on shopping and the accumulation of infinite items. So many items indeed that their quantity alone infinitely outnumbers any number of friends, even of the fickle Facebook variety, that I might ever accrue. Even if I had a dozen lifetimes in which to do so!

And, although I often also feel some sense of unburdening of the heavy yoke of life from these ritual cathartic possession purges, I and my wife always go back to filling the space and irreparably polluting the feng shui of our home and lives with yet more super expensive stuff.

However this piece is not going to be spent in praise of practical, psychological and spiritual benefits of the sparce, the Spartan, the uncluttered and the plain empty.

There are plenty of other places you can read about that – Ad nauseam.

No here I am going to extol the surprising satisfaction that I gleaned recently from 3 very material things.

I have a love hate relationship with cars.

I love the style of some of them (mostly the “classic” variety) and love driving, if I am the only person on the road. But I hate driving in Australia; a country where, more than anywhere else I have ever been, the cultural psyche seems to be that of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde – The benign Dr Jekyll in all other walks of life but the horrible Mr Hyde as soon as we get behind the wheel of a motor vehicle.

However, as Grinch-like as I was about getting it, my wife’s (almost) new Honda Jazz, is indeed both as beautiful to behold in its sunny Mediterranean cerulean blue as it is to drive. With back seats that actually flip back completely to ideally accommodate our pesky, pooey pouches and my beloved bicycle.

And then there is the new washing machine. Wasting one’s life reading back issues of Choice really does pay off occasionally, and certainly did when it came to the fantastically priced LG WD021D6.

Not only is this incredible piece of state of the art technology almost completely movement free (we have nick named it “Silent Running”) but it also, I believe, unless I am misreading the manual, (possibly due to some confusion in the translation from the original Korean)even has a small button for time travel!

And finally, last but not least, we currently have (on loan only) a $2,000 Thermomix.

For those of you who are not addicted to “kitchen porn” this is the Rolls Royce of kitchen gadgets. It may not allow us to travel in time like our washing machine but it does absolutely everything else; chops, blends, sautés, cooks, steams, makes yogurt, nut milks, grates the hardest of hard cheeses, makes the perfect coleslaw, and even, so my wife tells me, answers the back door to my mother in law or one of the dogs when neither of us can be bothered to get it.

After just one super smooth smoothie from this uber kitchen appliance you will never be able to look at another make or model without odious comparison.

However, it is, how shall I put this (and this is why objects will never ever bring you true bliss), just a little… Germanic. It is the Vorsprung durch Technik of the kitchen.

Absolutely indestructible and able, with ease, to produce a perfectly blended cream of concrete soup, if you so desired, it is also, unfortunately, potentially neighbour-ant antagonisingly noisy. If used at the recommended speeds at least.

If used at any time later than that at which any noisy tradesperson might normally knock off.

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