Watching an antique hunt show recently - the host was describing a frantic search for antique furniture and I recalled happy memories from years ago. When I first joined my partner's family we used to go visiting often and one visit found me down the garden in one of the old sheds - Pa had decided it was high time we cleared them so as not to leave a mess for 'those to come after . . . . ' . As my partner was the only candidate for that post, it seemed rather excessive but I entered into the fray. The shed contained a wonderous selection of old furniture that they'd had when they first married some 40 years prior. They'd had to accept whatever was available as it was wartime, everything was precious and everyone started off with seconds from family. . . Something I insisted on keeping was a complete set of loom cane furniture - having been carefully covered with heavy drapes, it was still immaculate, the colour of lightly toasted pretzels with plain moquette seating. This set was so beautifully crafted and had been bought in the poshest furniture retailer in the big town at least 60 years before. It is over 100 years old now and looks slightly less like newly baked pretzels But oh I can't part with these family antiques.