The key to happiness

Posted on August 24, 2010

On Saturday, we picked up a new/old desk at our local Fabulous Old Stuff store. This time it wasn’t for me (two new ones in a year is enough for this office), but rather for Mr6. His second of the year. Somehow one desk is never enough around here.

His old/new desk came flat in a box from a faraway place, has miniscule drawers (not even big enough for A4!) and filled his room with toxic fumes for months. But the top miniscule drawer was lockable.

The new/old desk is in one piece, from a faraway time, and fills the senses with the patina of old age. There are no keys.

You know which one he prefers.

But Mum and Dad still prevail, so his funky little clerk’s desk, with its ink marks and its scratches, is tucked into the corner of his room. Already it’s strewn with Lego (remember, that’s what he ‘does’ here). It looks happy to be fulfilling its purpose.

The old/new desk (now thoroughly aired of toxic fumes) has gone to the Salvos. Complete with its keys, prised from Mr6’s grasp only once he understood that it was useless without the complementary lock.

I understand his attachment to that lock. I remember being given one of those lockable diaries when I was about 10. It was my prized possession. I never wrote anything in it (except possibly the weather statistics if genetics are anything to go by), but I loved the fact that the nothing in it was all mine.

Mr6’s lockable top drawer contained some lego, an old Ben 10 sticker, some drawings (or blueprints for Spy Gadgets as he informed me), an eraser and a pencil case. All very valuable when you’re six.

Imagine his joy when, as we were moving the new/old desk into his room, The Builder discovered a curly, old-fashioned key taped into the bottom drawer. The best of both worlds.

I’m guest posting today over at Ah, The Possibilities – come and say hello!


  1. Kelly

    I used to collect old keys. True stroy. Where are they? Gotta love a lockable draw. Lockable anything is pretty fun.

  2. ClaireyH

    You can never have enough desks around. I have an old chest (the wooden type, but my breast/chest is looking a bit old too. It has a big key that once locked takes me about half an hour to unlock. The girls love it!

  3. MultipleMum

    The ol’ lockable drawer. Gotta love a small space that is truly your own. Maxabella made me laugh, just as this post made me all warm and fuzzy 🙂

  4. Aging Mommy

    I think everyone feels the need to have a place to hide away their secret or not so secret things. Beautiful post.

  5. Deer Baby

    Loved this post – reminded me of all my old desks and my son’s desks through the years and my first 5 year diary with a tiny silver key. I thought I was so grand with my secret diary.

    Laughing at Maxabella’s comment above.

    I did some ghostwriting for someone once. They couldn’t write unless they had a specially commissioned handmade desk hewn from oak for them. I know the feeling.

  6. Maxabella

    I have a lockable drawer with a rickety old brass key in my 1930s sideboard. I keep my sanity in it.

  7. Gifts of Serendipity

    Ah the excitement of your own desk with little nooks and crannies for secrets and treasures. You don’t have to be 6 to love all of the elements about this post.
    x Felicity

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