My Janome 720 sewing machine was purchased from Grace Brothers, Parramatta on 3 November 1983. Not by me, obviously, because I was nine years old at the time and at primary school in Melbourne. It was acquired by me some time when we were living in Sydney on hard rubbish night. Well, the day after hard rubbish night actually.
I always love hard rubbish night – it’s a great way to acquire pre-loved stuff and always fascinating to see what people are getting rid of. Disappointingly, City of Port Phillip these days has a system whereby you can book in to have your hard rubbish collected for free up to four times a year so there is no longer a hard rubbish night as such. There’s a wonderful film called The Gleaners and I by Agnès Varda in which the director discusses (the French equivalent of) hard rubbish night with a young man who simply considers it to be a shopping night of sorts.
Back in Sydney on this particular evening we had a very enthusiastic gleaning friend staying with us and went on a shopping tour of the neighbourhood. He found lots of computer cables but not much else. It was the next day when I came home from work that I saw a sewing machine case on the nature strip outside the block of flats next to ours. Really, my heart rate went up. And lo and behold, it had a machine inside - a Janome 720 - along with a box of accessories, the manual and original warranty card. I was a bit reticent at first and spent a good 10 minutes waiting for the owner to come back for it; perhaps someone had driven away, accidentally leaving it by the side of the road? Perhaps not.
The machine didn’t work of course but that same enthusiastic gleaning friend is also an electrical engineer and was able to pinpoint and remedy the difficulty which was a bent pin in the plug. Runs like a dream, not that I can actually claim to have used it very much but I do have many plans.