- A confused mixture: hodgepodge
(Ref: Merriam-Webster Online, Word of the day, 1 July 2020)
Use it in a sentence
The house was a farrago of souvenirs from past holidays, relationships, hobbies – past lives. Drawn, old-fashioned heavy drapes cast out any redeeming light. Dark though it was, eventually you could make out two hockey sticks, crossed like swords, perched against boxes of gardening almanacs that dated back to 1971. A Christmas wreath, propped against a stack of books on the floor, had become a crispy, leafy skeleton after an intense summer. There was no telling what colour the overstuffed lounge was anymore as it was covered with a floral, velour rug, several disparate shaped and coloured cushions, a creamy fringed shawl and the travel section of an old broadsheet newspaper. The coffee table was covered in the same tide of detritus as the rest of the house – teacups, several wine bottles and glasses, a plate of stale crackers and cheese crumbs, and a large bronze statue of a horse mid-gallop. Pushed into the spaces in between these items were pencils and notepaper, some scribbled on, some not; crumpled up pages; pictures ripped from magazines; and a crochet hook plunged into the heart of a ball of blue yarn.
The real estate agent stood at the lounge room entrance and blinked several times. She had seen all this before. The room could be tidied, things thrown away. But the owner’s recklessness, lack of care, extended to the bones of the house. The floorboards were visible through holes in the threadbare carpet, sticky splashes of an undoubtedly saucy take-out dish stained the wall like a shooting victim’s blood spatter. A crack from cornice to skirting board was so wide it could be used as a larder. The loose sash windows, hidden behind the drapes, made themselves known with a throaty death rattle every time a vehicle drove by. Smokey residue left blotchy, cloud-like formations on the once white ceiling.
And this was only the lounge. She racked her brain for something from her timeworn collection of clever phrases and ambiguous descriptions but stopped short. In the end, despite the narrow and difficult sloped block, despite the heritage laws that would hinder modifications, despite the haunted sense of decay, she wrote in her posting: ‘Quirky and charming character home. Renovators delight.’