Rummaging Mum’s Garage

Cream Scene finds lots of treasures in the garage…

Artwork by Katy Somerville

What do you hope to find in Mum’s Garage? 


Maa, where’s the ladder?

Check the garage!

Yep, there it stands, the rickety beast, slouching low like our local old greengrocer lady, amid the most precarious heap of knick-knacks I’ve seen. On top of the ladder is another cardboard box, nearly falling apart, balanced against the wall in a way only Maa can manage. I tiptoe forwards, careful not to disturb the dust or the pile of heaven-knows-what-filled boxes and bags; then I gingerly put the box down, which wobbles dangerously and settles with a series of weird clinks. 

I catch something red and gold and familiar poking out of the box. Curious, I open the tattered flaps.

A red-and-gold veil, like a bride’s, and paper garlands — beneath those, glass bangles, a multicoloured kaleidoscope, half of them broken — blackened City Gold imitation jewellery, some from mom’s youth, some mine — all of which had once served my dance performances and the occasional teenage fancy of dressing up like a bride, Maa’s wedding snaps my guide —

Digging in deeper — a packet full of figurines, Radha and Krishna and birds and animals, from days when we used to create clay Vrindavans on Jhulon Purnima — a poster or two of Harry Potter and Prince Caspian — a sheet map of the world with Egypt, Ireland, Greece, Italy and China circled in faded red — a handmade chart of stars, constellations and planets with their details — yellowing relics of dreams that have floated away in the Lethe.

Baba’s voice hollers from somewhere within the house. 

I wake up from my dream with a start.

That evening, I tiptoe into the garage. There’s no box, no ladder even. I bolt the heavy steel doors shut and make my way back.

When do we throw romance away into garage junk?


My dreams are fragments of nonsense or highly detailed, and  Dream Katy will sometimes find a perfectly perfect Katy outfit in a store, or in a box on the nature strip. Or in a box which she has apparently forgotten.

I want to find said box, marked with “Katy” and a big star in permanent marker, full and overflowing with these outfits. 

The green velvet coat with tiny mirrored glass pieces on it (my teenage dream coat). The cowboy print dress I bought nearly 13 years ago that I barely wore because of my own views on my body at the time (I still have part of the material and wear it as a skirt).

 I also hope to find the letters my grandpa wrote my nan during their courtship. 

And the umbrella that I lost. And the perfect pair of mittens.

Also, those novelty lamps, from Sean’s mum’s garage. 

(after Katy shouted “Sean, quick! What are you finding in Mum’s Garage?!)

Sean: Ah! A cactus lamp!

Katy: I have one of those already!

Sean: Novelty lamps of any shape or size.


Orange space hopper


I expect we’ll discover a svelte, 73-year-old woman, wisps of gray sticking out from beneath a frayed L.A. Dodgers baseball cap, wearing rolled-up sleeves of an embroidered denim shirt (“Bali Hai Will Call You”, palm trees and coconuts in sparkling threads of teal and chartreuse), with an oily dipstick in her hands as she begins the process of fine-tuning her Vitamin C-orange 1970 Plymouth Hedi Barracuda for spring in The Hamptons, Pink Floyd’s Atom Heart Mother reverberating from wall-mounted speakers.  She’s smart, she’s sassy, she’s the bomb and she’s definitely not to be trusted with your new 23-year-old beau who’s already exchanging sly glances, a gleam & a smirk in his baby-blue eyes.  


I hope I find my missing wedding ring in that garage. Been lost for almost 10 years…


If I was talking about my mum’s garage, it would be the Gilda Radner paper dolls that Mary bought me for my birthday, thereby solidifying her as the greatest gift giver.

Maybe Katy could channel some Gilda paper dolls!




Probably  a blue-eyed frog perched on a pack of old love letters.


May we find a key to the portal leading to a world without war and pestilence.


A haunted baseball trading card


A society that benefits the people that participate in it. 


Oooooh.. that’s a good one. Erm. A copy of my great American novel, left there by future me. I’m not allowed to read it, but I can look at the cover and read the blurb and know that one day I’m going to write it. 🤔


If no Hussler/ Hustlers.  Then a cardboard and mixed materials like violin case.  I dreamed waking up to this last night.  I call it a bathroom key.  It is a small crash proof case for these phones of ours.  For as long as we look for love in these vanity mirror self-phones,  I want to have some old hinges and industrial design to look at and ignore while screening calls.


How about a Beatles Album with the rare Butcher’s Cover, And Jimmy Hoffa. And a Jaguar (the car that is) with the license plate, JAG which are also my initials.


I wish to find a taxidermied mouse wearing a burlesque costume


An odyssey of weirdness and endless supply of googly eyes and existential realization/revelation of a chair falling in the black abyss.


Chromatics records, Sylvia Plath books, jeans, leather daddy hat. Leather jacket. 


A box of Kenneth Anger classics on Blu-Ray beginning with Invocation of My Demon Brother, Scorpio Rising, Fireworks, Lucifer Rising, and Inauguration of the Pleasure Dome. Just behind it, another box containing existentialist books by geniuses from Camus to Kafka to Zapffe.

Under those boxes, a cedar chest secured with a giant lock and a satchel beside it.

The satchel’s filled with cassette mix tapes – Soft Kill, The Undertones, The Ramones of course, The Stranglers, Chromatics, Flying Lotus, Dead Boys, Siousxie, and a surprise mix tape from DJ Jesse Davis.

The cedar chest doesn’t come with a key, unfortunately, so its contents remain a mystery.


An old, dirty, rusty irrigator. We took it for granted.


I wish to ransack the garage, peeling apart remotes and Christmas decorations as I scavenge for the final AAA battery needed to get my half-busted portable DVD player up and running. All that I really want from this world is to enjoy the masterpiece that is ‘Austin Powers: Goldmember’ in the comfort of my own bathtub, and I know the final piece of the puzzle HAS to be in here SOMEwhere.


i had two thoughts. one is altruistic and the other is selfish. 

my first thought is a garage filled with gender affirming clothes and accessories. shoes, purses, jewelry. all of it.  and boobs. at this point in the fantasy why not go all in? nice perky C cups would be fun.  i’m a big gal so maybe D. i’d look ridiculous but it’s fun to dream. oh and hips.  and a nicer butt. a little fuller not as flat. but really all i want is tolerance and understanding.

it’s a dangerous world especially for trans youth. i can hide still, but the brave souls that express so amazingly are at risk.

the fascist government is eroding our rights to express, to live. 


Spongebob merch from 2002


A forgotten unopened box of My Pet Monster that was never given to me for Christmas.


A complete set of OMNI magazines and a couple of the Clan of the Cave Bear series books. And a forgotten bag of cash, enough to make a difference in all the contributors’ lives.


I want to find some cool ass threads from the 60’s & 70’s, some fabulous glitter platform sandals to tie all the outfits together, and maybe some wicked costume jewelry. It would also be nice to locate some scandalous secret love letters from a secret admirer hidden away in the dark corner of an antique trunk. I would also like to find a very ugly piece of still life art, one of my least favorite kinds of art, only to discover that it was actually a masterpiece worth $350,000. That way I wouldn’t feel bad about selling it because most still life art annoys me.


In the garage, I would love to find a frappuccino


A crate of old records, or a time machine that will allow me to fist fight Lord Byron… Whatever we find, I’m here for the journey.


23th century  music & artist & multimedia stuff made by AI in the future. I’d like to think that i’m bringing out 60’s & punk music to the next chapter.

J Bird 

I’ll tell you right now, straight forward, no mincing or mucking, without hesitation, and certainly no pussy footing, that the thing I’d wish for the most in my Mum’s garage is definitely not her dessicated corpse festooned in cheap Christmas lights, tree baubles, surrounded by guttering candles pilfered from the nearby St. Joseph’s church in the attitude of some kind of depraved shrine. I definitely wish the most for that not to be the thing I find in Mum’s garage.


When you open mum’s garage, you will find a large room lined with pink-velvet that smells of roses. At the center of the room is a little unicorn wearing a silver cape with a curly white beard prepared to grant you your 3 wishes.

What will your first wish be?


What do I hope to find in Mum’s Garage? Nothing that will make me question every single maternal instinct I’ve ever had or the entire concept of motherhood itself. I certainly don’t want to see mounds of dust that have accumulated over the years from neglect that have grown sentient and now form their own, misinformed idea of a human, that knows all the secrets of the garage. Maybe they’ll share them with you if you add to their collection of old, used sweaty sports equipment. No, none of those things stir my heart and tingle my fingertips when gripping the garage opener, eagerly awaiting the door’s slow crawl upwards revealing all that’s demented cemented on its musty floors. However, if I could find that one tire cap for my bike that’d be cool. 


In the garage, I hope to find the one perfect negligee with the perfect number of old cigarette burns that when worn transports your imagination to your truest, boldest self. Has anyone looked in that box over there?


Mum’s Garage has old paintings that were too ugly to be hung on the wall in the living room. It has toys of another lifetime that wasn’t my own, It has stacks of trash and unidentified objects everyone collectively ignores. It has earines and nostalgia. In architecture some places are called “Non luoghi” Non-places, for a literal translation. They are places where time and context doesn’t matter. What only matters is the moment itself. Although architecturally it’s a negative description, I find it fits Mum’s garage with wonderful possibilities.  

Mum’s garage is where we store that piece of our past knowing we’ll find it just  whenever we need it back.


I want to find all the things I’ve lost over my life – stuffed koala on the school merry-go-round, flapper bracelet that slipped from my gloved wrist as All Tomorrow’s Parties, vintage Rusty’s Jazz Cafe t-shirt. My grandma’s cauliflower soup recipe. My grandma herself. My dad and my old red dog. All the dogs!

Don’t forget every flash of enlightenment, every fizzled idea, every moment of happiness, and every orgasm, that I’ve ever had. Just redux.

Is that too much to ask?


A Burgundy pair of corduroy pants


Ah! My mum’s old wigs from the 70s! She buried them in our garden, because I used to wear them and parade around the village. I have this image in my mind of my mother with a shovel, burying wigs in the ground. This “burial ceremony” happened in the 70s.. I was a rather flamboyant child💅


An unlistenable industrial music cassette tape and a Javanese wayang puppet.


A party, invitation only, from someone I trust, with excellent taste in friends. Red epoxy floor, strung lights, an art project in the middle and comfy chairs for a friend or two~ and the whole yard and 1st floor for all of our guests ~


Oooooh.. that’s a good one. Erm. A copy of my great American novel, left there by future me. I’m not allowed to read it, but I can look at the cover and read the blurb and I’ll know that one day I’m going to write it.


A stash of vintage western movie stills.

And rolls of 60’s upholstery fabric.


As I explore the cavernous depths of mum’s garage, I hope to find love letters to all the weird old lovers. I want the juicy details with the ropes and chains, kisses on the forehead, and adventures to the world’s unknown. I hope to find pamphlets and receipts and takeout menus that will inspire me to visit the places too weird and niche for me to find on my own.

I want mum’s garage to find me.

We can still add your answers (definitely missing Gwen Jess Kiki Allison Mitch)

Thank you to everyone who contributed to Volume One of Mum’s Garage! Thank you to the team for making it happen!

About the Artist

Katy Somerville was beamed into existence on a Monday night in the mid-eighties by stars, glitter, and a glorious Italian woman from a long line of very strong women. In the present timeline, she likes to drink coffee, pat any animal that will engage with her, make collages, and spend time laughing and finding moments of joy wherever she can with her partner and her goofy, lanky dog.

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