I write my blog Notes From the Kitchen Table literally from my kitchen table. I’m sat here typing away on my second hand laptop on my green spotty oil clothed covered pine table that my father gave Hubbie and I many years ago. It’s been left out in the rain at our last house, was used in a student house I shared and now it’s taking over the kitchen in an imposing ‘I am here and you will stub your toe on my legs every time you go past me’ kind of way.
I do love it as it’s finally got rid of that orange stain that it had when my father bought it from a pine shop in Newbury (probably a housing estate now) some 20 odd years ago. It’s aged, helped by the rain of course, and it’s also covered in paint marks, dents and scrapes as it was in my workroom for a while in our last house. The trouble is that just as it got to how I really wanted it to look we moved into a tiny house with a tiny kitchen that really is too small for it and as the house isn’t going to go any time soon the table must find another home.
This is the last blog I will write from this particular kitchen table.
It’s the end of an era…
But having said that resting against the wall in the hall are 2 boxes containing our new kitchen table. The flat packed smaller one that is hopefully going to make our lives easier. It is a corner seating table that Hubbie has fond memories of using in his Austrian Grandmother’s house also many years ago. He remembers people tightly packed chatting for hours in German or the particular food of his childhood holidays and he’s always wanted one for his own family. He also remembers as a small child crawling under the table in between a forest of legs to get out to go to the loo or play when the grown ups wanted to stay for a bit longer.
A corner table is perfect for this kitchen as it makes much better use of the space. I’ve not seen one in an English home (though I know someone will read this and say ‘We’ve had one for years!!’) but the friends I’ve shown it to have all exclaimed how marvelous it is so I’m hoping it’ll be alright.
The only thing I’m really worried about is the fact that we have to build it. You need 2 people to hold various bits of it at various times and I know from previous experience that Hubbie and I don’t really work together that well. I remember the time he decided to put up our large tent for the first time in the middle of the green of the house we lived in. The green was surrounded by houses and my neighbour could be heard giggling out of the window as she watched Hubbie become more angry with ‘No, MY left Emma, not yours. Can you please hold the pole straight or the whole thing will fall down????’ That was the point that he bent the pole that little too far and it snapped. It was also the point my giggling neighbour shut the window as she could see Hubbie about to explode.
Please don’t think that Hubbie is an angry person – he is anything but – or that I am downtrodden because I really am not but although we sit on the sofa and giggle away at each others silly jokes we are not made to approach a flat pack problem or build a tent with poles together. I am methodical and sort out all the screws and nuts and bolts in order so I don’t have to scrabble around for them just when I need them. He is the sort that will drop a screwdriver on the floor (so it rolls away and you can’t find it?????) as, at that point, he doesn’t need it anymore and out of sight is definitely out of mind. He’ll happily spend a few minutes finding it again whereas I am ready to blow my top.
I don’t take risks whereas Hubbie can be found (and indeed was a couple of weeks ago) in the middle of a large paddling pool that’s full of water standing on a chair whilst putting up the gazebo. I came out of the workroom door into the garden to hear myself say ‘For the love of GOD man what are you doing?????’ He was, as usual, nonplussed and thought his situation all entirely normal. To be fair he didn’t slip and the gazebo was put up pretty quickly so his answer is ‘What’s your problem?’ and when I tell him my problem he says with a glint in his eye ‘Well, it didn’t happen did it?’ I can’t really argue with that unfortunately as no matter what I say he’s right, it didn’t.
So think of us tonight as you go about your daily life. I will be itching to line up the screws, he will be studying the instructions. I will be holding various bits of randomly sized wood waiting for Hubbie to find the right screw (if he’d just lined them up…) but, hopefully, at the end of what might be a very long night we might actually have a table and one that fits our tiny kitchen.
So I say a fond ‘au revoir’ again to this farmhouse table of ours as I do plan to use it again one day. Hubbie is thinking of having it as a desk in his study so he can get rid of the plastic painting table held up with a filing cabinet and set of draws at either end. It also bows in the middle. So I will still see the legs of the table that the puppy that turned into a dog that we had many, many years ago chewed, I’ll smile as memories can be found everywhere if you look hard enough.
I know that after tonight I’ll probably have a few more DIY anecdotes to share at pointless times with friends (I might share the time that Hubbie drilled a hole into a pipe in our house and flooded the dinning room and ruined 2 computers soon if you’re interested) but I will also have a new kitchen table to write my blog from but the spotty oilcloth will still be the same…