Whilst looking through old diaries the other day, I realised that we bought our dining table and chairs back at the beginning of the century.
Although it is still in good condition, it has the marks of a well used piece of furniture. It is extendable, so it can be a small round table that comfortably sits four. Or with one additional panel, it is an oval table, suitable for six people. Or with two panels we have seated a dozen people around it with kids at a separate garden table and borrowed chairs and stools.
In our house, it has generally been an oval table, suitable for four plus the ever present pile of “odds and ends” or “bits and pieces” or letters and paperwork for filing or just “Mum’s pile of stuff”.
The kids created a lot of drawings and paintings here, but the table is scarred with small indentations from a phase of Impressionist style dot drawings.
My sewing machine as sat on it and various garments and dress up costumes were fashioned on its surface. It has seen knitting and crochet projects too.
It has seen various household appliances deconstructed and reassembled, some of them back to working order. Newspaper was required for the messy jobs and other random “Dad tasks”.
It has seen homework through all the grades, from early maths and spelling tests, to GCSE and A Level assignments. From history and geography to English literature and psychology. Early spelling lists where rather than write out each word ten times, C~M tried writing the first letter down ten times, one under the other, then the second letter ten times and so on. She wondered why she never got to remember the actually spelling of the word and failed that week’s test.
Our parrot Jade has walked across it. Our dog’s have tried to sneak food from it, sometimes with success.
Years and years of news has been spread across the wood, in formats from actual newspaper which left black smudges from the ink, to ipad and iphones. Books and magazines have been rested here.
All types of meals have been eaten hear, quick breakfasts on the run, Sunday brunches and full English. Snacks and sandwiches, take away meals, family favourites, salads to roast dinners. Coffee and biscuits, tea and cakes. Wine and cheese over late night discussions to put the world to rights. During a growing stage, S~E created new meals to be consumed. “If brunch comes between breakfast and lunch, the there should be dinch between dinner and lunch”.
It has been the centrepiece of celebrations, birthdays, anniversaries, family reunions.
And now our table is still oval, still with piles of stuff, seating two for meals but also serving as a desk with a Mac as we deal with all the admin required to wind up a life in the UK and begin a life in Australia.