Kitchen tables have huge significance in my life. They have tended to be at the absolute heart of life no matter where I have lived.
They were a real place of family gathering and routine when I was a kid and setting the table, eating at it, doing homework there, chatting, laughing, debating, listening to the radio news were all inherently associated with it. There were also the baking sessions that had the kitchen table at their centre – from me ‘helping’ Mother to roll out pastry, make gingerbread men, stir the Christmas cake mixture, lick the gooey spoons and beaters ….
Or, the pair of us shelling peas or topping and tailing blackcurrants or gooseberries for jam or me getting jam pots organized, the kitchen table held it all together.
So many late nights later on, sitting at the kitchen table in our designated chairs discussing grown-up stuff and drinking endless cups of tea.
Nowadays, the kitchen table has become more and more my domain, especially in the early mornings when I sit here having breakfast, listening to the radio, blogging, doing crosswords, talking to Puppy Stan who lies underneath it, looking out the kitchen window, past the pot plants to the ever-changing tall trees in the garden, the birds flying about and the mesmerizing sky.
Our kitchen tables have always been fruit-laden and wordy, creative places that play host to mugs at all hours of the day and night. They have seen all the lists, recipes, newspapers, daily post, messy homework, tears of every emotion – joy, sorrow, frustration, onion cutting …
A kitchen table needs to be solid and soothing to shoulder all this.