My Favourite Table

15 January 2012

We are about to embark on some home improvements - they've been in the pipeline since we decided that we would stay put in our house for the time being. Much of the work is necessary stuff we won't particularly notice in an aesthetic way; dealing with some damp patches, improving airflow with the addition of air bricks and window vents, replacing bathroom fans, moving loft hatches and such like. Then there are some storage issues to be addressed to help our home adjust to our growing family (kids accumulate a lot of stuff in a relatively short space of time don't they?) and then the paint pots will come out and freshen the whole house up. We need to make a few furniture purchases too with any pennies left at the end of it all.
Furniture: it got me thinking. Like kids with their stuff, as adults you accumulate furniture. We've a mix of stuff; new, Ebay purchases, Ikea quick-fixes that are still around, flea market finds, pieces we've acquired through work and heirlooms.

I like my heirlooms. Don't get me wrong, for me they need to live alongside some more modern pieces otherwise it could end up looking like a museum. It gives them a new lease of life and I like the idea of furniture having longevity; always having a purpose in life.

One of my favourite pieces of furniture falls into that category. It's my dining table. It's nothing to write home about style wise. It's heavy oak, solid, and practical as it can extend from a 4 to a 6 seater. We eat most our meals around it; entertain around it; the kids play at it; it's where we sit for a 'serious' talk. But what I love about it most is that it has history. It belonged to my grandparents who purchased it when they moved into their home in 1939. I inherited it eighteen years ago. It currently lives in our kitchen in its compact form, though it started off in our living room. The plan is to put it back in the living room once we've decorated so we can extend it to its full capacity once again.

It would be amazing if my table could talk; it would have some fantastic stories I'm sure. My great grandparents regularly joined my grandparents at the table in its early years. It lived through the second world war. It witnessed the arrival of my dad who had this table in his everyday life until he left home. As a child I have memories of going for dinner and sitting around the table. It must have witnessed somewhere around 72 Christmas dinners and goodness knows how many Sunday roast, not to mention the odd family row somewhere along the line.

So now it has its fifth generation carrying out their life around it. I love that. The day that my grandparents made their dining table purchase they could never had known that it would still be very much alive all these years later. They'd be thrilled if they could see it now with its 'today' family, of that I am sure.

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