Last weekend I met a friend in a café in Langport for brunch.
‘We can visit my old dining table!’, I said, in reply to her suggestion. ‘It lives there now!’
‘I am weirdly looking forward to that,’ she replied, proving why we’ve been friends for nearly thirty years.
You might be wondering why exactly my dining table now lives in a café in Langport. It’s because when we first bought our house around five years ago, my partner at the time was a teensy bit on the controlling side and was insistent that proper people ate their meals at a table. Now in principle I’ve nothing against this – gathering around a table for a family meal is all very wholesome, sharing news, playing games, nothing to dislike there.
My idea of sitting down around a dining table though would be in a lovely big kitchen, preferably with bifold doors opening onto a beautiful garden. The table would be a long wooden table, maybe with benches either side and obviously with some sort of charming homegrown flower arrangement in the centre.
Something like this one from Furniture Village:
You get the vibe right?
Unfortunately the only house I could afford to buy just has a small kitchen and a average sized living room, large enough for a small dining table as long as you don’t insist on having a piano taking up one wall. OH WAIT. Yes, ex-boyfriend insisted on having a piano taking up one wall, meaning the only space for a table of any kind was in the kitchen, wedged into a corner, where to sit down you had to take turns and breathe in. If you wanted to go outside you had to open the back door only very slightly and squeeze through carefully. Not a bifold in sight.
Idyllic was NOT the word.
When I finally managed to get rid of him AND the piano, such was my relief and sense of rebellion that I sold the dining table on Facebook to the cafe in Langport and we’ve been eating on our laps watching TV ever since. Hoorah! I replaced the piano with a drinks cabinet and everyone lived happily ever after.
Well almost. Until I wanted to do a jigsaw puzzle. There is really no easy way to do a jigsaw puzzle without a dining table when you have three cats, unless you like doing puzzles where half the pieces might be underneath or inside any one cat at any time.
And so I gave in, moved the drinks cabinet to the garage, bought a dining table and cracked out the jigsaws. The rebellious ex-girlfriend in me still can’t bring myself to actually eat meals at it, but every so often I cut things from the garden for a wholesome centrepiece and I think that’s enough.
What do you use your dining table for?