Turning the table


Painted pine table for sale.


It comes with a bit of baggage. Lousie and I bought this table when we moved into our house in Clontarf.  There were only two and a half of us back then in 1995, Louise was expecting our first child.  Originally it was a pale pine, varnished.  It has a flip top, so it can fit easily through doorways.  We also had a couple of bentwood chairs (unpainted, dark mahogany colour) one of which you can see in the photograph.

It is a solid table, and well used.  We raised three children and a dog around this table.  It was a large feature of our small kitchen at the time.  Later on we extended the back of the house, and were able to make use of a larger kitchen table.  This one went into the music room and was used as a study table or a toy table.  Over the years it changed.  The pale pine darkened in the sunlight to a rich honey hue.  It picked up little dents and scratches and scuffs along the way, like crows feet around a persons eyes.

It made the journey with us to Tipperary, but has languished somewhat on the sidelines.  It is not getting any use.  So Louise decided that this would be her first project in her new furniture painting business.  She filled in the accumulated dents in the pine and sanded it down where necessary.  Then gave it a good set of undercoat and overcoat treatments with some really expensive paint (Farrow & Ball).

Then she learned how difficult it is to take an attractive photo of an object;  the importance of staging, so that people get a sense of the size, elegance and colour.  How to upload media to websites, the language descriptors that work, selecting a price point and so on.

Up it went for sale and less than a week later, the call has come, and the table is going to a new home.  A lovely lady who is downsizing to a smaller home is looking for a kitchen table.  So our old friend has come full circle and will take pride of place in the most important room in the house again.

Do objects have memories?  Can the accumulation of experiences somehow imbue an object with a character beyond it’s simple functional presence.  Can a table have an aura?  If so then this table has good karma.

Do you have a beloved old piece of furniture that deserves a new lease of life?  If so, make contact and perhaps Louise can help.

For those of you who spotted the cushion, yes it has a story too.  It was hand sewn by my daughter for her home economics examination last year (she got an A of course).  It says “Dream Big Dreams”.  I don’t know if that is for sale, but if you really, really have to have it……….

Perhaps the World Ends Here; by Joy Harjo

The world begins at a kitchen table. No matter what, we must eat to live.
The gifts of earth are brought and prepared, set on the table. So it has been since creation, and it will go on.
We chase chickens or dogs away from it. Babies teethe at the corners. They scrape their knees under it.
It is here that children are given instructions on what it means to be human. We make men at it, we make women.
At this table we gossip, recall enemies and the ghosts of lovers.
Our dreams drink coffee with us as they put their arms around our children. They laugh with us at our poor falling-down selves and as we put ourselves back together once again at the table.
This table has been a house in the rain, an umbrella in the sun.
Wars have begun and ended at this table. It is a place to hide in the shadow of terror. A place to celebrate the terrible victory.
We have given birth on this table, and have prepared our parents for burial here.
At this table we sing with joy, with sorrow. We pray of suffering and remorse. We give thanks.
Perhaps the world will end at the kitchen table, while we are laughing and crying, eating of the last sweet bite.

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