on the August table


I am documenting the year with monthly photographs of my kitchen table. Capturing the jumble that accumulates here, at the heart of the kitchen, is also a way to record some of the domestic stories of our family life.

August, amidst the school holidays, and the summer seems to be slipping away from me too quickly. I’ve been attempting to grasp its transient moments with the help of the new (to me) Polaroid 1000. How I love this camera! Easily thrown in a bag, or slung over my shoulder, it’s almost always a talking point. Loaded up with Impossible Project film, the prints that it produces are positively dreamy, oozing with golden summer light. A timeless evocation of my sons’ boyhood, each instantly nostalgic little rectangle brings with it a second of heart-stopping joy, 30 minutes after shooting, when I pull it fully developed from my bag and into the daylight, to be held and exclaimed over. I prop these polaroids on the shelf above my desk, slip them between the pages of my books, study and dream over them whilst I sip my coffee. Each of them more beloved than the last, every one infused with magic.

This month’s flowers, a jubilant bunch, were bought from my favourite honesty box shop. Outside a farmhouse, on the road to the home of a good friend of mine, a row of buckets overflow daily with fresh posies. When we go visiting, I am careful to keep some change in my purse in preparation, for fresh flowers are a weakness of mine, and nothing cheers me more than one of these vibrant bouquets.

The sweet little yellow pot reads ‘Fine Welsh Honey, guaranteed pure. GJ Nugent, Chemist and Optician, High Street, Cardigan’. I dug it out from a jumbled box outside a particularly grimy junk shop whilst we were holidaying in beautiful West Wales. It currently holds some sea glass and a white quarz pebble from Penbryn beach. We visited Cardigan a couple of times in order to spend time at the frankly rather wonderful Pizza Tipi, part of Fforest. Should you find yourself in that part of the world, it’s well worth a visit!

The little cup and the airmail letters have both made a reappearance after many years lost. The hand-thrown cup was a gift from a friend when I was at school. At the time I didn’t drink coffee, but having re-discovered this lingering at the bottom of a box, I rescued it with delight, and immediately put the coffee pot on the stove to brew. In another box, found by my parents in their loft, were sheaves of blue aerogrammes, each sent by family and friends to my eighteen year old self during the year that I spend teaching in Thailand. There were also a handful from a summer spent in the States a few years previously. Many memories are contained within their filmy pages, some happy, some heart-rending. My favourite letter was that which was sent to me aged 15, by my brother, who was then 11. Such sweetness. The relationship between us at that time has been captured between its pages, delicately preserved as in a flower press. A gift to the future in which I now find myself.

Yellow, white, red and blue: the August table.

The kitchen story so far:

{the January table}

{the February table}

{the March table}

{the April table}

{the May table}

{the June table}

{the July table}

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  • Re-discovered letters are so enchanting aren’t they. I have a box of them in the wardrobe for re-reading one day. Polaroids are captivating things, digital photography somehow doesn’t quite have the same magic. A lovely look at your table, as always Laura. CJ xx

  • Oh I love your table series and those photos!! So nice to have them to hand rather than stored away on a laptop or phone. And as for letters, I too have hundreds of them from the past, including all the ones my then boyfriend, now husband wrote to me…