January 27, 2017

on the January 2017 table

For the fourth year running, 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. You can read previous tales from the table here.

There are bulbs on the January table. Narcissus bulbs planted by my husband in a vintage terracotta flower pot. He bought a couple of trays of old flower pots from the auction in the Christmas holidays. The hand thrown ones are my favourites- I love their imperfect elegance. A Woods Ware Beryl saucer stands beneath the pot, picked up for pennies from the mis-matched crockery box at the market.

There is tea: liquorice and mint, which is my current evening drink. Warming and soothing, and strangely sweet. Two small fossilised shells, which we found in the field when out walking not long ago. An unexpected fossil is always a pleasing find, and we are gathering a small collection. The notebook, by Field Notes, was a Christmas gift from my brother. I have a slight obsession with Field Notes notebooks, they’re so very aesthetically pleasing, this one being no exception. I have some interviewing to do next week for 91 Magazine, and this is my notebook of choice.

I keep a stack of poetry books on my desk and turn their pages in quiet moments. The Faber Book of 20th Century Women’s Poetry found itself at the top of the pile last week, which seemed appropriate in an emotional week when women across the world marched to make their voices heard. Last week, when I sent out my first Small Stories newsletter (you can sign up to receive it over in the sidebar, if you haven’t already), I received a moving and humbling email in reply from an American reader, who wrote: ‘know that your photos and thoughts are reaching many American women who need the calm respite that you provide.” It was a moving, but also a sobering response.

It is deeply saddening to me that we live in times so turbulent that calm respite is needed, but knowing that we have the ability to reach out to one another across the world is some small comfort. I find that poetry too can be a source of both power and succour. I recently came across this poem by Sheenagh Pugh being shared on Twitter and for me, it felt like a tiny ray of hope.

 

One thought on “on the January 2017 table

  1. Nadine

    Dear Laura,

    I love this little series. I might have to copy your idea for my own personal journaling. Ha. So much writing inspiration on our kitchen table. I also wanted to leave a thought about the need for calm. It is true that it feels sad and sometimes frightening to watch, read and listen to the turmoil in our world, but over the years I came to the realisation that there will always be a turbulent world. And that I can be ok with that. Ideas clash, believes struggle with each other, fear against something different takes hold in people. As much as I cannot relate to some people’s thinking I must remember that the other side might just be as frightened about their save world being thrown about as I am. We should never stop standing up for the things we believe in and never assume because we won the fight once that our ideas are a given to everyone. A calm retreat will always be needed. When I was a child I would often retrieve my favourite book by Astrid Lindgren when the world news had frightened me. It acted like a simple reminder that there are always safe and calm places in the world too. Like your blog is now. I hope this lightens up your heart a bit. Have a lovely weekend! Nadine

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