on the June 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.

On the June table, there have to be roses: they seem to me to be the quintessential summer flower. These are from the garden, their scent carrying over the lawn and, brought inside, permeating the kitchen. The peachy rose is A Shropshire Lad, the boys’ Fathers’ Day present to their Daddy last year. The pink one is a climber that rambles over a trellis crossing the path. When picking them, I also gathered some rosemary and lavender from beside the front steps: a fragrant bunch. The jug that contains the flowers is a particularly precious one to me, I inherited it from my lovely Granny. Even as a child, I was drawn to it. My Granny used to serve thick yellow custard in it but I generally keep it up on the dresser, out of the reach of small fingers. There was something about this particular little posy, however, that called for it, and I was glad to bring it into use for a while.

To drink, today, is a cup of ice cold elderflower cordial. I made my annual batch at the start of the month. The elderflowers have been early this year, and I was anxious not to miss them. As it happens, I am the only one in the family who is fond of it, which suits me fine as it lasts so much longer that way. I gave a bottle to my parents, and have been enjoying the rest myself, putting a little aside for a cake later in the week. The enamel cup came from the Decorator’s Notebook shop. We bought them for picnics, but they have proved perfect for everyday use too. I interviewed the lovely Bethan, co-owner of Decorator’s Notebook, for the latest issue of 91 Magazine. It was fascinating to hear the story behind her business- do download yourself a copy and have a read. I’ve also written the History of Vintage feature for this issue, about the iconic Cathrineholm enamelware.

To read, a couple of books from the Do Book Co. I’ve recently discovered them and I am totally besotted. They’re beautifully printed, and so very appealing: the size, the design, the fonts, the paper are all spot on. They’re published by the people behind the Do Lectures, as extended versions of some of the most popular lectures. I’ve chosen Sourdough (as recommended by Tom Herbert), and Story, both of which have been fascinating reads. I am already considering which of them I should choose next!

When we returned from Cornwall, I brought with me a boxful of sea glass, gathered from the beaches, and particularly from the harbour in Mousehole. Seaglass is, and always has been, my favourite beach treasure to search for. There’s something so magical about it, the tempering of the glass by the sea, the way in which a broken shard softens, changes hue, becomes something entirely other. The boys helped me to gather it, exclaiming over each piece, the size of it, or the colour, or shape. This little collection has almost mitigated for me the loss of a huge bowlful of it which sat on the bathroom windowsill in our very first house, gathered from a tiny harbour on the Scottish coast, and which my husband persuaded me to part with in the move. I’ve always regretted it – there were pieces of red, and purple, neither of which I’ve ever seen since. At any rate, these are my current treasures: a small selection of favourites, chosen for their colour, texture or intriguing details such as writing.

I’ve spoken before of my obsession with vintage cameras. I have a Polaroid Spectra that came to me all the way from a Vermont junk shop, via my awesome brother. Last week, another  parcel arrived for me from the States, bearing a Kodak Magazine 8 Cine Camera. This time it came from Washington DC, from my lovely friend, soul sister and co-blogger, Annie. It was a late birthday present, and the most brilliant surprise. I’m told that it should work, if I can track down the relevant film, but in the meantime, it’s destined to join the other cameras on the shelf above my desk, a thing of charm and beauty.

Pink, aqua, blue and white: the June table.

The kitchen story so far:

{the January table}

{the February table}

{the March table}

{the April table}

{the May table}

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  • This is such a lovely series. Love hearing the stories behind all the treasures. The do books look great, thank you for sharing the link. I’m another sea glass lover – my daughter and I spend many happy hours on the beach looking for it. 🙂

  • Utterly beautiful post full of some of my most favourite things. You roses are divine, I can imagine they smell just as delicious.

    I share your passion for sea glass too. I have a jar on the bathroom collected from beaches across Cornwall and it’s so precious. Each piece is wrapped with family memories. My boys hunt for it for me too. I’ve never seen red or purple though, wow. Good to know Mousehole is a treasure trove of it. I have my eye on a sea glass ring for my *big* birthday this year.

    I’ve not heard of the Do series before, thanks for sharing they look very inspiring and I’m off now for a look!

    Loving your table top memoir, beautiful x

  • Such lovely treasures. I like elderflower cordial as well, it’s summer in a glass. I’ve got a jar of sea glass in the kitchen that I add to when I find pieces. I’ll be needing a bigger jar soon! That’s a nice enamel mug, I’m after one for the allotment, so I’ll check out your link. CJ xx

  • I love your vintage cameras by the way. I’ve got a beautiful 1920s one myself and since you’ve inspired me, it’s bound to pop up in a post soon!

  • My Mum used to keep an old spaghetti jar on her kitchen windowsill for all of our sea glass finds and I loved watching the sunlight sparkle through it – definitely treasures to keep!

  • I have just a few pieces of seaglass in a pocket of my favorite coat – I use them like worry beads. I picked them up on a beach in Ibiza after reading the novel, Seaglass. I’ve been looking for some more but I guess you need a pebble beach – I’ve only found shells.