on the January table

the january table :: circle of pine trees

In our kitchen, we have an oval Victorian drop-leaf table. It has been in the family since my father-in-law was a child, if not before, and it has seen a lot of action, and a number of homes over the years. It is definitely past its best, marked by mug stains, felt pen marks, fading and scuffs. Nevertheless, this kitchen table is very much the heart of our home. Standing next to a large sash window that looks on to the garden, it benefits from natural light and a view to the hill beyond.

All sorts of things find their way on and off the table during the course of a day. Meals (of course) but also toys, books, letters, craft activities, laptops, medicine, to-do lists… a microcosm of family life. It occurred to me, when photographing the table in all its messy glory for this post, that it might be interesting to photograph that tired old table through the course of the year, to discover what stories it can tell.

So, this is January. A brief and quiet moment to myself with a cup of tea in my favourite mug (a reminder of a summer tradition). Hyacinths are a permanent fixture at this time of year, in a cracked flowerpot on a stray saucer: a homely centrepiece. January, to me, seems a perfect time to knit, and I am making baby socks- my first ever pair, using this beautiful yarn, bought on a trip to London over Christmas. Finally, a new notebook, with pen to match. I hadn’t come across the one line a day notebooks until a blog reader recommended them to me, but I love the concept of them-  writing a couple of sentences, a tiny snapshot of each day, building up to a five year record of life lived . Also, I am an absolute sucker for gilt-edged books, so I just couldn’t resist!

Orange, turquoise, terracotta and blue: the January table.

{whilst writing this post, I was reminded of this table, and also of this one}

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  • I love this idea Laura. I’m looking forward to seeing the year through your table! I have been using my day to clear spaces. I might just have to rethink documenting the messy areas too.

  • Most of the time I can barely even see our dining room table – our equivalent of yours since out kitchen is too small for a table. I did treat myself to a bunch of orange/yellow/red tulips today though and they’re very cheerful. I find the scent of hyacinths a bit overpowering though they are beautiful. I look forward to seeing your table again soon!

  • Hello Laura, I am new to your blog. I love your table and the history that it holds for you. Our dining room table was my dad’s parents when he was a boy and now we have it and I love all the memories too! Funny how a piece of furniture can give us these feelings. Looking forward to reading more of your blog. xx

  • I really love this idea. Our kitchen table is very much at the heart of family life too, and photos of it often find their way onto my blog! Nowhere near as pretty as your lovely Victorian table though! Looking forward to seeing the photos throughout the year. Laura x

  • Like the idea of tracking life through tablescapes – you reminded me of that Instagram feed too!

    My kitchen table is white formica – practical, but not terribly beautiful.

  • Hello, I am new to your blog and I love this idea. I am so sentimental and love what value and emotions furniture bring. I look forward to seeing many more things from this gorgeous table. xoxo

  • This is a wonderful, and what I’m sure will be a beautiful, idea! The January photo is lovely in its wintry colours and textures, very evocative indeed! I can see twelve framed images lined along a wall or a staircase at the end of the year…Chrissie x

  • so lovely. several times this Christmas I caught the cat sleeping on our table where he is NOT allowed, but apparently if you make a quilted table runner and then place it on a table next to a radiator it makes the perfect cat bed……
    never managed to photograph him though.

    the rest of the year it is a disapointing mix of paperwork and dirty mugs………

  • Hello, This is the first time I’ve visited your blog and I think it’s beautiful. I love the idea of photographing your table over the year and I look forward to seeing more photos.

    (I have that mug too, it’s also my favourite!)