When we moved into this house with not very much (our furniture and belongings from 25 years of family life having been lost in a warehouse fire) I wanted a kitchen drawer like the one in our old house.
I wanted a drawer full of the detritus of everyday family life – a domestic archaeology to ground me – fossilised rubber bands, ancient postcards, last year's advent candle, crushed paper flowers from playgroup, buttons and safety pins, plant labels, tacky plastic novelties from Christmas crackers, old matchbox cars with scratched paintwork.
Since then I have been developing a drawer such as this, and it was only this September that I felt it was time to transform it. Now it is a treasure trove of interesting bits and bobs that the grandchildren like to ransack when they visit.
It is time – after seventeen years - to clear some clutter.
Unfortunately I am fighting a rising tide from the other person who lives here. And the real trouble is that his clutter is large and beautiful.
He likes making tables out of recycled wood. In the sitting room alone we have one coffee table made from an exceptionally chunky old oak gatepost, two made from old teak science lab benches and one glass one with beech legs.
Two years ago, a good friend gave him her old office parquet floor. It has been stacked in the shed since then, but now its time has come. Dave is making tables from it. Here is the first table top:
now installed as a new desk in his study (phew).
But Dave is always so delighted with his successes that he goes on to repeat them again and again. Here is the current work in progress:
I don’t know where he intends to put it. He won’t want to sell it, because he will love it so much.
Yesterday, he told his sister (a happy recipient of three coffee tables made from reclaimed mahogany) that he was making another parquet table.
She was silent for several seconds, and then she said “Oh dear.”