If, like me, you like to while away a bit of free time looking at pretty pictures on Pinterest, Tumblr and the like, you'll probably have noticed the trend for photographing things from above on old wooden tables.
The 'things' usually take the form of artfully-styled food or cups of steaming espresso; books open at particularly profound passages (accidental alliteration there, I promise) or that Kinfolk magazine I've never actually read for myself.
Anyway, I'm not one to turn my nose up at trends unless they're really silly. I quite like this style of photography and Gertie's table is proving to be a great backdrop for photos of objects. So before I go on, I'll explain a bit more about the table and where it came from.
Gertie was my stepdad's mum. I only ever saw her once. I say 'saw' as we didn't really meet - she was very ill in hospital and I accompanied my parents when they visited her. Sadly she passed away a few weeks later.
She'd lived in a little terraced house and my stepdad kept some of her things, including this table and a big trunk (which I'm also custodian of). They both came with me to Bond Street and my last house, but despite being quite small - it seats four - the table wouldn't fit anywhere so has spent the past four years in Jay's mum's garage.
I'm nothing if not honest: I thought we should maybe just give it away but Jay was insistent we kept it. So we did. And a week or two before our move he collected the table and I spent a few very hot, dusty afternoons out in the back garden sanding away then polishing it with beeswax.
And the reddish-brown varnish came away to reveal a nice - what? Damp sand? Walnut shell? - colour.
I love the fact that it's old. The little metal plate underneath proudly declares it's a radical 'Gate-less' table. I also love the little nicks and marks (I like to think, with romantic optimism, that some are ink stains).
So now it lives in the 'family room', a big room at the back of the house. It's underneath the window and we sit and eat there* and I write there too. Although the computer lives in another room** so that kind of writing is done at a more office-y type desk.
It gets lovely soft light falling on it and is regularly polished with wax and it's now my favourite piece of furniture.
So that's the story of Gertie's table.
P.S. The lavender in the top photo was a steal: £1 a bunch from the supermarket whose name starts with 'M' and it smells gorgeous.
*I bought some PVC-covered fabric for mealtimes as Joe is a typical messy toddler. 'Character' is fine but welded-on fish finger is not.
** He also likes to
grab at play with anything electrical, valuable and breakable.