01 September 2014

home and away: the kitchen table

Any allotment holder will know that as little as a week away from your plot in the summer months can cause havoc. Given the right conditions those female courgette flowers metamorphose into giant fruits that exhaust the plant and leave it barren for the rest of the season. It happened to us while we were away and we're still playing catch-up. As I sat at the free corner of the kitchen table I surveyed the bounty amid the ephemera of everyday life:

- the radio and lamp
- two glass bowls of ripened and ripening plum tomatoes, variety unknown as they were bought from a market stall, the slugs having eaten all of my plantlets
- four fat cucumbers
- a heap of giant courgettes, only slightly diminished in size by their inclusion in the four jars of plum chutney sitting in another corner of the table, and immobilised by the engineering efforts of a spider that comes out at night to examine the contents of the enormous web that stretches from table to chair to window frame to a short rope hanging from the kitchen cupboard (don't ask)
- a bowl of defrosted Seville oranges, evicted from the freezer that really must be defrosted to make space for an epic bakeathon coming up at the end of the month
- a glass jar, flowerless
- a sad looking bowl of fruit
- two teapot stands and one teapot
- two jars of sourdough starter, a flour shaker, and a very decent home made loaf
- a small pile of fluorescent post-it notes, some scribbled dates on the top one to transfer to my diary
- a pile of unread Guardian reviews, copies of the Cook supplement, Dan Lepard's Short and Sweet and my cookery scrap books. My intentions are good at least.
- a paper bag that contained some fat quarters of fabric, now washed, and destined for another quilt that will come in second place to the baby it's destined for; plus a rag of fabric that has to go into the cupboard with the rest of the shoe cleaning cloths
- two mortars containing pepper and sea salt

Surrounded by all this stuff, I resolve to tidy up, well at least enough to make some more space for for us to sit and eat. But the big clear-up has to wait until I've managed to squeeze in a few more outings to make the most of these last, lovely days of warmth and sunshine...before I go on holiday again.

The spider doesn't seem to mind.


Marigold Jam said...

I am glad to see you suffer too from what another blogger (forget who) calls flat surface syndrome. I fondly imagined when we had room for a table in the kitchen as well as one in the dining room that at least one might stay tidy and could have a tasteful runner and maybe a bowl of fruit - fat chanc! Stuff multiplys to fill the available space - if that's not somebody's Law it certainly should be!

rusty duck said...

I was determined that when I had a new, minimalist, kitchen all surfaces would be kept clear and easy to clean. Ah..
That last photo is really quite creepy. He will have taken over by the time you return. Try not to think about it and have a great time!

ALoadofOldTat said...

We have had a spider glut in the garden this year and earlier than normal. They've taken to weaving around the houses, most odd just like Miss Haversham's.

colleen said...

Now here's a strange thing: I always think of the spiders in the house as female because they are always spinning and weaving and tidying. Shame on me.

Liz said...

Oh yes, days out over tidying every time. As my dad used to say, the mess will still be there tomorrow so no rush. This is a very spidery house, always has been. Now they've moved into my car.

Jane Housham said...

Terrific spider photo! You are lovely photographer.

SmitoniusAndSonata said...

Spiders only live in happy houses , apparently .