......let me tell you a story.....
Once upon a time in a land far far away, in a time long long ago, a woman sat in a waiting room.
Sparse cold and bare, there was little in the way of entertainment for the woman while she waited, save for some glossy magazines extolling the virtues of overpriced designer sports cars and overpriced designer clothing and overpriced designer watches and overpriced designer housewares - but wait, what is this the woman spies. She brings the magazine closer to her eyes (perhaps she is waiting to see an optician). She turns the page this way and that, and still the photograph draws her in, the glossy pages rustle with joy, she signs and turns her head away from the tantalising images before her, and casts the magazine aside.
But the image haunts her, it follows her around at work, at home, at play, at the shops, at college, during the day and during the night.
And an obssession is born.
That woman was me and one day I saw a picture that I know full well was just stage dressing but I have never been able to shake the image. It was the image of my dream kitchen.
A table and chairs, mismatched in peeling white paint, and pine, set against a backdrop of sunlight streaming through a large window framing a belfast sink, copper taps on exposed pipework, a worn wooden counter top, and an open doorway through which could just be spied the fresh green of a summer's day in an overgrown cottage garden.
The table was laid as if for a summer banquet, with crockery in every shape and hue of blue and pristine sparkling white, round heavy wine glasses jostled for space along side crystal brandy glasses, delicately stemmed roses nestled amongst a forest of tall slender champagne flutes, with antique silver cutlery as a sharp counterpoint to the vintage linen napkins.
I drool just thinking about it now.
I don't have my dream kitchen - in fact all my furniture is dark and heavy, mostly antique oak, but it is free standing and I do have a unique handmade (by my very clever other half) pine kitchen sink unit, which incorporates the only fitting left in our house when we bought it, a vintage ceramic sink.
I do have a window which has lots of lovely morning sunlight, but not an overgrown cottage garden, much more of an overgrown kitchen garden designed to feed us all throughout the year, although I do have some delicate white rambling roses growing around the kitchen window - when the greenfly allow it.
In fact of that dream image all that I do actually have is the mismatched blue and white crockery - my harlequin set.
I have been collecting this over the last few years, a plate here and a bowl there, at various flea markets and car boots, junk shops and barn sales.
The only problem is - should I ever actually try to lay the table as per my image - it just looks messy and unco-ordinated - a natural home designer I am not. Still - can't have everything.
Anyway the point of the long rambling blog entry - I smashed some of my side plates the other day. I was a little bit gutted.
But that gives me something to look for just as this year's season of markets and car boots gets going - starting today at Charroux.