Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The coffee table and the boy

Grandson has a cold and cough but still beams away. Here he is, playing once more with his polished stones. We used to collect them on holiday and polish them ourselves, though I have to admit to having bought some as well to add to the colour mix. They've sat in a bowl for years. I would have been most intrigued when our children were little to know that they were destined to become Grandson toys.

When we were first married we lived in a very small house but a couple of years later, in 1976, we moved to a larger Edwardian terrace and needed more furniture (but had no money). We got this coffee table from Sam Burns's Junkyard. It cost £4. Mr Life stripped and varnished it and we felt it would do for a year or two. But it's wonderfully sturdy and served as a play/snack table - and a boat when turned upside down - for all our children and their friends.

Every now and then I visit friends' houses and see nice matching furniture and think - hmm, possibly ours is not the most stylish ever. Perhaps we should get some new stuff.

But it's lovely to see the next generation enjoying our old table and it's unbashable so - I think we'll keep it. (I wonder who owned it before us and how it ended up at Sam Burns's. And I wonder who'll own it after we're gone.)

This afternoon Grandson, Son-in-Law 1 and I went to the museum.

It's hard to take good photos of a constantly moving subject!


  1. Isn't it fun to see them playing with things our own children played with! Ah, being a Granny is such a wonderful experience. Grandson is growing up so fast, though. But then, so id Missy too. Sigh. I wish I could bottle this age!

  2. We didn't get above ground level last Easter at the Museum. I suspect you'd have to be indeed an Edinburgh resident to get above ground level in such a wonderful place! Don't change your furniture- resist the Cath Kidston generation and the need to live in a photo shoot!

  3. Not that your beautiful home isn't worthy of a photo shoot....

  4. Sam Burns! I used to love exploring there.

    I am not a fan of the matchy matchy furniture, probably because I grew up in a home furnished courtesy of charity shops and Sam Burns finds, with a bit of IKEA added to the mix.

    I like sturdy interesting pieces that have been refinished by the owner. Mr Riveter is more a fan of the "room set", we compromise by having matching (or closely coordinating) wood finishes. Our dining furniture is the only "set" we have.

    Our coffee table was bought brand new but unfinished, Mr Riveter wood-burned a large celtic knot design on the top then stained and sealed it with polyurethane. I hope it holds up as well as yours!

  5. I agree with Rosemary - bah to matchy matchy furniture. A lot of my pieces have family history to them like my dining room table which was made by a great (several times) grandfather of a large piece of black walnut in the 1830's in Connecticut. I don't think that black walnuts even grow as large today.

    I wish I could find such interesting pieces of furniture here in our thrift shops like that table. You're quite lucky.

  6. I'm pretty sure that if you did ever need to find a new home for the coffee table, either D2 or I would adopt it. I am very fond of it.

  7. Isn't it funny how some things we thought wouldn't last, have become fixtures in our lives. And now, with K weighing in, it looks like your beautiful table will become a family heirloom!