Thursday, 13 March 2014

On tables, chairs and pigs

Wednesday and I am sitting at an old French country style table (probably made in the late 1920’s or early 1930’s) on a rush-seated chair from about the same period and also French. The table and chairs are in our new kitchen and we are here waiting for a cooker to arrive and for the electrician to come and wire it up for us. The sun is shining – as you can see in the photographs of the garden. (This is the sort of garden we both like. Rather wild and definitely not regimented in any way.)

Yesterday we were waiting for the table and the chairs to arrive so I brought over our two most comfortable garden chairs with which, until Monday, our sitting room is furnished. We were probably mad to buy the table. It is very beautiful – the top is of mahogany but it is not as simple as that. Apart from the edges, the whole is inlaid. It is covered with dozens of square pieces of mahogany, each about an inch and a half square, set diagonally and each with the grain running at right angles to the grain of its neighbours. We shall have to take great care of it – always using table mats and coasters to protect it. We might even get some backed oil cloth (it will have to have a gingham pattern – blue and white, I think) to use when some of our less disciplined friends are with us.

Last Saturday, we drove up onto the moor as I wanted to film some people kayaking on the River Dart. My timing was terrible: they had just left the water when we arrived. On the way back we came across this person. On close examination it turns out that it is owned by a company that supplies artificial grass. Obvious when you know that, isn't it?
The carvers that we both sit in at the moment are much more comfortable than the one I am using here so, although at first we planned to sell them and buy two more on the French art deco theme, we have changed out minds. It has been a bit of a battle between style and comfort with comfort has won. This probably means that I shall paint them eggshell blue or somesuch which is a bit of a compromise between the two.

Meanwhile, being here has certainly proved a good thing on the book front. Marcia’s characters, and especially this ‛new’ man, have been chattering away like mad and she now knows a great deal about him, his connection to one of the main characters and where he fits into the story.

Our first ladybird this spring enjoying the sunshine earlier today (Thursday)
Obviously I mustn’t say anything that would let the cat out of the bag – which thought leads me down what I feel is a quite interesting aside. I am sure you have all heard or used the expression “a pig in a poke” to describe buying something that has not been inspected properly. It seems that the pig was, in fact, a piglet and it was quite usual to carry them to market in a bag (or poke). Well, some authorities suggest that crooked sellers sometimes put a cat in the poke instead – a large cat being about the same size as a piglet – hence “letting the cat out of the bag” came to mean disclosing a secret.

For the last year and a half we have been rather lazy and have taken advantage of there being a pub a short walk away where you can have an excellent Sunday lunch. It would be wrong to say we have eaten there every Sunday but . . . Anyway, the Bar Manager at the pub was John, until last week. Now he is off to Switzerland where he will be in charge of the catering in one of the chalets popular with people who want to enjoy skiing but have a restricted budget. Thus it was that last Sunday we had lunch with him and his girlfriend, Leah who used to work in the chalet and, indeed, told John about the vacancy. We shall miss him and wish him great success in his new post.

Leah and John
This blog will be going up late on Thursday evening as I have to be at the hospital on Friday to have my new hearing aids fitted. Will they work or be as useless as the last ones? I am, of course, hoping for the best whilst preparing for the worst: fingers crossed everyone.

This is Reg. Reg works (well, goes with his owner to work) in Totnes.