Heart of home
I was just about to go out this bitingly cold afternoon when I looked back into the room I'd just left (for this photo, I'm in my minute kitchen, heading for the back door). It took the exclamation from an old friend whom I have coffee with every six weeks or so - "I love this room!" - to make me look at it with fresh eyes, and realise that though I have a much larger sitting room, complete with piano, harpsichord, sofa and TV, this, the original kitchen of the house, is my favourite.
In the old days, there was a range in this room, just out of sight to the left, and a sink under the window on the right. The shelves on the wall facing me are in the space originally occupied by a rather damp cupboard (it's a gable end) with only one shelf, high up. At one point, when we'd amassed enough money to do things to the house rather than merely live in it, a builder suggested moving the kitchen back in there, leaving the small kitchen as a scullery/laundry room. And it was then that I knew it was always going to be important to me to have a division between cooking and living, to have a place to eat and also sit in comfort without a television, a place to relax, read, listen to music...
And that's what this is a corner of. We have a flame-effect gas fire (left, out of shot) as well as a radiator; the afternoon sun shines in; we eat at the window and watch the birds on the feeder outside; we light candles on the windowsill on the dark evenings. The walls are covered in pictures that I love and photographs of family and travels, and our sound system (old-fashioned idea, but these shelves contain only some of our CDs ...) is where the toy box stood forty years ago.
In the evenings I go to the other room to sprawl with my feet up and watch telly, but this is where we live. On a cold day like this, I was unwilling to leave it, though I'm glad I did. My extra is a photo of what we went to - Loch Striven, not long after sunset, with a biting NW wind ruffling the water and freezing our faces.