Monday, May 16, 2016

Of tea and tables (FD)

A couple of weeks ago, we were invited to afternoon tea.

The people who invited us to tea, Lorna and Andy, are a couple we became friends with a little over a year ago. We met them when they were going to buy the building we lived in before this one, after it went up for sale when our landlord at the time died. They never did buy it (for reasons I won't go in to) but they've kept in touch, and we've spoken to and seen them a couple of times since we moved out of the old place in late February 2015. During that time, they've been trying to actually successfully buy a place (long story, which I won't go in to... It's not my story to tell). Anyway, they FINALLY have a place, and invited us to see it, and to have afternoon tea with them.

I didn't look around the house. Kelly let Andy take him on a tour, but I said it would probably be easier for me to wait until things were a little more organized before I went exploring. All I got was that it's very spacious, and they're happy with it (despite it needing a fair amount of work). That's good enough for me. I'll let them take me on a tour when things are more organized, but it would just be too confusing for me to do a before and after tour, to be honest. I mean, I know they're excited to show it off. But right now it's just a bunch of rooms with furniture and boxes of stuff in them to me. It will be easier if I try to make sense of the place better when things are in their places. Fair play to them though... They successfully guided me around all the obsticles they needed to, without me ending up with so much as a bump or bruise. That's more than I manage in my own home, where everything's familiar, some days, LOL!

Anyway, it was a very pleasant afternoon, and we'd been there more than an hour before we realized it... Just drinking tea, nibbling on sandwiches and cakes, and talking. Kelly and Andy drank regular tea, while Lorna and I were drinking jasmine tea.

All food items were vegetarian friendly, since most of us are vegetarians. Kelly is the only one of us not a vegetarian. But he was a good sport, and tried the vegetarian ham and cheese sandwiches (made with a vegetarian friendly ham substitute) and said he actually enjoyed them. I never had any of those, because there were egg and cress sandwiches, and I absolutely adore egg and cress sandwiches. There was also carrot cake (iced, with little walnut pieces on it) and mini jam swiss rolls. I'm a big fan of carrot cake, so I admit I grabbed a couple of pieces of that.

While we were there, they offered to give us a nice Edwardian table they had, which they didn't need. It seems they've been gathering bits and pieces of furniture while house hunting, so as to make sure they have what they need, and that it works with the style of the house they ended up with in the end, with the result they now have several bits and pieces of furniture they neither want or need.

Unfortunately, part of the hallway in this building is too narrow to bring in solid tables, and the table they offered us doesn't come apart. So we couldn't have it after all. We didn't realize until they got it here. I felt bad having them bring it all the way here on their car's roof rack, just for us not to be able to have it after all. But there wasn't anything any of us could do about it, since that table just wasn't fitting... Kelly and Andy tried everything they could think of. They even tried removing the door from the hallway to see if it would get through without the door in the way... It wouldn't (and we almost ended up calling the landlord to help us put the door back on, because we had trouble doing so... We managed to get it back on in the end though). So, Lorna and Andy had to take the table back home.

However, as it turned out, that wasn't the only spare table they had.

They planned to bring us a different table the following day... A smaller one, with legs that could be removed, which would mean it would easily fit through that narrow hallway. But the lovely weather we'd been having at the time changed, the rain returned, and it was too late in the afternoon by the time it dried up enough to do it without everyone - plus the table - getting soaked.

The next day (this past Wednesday) was foggy, but dry. So they brought the table over for us that afternoon.

It's not a really solid, old fashioned table, like the one they originally offered us. But it's a nice little table, it's sturdy enough that I can knock in to it without anything on it - and the table itself - going everywhere, and we're really grateful to them for it. I mean, we didn't have one before... We'd been eating at our computer desks... So any table would have been an improvement over that. But, as I said, it's a nice little table, which is actually ideal for our little apartment, because it has a hinged top that allows you to either have it as a table that's only big enough for two, or extend it so twice as many people can fit around it. Since there's just the two of us living here, we're using it with the top folded away.

Here's a photo of it how we usually have it:

I didn't bother to get a shot of it extended.

They did also offer us chairs. But we have a set of four matching chairs already, so declined that offer.

The chairs we have (two of which you can see in the above photo) are ones we picked up when we needed something to sit on to use our computers (when I first switched back to using a desktop, and Kelly's computer chair broke). We'd only wanted two at the time, but ended up getting all four, since they wouldn't let just half the set go, and those were the most comfortable looking chairs they had available at the time. One of them is currently still being used for Kelly (he's getting a new computer chair soon though). The other three have just been waiting patiently in our living room for a table to go around. Now two of them are permanently at the table, with the third to the side where it can be grabbed quickly when needed.

Is it weird that I'm so excited to have a table?

Well... Even if it is weird to be so excited about having a table, I am! You have no idea how exciting pieces of furniture that are used daily can be if you've been without them for a long time. I think you have to go without them to realize how wonderful it is to have them though. It's one of those situations where you realize just how lucky you are to have the things you do, because you've had time to experience life without them. It might sound strange to think like that about something like a table. But that's sort of my point. I think people take so much for granted these days, and tables are one of the most widely used - yet least appreciated, in my opinion - things.

Anyway... Even though I'm pretty sure they won't read this, I'd like to end this by saying "thank you" to Lorna and Andy for our new table.


Jeanie said...

When I got my dining table I was over the moon so I can really understand how delighted you are to have this! And I love the fact that it has a hinged top so if you have guests or need to open it for a project, you're good to go. What a generous thing to do!

It sounds as though your friends have good settling to do but that they have found a wonderful new home. Tea is such a nice way to break in your new surroundings. It really sounds like a wonderful day -- and a delicious one, too. (Carrot cake and egg and cress would be two of my favorites, too!)

Victoria Zigler said...

Yeah, the table is great, and it was very generous of them. Also, the afternoon tea was wonderful.

Rita said...

Jasmine tea is one of my favorite teas. Sounds like they are a very sweet couple. Too bad the first table didn't fit but this one looks perfect for your small space. Yes!! Be excited!! Be very excited!! :) :)

Victoria Zigler said...

Jasmine tea is one of the few I don't have in the stack I have at home. I had had it before though, since there's a cafe nearby that serves herbal teas as well as regular tea, so I was eager to have it again when it was offered.

Don't worry... I'm doing well at being very excited about the table, LOL!

Intense Guy said...

You have some really good friends! The table looks wonderful!

Victoria Zigler said...

Thanks! Yes, it was really good of them to give it to us.

Deanna said...

How lovely to have generous friends. I'm sorry you weren't able to get the first table into your apartment but this one looks very nice, too. I'm sure you'll really enjoy it. :)

Victoria Zigler said...

Well, we're enjoying it so far, anyway. ;)