It’s been a productive couple of days at chez Strachan. Included within these constructive episodes was a revamping of the downstairs bedroom back into a dining room. A reverse of this portal’s adaptation last year following my mum’s February stroke. This stark incident necessitating creation of a downstairs bedroom and wet room, enabling her ease of transition around the home.
My siblings and yours truly’s recent decision to return dining furniture where a bed had lain for twelve months, a marketing strategy aimed at augmenting the room’s aesthetics; subsequently enhancing the abode’s saleability.
Hopefully adapting this chamber’s Feng shui whets a prospective buyers appetite enough to finally furnish Ian, Helen and me with an offer for our forebears home of over three decades.
As an aside, in a further attempt to polish this residential gem, yesterday afternoon I treated the lawns to their inaugural cut of 2022 – Followed by a session of cutting back 2021’s dead plant foliage, consequently affording increased border space for this years floral bounty to flourish.
It’s gotta be said, having the dining room back as a ‘working’ space felt good. Since mum’s demise the door into this chamber had remained mostly closed. Anyone setting foot into the space which’d became the old lady’s bedroom a mighty rare sight since her passing last October.
If truth be told, I’ve hardly entered the domain since then should it trigger melancholic memories of Maggie’s declining health and passing. Consequently, wintertime has seen that room being almost ignored as part of the home. Kept shut away like vast areas of the castle in Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve’s novel Beauty and the Beast.
Anyhow, removing the bed, along with bedside furniture, replacing them instead with the sturdy G-Plan table which’d sat enveloped by an old pair of curtains in an upstairs spare room re-introduced enchantment recently absent from this section of the house.
Once again having the wherewithal to dine looking out onto the back garden, via French doors, on gradually lighter nights evoking hundreds of fond memories of familial get-togethers stretching back over a trinity of decades.
My parents always endeavouring to make evening meals times in that chamber occasions where family and friends would eat heartily, drink a celebratory shandy (cough, cough), and catchup on their guests existential zeitgeists. Laughter guaranteed at some juncture from jocular yarns/antics provided by one or more of those present.
Of course, sitting alone yesterday evening, listening to an Apple Music playlist whilst troughing on a chicken and rice salad, washed down by a glass of wine, holds nowhere near the brio levels witnessed in this dining room over thirty summers. And to be honest, it can never reach that joyful plateau again since the two hosts departed this vale of tears.
However, that doesn’t mean creating more happy memories in this chamber is off the agenda, especially now it’s been re-introduced as a room where melancholy no longer grips you as soon as you enter.
Coincidentally, since returning the space to a dining room and opening the habitually closed blinds, the sun has shone almost non-stop. The romantic in me taking that as a positive metaphorical sign from my dad of “Stop grieving and get on with your life….. Me and our mum are here in spirit….. Create your own great memories in this den.”
The message I’m getting from my mum, while sitting at the dining table, being “Come on now, Gary…. Sort yourself out, lad!…… Oh, and don’t pour your dad another glass of wine….. He’s had enough already!“